Preparing to depart
approximate route taken from Seattle to Friday Harbor Loading provisions

A couple weeks ago, Heather's lab had a meeting to attend in Friday Harbor, which is up in the San Juan Islands, up North in Puget Sound from Seattle. One of the guys in the lab, Kevin, has a sailboat, and wanted to sail up to the meeting, and Heather and I were invited to go along as crew, along with Jonas, whose wife is also in the lab. So early on Monday morning, we arrived at Kevin's boat, where it was cold and gray, and there was no wind. After a quick stop by the fuel dock, we headed off under engine power.

As the morning passed, the wind starting building from the south, we got the sails up, and spent a few hours leisurely sailing downwind.

The Olympic Mountains
Kevin, the Captain
Heather keeping us on course
Kevin wearing the Captain Hat Through the afternoon the wind continued to build, and was forecast to continue building, so we decided to head inside of Indian Island, on our way to Port Townsend. This required us to go through a narrow channel under a bridge, but promised to put us in a protected area out of the worst of the wind. As we approached the channel, we dropped both sails, but then couldn't get the engine to start, so we hurried to put the mainsail back up, but the wind was really strong, so we attempted to reef it. Shortly after getting the sail up there was a loud bang and a tearing noise as the mainsail tore in half. As we continued to drift toward the side of the channel in strong wind and growing waves, we pulled down the ripped mainsail and put up and reefed the jib. Luckily, the wind was coming from straight behind us, so we were able to negotiate the channel using the reefed jib. Also luckily, there was a small marina just on the other side of the channel which we were able to sail into. This turned out to be Port Hadlock.
Point No Point Lighthouse
Watching the sails
Heather in command
The waves are getting bigger
The Coast Guard on patrol
Griffin's Main Cabin
Port Hadlock at sunset

Once safely docked in Port Hadlock, Kevin and Jonas set about fixing the engine, while Heather and I tried to get the mainsail fixed. We met a very kind woman named Holly who gave us a ride to the Sail Loft in Port Townsend, where a quick inspection concluded that the sail was fixable, and they promised to have it done the next day. By the time we got back, the engine was fixed, and things were looking up.

That evening we hung out with Holly, who was working on provisioning their new boat, which they are putting into a charter fleet in Friday Harbor. Her boat needed to be renamed, so we did a little research, then that night performed the official renaming ceremony, which involved chanting, candles and offerings to the gods of the sea. And the boat is officially renamed Griffin.

Performing the ceremony
Christening Griffin
Heather celebrating the new name
Holly enjoying the renaming ceremony
Approaching Port Townsend
Heather and Jonas enjoying the ride
Leaving Port Hadlock
Jim steering
The next morning we motored the boat up to Port Townsend and spent the day relaxing in town while waiting to get the mainsail back.
the bridge to Indian Island
Crazy Jonas having a swim
Docked in Port Townsend
A beautiful boat

The following morning, with the motor purring and the mainsail back in one piece, we got an early start as we had a long sail up to Friday Harbor. The wind was mixed all day, so we sailed as much as we could, and motored when we had to. We spent time watching birds, we saw a few dolphins and the occasional harbor seal, and had a relaxing uneventful sail. We arrived in Friday Harbor in the late afternoon, just in time to meet up with everyone else from the lab who had driven up earlier in the day.


Leaving Port Townsend
Port Townsend Lighthouse
Port Townsend Lighthouse
Pelagic Cormorants
That's a huge bow wave! mmm, Barbie cereal
Cattle Point Lighthouse
Approaching San Juan Island
Jonas having a nap
Harbor Seal

Overall, we had a great time, even if there were a few scary minutes on the first day.

As always, thanks for looking and I hope you enjoy the pictures.


Posted 03/26/2008

Friday Harbor
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