I’m sitting in the Wooden Boat Chandlery at Port Hudson Marina in Port Townsend. Staring out across the Straights of Juan De Fucha. The rain is blowing sideways, the angry grey water of an opposing tide combats the wind. A lone gaffer works against the tide making her way towards me and the safe harbor.
This little gaffer sailed around the Cape Horn and is representative of Port Townsend. Every corner, nook, and cranny of the marinas and boatyards here are filled with nautical history. I had made an impromptu trip here to refinish the interior of a 26′ Falmouth Cutter. Now a whole week later, back in Bellingham it all seems like a dream. I locked myself inside the boat with great music and went to work, varnish shavings covered every inch of the boat as I stripped out 20 years of neglect.
I had my bike with me and explored every inch of PT, I have been hoping to spend a month here in the spring working on the boat before setting off to explore the Salish Sea. My real dream is to spend one last winter in PT before sailing down the coast. Port Townsend is a sailors mecca. The two top places I have wanted to live and sail for a few months are Port Townsend and San Francisco.
I spent a good amount of time talking with local sail makers and riggers hoping to set my final budget. I was quoted just under 11k for a new suit of working sails, not just any sails but the finest sails made, lets just say I will be using what I have for now. I was fortunate enough to visit several other Falmouth Cutters and was reminded of how much I prefer the simplicity of my boat. By the time I left town I had crossed nearly every item off my must have list, and transferred them to my someday list.
I had many revelations on this wonderful working vacation but the biggest one is that there is one thing still missing from this boat and I intend to keep it that way…
I keep sailing on in this middle passage. I am sailing into the wind and waves in the dark. But I am doing my best to keep my boat steady and my sails full.