Melissa and I have learned one very important lesson about sailing in the Pacific Northwest: If you think you should go for a sail, don’t hesitate, go. This is the same advice all sailors have been taught for shortening sail: Reef the first time you think about it. Today, I did not hesitate.
For late March, the weather was beautiful: 58 degrees, some fluffy clouds and 7 to 10 knots of wind. I only had a couple of hours after work but it had been so long since we had taken Moonrise out that I knew I would go. I called Melissa, hoping she could meet me. Sadly, she was still working.
With a light wind, and nowhere in particular to go, this day sail was a perfect antidote to the last week of business travel. I headed out into the middle of Commencement Bay and then began a tack over to Brown’s Point. As I was settling in to the new course I saw what appeared to be really large dorsal fins. Amazingly, a pod of Orcas were cruising into the bay. We do get Orcas in the South Sound but it is a rare treat and I have never seen them hunting in Commencement Bay. I held my course and continued to sail at 3 or 4 knots and the Orcas crossed my bow at maybe 60 feet.
I stood at the bow of the boat, letting Moonrise tend herself as I took the photos you see with my Blackberry. I could scarcely contain my excitement as I took several photos without dropping my phone into the drink.
After a while the pod head out of the bay and traveled further south. If Melissa had been with me, it would have been a perfect little day sail.