24 August 2009 | TYC Eagle Harbor outstation, Bainbridge Island
WX: CAVU, temp 80, wind N 10-15
The last gate is behind us. It didn't go quietly. But to go back...
Diane abandoned ship on Saturday, the 22nd, heading home to begin dealing with her obligations as president of the TYC Shipmates. Keith Langford, who was part of the crew that brought Dreamtime to Friday Harbor back in June, returned to help take the boat home again.
So we left Friday Harbor at 0845 Sunday morning. The always superbly accurate weather forecast called for winds "west 10-15" in the Straits. We rode the ebb out through Cattle Pass and through the tide rips outside the Pass. No worries, we thought, the winds are going to be light in the Strait. That was when it occurred to us that the Cosmic Forces pay absolutely NO attention to the drivel coming out of the U.S. Weather Service and NOAA. The "10-15 knot" winds were, in fact, somewhere in the 20-25 knot range. And when they hit the ebb coming out of Cattle Pass and down Rosario Strait, the result was a confused mass of waves coming at us from every direction.
The most comfortable line was slightly downwind, which had us headed east of Smith Island rather than toward Pt. Wilson. So, every few minutes, we'd try to pick a "smooth spot" and turn up to the west. This meant crashing right into the teeth of the westerly wind and waves. Then we'd turn back downwind, taking the waves on the beam for awhile. Beam seas are definitely NOT Dreamtime's forte. The worst part was the noise. Everything moveable slid back and forth, occasionally being launched across the cabin or crashing to the floor. Miraculously, nothing broke, though Keith kept busy for awhile running around the cabin catching things before they could hit the floor. At one point, one of our big 7-gallon water jugs departed from its position on the mid-deck and landed on the aft deck. The impact was enough to send me running back to see if the dinghy was still with us.
We'd timed our run to arrive at Pt. Wilson just as the tide turned to flood. Unfortunately, while the tide had changed at the point, it had NOT changed out in the Straits north of the point. The infamous Point Wilson Rip was in full operation and the continuing ebb slowed our progress to a scant 5 knots. So we got to sit in it even LONGER. We finally got around Pt. Wilson a little before 1300. After that, things calmed down.
We rode the flood on down Admiralty Inlet. By the time we got to Pt. No Point, the water was flat glass calm. Hardly recognizable as the same day! Finally, at about 1730, we arrived at the TYC outstation in Eagle Harbor.
Dreamtime is almost home. From here, we'll take her to the TYC main station for a few days since our slip in Gig Harbor is subleased to someone else until the end of the month.