Twelve days and 357.7 nautical miles later, Farley and I are back home in Seattle. The view from the boat was obviously better on my last day on the water than the previous two days. In spite of the grey gloom, there was no rain and at least I had a view. As The Who would say, “I can see for miles and miles…”And I even got some sailing in before the wind died.
I had winds of 8-10 knots (right on the nose of course), but I sailed close hauled for an hour or two until the wind died down to essentially nothing. Even though Rinpoche is relatively quiet and smooth under power, it was good to have wind power for a little while at least.
Rinpoche performed flawlessly for the entire trip. Everything worked, and I think the only problems I had would be classified as operator error issues. There were no major catastrophes, even though I’m not sure Farley would agree. He fell off the dinghy twice and tested the buoyancy of his spiffy red life jacket. Both times he was rescued without incident, and he didn’t seem to be to traumatized by it all. I did run aground twice, once when we were leaving Flagler State Park (a word to the wise – don’t be tempted to cut the corner between the two red markers on exiting the channel. Make sure you head to the green marker in between). But the bottom is sand, and we were going very slowly, so we didn’t have much of an issue backing off. The second time was with the dinghy in Friday Harbor. I knicked up the the prop on the rocks, but it’s still functional.
I’m glad that I played with the GPS and radar a lot during the first few days when we had good weather. I kept getting myself into display situations I couldn’t get out of without turning the system on and off. In particular, I thought the radar had some intermittent issues. But once I consulted with the manual (real men don’t read manuals, do they??), I got the issues sorted out and soon had a pretty good idea of what I was doing. So when the pea soup came, I was prepared. I now have a lot more faith in the boat, its systems and me than I did before this trip.
All-in-all it was a great trip. I got to spend some quality time with my old high school buddy John; I learned a lot about the boat and its capabilities; Farley turned out to be a pretty good sea dog, and I didn’t break anything or bleed very much.