Our original plan this morning was to hang out at Pleasant Harbor until a little before low tide and then book it out to Duckabush in the dinghy for some more oyster gathering. It was pretty windy this morning though, and we decided to walk up onto higher ground to see what it looked like outside our little pleasant harbor, and whoa! It was WAY whitecappy. We decided to bail on the Duckabush plan and head for Port Ludlow instead (and maybe find another spot for future oystering).
When we first left Pleasant Harbor, we were met head-on with some pretty hefty waves. The forecast this morning said 15-25kt winds and 2-4 foot wind waves (upgraded from "less than 1 ft" forecast last night to a small craft warning today). But we've been in 2-4ft waves several times before and the it's no big deal for the Nordic Tug (it's always us we need to worry most about). I'd say our first few miles today were solidly on the 4 foot end of that spectrum, and it was dramatic but FUN! Nothing rattled or creaked, even when we were slamming down pretty hard (not even the non-plastic dishes, mom!)
Kevin took this video to give you an idea of the high seas drama:
And here I will address the freakin' windshield wipers. OMG. If you're like me, you watched that video and all you could see was the fact that those windshield wipers are TOTALLY NOT IN SYNC. The first two are usally fine, and the far right one is like, whatever dudes, I'll do my own thing thank you very much. Each wiper has it's own on/off/intermittent frequency switch, and I always carefully turn them on so they are perfectly spaced…click…click…click. They are perfectly rhythmic for about 3 minutes, and then the right one will all of a sudden, out of the blue, wipe twice, messing up the WHOLE THING. The only way to get them back in order is to turn them off, start the click…click…click…again, repeat. What is UP with that, Nordic Tugs???
(To be fair, we were in a bit of chaos here, so I may have just jammed those switches on high gear with no regard for rhythm, but trust me, it happens just like I described above most of the time. Wipe. Wipe. Pause. Pause. Wipe wipe wipe. Wipe. Wipe wipe.)
Alright. Rant over. Gorgeous view of the Olympic mountain range, huh?
So, the waves eventually mellowed out and as we were passing underneath the bridge just south of Hood Head, we noticed a bunch of cars parked, and then a bunch of people on the beach with buckets, and then a few boats anchored. Just north of Hood Head (according to my map of open public shellfish beaches) was a good oyster and clam beach, and it was just after low tide so we decided to anchor and see if we could get some more oysters. The Rocna grabbed and held quickly, we deployed the dinghy, and off we went.
Here's the route from Pleasant Harbor to Hood Head:
The wind picked up though, and the tide was quickly rising, so our haul of about 12 (large) Pacific oysters was hard-won. We headed back to the boat with our loot, only to get stuck bringing up the anchor. We need to pull it from the other direction, but as mentioned before, the wind and the current was against us and it was pretty tough to get the boat around to the other side of the anchor. Eventually we got it loose (good practice!) and were on our way again.
It wasn't much further to the marina at Port Ludlow and now we're set up and chillin'. Look at this view!!
Route from Hood Head to Port Ludlow:
We wandered around a bit as the sun was setting. There's a resort here with what looks like a pretty good restaurant, and some nice trails. The marina was closed when we got here, so we'll go register in the morning, check out the store (cuz we need more panko breadcrumbs and horseradish), and maybe have breakfast up at the restaurant. Some shots from our sunset walk:
I'm a sucker for a cool totem pole (must be those early childhood memories in Alaska):
Kevin took this one (love it!):
I cooked up our hard-won oysters as an appetizer (but we're thinking that might have been enough to be dinner), and we're listening to the new album from Whitehorse (Leave No Bridge Unburned), sipping Manhattans. It was a pretty great Saturday, with some challenging conditions and a ton of fun.
Tomorrow (we think): Port Townsend.