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Trip Reports - OutVentures

Day Sailing on Puget Sound

"They [the local lore] said there was no wind in Puget Sound during summer." (Yachting Magazine, October, 1987). So, with the string of over 90 degree days, the sailing OutVenturers were not too hopeful for sailing conditions.

Though the marine forecast predicted 1-10 knots, the sailors anticipated the resulting breeze would be on the low end of that scale. So, when arriving at
Shilshole Bay Marina, no one was surprised that there was hardly a wisp. However, the boat of the day, Paladin, a J105, was designed and built for light air.
So, after the customary overview and prep, the crew backed into the fairway and motored out beyond the seawall.

Golden Gardens was packed with Seattleites evading the heat of the city and their homes. To navigate away from the marina and shore, the crew had to
thread the J105 through a bevy of sailboats, kayaks, canoes and SUPs. But shortly, Millie headed Paladin into the wind, light though it was, and the crew
hoisted the main. Falling off on a starboard tack, Don and Felix unfurled the jib and Paladin was under sail while Ted and Jaime stowed the assorted fenders,
lines and sail ties.

As they sailed toward Bainbridge Island, they leapfrogged windless patches, watched as cruise ships plied the waters toward their northern destinations as
Ted identified the cruise lines, number of crew and passenger capacity. Tacking out of the channel, the attentive sailors avoided ferries, cargo ships and
tugboat-toting barges. However, unlike many times out on the Sound, they spied no orca or porpoises or even seals. A small flock of birds floated nearby
and an unidentifiable fish leaped out of the water revealing only a fin as it dove back into the incoming flood.

Much to their surprise and delight, the breeze built through the afternoon to an energetic 11-12 knots. The crew took turns at the helm and enjoyed
chocolates proffered by Jaime. Approaching Port Madison, the crew steered clear to evert another windless hole and headed further north and zig-zagged
across the Sound. Though Kingston called, due to time constraints, it would have to wait once again as the crew tacked Paladin homeward. The crew
reconvened at MacLeod's for fish and chips after putting Paladin safely into its slip thanks to helping hands from another boat. Hoping off the boat and
profusely thanking all, Millie sighed, "My bad. That shifter was very tricky."


Submitted: 08/02/22
Article By: Magner, Millie
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