Saturday, July 24, 2010

Breakfast in the Cockpit

My standard, everyday breakfast of muesli and coffee was elevated to something a little more special this morning when I DSC_0929enjoyed it in the morning sun of the cockpit. Sunsets on deck are certainly worth the hype, but nothing beats drinking a steaming cup of coffee outside on a quiet, sunny morning.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Playing Tourist in Port Townsend

It’s a running joke among those who live in Western Washington that summer begins on July 5.  For that very reason, we decided to book our Port Townsend sails and rigging trip the week after the unofficial start to summer in the Northwest.  Did we make the right decision?  You make the call.

- Seattle’s high on July 1: 62 degrees
- Seattle’s high on July 8: 95 degrees (the day we left)IMG_6353

Golden Gardens beach and all the sunbathers as we left the marina

Friday was busy with the business end of our trip (getting measured for sails and having the rig inspected), but we made up for the “work” with a good bit of “play.” Lunch and beers on the sunny patio of Sirens Pub, a walking tour of Port Townsend’s historic Water Street and a movie at the charming Rose Theater.  The original theater was built in 1908, and we can’t resist seeing a movie here whenever we’re in town.

After a stroll through the lovely farmers market on Saturday morning, we took advantage of one of the lowest tides of the year to walk along the beach from the Point Hudson Marina to Fort Worden State Park.DSC_0849

The sand looked solid enough, but some graceful leaps and bounds were required to navigate the soggy sand and streams. DSC_0857 What, that’s not graceful?

We hiked all around Fort Worden, an Army base dating back to the turn of the century when there  was an overzealous concern about protecting Puget Sound’s waters from attack, and had a picnic lunch on one of the old gun installments with sweeping views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Whidbey Island. DSC_0882 Climbing up a bunker to our picnic spot

DSC_0885 What a view!

The Point Wilson Lighthouse was open for tours, so we took the tour from three cute little old ladies.  We got a picture of the lighthouse but not the ladies.DSC_0896

DSC_0900 DSC_0904 The spiral staircase to the top of the lighthouse. Aaron got scolded by one of the ladies for bringing his backpack to the top.  For shame, Aaron!

To avoid the wet-shoe fest that was our walk out on the beach, we pulled out our street map and walked back to the marina via the road.  Not quite as picturesque, but pretty darn close…DSC_0913 

What a difference a day makes.  We were socked in with fog when we left with the tide on Sunday morning.  Yay for radar! And for ferries with horns.IMG_6361 As the fog started to break up, we saw a sailboat motoring north toward Port Townsend.  The guy at the helm started waving both of his arms at us, but before I could discern if he was in trouble, a “Bella Star, Bella Star, Bella Star this is Cool Breezin’” came over the VHF.  It was our friends Craig & Cindy and their son Alex on their way to the Gulf Islands in Canada!  Small world.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New Sails for Bella Star

We’d booked a long weekend in Port Townsend to have Bella Star measured for new sails and have her rig inspected.  Sure, there are sail lofts and riggers in Seattle, but we’d heard excellent things about Carol Hasse’s Port Townsend Sails and Port Townsend Rigging.

Carol Hasse is the biggest name in sails in the area—and for good reason.  Her loft makes all their top-quality sails in house using the finest, most desirable methods.  And she and her team are just so darn nice!  But delightful personalities aside, their craftsmanship is superb and really can’t be topped.  The downside of all that stellar work?  The price, of course!  It’s a good thing we won the lottery last week or we’d be up a creek.  Oh, wait.  I only dreamt that.  Shoot.

It doesn’t help that we love the color of our existing tanbark sails (which is a very unique shade of reddish brown often found on traditional and classically designed sailboats harkening back to times when sails were dipped in tannins from tree bark to prevent mold and mildew).   We went back and forth about it—tanbark or white?  White or tanbark?—but in the end, tanbark won, and we decided to cough up the extra 12%.  Cough-cough. Maybe it’s because I’m a redhead, but I like to be a little different. :)

handsewn_ring_tanbark Photo from the Port Townsend Sails website showing the hand-worked detail and the tanbark color.

A new 90% genoa will replace our existing jib as our furled headsail.  And a new main will provide an added measure of safety (this is for you, mom!) by raising the boom up so as not to conk Aaron in the head.  We’re keeping our hanked-on staysail, storm trysail and storm jib and will decide on a light-air, downwind sail once our checking account rebounds. 

A side note on the storm sails: We knew a couple sails were tucked down under the Pullman in an oh-so-hard-to-reach cubby, but we assumed they were the original sails kept as spares.  Imagine our surprise when we pulled out the sail bags to find two storm sails in near perfect condition!  Score!  It doesn’t appear that they’ve ever been flown since they were made in… 1985.  That’s right; they’ve been sitting there waiting for us for 25 years.  Score, score, score.

Not much to add on the rig inspection.  The rigger checked everything out and said that we’re in good shape—which is just what we wanted to hear. 

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th of July Weekend

We had a great 3rd of July anchored out in the aptly named Liberty Bay.  Poulsbo does their fireworks show on July 3rd, so we took off Friday morning to get a good spot since we knew the bay would completely fill up with anchored boats.  To facilitate more convenient socializing, we started a raftup.  This is where two or more boats tie up together with multiple anchors down.

Map picture

Our friends Greg and Nicole on Baraka left with us in the morning and started up the little floating island.


Jason and Christy on Hello World were next to arrive.


It just kept growing!  In the end  there were 12 sailboats on the raft.



Plenty of beer and snacks, and maybe a conversation or two about sailboats.


Saturday was actually pretty nice and we got to break out some T shirts!


It was the first time we’ve had difficulty finding a parking spot at the dinghy dock.


Sunday, July 4th, there was a mass exodus at about 11am as many skippers took some aspirin and left with the tide.  We joined the parade and headed home. 


It was a fun weekend.  Now back to work for a few days – we’re leaving for Port Townsend Thursday evening for a rig inspection and dropping off our sails at the loft.  The weather is looking to be significantly better for that trip.