Ship's Log
Wednesday, July 5, 2000
Port Townsend to Griffen Bay

Wind's in my Sails

    I planned to leave at the crack of dawn. Cause that's what sailors do. I like to cross the Straits of Juan de Fuca so I pass Smith Island at low tide. That way, I can ride the ebb to the center of the straits, then ride the flow to the San Juan Islands. Today the first low tide was at 1:30pm.

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So I left Port Townsend Bay at 10am.

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wpe3.jpg (6041 bytes)As I motored by the office, it was hard to believe that I would not set foot in there for another 9 weeks (But who's counting?)

The morning was fairly windless and I motored to Point Wilson. The ship's knot meter read 4 knots but the GPS tracked me at 9 knots over land. This proved my theory. At noon I headed to the mast to raise the mainsail. I was still in my head wondering if I forgotten to call anyone before I left or if I finished all I had to do.  Then a porpoise jumped out of the water making a big splash right next to the boat. I jumped a mile. I wasn't expecting to see anyone else out here. My new friend really brought me into the present. I looked around and saw flocks of birds flying just above the surface of the water.

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I raised the sails at noon and raced along watching Fort Worden and the Olympic mountain range fade behind me in the overcast haze.

I could see small rain showers forming to the Northeast, so I headed Northwest and successfully stayed dry all day. A friend of mine on a similar voyage in his 32' wooden sloop, "Dragon Bait" hailed me at about 1pm on the VHF. He was heading into Sidney and wondered if I was in the neighborhood. I have a bit more time and as crazy as it sounds, I really didn't have time before I left to sit with my boat and figure out what really needs attention. I took care of the safety stuff, but the actual sailing... let's just say, it's been a while. So I was looking forward to finding a quiet anchorage and "getting to work". So here I sit at the southern tip of San Juan Island in Griffen Bay. Getting my charts in order and planning the next couple of days.

The other day, Captain George Hill of the Schooner Adventuress told me he saw a pod of Orcas on the west side of San Juan Island. Because of the geography of the sea floor, that is a popular spot for marine mammals. The tide move tons of water in and out every 12 hours. With it are sea creatures, plankton and fish--all in motion. As the tide moves over the reef on the south side of San Juan Island the sea life is forced to the surface and that's like a Las Vegas all-you-can-eat buffet for orcas, whales, seals, and porpoise.   I saw a few seals today. I will never get tired of peering into the eyes of a seal. They know more than I do about this place and their eyes tell me so. They are solitary and wise--like looking into an infant's gaze and seeing to the other side.

I will head around the west side of San Juan Island tomorrow and see for myself.

It's a small world after all. It's a small small world.

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