Wednesday, May 8, 2013

You know it was a good sail if...

Windows frosted with salt


Frosted old salt
With the wonderfully warm weather forecast, we got off the dock as soon as we could Thursday evening, heading across the Sound towards Port Madison on a close reach in 15 kt.  We were so glad to be out on the water!  In fact, we kind of prolonged the journey by raising only the mainsail - with this rig we made less than 4 kt, and that was perfect for our laid back attitude Thursday evening.  And adding to our joy, we had the privilege of being escorted most of the way across by a pod of dolphins!  Could it have been more perfect?  Well maybe it could have been a touch warmer.  Regardless of the air temperature, the water is still 51°, and the air blowing across it takes on that temperature close to the water's surface...  where we are.

Port Madison sunset
Putting the anchor down in Port Madison felt like returning home after a long trip.  Wonderful!  We grilled some cheeseburgers out on the stern for dinner - cheeseburgers have truly never tasted better.

Friday morning we left at 10:00 to make the tide in Agate Pass.  It was pretty gusty inside Port Madison, but when we got outside we were met with 30+ kt right on the nose!  Looking out on the Sound, as best we could tell, this wind was localized where we were.  I have come to believe that the configuration of the land at Indianola acts as a funnel that concentrates the wind - this isn't the first time we seen unusually strong and localized winds here.

Once we were in Agate Pass there was essentially no wind, so we continued with the engine.  In fact, we really didn't see any wind to speak of until we reached Liberty Bay.  There of course, with the large open area, we were seeing 15-25 kt.  This is enough to keep us swinging around on the anchor, so we put the anchor down kind of in the lee of the breakwater for the Poulsbo Marina.  It helped, in fact we were quite comfortable.

After a leisurely lunch, I put the dinghy into the water and we headed into town to one of our traditional Poulsbo haunts: the Valhöll brewery.  They have moved to new digs, and very nice they are!   The new facility is Viking-themed and has a great view of Liberty Bay (we could see Eolian while sipping!).  It is located just up the hill from Tizley's, kind of behind the new grandiose (well, maybe not for a town of 100,000... but Poulsbo?) City Hall.  Jeff has also substantially enlarged his brewing capacity and is now branching out...  keep an eye open for one of Valhöll's great brews in a store or taproom near you!

I blame the blurriness on the camera

In the evening, we spotted s/v Ghost coming thru the narrow little hole-in-the-wall at Keyport.  It was great to see Scott and Angela out on the water again after last year's troubles with their prop shaft.  We dinghied over to share a congratulatory glass of wine with them in the evening.

Saturday morning we dinghied into town once more, this time for another ritual:  breakfast at Tizley's.  Tizley's is a European-style second story restaurant with seating available on a narrow little balcony outside over the sidewalk.  In nice weather (and yes, it continues...), it's a lovely place to dine.  But the thing that keeps us coming back is their famous Bloody Marys.  This time they even came with bacon!  All the important food groups represented in one glass!

Then some walking around to the marine consignment store and some of the art galleries, and then back out to Eolian.

About lunchtime, we pulled the anchor (The mud in Liberty Bay is just amazing!  Because of a failed washdown hose, we ended up with mud all over everything in the forward quarter of the boat...) and sailed over to Manzanita Bay and anchored for a quiet, warm evening.  We were anchored quite a bit further back in the cove than usual, and as a result got an occasional whiff of hay and horses coming in from the land.  It was another wonderful warm evening!

Next morning (Sunday, if you're keeping track... we weren't), we hoisted anchor early so that we could ride the tide thru Agate Pass and back to Port Madison.  We spent the entire day there, lazing about and eventually trying to keep cool!  In Seattle!  In May!  On our evening wine cruise, we met a young man who had just acquired an Islander 37 pilothouse - I'd never seen one of these and Jane and I were debating what it was.  He had just gotten it to Port Madison from Lake Union in what was apparently quite an ordeal - the boat is named Chaos, appropriately enough.  He spent the day tearing out a lot of hacked interior joinery.  "Not appropriate for a boat," he said.  All I know for sure is that in the evening he left with an amazing load of scrap wood on his dinghy.

Heading for Seattle in the morning sunshine
Finally, on Monday morning, early, we left Port Madison to return to Seattle.  It was so warm at 08:00 that all I had on was an unbuttoned Hawaiian shirt and a pair of shorts. Our early summer continues!

One measure boaters use to measure the success of a voyage is by what broke.  For us, the washdown hose was it, so I'd have to call this a successful trip!





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2 comments:

middlebaysailing said...

Thanks for writing this. You brought back fond memories of living in Poulsbo, and over-nighting in Manzanita Bay and Port Madison.

Robert Salnick said...

My pleasure Rick!

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