Sunday, July 17, 2011

11 JUL 2011 - Lucky to the rescue

There is something seriously wrong with getting up at 0430 on your vacation. On the positive side it was beautiful. Heading out at sunrise was pretty awesome, we had a great view of Mount Baker, fresh coffee and positive thoughts. On top of all that the Duke was delivering!! Granted we were only moving at 1000 rpms but he wasn't overheating and we were making headway. After an hour I got a little over confident... the winds were still light and I wanted to make a little more headway so we throttled up to 1500 rpms. 5 minutes later Duke over heated.

The day started with such promise...

We spent the next ... several hours (though they felt like days) fighting for forward progress. We'd find a small patch of wind or run Duke for a few minutes and make a 1/4 or so mile forward then the current would drift us 1/2 mile back.

It was bad. We tried everything... even rowing and pulling with the P-Wagon - both were dumb ideas that failed miserably but we were desperate. If we could just get some wind... but nope, any wind we did get didn't last and we eventually drifted back to a now familiar spot between a certain house on Orcas Island and the southern side of Matia Island. Ginny was losing her mind - she focused on that house and it quickly became the bane of our existence by which all forward progress, or lack thereof, was measured.

Ginny's favorite house...

Even Sadie couldn't take it anymore.

By 1:00 we had made a grand total of 4 nautical miles of forward progress on a day where we had to cover 19 miles to get to Bellingham. By 2:00 we were ready to admit defeat... with the forecasted wind never materializing how much would it cost to be towed to safety? We made the call but just for an estimate... HOLY $&^% $2,000. My awesome wife said absolutely not - we will wait for wind... I don't care if we drift, anchor or have to sail at night - we are not paying that much for a tow. That made me very happy, I wasn't keen on just drifting but I also didn't want to be towed in... especially in a sailboat - we should be able to make this work.

So... now that we had some time on our hands ... what should we do. Then I remembered we have a spinnaker! We've never flown it, we don't know how... this seemed like the perfect time to try and figure it out.

It took a bit but we got that kite full of wind and Cold Feet started to move!! That house got smaller and smaller which made Ginny happy and the rocky coast of Matia Island got smaller and smaller which made Kevin happy. Our spinnaker, which is actually a spindrifter, has a dragon design on it from two owners ago. Ginny and I contemplated having the center panels replaced with our foot design some day. But not anymore - with the amount of forward progress we were making Ginny promptly named him Lucky, he is now a permanent part of the team. We did have a slight problem though ... the wind was blowing us north and Bellingham was to the south. Well... what's north that can help us... Blaine, Washington. Then Blaine it is.

We even got to see Canada...

It took several hours... several long hours; but we made it to Blaine under sail with Lucky doing to the bulk of the work. Duke came through at the end when we couldn't sail anymore and got us safely to a dock without overheating.

We were pretty proud of ourselves. Though we contemplated calling for a tow and even got an estimate- in the end we decided to handle it ourselves and made it safely to a marina. At 10:30 after a long, long day Cold Feet was safely tied off in a marina. The captains were exhausted and the first mates were ready for some doggie business. They must have sensed our apprehension - refusing to eat in the morning and barely drinking water throughout the day they quietly slept throughout the day to let us focus on the tasks at hand. It seemed when our frustration started to mount they would quickly distract us with chest rub and head scratching requests and once the frustration abated they would return to their nap.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Blaine, WA

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