On Tuesday morning we got up early and headed to Anacortes to stay our first night on our new boat "Airship" before meeting up with Capt. Jack DeFriel first thing Wednesday morning for a couple days of on-the-water training.
Tuesday evening sunset from the back of Airship:
It rained pretty good that first night on the boat and sometime in the middle of the night the wind picked up a bit. From bed (in the bow of the boat) I could hear a little bit of the bow line as it pulled occasionally as the boat moved, but then there was this clangy sound right above our heads.
Cling, clang, cling, clang.
Hang on! There's nothing that should be making that sound on this boat. I pictured the topside of the boat and remembered there was a little Nordic Tug flag/burgee attached to the front of the rail on the bow and said to Kevin (one of the times we were tossing around, awake) that I knew what that noise was and that in the morning, that flag was coming off. Kevin replied, "In the morning, my butt" as he put on jeans and went out in the dark and rain to remove the flag. We slept well the rest of the night.
Yesterday and today we spent all day training with Capt. Jack and it has been such a blast. We've learned and done so much! We practiced docking techniques in different conditions (purist-style, without using our bow or stern thrusters), learned how to grab on to a mooring buoy, how to anchor, how to launch the dingy and go ashore and where to pay for the state park moorages (it's just like a campground, with no host), how to pump out the black water tank (so much easier than in the Airstream!) and just generally got a good deal of hands on experience using our boat while someone very knowledgable was there to help, guide, and answer questions…a very valuable two days with Jack and we'd do it all over again.
This morning (after a whole lot of docking practice, and both of us taking turns anchoring while the other one drove the boat) we headed out to James Island to anchor and launch the dinghy to go ashore. There are many spots up here in the San Juan Islands to anchor or moor your boat for the night. We went to the back side of James Island where we expected there to be some mooring buoys, but there were none, and just a very small dock, so we dropped our anchor in about 15 ft of water and called it good.
We launched the dinghy and headed over to the dock:
James Island is shaped like an hourglass, pinched in the middle. You walk up the dock and there's a little path across to the other side (and a hiking trail around the island).
We walked across the pinched part to see the other side (where there were supposed to be four mooring buoys, but there was only one). Capt. Jack said it was a pretty roll-y mooring anyway, so you'd have your privacy, but you'd be rollin'!
Walking back to the dock gave us a nice photo op of our new boat. Isn't "she" pretty? (See? I'm workin' on it.)
This is a great spot to come for a picnic. There were two kayaks beached and three people were up at one of the picnic tables having lunch. There are fire rings and it's a nice sheltered cove. We plan to explore MANY places like this with our boat in the future.
On the way back to the Cap Sante Marina at Anacortes, we were the stand-on boat (the boat with the right of way) as a ferry was overtaking us. It was cool…the ferry just chilled out a little bit and crossed behind us as soon as we were far enough past him (not that far, really):
Ferry, passing behind us:
It's been such a wonderful few days. The weather has (surprisingly) cooperated nicely, and we really lucked out finding Capt. Jack to help introduce us to our boat. If you ever need to learn a boat…hire Capt. Jack!
Tomorrow we think we'll head over to Friday Harbor for a night, and then maybe moor or anchor in some other cove somewhere for the next night. We need to practice our new skills!