Posted by: fullandbye | December 21, 2004

solstice sail

This morning saw me wake up at five am and silently slip into four layers of warm clothing.
Mo and I caught the 6:10 ferry over to Winslow, and we were on the Rumrunner at first light. After making the commute across the strait with Mo’s mom and a coworker, Mo and I were led on a seemingly endless tour of the lab where Mo’s mom works.
Around 8, the Rumrunner was ours to sail. And sail we did, right into the most glorious sunrise I have seen in months. Jacob’s ladders filled the Sound with heavenly shafts of golden light. The amber hues filtered through clouds caused the entire sea to shimmer like diamonds, and the white decked Rumrunner glowed ochre through her translucent billowing sails. Huge flocks of birds took to flight, shattering the silence with their running starts across the water.
There was not another boat for as far as the eye could see on this cold, clear morning.
Winds were solid 5-7mph SSE for most of the morning. Mo scrubbed the decks while I took us out on an Easterly tack for three or four miles. Then we broke hard to port and headed north on a running reach for a short while.
The winds died down a little before we hit Winslow, and we had to motor the rest of the way.
In town we met Mark, a friend of Mo’s who is also an engineer on the UW research Vessel Thomas G. Thompson . Soup was enjoyed by all before we set sail again.
Unfortunately, the water was really glassy most of the afternoon. There was a period after we made it past the landhead on the southeastern point of Bainbridge where it picked up again and carried us most of the way back to the lab.
Despite having to run the motor for much of today, What sailing we did we did admirably.
I am frozen to the bone, my hair is crusty from salt air and wind, my room is swaying around me, and I kind of stink.
But happy am I.
Oh so happy am I.

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