|Raven leaving Port Townsend for Alaska on a silver misty morning with the Hawaiian Chieftain sailing in the background. Photo by Leif Knutsen, who designed and built Raven.|
|The dinghy comes aboard through the tailgate and fits inside the boat - very handy.|
|Friends seeing us off with good wishes and bad puns.|
|Sloppy going in Johnstone Strait...|
|...followed by a rainbow! (and a gale.)|
“Did get a spare whatsit?”
“Oh rats, I was just at the hardware store, I’ll get it next trip.”
There’s the endless organizing…
|Jim makes things orderly aft.|
|Storing provisions in the cabin.|
Here’s the itinerary so far:
Day 1: Cross the Strait of Juan de Fuca and anchor in Reid Harbor, Stuart Island, San Juan Islands. No pub unless one considers that Raven herself has served as a floating pub to a bunch of round-the-world sailors.
|The tailgate as a private wharf.|
Day 3: Get underway at 6:00 am in order to make the slack current at Dodd Narrows, where people set up lawn chairs to watch the parade of boats chaos-ing through a whirlpool-infested rock bottleneck. Anchor off Nanaimo’s famous Dinghy Dock pub, which can only be reached by boat, and whose patrons and waitstaff were, to a person, extremely jolly.
|Raven anchored off Nanaimo. View from Newcastle Island.|
|Underway at first light.|
|Sonar view of the twin peaks of an underwater mountain that, after the largest non-nuclear explosion in history (in 1958), deepened from 9 feet under the surface to 45 feet.|
Total miles so far: 279.
Gallons of fuel used per hour: 0.57.
Number of nautical miles per gallon: 10.5.
As you might imagine, we’ve been challenging ourselves to keep up such a pace because we want to get to Glacier Bay and then take it easy. Today being the aftermath of the gale, we decided to make it a lay day. But tonight we leave Port McNeill at 2:00 am, to catch the current and (we hope) lighter winds of early morning.
Did you know that there are a whole series of unspoken laws of the sea? For example:
#1. If you are on autopilot and there is a crab pot anywhere near your course, your boat will head straight for it.
#2: If you turn the temperature of the boat fridge down in hopes of preserving the food you’re not eating because you’re on a pub crawl, and also to test its power for the off chance that you might catch a nice big fish, it will cause a localized nuclear winter. Corollary: You will always discover the frozen beer at exactly happy hour.
#3: If, in desperation caused by Unspoken Law #2, you respond to your husband’s amused comment to “think outside the bottle” by cutting the top off a frozen bottle of Coke, you will have an instant slushee. Corollary: You will also have an instant brain freeze.
#4: If you are away from the worrisome daily news firehose for awhile and decide to check online to see what’s going on in the world, it will feel more like novelty than self-flagellation.