Voyaging Challenges

Voyaging Challenges

There are always challenges in voyaging, but it’s all ‘part of the fun’.

My first week of remote work was a bit of an adventure. The weekend before, I moved the boat to Cornett Bay inside Deception Pass. The bay is extremely well protected and lots of dock space is available in the State Marine Park there. Much to my chagrin, this bay was also ‘protected’ from cell phone signals.

This time of year the old wood docks are covered in slime and slick as ice. As soon as I stepped off the boat, my foot went out from under me and my knee bent at an unnatural angle. I was able to shift my weight and sprung a tendon instead of breaking my knee. As I lay in pain on my back, I held the bow and swing lines of Solace. She gently tugged me down the slick dock as she slowly came to a halt, like towing a toddler on a sled. I focused on my breathing until the shock subsided enough for me to do something about the situation.

With no internet and a painful experience, I decided not to stay too long. I pushed a couple more miles east to Hope Island, which I wrote about in my first book. All was copacetic until Wednesday when the southwest wind kicked up past the forecasted 25mph (average) to over 60mph ‘gale force’ gusts. I was protected on the north side of the island, but two foot chop was rolling in directly from the east and uncomfortably hitting the boat broadside.

Cormorant Colony

A colony of Cormorant birds. A common sight in the Salish Sea.

With the light fading and the forecast showing the weather would further degrade overnight, I made the decision to run a stern line to another mooring ball. The four balls at the park run in an east to west line. By running a stern line to the nearest buoy, I was able force the nose of Solace into the oncoming chop, making the ride much more comfortable. In this manner I rode out the storm.

I still have to go into the office one day per week and that was the very next morning. Unable to head in on Wednesday due to the weather, I got up early on Thursday, prepped the boat, and raised my mainsail, double reefed. I motored through the leftover chop and gusts to get back to Cornet Bay. I docked the boat and hiked a mile on my bum knee to get to the bus stop, then to my truck, and finally to work. Though the walk was beautiful, this nightmare of logistics was another strike against Cornet Bay in regards to it becoming a staple moorage.

Baby Seal

When trips get tough, it helps to remember some of the amazing things I frequently see out on the water, like this baby seal that dropped by to say ‘Hi’ this summer. Not every trip can be a miracle, but they are always worth it.

I stayed at Cornet Bay for the next couple days. I brought my truck down to the docks after a trip to the grocery store for a resupply run. In addition to paying for a moorage pass, and a Discover Pass to park during the day, I learned that I was expected to spend an additional $10 for overnight parking. These little nickel-and-dime tactics that our park system is forced to deploy really pisses me off. The act of charging for a public resource smacks of unethical behavior. I understand the need to cover operating costs, but the current system of funding our parks is fubar’d.

On Sunday I’d had enough and decided to head back to my home port in Anacortes. I popped back through Deception Pass and started heading north. A southern wind was helping to blow me back, but an ebb tide created boxy chop in Rosario Strait. All in all though, I had a lovely sail back home.

The fact is that voyaging isn’t all pixie dust and rainbows. There are serious roadblocks and logistical issues all the time. I faced many frustrating experienced just like this one during my voyage last summer. But ultimately, it’s the challenge of overcoming those hindrances that make them all part of the fun. There is no “can’t”. There is only “harder than I expected”. Embracing life as a series of obstacles to be overcome is core to the voyaging mindset.

Related posts:

Oyster Mushroom Stir Fry
Nomadic Families
Code Pirate
4 Responses to “Voyaging Challenges”
  1. Chris –
    Glad to hear that you came out almost unscathed….well at least Solace did. 🙂 Hope that knee heals up and that you’re not hanging out in any 60 knot gales anytime soon.

    Katie and Mark

  2. Emily says:

    Wow, really sounds like you’re learning a lot and making good decisions to keep the boat and yourself safe, all the while being able to get to work on time! You’re cracking the code, mate. Keep on being you!

  3. Carl says:

    If you plan to park a lot near state park docks, you may want to buy a Discover Pass for your truck. It’ll pay for itself in three days.

Leave A Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright 2017 SanJuanSufficiency.com · RSS Feed · Log in

Website Design by Pacific Online Promotion Strategies

Organic Themes