Sunday September 5th
We left Seattle around 12 pm on Saturday. Our friends Gordon and Sophie joined us for the trip down to San Francisco. What a blessing! Not only are they wonderful people to be around, but they are both professional Mariners as well. Gordon worked on the Adventuress for over a decade and was Captain for a good part of it. Sophie was the Captain of a sister ship, Ernestina, on the east coast.
It was cloudy and grey when we departed, but the overcast cleared at about 2pm and it turned into a lovely day. We put a spinnaker up and happily sailed for a couple of hours. Per typical Puget Sound weather, our wind died to about 5 knots before dinner time so we motored again after dinner. Cue beautiful sunset – the first of many to come.
We started our watch schedule after dinner time at which point I went to lie down in our aft cabin. I was on day 2 of a nasty headache so it was a welcome rest. This was my first time of what it is like to sleep on a boat in waves. I can tell you that it feels like you are traveling in the belly of a whale. Or for a less nautical metaphor, it is like trying to rest in a rollercoaster. There was much noise and movement and there was no doubt that the wind had picked up. After tossing and turning for 3 hours I got up at 11pm to relieve Sophie on deck. The wind had built to 20 knots and we had one reef in the main (for you non-sailors, this means that we make the main sail smaller so that we are not overpowered).
It got cold at night. I had 2 shirts, 2 fleeces, my foul weather jacket, 2 pairs of wool pants, 2 pairs of socks and my foul weather bibs on and I was still cold! Luckily the blanket of stars above us was enough to keep my mind off the chill and I was content to shiver and stare at the sky.
At one point I went to the head and I can say with confidence that that going to the bathroom while we are heeled over, going to the bathroom takes the balance of an Olympic athlete. (again, non-sailors, this means the sailboat is heavily tipped to one side when going upwind).
Due to some unexpected troubles (which I’ll tell you about in a later post) we ended up staying in Port Angeles early that morning. It was quite a treat to wake up and have the Lady Washington on our right, and the Hawaiian Chieftan on our left!
All in all, I managed to survive my first day and I was ready for more.