The Great Escape
09 September 2006 | Seattle
Finally after much planning and anticipation we are off!
Departing Saturday, September 9, 2006 from Ward's Cove on Lake Union.
We transited through the Locks, ocean bound. Having no trouble getting the champagne bottle open we toasted our new adventure with drinks at 0830. What a feeling of freedom!
Everyone on board was relieved that we have finally made our way to salt water. Myself, Mandy (My wife), Ryan (best friend and might as well be my brother) Kendra (Niece in law) and Vianne (My five month old daughter) are in good spirits, feeling exuberated after delays in our departure, which set us back over a week. Although Vianne probably was more excited about have a fresh diaper and contemplating the sea lion perched on the Mo "A buoy.
We had a little fog, traveling north, and wanting to be the "Prudent Mariner, we had our Radar running. This only lasted about twenty minutes before it decided to take a vacation from work. I didn't realize it was on a union contract! Yes, I did check it before departure and it was working fine then. I was to discover several hours later, after the fog lifted, it was a combination of a loose ground and a bad inline fuse.
In the mean time the wind picked up and we decided to hoist sail. Attempting to un-furl the Jib, we promptly wrapped the secondary jib halyard around the jib! Nice! At least there was little traffic and calm seas. Ryan and I tried unwrapping the halyard with no luck. It was time to head up the mast.
Ok, I could have waited till getting back to port, however where would be the adventure in that.
While preparing to make my assent to the great heights, (my false illusion of grandeur that we actually own a 18th century tall ship and that I'm Captain Jack Sparrow) I noticed a little flashing blue light off the port bow. Quickly coming back to the 21st century, I realized the US Coast Guard was making its way south in a small Safe Boat. I pointed it this out to Ryan and Kendra as we realized they were changing course toward us. I asked Ryan to pour out the last of the Champagne, not wanting to deal with questions if they did board us, though I doubt they would have bothered.
Coming along side I had the following conversation with the Coxswain.
Me: "Good Morning, What can I do for you gentle men?
USCG: "Good morning sir. We are conducting education awareness of the Traffic System. Are you currently checked in to VTS?
Me: "I'm a 36ft sail boat, I was unaware that I needed to be checked in to traffic.
USCG: "Oh, you don?? t, but you could.
Me: "Right, I was simply going to monitor the traffic channels and stay out of the big boys way!
USCG: "Oh yes, that's a good idea, I also see you're heading North in the North bound lane.
Me: "Yes, 'cause I'm heading north, on my way to Port Townsend.
USCG: "No, that's good, we've just been having trouble with small vessels heading in the wrong direction of traffic. And you are aware that you are currently a motor vessel because you're not sailing?
Me: "Right, I was getting to that! I'm trying to fix that.
USCG: "Well, ok thanks for your time have a good trip!
Me: (thoroughly perplexed) "Uh, yes you too. Thanks for stopping by!
Promptly they sped away onto their next education mission.
(Keep in mind this whole conversation took place with me, wearing a head set and climbing harness, which made me look like a deranged bearded male Britney Spears with a codpiece. Not exactly how I expected to start the morning, but entertaining none the less!)
Ryan: "Thanks for making us pour out the last of the booze!
And thus we began our great adventure!