Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday the 13th.

Yeah, so what. It is Friday the 13th. Just another day. But today I felt well enough after three weeks of coughing, congestion, ear aches and sore throat to get out and go for a bicycle ride to the boat and back. And then cut some brush back from the neighbors property line. We are into a stretch of warm weather now and it really is too hot to work out side very long.

But the real reason for this post is that I have past two years since my first post in this blog. I say past, because the actual anniversary date was yesterday August 12th.

Monday, August 9, 2010

40th Shaw Island Classic

So, what defines a "classic"? Longevity? Uniqueness? The San Juan Island Island Yacht Club call their around Shaw Island Race a "classic". I suspect that more than just the longevity of the race, the unigueness of the race and the suprise outcome has a lot to do with the title "classic".

To get to the start of the "classic", I left Brownsville early on Thursday with my destination of Port Townsend. I left early to avoid the worst of the currents. It was a sunny day and I motored to Boat Haven Marina on the west end of Port Townsend. To avoid adverse currents in Admiralty Inlet and to shorten my course some, I went through the Port Townsend Canal between Hadlock and Indian Island. I rarely go through this canal and it always makes me nervous going under the bridge even though I have several feet of clearance with my mast. I walked uptown to the used book store and found a couple of books.

Friday, I was underway at 0600 to take advantage of favorable currents. It was fogging in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and I could hear the fog horn of an outbound container ship. I picked him up on radar and when he passed ahead, I could visually see him. It was very rough for the first few miles with the strong ebb current against the swells in the strait. The wind came up after about an hour and I put up some sails and secured the diesel. The jib got stuck in the prefeeder and it took me about an hour to free it up and finish hoisting the sail. I sailed all the way into busy Friday Harbor where I tied up in my reserved slip at 1100.

On saturday, my start for the "classic" was 1215. There was virtually no wind, constant rain and of course strong adverse current. I chose to go counterclockwise around Shaw Island. Almost all the boats chose that direction. I hugged the shore until I finally got flushed passed Turn Island and remarkably, there was wind and I was able to get across San Juan channel and entered Upright Channel with about six other boats. Boats had started dropping out as soon as 15 minutes after the start, so the few of us in Upright Channel were the remaiders of the 65 starters. The wind died again and we short tacked up the Shaw Island shore. A shortened course finish was set up at the halfway point on the northeast shore of Shaw Island. Unfortunatly, even though I was leading my class, the time limit expired with about 300 yards to go. One boat that sailed clockwise did make the finish before the time limit expired.

I motored back to the Friday Harbor marina and found my reserved/paid for slip occupied by a large powerboat. I called the Port on the VHF and they moved the boat out and I got my spot back. I was cold, soaked through and hungrey. The nice people at the port refunded my entire two nights of moorage fees and the reservation fee. I was totally shocked and thought that was way beyond what they should do. At least now I could afford breakfast again!

After a early breakfast at the Rocky Bay Cafe, I was underway at 0700. The wind came up some in the straits and I got a couple of hours of sailing in before the wind died. I motored the rest of the way home arriving home at 1600.

Total distance for the weekend: 154.7 NM

Going through the Port Townsend Canal.

Moored in Friday Harbor
I wonder if Guiness knows about this?

Not much wider than a doorway.

Mainstreet Friday Harbor
Port of Friday Harbor marina.

Course for Saturday from the start at Browns Island untill the time limit expired at 1700.