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Event Logbook...for those times when we didn't take photos, or photo's just are not enough!

 

New Years 2003 submitted by Julie & Aaron on Anthem

Julie:   New Year’s Eve, we left Port Orchard Marina by 1:00 pm and headed for Blake Island. It was clear and calm but quite cold. We made great time and managed to stay fairly warm after making some hot tea while underway. Pulling into the marina we were surprised at how crowded it was. It appeared that there was not one spot for us to tie up, but then we saw a red tugboat and knew that Bob and Ellie were there on "Skookum". Ellie was at the end of the dock waving, and she and Bob helped us tuck into a 33’ space on the inside next to the rocks. Being that we are a 32’ boat with bowsprit, we had more than enough room! Looking around the marina we were wondering why it was so crowded on a cold New Year’s. We found that two groups were having rendezvous’…the wooden boats and a Boeing group and they were all leaving the next day.

After getting tucked in and the heater started, we ate dinner and then spent the evening on "Skookum" visiting and waiting for the New Year. With Bob and Ellie just having joined the FYC at Thanksgiving, it was fun to learn more about each other. With midnight approaching, we discovered that the tide was high and had an excellent view of the Space Needle from inside their boat. With a clear sky, we had a good showing of fireworks! Afterwards, we visited some more then turned in around 2 am. Just a few hours after falling asleep, the wind started to blow. Our diesel heater was not happy with the gusty wind and Thursday morning around 5:00, I woke to my nose and throat burning from a diesel/soot smell. Over the course of the day, we had 4-5 small back drafts. None of them covered the whole cabin in soot, just small ones that were enough to be annoying and make the boat stink. The marina emptied out by noon, and there was now plenty of room to move "Anthem" to a better space. However, with the wind out of the North, it would have been difficult to get out of our position without running into the rocks on shore. So we’ll wait for calmer conditions.

Ranger Paul visited the island for only a short while. With Bob and Ellie being park hosts, the island was in good hands. I don’t think a boat arrived without those two helping with the docking. They even cleaned the bathrooms (they’ve never looked better), and walked the trails to report down trees. I think Paul gets a vacation with those two around!

Anyway, Thursday we cooked, read, napped and went for a short hike. We located one of the geocaches we found two years previously, wrote in the log and left a travel bug we acquired from a cache on Stuart Island. Thursday night we invited Bob and Ellie to our boat for dinner of minestrone soup. Ellie made a loaf of bread and brought popcorn and we had a great time of good food and good conversation. Friday was a beautiful and calm day. At first chance, Aaron was outside sailing his 4’ RC Sailboat he got for Christmas. We rigged the green alien at the helm, and off sailed Anthem Jr. Unfortunately, we left our camera in the car so couldn’t photograph her maiden voyage. Everyone in the marina (only 4 boats by this time) had fun watching this little boat sail. I could barely get the controls out of Aaron’s hands to play with it, so I guess he likes his new toy!!

We took the opportunity of calm winds and moved "Anthem" beside "Skookum". This way we won’t have to worry about leaving Sunday at low tide or heavy winds. We took a short hike and spent the rest of the day doing a whole lot of nothing. We popped over to Bob and Ellie’s for some conversation and hot cocoa then turned in early. (Lying around all day can make you sleepy). The wind picked up early, waking me at 5:00. We were being beaten, and our boat was sitting 4 feet off of the dock, while heeling over to starboard. The NW winds were blowing right into the marina, making it very difficult to stand up in the boat. I almost put an eye out trying to get my contacts in. I napped most of the day since I felt queasy from time to time with the movement of the boat. I also enjoyed some time off of the boat but with wind chill it was quite cold. We did manage to see something we haven’t seen at Blake before. A big powerboat pulled into the 30 minute dock and out walks a woman wearing a long fur coat, with a standard poodle on a leash. I never learned the dog’s name, but we figured it had to be "Precious" or "Archibald". Hmmm….. A fur coat at Blake Island? I never realized that it was such an elegant destination!

Saturday went by quickly…mostly because I slept through most of it. We didn’t sleep well that night…the wind was howling and jerking our boat hard off of the dock.

Sunday morning the wind has not let up…still over 25 knots. So, we ate breakfast ( a light one for me since my stomach gets nervous in rough conditions), then prepared to leave. We had plenty of help on the dock for our exit…hugs to Bob and Ellie for a great weekend of fun, then off we went, all bundled up and ready for a cold sail. We bounced out of the marina and into some rough water, raising sail. (We will really be glad when we someday get roller furling, as climbing out on the bow with nothing to hold on to is not so much fun while the boat is jumping through the waves). With only the jib raised, we cruised towards Rich Passage at 6.5 knots. It was bitterly cold but clear skies and a nice sail. Out of Rich, we raised the main, reefed at first then Aaron was sure we didn’t need it….(must have learned that from BJ), and let the full main up. Fortunately we were on a run off the quarter and were able to handle the 25-30 knots of wind. We flew into Port Orchard, dropped sails and tucked "Anthem" nicely into her slip. By the time we docked, I couldn’t feel my fingers or toes but we were glad we went. And, although we only had two of the FYC boats, it was a great 5 days at Blake!!! ---Julie