As it happens to the best, it can happen to anyone. For two years we have maintained a checklist of preparations to take the boat off the dock. Since it has become routine and committed to memory- the list is really a guideline. Every time the boat came off the dock- the same things happened in the same order. Predictable. Perfunctory.
This is the day. The day we talked about, share with others, saved for. We went through the motions. Beautiful and clear blue skies after the weeks of wildfire haze and no rain seemed like the perfect send off. SV Bella Nave backed into the fairway, turned and gave a farewell ring of the brass bell announcing our entrance into the waterway. Next stop would be the fuel dock and to pick up our friend Ivan in time to ride the current out of Puget Sound.
Fuel dock went well, met Sam who is working actively towards his dream of taking off on his sailboat adventure. At Rock The Dock, Ivan and Leslee waited. We scooped him up, more hugs well, because somebody started hugging and there everybody was hugging, not sure why. We took off again.
Back at the fuel dock, Deb noticed the boat seemed to have more exhaust than usual and remarked to John. Noted. However shortly after we were underway with Ivan, Deb didn’t see the set crab pot ahead…
Whoops! That could have been bad to get caught up in the propeller! Crabbing hasn’t been that great in the bay over the pst couple years per the regulars. Not many pots were out now. But there was one now! One lonely one in all that water! Nailed it! Thankfully Capt’n John caught sure and threw the engine in neutral… and that’s when he noticed then engine temp. Before you could say “Oh sh**!”, he had the engine off, covers off, headlamp on and in his knees.
“What does a Diesel engine need Capt’n Ron”? Fuel, air and……water. The sea cock hadn’t been turned on. One of our best safety measures- the engine key kept near the sea cock as a reminder to open. For unknown reasons he had grabbed the spare key thus leaving the engine dry of its much needed cooling process. Ugh. Okay- these things seem to come in 3’s. Now to be vigilant. As always, Ivan can find the humor in any situation to brighten the mood. We just had to wait for the opportunity to present the humor to the captain! The only victim was the impeller.
As the winds were light for this boat- 15kn winds are ideal- we motored merrily along as Ivan taunted Capt’n John about various topics, including one what it was like to sail on SV Bella Nave. Our arrival into Port Townsend came about 7:30pm. We would meet Leslee again and she would leave with Ivan after breaking bread one last time. Port Townsend has a mesmeric charm and it has never been lost to us as we visited. Neither did this time, our last time. Leaving friends is always hard. One last hug. Or two. Or three. Time for bed so we could be up early to begin the travel to Neah Bay.