Monday, April 20, 2009

Quintessential PNW

Yep, it was a gorgeous day in the PacNorWest. Got off the hook easily this morning from Honeymoon Bay and headed out to enjoy great views of Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier. Spent most of the day under peaceful Frank thought he heard a whale coming up for a breath. Sure enough, there was a humpback off our port quarter. Then a bald eagle was sailing over head...perfect!

The only not-so-great part of the day was the return to port. Honestly I was already nervous since I'd never docked this boat and it was wicked windy out. First we hit the fuel dock. Pretty easy there as the wind was blowing us right on to the dock. Next we used the lines to walk the boat around to the pump out station. I don't know if it was the wind or what, but this girl is a beast! We made it though and went through our first pump out. Think the tank gauges may need some calibration... Then with a screaming infant below decks we got underway to head to our slip. We're in the first dock at the marina which means there is NO protection from the wind during the afternoon sea breeze. It was sooooo clear that we were rookies. Frank made a few passes to get a feel for it and tweek his technique, then we went for it. I hopped off with just the stern line--that proved to be our most fatal error. The wind grabbed the bow and swung it away from me and towards the boat next to us. Frank fended off of it while I tried to walk the stern back. Finally got ahold of another line (midships) and a passer-by to help before getting the bow line and really getting the control we needed. Tense, tense, TENSE! And to top it off, as we were thanking the gent that came to our aid, Trent fell from the ladder in the cabin and scraped his head. Bottom line--we made it back, though a little battered and bruised.

1. Get the right length of lines on the cleats for docking.
2. Jump off with BOTH bow and stern lines in hand.
3. Raise our boat-to-boat fenders in case we have to bump a neighbor again!
4. Buy more fenders (this is a Jody being overly cautious one, but I'd like a few more!).
5. Don't try to dock around the kids' dinner time. Shoot for when they are napping or occupied by a snack.

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