I finally had a working boat again. It was time for an adventure!
The Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend was going on this weekend, and I hatched a plan. I could tow the boat up to the little boat ramp at Keystone harbor, 4 miles due east of Port Townsend and sail across. I couldn’t dock at Port Hudson, where the festival is, but reckoned I could get transient moorage at Port Townsend’s other marina, Boat Haven. Failing in that, I could always anchor just off downtown. Fellow PocketShipper Jer McManus had brought his boat from Montana, and I was hoping that I could drop by and see his boat, and perhaps lure him out for a fleet sail.
It took longer than I expected to get packed up and going, and then longer than I expected to get to Keystone, arriving in the late afternoon. I promptly got the boat in the water, and set sail for port Townsend.
|Beautiful Port Townsend|
The waters here are interesting. Being at the intersection of Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the bulk of the water going into or out of Puget Sound has to make a sharp turn here, creating unusual currents. On the chart, there is something marked “swirls.” What exactly are “swirls?” I found out quickly. Just outside the harbor there where large circles of smooth-looking water. Entering one, I quickly had to fight hard to maintain heading. I got the heck out of that as quickly as possible, and avoided future swirls.
The wind died off as I approached the edge of the Puget Sound shipping lanes, so I fired up the noisemaker and jetted across. The wind picked up again as I entered Port Townsend Bay, and I approached the waters off Point Hudson under full sail. It felt great to be moved by the wind again!
It was too late to execute my original plan of stopping by, and so I settled for a sail-by. Chesapeake Light Craft’s booth was set up right on the tip of Point Hudson, and so I reached up and down the shore in front of them a few times. I thought about shouting out “Send out Jer!!!”
The hour was getting late, so I decided to head back. About a mile from Port Townsend, I hear a “pppppffffffft,” and caught sight of a minke whale that had just surfaced next to me. I grabbed my camera and waited for it to come up again. He must have been going somewhere fast, because I didn’t see him again. The wind again died as I approached the shipping channel, so I dropped sail and steamed the rest of the way back.
|I arrived in time for the schooner races|
Another interesting feature just off Keystone that noted on the charts are rips. Well, sure enough there was one right in my way as I approached shore. It looked compact and I decided to plunge through it rather than go around. The cop quickly became steep, and I had to slow down substantially to keep things under control. The boat did fine, but I was nervous as all get out getting through that. Just as the sun was setting, I exited the rip and moments later entered Keystone Harbour, completing an excellent “return to the sea” mini-cruise.
|A good cruise|