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.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.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.