Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Go-No Go-Go! (Or How We Were Almost “Screwed”)

Life works - if you let it.
A lesson I keep having to learn. 
For months now, we’ve planned on leaving April 29th. The boat was in the shop for more than three months, everyone pushing hard to get us back in the water in time to test everything before we left. Friends have made airline reservations to meet us in particular places at particular times. Glenda raced to get the garden and house all set up for our absence. Everything looked good. The boat tested out. The weather showed Small Craft Warnings for the Straits. And by midnight on the 28th, we had moved aboard and were ready to set out, except for one pesky little thing. What had been Small Craft Warnings had turned into Gale Warnings. Sure enough, by morning on the 29th, the wind was “blowing like snot.” We weren’t going anywhere. 
And then things began to happen.
First, we remembered something we had forgotten in the house—three times! We’d drive hope, open the shuttered house and collect the item, get back to the boat and then...
There were a couple of things we forgot to do in Port Townsend. So we drove in.
By the end of the day, it was looking like we could leave by 6am the next morning. But then, a person who shall remain unnamed, used the toilet, putting, er, “solids” down the newly re-plumbed toilet for the first time. She didn’t mention anything amiss. Several hours later, as I was putting, er, “liquid” down the toilet, I heard a loud noise - like something metallic had gotten loose inside the toilet pump and pushed against the motor by the solids. No way could we leave without a functioning toilet. This was 7pm the night before our already delayed departure! I called around to see who could help and learned that my friend Chris’s boat had broken away from its mooring during the storm and was hard aground. Most of the folks who could help me were out on Marrowstone Island helping Chris. Except Matthew, who happens to live a few boats down from mine, who was leaving to help Chris in fifteen minutes. He had time to come over and tear the toilet plumbing apart. What we found was a 3” screw!

Matthew left to go help Chris, so I started putting it all together again. I was almost done when I noticed water leaking rapidly from the cold water supply pipe. Yikes! Another “fix-it-before-we-can-leave” deal. I didn’t have the tools to work on Pex tubing, so I called my friend Mort. Guess what? He was out helping Chris too. We talked about bringing the boat back to PT first thing in the morning. Disappointing. But nothing compared to the anguish Chris must have been going through - his wonderful 45’ sailboat, Karis.
Skip ahead to 5:57am April 30. My phone rings. It’s Mort, who’s been up much of the night (he’s a brand new poppa.) Five minutes later, he’s at the boat. Twenty minutes later, the leak is fixed. (I won’t tell you what it was, because I’m too embarrassed…)
We left our slip at 7:40am and by early afternoon April 30, as I'm writing this, we were almost to Sidney BC where we cleared customs into Canada. . 

Crossing the Strait of Juan de Fuca, storm clouds were behind us. 

Nothing but sun ahead and calm seas. (All I had to do was turn around to get this shot.)

We made it all the way to our favorite anchorage in Ganges last night. And tomorrow we should make up the day we lost.

Bottom line #1 - had we not been delayed a day, we would have forgotten some important items, and I would have had a broken toilet AND a leak while miles from civilization. Life works, if you let it.

Bottom line #2 - The guys got Chris’s boat refloated with no major damage! So happy ending.

Bottom line #3 - It’s ALL about friends helping friends. Glenda and I feel lucky and so grateful.

**Check our progress at:

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