Monday, November 12, 2012

Close Enough

Vitamin D is important.  Indeed, WebMD says that "[r]esearch suggests that vitamin D could play a role in the prevention and treatment of a number of different conditions, including type1 and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, glucose intolerance, and multiple sclerosis."  Vitamin D deficiencies are  a serious health issue, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, where high latitudes and gray skies conspire to limit exposure to an essential source of Vitamin D, the sun.  Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiencies include a weaker immune system, fatigue, depression, and cognitive impairment.
Let's talk about cognitive impairment for a second.  Anybody who has lived in the Pacific Northwest knows not to trust the weatherman.  And yet, in spite of all experience, all knowledge, all reason, after a solid month of rain, when the weatherman predicts a day or two of sunshine with 10-15kts of wind, a person suffering from the cognitive impairment of a Vitamin D deficiency will choose to believe it and decide to go sailing.

At the guest dock.
'Twas a cold, cold morning, just a touch above freezing.  The sky was clear and the air was still.  According to the forecast, some fog would be rolling in for about and hour and the wind would kick up to about 10kts in short order.  I motored down from the boat launch to the guest dock at the south end of the marina.  There is a little coffee shop there, Meyers Cafe, and there I ate a leisurely breakfast, waiting for the fog to roll and and roll out again.

After a lingering over a vegetarian quiche and hot mocha, I began to doubt the whole fog thing.  It was not any warmer outside yet, but the sun was definitely in the sky and there was no sign of impending water vapor doom.  The wind still had not bothered to make itself felt, and honestly, in the back of my head, I knew that despite the forecast, it wasn't going to start gusting anytime soon.  Still a sunny day out on the water in November is not something to be turned down, even if it means cruising around under power.  So I hopped into Solitude, putted over to the fuel dock to top up my 1 1/4 gallon gas can, and pointed her nose toward the saltwater, full steam ahead.

What a great decision!  The sun was out in its full glory as Solitude chugged over the glassy waters of the Sound.  Guilt over having my sails furled was assuaged by the peacefulness of it all.  Blue skies and blue waters, mixed with occasional white wisps of clouds and with the golden browns of late fall highlighting the shore.

After leaving the Snohomish River, I pointed Solitude's nose NW.  About an hour and a 1/4 gallon of gas later, I was found myself just off of the north end of Hat Island.  I had considered simply circumnavigating tiny Hat Island, but  decided that there was not reason not to keep going.  A quick look at the map assured me that I could reach the town of Langley on Whidbey Island, run ashore, grab a bite to eat, and still make it back to the boat ramp before sunset (an important consideration, seeing as how I still haven't wired my nav lights).  So, onwards!

The Langley boat basin.
Langley is a cute-as-a-button little town.  They get their fare share of tourists and have a good compliment of restaurants, coffee shops, and bed-and-breakfasts.  I pulled into the densely packed harbor and upon consulting with the harbormaster, slid into a slip in the center of the tiny boat basin.  I trotted ashore and up into "downtown" Langley, in search of the perfect meal.  I ended up at the Useless Bay Coffee Company (Useless Bay is a bay just on the other side of the island), where I purchased a perfect-for-a-chilly-day bowl of pulled pork chili.  It was delicious!

I would have liked to stay longer and explore the town some more, but it was time to get back to the boat in order to get home before sundown.  Langley will definitely be the destination of a summertime overnight cruise in the future.

South end of Camano Island
South end of Hat Island.  Hat Island is also named
Gedney Island, but nobody calls it that. 
I steamed back, this time via the south side of Hat Island.  As the shadows grew long, I pulled back into the Snohomish River and was tied up at the boat launch just as the sun hit the horizon.  As I was getting Solitude ready for the trailer, a liveaboard from a trawler over in the yacht basin walked over, wanting to know more about my little boat.  Would have liked to talked more, but I had to get Solitude buttoned up and home before it got too late. 

What a great day.  Yes, it would have been nice to sail, but you take what you can get this time of year.  And what I got was awesome!

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