Jim, John, and I left Kingston mid-morning on September 1 with the intent of a non-stop trip to Montery, California which would have been about 850 nautical miles or seven days at a reasonable speed. My short term goals were three-fold (increasing order of importance):
1) Make as many miles toward Monterey as quickly as possible
2) Be as comfortable as possible
3) Avoid sailing in anything more than 35 knot wind and especially no breaking waves over 10'.
We had a strong north flowing tidal current in Admiralty inlet, the 15 mile channel from Puget Sound to the Straits of Juan de Fuca, and an even stronger west flowing current past Point Wilson and into the Straits. However, there was very little wind and it was from the NW which put it right on our nose. So - we motored, and motored, and motored. The forecast was for west winds increasing in the Straits to 20 knots in the evening and early dark hours and that is exactly what we encountered.
By the time we were approaching Ediz Hook, at about 7 PM, we were seeing an apparent wind of 25 knots directly on the bow and four to six foot wind waves. The current was starting to flow eastward so our boat speed was falling below 5 knots much of the time as we bounced up and down. And the temperature in the cockpit was plummeting as the following 46 second YouTube video shows:
YouTube Video Entering PA Harbor
I decided we should pull into Port Angles which is inside the Ediz Hook spit. We arrived at the public dock about 7:30 PM where we found the Lady Washington tied up and giving tours. There was also a free BlueGrass concert being given on the dock above Mirador so the area was crowded and noisy. The following YouTube Video shows the Olympic Mountains and USCG Station Port Angles (ignore my comments on the video when I say Coast Guard Station Neah Bay - that was wishful thinking!). We are inside Ediz Hook when the video is recorded so there are no wind waves and no tidal current.
YouTube Video Olympic Mountains and USCG Port Angles
Any picture on this page can be viewed in full screen mode by clicking on it.
In the picture to the left you can see Jim and I working on the bow - trying to disassemble the 66 pound Spade anchor and stow it in the anchor locker. The Spade is a great anchor but it rolls side to side while underway and makes a lot of clanging noises so I had decided to remove it from the bow roller. I was also concerned with the surface area (see the picture below) of the anchor as the bow buried in steep waves - all that water pressing down on the anchor slows the boat and makes it hobbyhorse more than necessary.
We found that the pin in the anchor shackle was very well set and would not come loose with any leverage we could apply while the anchor was on deck.
John, Jim, and I were able to transfer the 66# anchor and about 15' of heavy chain to the dock where we struggled with loosening the anchor shackle. Eventually the owner of the sloop you can see behind Mirador brought a two foot crescent wrench over and my weight on the end of that lever arm was able to turn the pin loose. With just a little more effort we got the disassembled anchor parts on board and into the anchor locker.
The next project was to find a quick and easy dinner which was not so quick or easy in downtown Port Angles at 8:30 PM on a Wednesday evening. The only restaurants open were much too nice to admit we three scruffy sailors so we ended up with a fine dining event at Dairy Queen.
Upon returning to Mirador at 9:30 PM we found the dock full of local crab fisherman who were also using light tackle to catch fish attracted to the bright lights around the dock. We went to bed early because I planned on a 6 AM departure so that we could get as far west as possible in the Straits before the west winds began to blow the next afternoon.
Following is a picture of Mirador at sunset in Port Angles looking SSE toward the Olympic Mountains which rise to 6000 feet just seven miles from Mirador's slip.