Saturday, April 4, 2009

Solo - Well Almost

Today there was a milestone for the Capaz Crew: The boat left the dock without Brad. I wasn't quite solo or single handing, I had my acting first mate, Bryce and temporary second mate, Austin. Let's not forget our the cabingirls, or maybe "cabinkitties" is better, Tasha and Sammy.
After working a good chunk of the day, the boys and I headed home to Shilshole. We cleared the cockpit, lashing the bikes to the stern rail and securing the still folded main and mizzen sails. There wasn't much wind and it was a pretty darn nice afternoon. We started up the engine and went down our departure checklist (OK there isn't one, but there will be soon - it's on the LIST). Since the marina was pretty calm, I was able to walk the boat out of the slip while Bryce manned the helm. Our neighbor kept a careful watch from her boat as to how close we were to "Golduster" cheering us on once we looked well on our way.
As Austin commented, "Mom, we made it out of the slip!" we waved to our other neighbors and pointed CAPAZ towards Port Madison. Bryce and I followed the directions given to us last night on how to fire up the Coastal Navigator (AIS system), but alas it was not working. This was later diagnosed by Brad to be a disconnected cable - nothing we did wrong. We weren't all that worried since I have even driven CAPAZ into Port Madison a couple of times. My biggest concern is depth at low tide (which it was) and the depth sounder chose to cooperate and function (not its choice on Thursday evening).
As we came around elbow where the Port Madison outstation sits, Brad arrived by taxi and scoped out a slip for us (per my preference, it was a double with no one in either berth). It was pretty much slack tide and the wind was very light - perfect conditions for my first attempt at docking without Brad ON the boat. I had both boys positioned with the bow line and the spring line, but unfortunately forgot to put down the fenders. Brad noticed in plenty of time and after deploying them, eased CAPAZ into the slip with no further ado. PHEW!!!
Then, it was on to the routine things for the dinner and a shower, fishing for the boys. Brad set to work on getting the main and stack pack set up. As of a few minutes ago, we now have a main sail, but alas I have been informed that in order to sail, there needs to be one more trip up the mast to secure the spreader tips and final tuning of the rig. Oh well, we are here, not at the dock in Shilshole. Last night, I swear I dreamed about every docking scenario that could happen except the one that actually did: a safe, easy one.
I had an interesting thought after we rounded the breakwater at Shilshole and headed across Puget Sound. It was about whether or not I had locked the door at the house. I laughed out loud and explained to Bryce how ironic it was because we were aboard our "house" with everything we needed. I can only imagine that there will be plenty more of those moments to come. Tomorrow, the cats will be re-homed. We will head up to Port Townsend to drop them off at their new residence.

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