Sailing, sailing

Sucia Island Travel Blog

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The Nawalak

We arose to a cloudy morning but no rain, just the marine layer that everyone hopes burns off. We saw a few river otters in the bay with us. In the morning, Miranda had made us a breakfast of souped up French toast and fresh strawberries. Yum. We took a morning hike up to a viewpoint above the boat. It had beautiful views and a lovely forest. We got back to the boat and set off. The clouds cleared and we had sun by noon. We set up the spinnaker, a large front sail that took the place of the jib, and I practiced my steering. We spotted a few harbor porpoises, more seals and sea birds. We were diverted from our course by some of J pod ��" the whales were in sight! J1 was in front. He has a distinctly wavy dorsal fin so his name is Ruffles. He was travelling with his mother J2 ��" Granny.

The research done on the family pods that live here in Puget Sound for the summer is extensive. The family tree is known for all the current members of the pods. We spent a while travelling with them. They were not in a very playful mood so all we saw were lots of fins and porpoising behavior. But it was still nice to see them again. Hopefully we will run into them again.

My sailing experience is this: I have taken lessons, several times, and nothing has sunk in. My instincts are consistently wrong and I do the wrong thing every time. My reactions make things worse. So I drove today with the spinnaker up, which is notoriously harder to sail than a jib. Only once did things go to hell in a handbasket. David, the captain, had abandoned us to fix the aft head (that is the toilet for you landlubbers ��" which is something that needs to be fixed ASAP!).

While he was missing, the sailing was left to me, Jennifer and Chris, and I think I had the most experience, which was pretty much useless.  When the spinnaker collapsed and the only thing that filled it was a left turn toward the imminent island ahead, I announced that maybe I should do a 360. Barb, our experienced sailor passenger sat up at that and vetoed it with a look of horror on her face. OK, so no 360. By now, David has noticed the strange movements of his boat and has come to investigate. He calmly set us on the correct path and we were off. I swear, it was not me, it was the wind!

 We continued on to our evening destination of Matia Island.

We pulled into a little cove. We asked Miranda if she knew the name of the cove and she didn’t but said “It’s my favorite cove.” Then we asked Dave and he said he didn’t know either but “It’s my favorite cove.” So we decided to call it My Favorite Cove. Officially we eventually found it to be named Hermit’s Cove. Our nearest neighbor was a very young seal pup on a rock waiting for his mom to come back. He was so cute and Miranda had a bonding moment with him when he came over to the back of the boat to see her. We did a little tour of the island’s edge in the dinghy in the evening sun past Puffin Island. After another fine dinner by Miranda, it was time to call it a night.

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The Nawalak
The Nawalak
Under sail
Under sail
Sucia Island
photo by: kranzj