Sunday, June 29, 2008

More tall ships, and homeward bound...

I'm back in Seattle, and I'll be here for a week. But before I got here, I had left Port Angeles and sailed across the strait with the Tall Ships. I got some good pictures of them under sail...
When I was in Victoria, I had a good time hanging out with the very busy crew, spending some time with my brother, and helping out build platforms to get people on and off the tall ships.
I also asked to be crew on board the ship "Kaisei" for their transit from Port Alberni to San Francisco. Hopefully I'll get on.
After that, on Friday morning, I headed out from Victoria Harbor. I left around 10 am, and I managed to get all the way to Kingston, Wa, by 11:45 that night, so that is about 66 miles. I think it's about the most I 've done in a day.
Customs was going to be trouble, because the only Customs "port of entry" that was on the way was Port Townsend, which closed at 4:00 friday, and didn't open again until monday, so I had to call and have someone meet me at the dock in seattle, and schedule a time. Then I had to be there on time, or else I have Homeland Security after me. So I can't be late, is what I'm saying. I best be there on time.
So I get to bed at midnight and set my alarm to wake me at 6, and I have about 9 nm (nautical miles) to go, which I can cover at a pace of 5 knots, in under two hours. No problems there. I'll just get up and weigh anchor and go.
I wake up and notice the shore is very close to my location, and I check the depth sounder... 8 ft. Trouble, but not danger. At least immediately. There are a lot of rocks in the area, so I should watch out for a big one that could hit my keel. I turn on the engine and go forward to raise anchor. Once I get the anchor out of the water, the wind is pushing me towards the shore, but I'm all right, once I put the motor in gear, and get under way. I do so, and the engine immediately dies. Trouble.
Why did you die, oh sweet little engine of mine?
No answer.
I hastily run forward and drop the anchor again, to prevent myself running aground. Then I see my "insurance" providers, which were two lines I had dragging behind the boat, in case I fell overboard I could grab ahold of them and pull myself back on. They had become wrapped around the prop.
The inevitable began to sneak into my head... I was going to get wet.
6:15 am, I am hastily putting on my mask and snorkel, and into the water I go. Its a bit chilly, and murky, maybe there are sharkey-larkeys down below in the deep...?
It takes me about 15 minutes to get the prop cleared, and then up I come, as fast as I can, to get under way. Now cruising at 6 knots, I'm on track to make the 8:00 am meeting. I pull up and the customs officer comes aboard, but doesn't really look at the boat at all, he just talks to me. It seems like it could be so easy to do this over the phone....
I have a game starting at 10:00 am, so I am interested to get out of there as soon as I can...
8:35, I am free from customs, and I blast on towards the Hiram Chittenden locks.
Just as I pull up, there are red lights telling me to wait, and a man comes on the PA system to tell me that I will have to wait 45 minutes before I can go anywhere. After an hour and a half, I get in the locks, and its 10. I'm late. I hate being late.
I have to wait for the Fremont Bridge, then get into my car, its almost out of gas, all the lights are against me, and finally, 11:18, I make it to the game.
It was a good game.
Anyways, yesterday was a long day, and I slept in this morning, and I'm feeling much better. Because in the end, life may be a pain in the ass sometimes, but its the best thing I have.

1 comment:

James said...

Well your excuse was much better than BJ "I'm still drunk" Sefton's.