Day 4, July 6, 2010
25 August 2010 | Bell Harbor to Port Townsend/Port Hudson
Day Four July 6, 2010: Bell Harbor to Port Townsend
Departure time: 09:30, Travel time: 8:31, Mileage: 49.73nm, Average Speed: 5.7kts
We woke up to bright sunny skies. The city was just waking up and the smells of city and salt water mixed in a morning breeze. Walking the docks I could smell coffee brewing, a bakery and diesel fumes from a passing truck. I met Tom at the top of the dock coming back from somewhere. We quickly exchanged notes of the plan of the day and went our own ways.
Around 08:30 much to our surprise we got a text saying that Ben was on his way down to the boat and indeed he was coming. By 09:00 everyone was up and Ben was on the boat. Katie was keeping to herself, kind of feeling everything out. By 09:30 we were heading out. Pyxis left about 20 minutes before us. The wind was building. We motored out the little harbor. There was a bit of marine traffic to dodge but nothing to serious. About a mile off we spotted Pyxis with her sails up. Tom was making a go of it under canvas early. I wanted to get out of Elliot Bay and round West Point and see what the wind was doing before raising sail.
We ran out Elliot Bay passing close to a couple of merchant ships lying anchor. One particular ship looked as though she had been at sea for years. Rust stains streaked her hull down every weld. The paint was weathered as she sat at anchor riding high above her water line. The wind was blowing at 10 to 15 kts stretching her two inch anchor chain tight as she pointed to the wind. It took us about 45 minutes to round West Point.
There was a stiff wind blow in the sound, coming from the north which is a little unusual for this time of the year. For some reason in the Puget Sound, if I'm heading north the wind is out of the north and if I'm heading south, it's on my nose. It's so madding. Too bad we were heading into the wind. We set sails and dropped the keel just south of West Point. Cygnet loves to run close to the wind, and so we did. We were making 6 and a half knots good most of the time. There was a bit of fetch in the building seas, so it was a bit bumpy. If we were not trying to go some place it would have been a fantastic day of sailing. But the problem was we need to beat up wind to get to Port Townsend. It was a 37nm run to Port Townsend on a direct route. We beat up wind for over three hours before giving up the ghost and turning on the motor. Sails came down between Pt. Jefferson and President Point south of Kingston. We sailed 17nm to make 6.5nm good, taking us seven tacks to do so. In other words if we were traveling in a straight line we made less than two knots headway. But hey, were on vacation right.
After dropping sail, I looked back to see how Pyxis was doing. She was about 5nm behind us. The wind bends with shape of the land and he was dealing with different wind than we were. It was not long after we drop sail before he did the same and started the north bound trek on the motor. The run was mostly uneventful. Auto had the helm. This allowed us to run around doing whatever. We just posted lookout watches for collision avoidance and debris in the water. Annette loves Auto, because on Auto, she does not have to listen to a nagging husband telling her where and how to helm the boat. Our marriage survives another day.
Our course took us up the west side of Puget Sound. We dodged ferries out of Kingston, fishing boat off of Point No Point and merchant traffic entering into Admiralty Inlet. We ran along the east side of Marrowstone Island, rounded Marrowstone Point and entered Port Townsend. The shadows were growing long when we put in at Port Hudson. It was another 45 minutes before Pyxis crossed the breakwater. Pyxis had opted to go the back side of Marrowstone/Indianola Island and take the Port Townsend Canal. The two crews tied up, showered. Pyxis pretty much kept to themselves for the night. Annette had a classmate and her daughter visit the boat. She brought a bottle of wine which we all enjoyed. After a Mexican food dinner, we all went off to Elevated Ice Cream. We came back and relaxed for the evening. Katie and I watched goofy videos on Ben's I-pad. It was a great way to end a very long day.