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To the landsmans eye the ocean is always flat, they look across the ocean not much unlike their ancestors did before we had learned to navigate the seas always thinking that the world is flat.  The wind is angry by the time it funnels down the straits of Juan De Fuca.  It hits the bluff at San Juan point crossing the San Juan channel and slams across the bay.  The huge fetch and oposing tides don’t help.  There is little in the way of protection where I’m sitting right now.

As the front passed overheard just ahead of the winds

As the front passed overheard just ahead of the winds

It sounds like a fighter jet flying overhead getting louder and louder until wham! The gust hits you, the boat heels and the dock lines do their best to shatter the wood bull rails.  While it’s scary I’m not afraid for my safety although I have been on occasions while tied to the dock. It’s more that I worry about the strain on Sookie and her bits.  People made fun of me when I had to custom order 8″ x3/8 lag bolts for Sookies cleats but that’s how thick the section is between the cleat and half inch backing plate, insane? No I don’t think so.

At 45 knots sustained on a wind over tide this place turns into hell on water, a cauldren of boiling water washing both under and over the marina.  Boats have sunk, docks have blown away, you name it’s happened here, again the price you pay for living in the islands over the winter.  For the most part it’s not that bad but it only takes one big one…

Im tucked into my lee cloth to keep me from being thrown out of my berth. My down bag snugged up around my naked body, I’m warm and as comefortable as is possible considering I’m having my ass handed to me by a full blown winter storm and it’s only the beginning of October.  Maybe this means an early warm spring will send me on a gentle cruise to the Queen Charlotts but in the deepest recesses of my mind I’m planning a trip down the coast to Pamana if I can find the right co-pilot, although on nights like tonight a warm cabin in the woods sounds pretty wonderful.  Just in case things get out of hand I have my ditch bag packed and ready.  I packed it many times and never had to use it, I’m hoping this is another one of those occasions but it’s better safe than sorry.  It really isn’t much more than an annoyance because I want to cook popcorn and can’t, at this point and I doubt the winds have even topped 40, it’s a calm night considering  what was forecast and the wind is still SSE, its the sou’wester that gets my goat…

From the log of Atarah, Baja, 1988… my notes say 28.8 on the barometer, impending hurricane, it’s reading 28.7 oh shit… from the log of Sookie, Salish sea, barometer reads 28.9 gonna be a fun night…

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