The decision was made early in the day, as soon as I looked at my smart phone and saw that the temperature was going to drop below freezing last night. I wanted to go home. We had not spent much time on Moonrise lately, as is usual for the winter months, and I was feeling guilty. We have this great boat, we pay for the slip each month. We needed to use that boat! Plus, she was just sad sitting at the docks all by herself. Guilt can be a good thing when it moves people to action, but when it leads to actions that are not based in reality, it kind of sucks. What reality had been denied? The reality of winter: that the cold sucks all the fun out of sailing.
There was going to be a raft up of folks from the Puget Sound Cruising Club, meeting in Blakely Harbor to watch the fireworks over Elliot Bay in Seattle for New Year’s Eve and it sounded like fun. Never mind that most of the people in that club either live in Seattle, a short ride across the water to the harbor, or very close by and we live 5 hours away by motor if the tide is with us. We decided to go a day early and spend two nights on the boat. This was our second mistake.
We made arrangements for Andrew to watch the animals, packed some food, and headed out on Sunday. There was no rain, and also no wind. Zero. After a 5 hour motor boat ride up to the harbor yesterday (and that is a record time for us) we anchored in peaceful little Blakely Harbor yesterday. I would like to say that we were excited to be there, and excited to be back on Moonrise, surrounded by cozy looking homes with their Christmas lights up. It was quite festive.
The reality on Moonrise, however, was quite different. Guilt had pushed me to want to do this trip and while excited to be back on the boat, by the time we got to Bainbridge Island, I had reached a state of chill that was pretty uncomfortable and was remembering why we didn’t do much boating in the winter. You see, I have all these memories of being out on Moonrise, enjoying the big outdoors. This time I was actually quite grateful for the lack of wind as it would have dropped the temperature even further. I have mentioned before that I do not do very well with cold. It occurs to me that I may have to give up dreams of sailing in colder locations if I can’t figure out how to stay warm. This leads to a deep depression, so I won’t talk about it.
We hunkered down in the cozy cabin with our propane heater going, had dinner, watched some videos and turned in early. Even though we were warm all night, and the v berth really cannot be beat for sleeping soundly, I awoke with a swollen throat, feeling worried about the weather, my ears hurting down deep and with that inner knowing that if I spend another day on the boat in that kind of cold, I would be well and truly sick. As long as we stayed in the cabin, we’d be warm, but going outside to sit around and visit with people was not going to happen. Not to mention the difficulty using the head with two pair of woolen leggings, polar fleece pants, my sailing bibs, and multiple shirts, plus a jacket, gloves, a muffler, and two hats. I’m not kidding. That kid in “A Christmas Story” has nothing on me when it’s winter on the boat. In the end, it was the prediction that the temperature would fall below freezing last night, and there was a slight possibility of snow, that made me verbalize my longing for home. And Mike agreed.
So there you go. Our big ‘winter trip’. Five minutes with the jib up. I freely admit that I breathed a sigh of relief when we tied the dock lines in our slip, and the first thing I did when we got home was take a nice long extra hot bath.
The saving grace was the Dahl’s Porpoises playing by the boat in Colvos Passage at the beginning of the trip. Here is a short video, with about 1 split second of playing porpoise, followed by footage where I search the water for them. Exciting, no? You can pretty much stop watching after the first 3 seconds. Happy New Year to all!
Oh, and it was a beautiful, sunny 28 degrees this morning. Thank the good LORD I am home!