Tuesday, August 15, 2006

We survived our fist overnight sail. It was pretty tiring but there were moments of absolute beauty. We left Neah Bay at 1030 on Aug. 14 and arrived in Gray's Harbour 125 miles further south at 4:30 P.M. on Aug. 15. We did two hour shifts all day and night. We sailed almost all the way and someone who wanted to sail with us from Neah Bay motored sailed all the way here and arrived at 5:00 A.M. We sailed on a close reach most of the night so although it wasn't a downwind romp we didn't have to tack back and forth and went in a striaght line for most of the trip. We would have still been out there if we had had to tack all the way.
The trouble with two hour shifts is that you barely get downstairs and take your stuff and climb into bed and it's time to get out, especially when you lie there trying to block out the sounds of the sails slapping around and the gear clanging on the deck. I think I may have got 4 hours sleep total through the 30 hours.
We had one hair raising incident, a fast U.S military aircraft buzzed us not once but three times. He came diving down at the boat and then you could see the afterburners kick in as he pulled up to turn for another run. I have no clue what it was about, but he just went away after the third fly by, unbelievable. We just kind of stared at him as he zoomed around the sky. They must have more money than brains if they don't have any better things to do than buzz poor innocent Canadian sailors.
I was on shift, by myself, in the middle of the night as the moon rose. It was absolutely gorgeous, it was in the third quarter and after it came up it lit up the whole ocean. When we are sailing the only light that is on is the masthead light, and the instruments, compass and GPS, (so you can steer) so it is pretty dark out there. As I was gazing up at all the stars, I couldn't help but think of the thousand of other sailors who had experienced the same thing. Imagine what the guys on Christopher Columbus's ships were thinking in the dark hours of the night. At least I know where I am going and have a pretty good idea what I am going to see when I get there, they didn't even have a clue about what was over the horizon.
We are going to stay here for two nights to make sure we catch up on our rest. As we were walking around today we saw a sign for free tours on a tall ship so I think we will take that in. Catch you later.