Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sailing with Jason and the Oysternauts

We were planning to rendezvous with some of our float-mates across the channel from Shilshole, but we developed a sewage leak (ewww...). That put us out of commission until we cleaned it up, emptied our holding tank, attached the doggie ladder, lubed the winches (no, this is not double entendre), and did several other necessary projects.

The harbor has free pumpout facilities, so that's nice. The night before we kayaked over to check out the facility, and a sailboat pulled in. We paddled over and asked them, "Do you mind if we watch you do this?"

They reluctantly told us, "Sure, knock yourselves out."

So we watched them suck out their s**t - with wonder and fascination as it flowed like pancake batter through the clear tubing and into the deep and satisfying vacuum of 'somebody else's problem'.

Oh, this glamourous yachting life of ours.

On Sunday, we got our icky problems solved and fired up the engine to leave the harbor for our second time. As we were leaving the dock, our slip-mates pulled back in, so we missed the rendezvous, but we decided to head over to Port Madison just the same and drop the hook for lunch. We got the sail up a bit, but mostly motored over. The port was chockful of boats, floating docks, mooring balls, and kayakers, and only 10 feet deep, so we had a lot to think about as we looked for a spot to anchor. Anchoring went well, and lunch was nice, though it will take us some time to feel comfortable among such a crowded place with people and houses all around. The lack of a public beach was also a drag for Chance. So he had to stay aboard.

Mo got to be heroine for the day before breakfast, even. Buster, a random doggie on a run, decided to jump into the harbor. Here he is as his poor owner tries to figure out how to get him back up. Apparently, he just lept over the fence and down the six-foot breakwater to see what the low tide had exposed.

Mo jumped to action and grabbed the kayak to save the day, and Buster's poor embarrassed owner. Buster wasn't really happy with kayaking for the first time, but figured it out.Chance, in the meantime, was frantically readying the boat for the day's sail...
Our first guest brave enough to go out sailing with us was Blain's college friend Jason. They had done many foolish things together at the U. of Puget Sound, so Blain figured he'd be up to at least one more.
He turned out to be a good hand. Having some sailing experience, he knew not to panic when the captain can't point the boat the right way, or when the wind really starts whipping. We'd reefed the main sail down in the harbor, knowing it might be a little strong out there. We were glad we had, when the waves and windspeed picked up on our homeward reach. We had the strongest winds we've seen, and as you can see, several other gorgeous boats were out and about enjoying themselves in the stiff breeze - though with a lot more sail out than we had. The more sail out, the faster you go, but also the more you lean over, and the more stuff you have to pick up from off the floor.
The waves built, and the sails flogged wildly, as Mo recommended we take down sail and head in. The thought hadn't occured to Jason or Blain who were, well, absorbed by the out-of-control nature of the situation.

Getting back into the slip in the wind was a bit tricky, but there was no yelling, and once Blain got the boat parallel in the float, instead of perpendicular, Oystercatcher slid into the slot like she knew where to go.

All in all, we only sailed a few miles, back and forth roughly in a big circle, but we gained far more in experience and courage. Jason, you have an open invitation anytime you want to go sailing.

And Chance - he resumed his usual frantic lifestyle.


  1. Well, considering all the hazardous waste I have been dealing with of late, I can appreciate your fascination with the s**t removal.
    Chance looks like a dog that has found heaven.

  2. Mmmhmm, tomorrow is rebuild the toilet (head) day. Anybody wanna watch?