7 June 2018 –
I cast off the Hope Island State Park buoy at 7am and motor with the tide to Strawberry Point with 5kt wind on the nose the entire way. The Skagit Bay channel heading south along Whidbey Island is narrow and busy with boats and crab pots for (easy) short tacking.
The wind was to good so up go the sails and I begin tacking along Saratoga Passage. As I approach Rocky Point the wind increases to 10-15kts with gusts higher. The current turns against me so the waves turn steep and are between two and three feet tall. SWEET PEA does well, though at times it is a pounding beat to windward.
At times the wind is blowing stronger and I reef. The 150% genoa is up so SWEET PEA is powered up and heeled over. It is a great sail and for a while I sail past at Catalina 28 slowing motoring against wind and tide. They see me and I believe they are being outsailed by a 17′ boat. After my passing they partially unfurl the headsail and over time they catch up with me and sail past. The Montgomery is a seaworthy boat but can’t overcome the limits of a short waterline.
As the day moves into afternoon the skies stay overcast and the wind makes it chilly in the cockpit. Before departing Hope Island I had filled a thermos with hot water so by balancing the helm with the TillerClutch SWEET PEA sails herself and I make a coffee and a peanut butter sandwich for lunch. It is also nice to sit below for a bit and get out of the wind and the occasional spray that comes over the house.
Approaching Possession Sound at Randall Point the wind goes light and I chase cat paws towards Edmonds. The sailing is now on flat seas and I’m getting a little help from the current. Suppertime comes and I make another sandwich and cup of coffee.
As the daylight gets short a slightly stronger evening breeze blows and I tack right up the the Edmonds Marina entrance. The sun is setting so on go the running lights as I fire up the motor to enter and find moorage.
Today has been a great sail – a top 10 for SWEET PEA. Sailing time of 12 hours plus two hours spent motoring in the morning make for 14 hours of travel for a distance, over water, of 59 nm! A WONDERFUL DAY!