Saturday, August 1, 2009

When Rosario Crosses Juan

I'm not quite the easy going sailing girl I thought I was. I disappointed myself Friday. The Captain took us pretty far out in the Sound to Lopez Island. We were actually a little further north than Victoria, British Columbia, but still in American waters. After sailing through Deception Pass, which is nerve wracking, but we've done before, we kept on going further out, all the way across the spot where the Strait of Rosario meets the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Eeep! That Rosario and Juan get into some rough stuff!

They are two strong currents that serve as major thoroughfares for tankers, naval vessels, big ships, and the like, and when they meet up, you're getting both of them trying to push you along at the same time, only in two or three different directions.

Our boat was rocking and pitching side to side, up the swells and then plopping back down again. It was scary. I really got panicky and was holding on to the railings for dear life. I think I might have even prayed a bit. I couldn't even look up. I didn't get sea sick, but I was scared. The more I saw our boat pitching and swaying, the more scared I got. The Captain was cool and calm, though. He said it was nothing, and he sailed right through it like an old salty dog, never even flinching. He said our boat was made for much rougher stuff than that.

Maybe so, but I was having visions of the ill-fated Andrea Gale in the Perfect Storm.

It scared the daylights out of me. As soon as we got to our quiet, little, safe and secure spot in Aleck Bay for the night, I headed straight down to the galley and a glass of wine. It had been very hot back at the marina, but out in the open where we were, it was pretty windy and chilly. I took a nice warm shower, and when I got out, the Captain had us some hot crab soup and sushi for dinner. He even had a bottle of our favorite Duck Pond Pinot Noir opened and ready for me. He said he felt bad for not better preparing me on what to expect out there, but he more than made up for it with the romantic and cozy dinner.

However, in the back of my mind, as we lay down to sleep, all I could think about was how in the hell were we going to get home again.


TWC said...

At least he didn't tell you he ran outta gas. :-)

TWC doesn't like rough seas neither, which is why he stuck with fresh water boating. However, if he lived in F.L.A. he might be singing a different tune.

Once on Lake Havasu we rented a houseboat with Stevie the Spy and his soon-to-be-ex. Out of nowhere came a huge thunderstorm. MRS TWC had the houseboat floored in reverse and the wind was so strong it shoved the houseboat forward at forty mph which shoved a pontoon thru the side of my boat, which was already washed onto shore. Stevie and I stood with waves crashing over our heads desperately holding onto my boat to keep it from washing away. The 40' houseboat ended up 20 feet up on the beach sideways. Nobody got hurt. We used duct tape to fix the two foot wide hole in my boat. Hmm, sounds like a blog post to me.

Music for your trip back (click my name)

smartass sob said...

Music for your trip back (click my name)

Ha! Ha! TWC, you're incorrigible - you'll scare the poor woman with music like that. ;-)

LC, just put on a good life jacket, hang on tight, and enjoy the ride!


Col. Hogan said...

I don't (regrettably) have any experience with sail boats, but in the Navy days, I was occasionally engineer on a 50' power utility boat. Once in the seas south of Mallorca, we had to make a transfer of some people and supplies from one carrier to another.

Turns out, the swells were about 20 feet (which the carriers didn't even notice, but the utility boats did.

I had the bow line, I was standing 'pon the foredeck ready to tie up as we approached the Roosevelt, and as we made our approach, a massive swell kicked the boat up and toward the side of the Roosevelt. The swell ebbed suddenly, leaving me about ten feet in the air, just holding onto that line for dear life!

Fortunately, I landed back on the foredeck and hung on. I managed to tie off and get back into the hold before the next big swell, which banged the boat into the side of Roosevelt and knocked everyone off his feet but the Bosun, who was hanging on to the wheel. I still remember the bruises and muscle strains from that bit of acrobatics!

Ah, for the good ol' days!

Chatelaine said...

Dang, TWC! That is definitely a blog post. Sounds dramatic!

"At least he didn't tell you he ran outta gas."

Lol! So you think I was plotted on, huh. Hmmmm....I like that idea. Good to keep him on his toes about me ;-)

I love that Edmund Fitzgerald song, and it did cross my mind as well that afternoon.

Chatelaine said...

SASOB, I did put on a life jacket the next day. I didn't think I'd ever be so uncool as to wear one, but I did.

Didn't need it, though. And now that I look back on it, it really was a fun adventure.

Chatelaine said...

Col Hogan, the Captain said the swells we were in were barely ten feet. I don't think I could have taken 20 feet. I was ready to drink heavily as it was.

I have some bruises too. The Captain asked me about one on my back last night that I didn't even know about. I told him it was his fault :)