Day 1: Heading North With the Tide

Lightning, Thunderstorms & Port Townsend

Sunday, July 15, 2012

We departed Seattle for our journey north a bit later than we planned.  There were of course some last minute repairs and water filter changes; storing tons of food and supplies;  waiting for Jim to finish work and the arrival of our guests.  But with a final goodbye from Ben Rhoades, boat guru extraordinaire, we were off.  Joining us for the first leg of our journey was Alan Middleton and his lovely daughter Emma.

The winds were calm but the weather was very interesting.  All day we had thunder and lightening in the Puget Sound area.  It was never near us but we watched the lightening and heard the thunder as we made our way north to Port Townsend.

Across from Port Townsend there is a Navy supply depot that’s usually empty, but this time there was a huge submarine at the dock, protected by several big and small coast guard escort boats.  The submarine appeared to Jim to be an Ohio Class submarine similar to the one he toured years ago at the Bangor Submarine Base ten miles south.

Keeping the submarine and its escorts at a respectful distance, we made our way around the supply depot and entered Kilisut Habor around 8 PM.  This little harbor includes Fort Flagler, an old coastal defense battery that is now a state park that has several mooring buoys for recreational boaters.

As we entered the bay we saw 3 pelicans which is very unusual.

We were also surprised to discover that there were no boats on the buoys and although our boat is too big to tie up directly to one of the buoys, we used one as a stern tie and anchored right there.  Just as we finished anchored, the skies opened up and a deluge of rain poured down.  Perfect timing!

While it rained, we all enjoyed a tasty meal and good conversation. After dinner, we were treated to a beautiful sunset through a hole in the storm clouds to the west, and a lightning show to the southwest of us that lasted well into the evening.

We woke up Saturday morning to some fog. We mixed some yummy “Julie elixers” to balance the nutritional value of our bear claws and coffee and headed over to Port Townsend to drop off Emma and Alan. We were immediately treated to a large beautiful bald eagle wishing us well on our journey.

As if perfectly timed for our benefit the big submarine (referred to as “Navy Unit 51” on the radio) departed with its escorts at the same time so we stopped to watch it head out to sea.

Port Townsend was charming as usual.  We took an hour’s stroll with Emma and Alan and they then took a cab to the Kingston Ferry.  We stopped at the bakery in town and bought some yummy stuff for the trip (because I clearly did not have enough other food on board) and headed out to cross the fabled Strait of Juan De Fuca.  The fog cleared, the sun was out and the winds were calm.

Exhausted from provisioning and our last big work out with Jean Anne, I collapsed on the perch to sun while the Captain got us safely and easily to Friday Harbor for our final fueling before crossing into Canadian waters and their extremely high fuel prices.

Last night we stayed in Blind Bay on the north end of Shaw Island.  We were both pretty exhausted and ate a simple dinner, read and fell asleep.  Today we head for Canada.  The forecast calls for more scattered thunderstorms.  We shall see.

Yours Very Truly,

The Captain and First Mate of the True Love

4 thoughts on “Day 1: Heading North With the Tide

  1. Fawn and Jim (and the always spectacular Alan)!
    This is a wonderful blog, Fawn. So well written and wonderful photos. Look at Alan’s daughter! She is gorgeous! And I am sure immensely smart, funny and accomplished. Jim looks great and I am so glad to see it after all he has been through and you with him. I would love to see you this summer. I am mostly here until the end of August. Philip and I leave for Turkey on August 29. We pick up a sail boat in Bodrum on Sept 1 and will sail the coast and islands for a week before returning to other adventures on land. He has sailed this coast and treked this coast many times so I feel in very good hands. Have a wonderful and rich journey in one of the most beautiful waterways in the world! Love, Pam

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