Ten years ago me and my bat shit crazy ex wife, girlfriend at the time got a wild hair up our collective asses to drive to Alaska and build an off grid cabin. We were well on our way when we pulled into a little town I had never heard of to buy gas. Before the sun set that day I had accidentally purchased a sailboat and become a resident of Bellingham Wa. Flat broke and with winter bearing down fast I needed to find work.
Day one as a yacht broker I walked into the door to a flustered office, seems one of their sailboats threw its transmission in a place called Friday Harbor. I had never heard of that place either but offered to sail it back. 20 minutes later my small plane was climbing out over a very boisterous Bellingham Bay. Seeing the islands I had never heard of from 1000’ aloft blew my mind. So many little nooks and crannies to explore. I had a great day on the water, learned about the psycho tides that were never mentioned to me and fell as deeply in love as a human can with this region.
It was on the long challenging sail back that I decided I would sail my boat to Alaska at any cost. Now single with a different boat and minus the love of my life, Chloe I still haven’t made it north of the Discovery Islands. The set backs have been many and often, I just pick up the pieces and keep plodding foreword nose always to the ground. Setting sail from Bellingham without a penny to my name was the smartest thing I have ever done. Now again with my back to the wall I think I have exactly enough to get the boat. Somewhere between Port Townsend and Florida. My only question is blue Caribbean waters or snow capped mountains…
The very first thing I did when I got back on Island was take everything out of storage and put it back on the boat. As usual the amazingly warm weather sidetracked me and the thru hulls didn’t get ordered in time to beat the wether. Then it got really cold so I unpacked the whole boat, and then repacked and…
Today was even less productive than my packing escapades. Finding a solid three axel trailer isn’t an easy task. Studying, measuring and remeasuring I’m determined to build one if I have to but now timing has me playing the mental packing games over and over in my head. The sailing season with a good heater is a full six months up here, 9 if you push it but certainly not 12. Moving the boat to Ventura would see all the little things that add up done once and for all but as much as I love the Channel Islands they are pretty damn boring compared to the Salish.
I love the challenges this place serves on a near daily basis but the cold is going to kill me, hell Im freezing here in July. I just sucked it up and ordered boots rated to -30 but they still won’t keep me warm. My first ride in the snow almost claimed all my digits to frostbite, yes it’s going to be a long cold winter. No I’m not putting sookie in the water till her bottom side is done. Yes I want to ship her to Cape George Yachts and blow my life savings on her. Yes and no I’m shipping the boat to Southern California. Why yes and no? Because if I find a trailer I’m shipping her to Florida and sailing her somewhere warm so I can haul her out and do her right.
My work who is also my landlord has kyboshed Windy and time is of the essence so I have to figure this all out fast or let go. I’m not good at doing anything fast or letting go. My mind is a pretzel but it makes sense. I worked a whole year for my ride, timed it to be back here in the spring and left enough money buried in the Forrest to pay for a summer of sailing. Now I feel like I have nothing, or nothing to lose.