On Saturday, March 20, 2021 four boats from CYC sailed into Blakely Harbor; Altair a Sceptre 41; Tula a J/40; Mara a Buchan 37; and Lolo a J/37. Despite the weather warning, we had a pleasant sail from Shilshole to Bainbridge Island, even if the wind dropped from a gentle breeze to light air - it was nice to shake out our sails. Mara rafted up to Tula, but then they are family (Bob & Margaret with Mara); whereas Altair (Paul & Suzette) and Lolo (David & Gyung) each chose to anchor a decent swing radius away from the rafted sailboats. That afternoon, Suzette and Paul by dingy visited each of the cruising sailboats. When they arrived at the anchored Lolo, Paul was handed a large contractor’s size garbage bag, and we all agreed let’s go to shore and clean-up whatever trash we may find around the public beach and the Blakely mill pond jetty bridge. So, six of us met ashore, and collected around 40 pounds of garbage including quite a bit of plastic as the weather changed from sun to drizzle.
We called it as the clouds suggested this be a good time to get back to our boats. Mara took some pictures and we said we can do a dingy rendezvous by Tula around sunset as we all oared or paddled back to our sailboats. Well by the time we got to our boats, I think we independently came to the same conclusion, once out of foulies, down below and warm, going back out did not have quite the same appeal, so no dingy rendezvous. It did rain most of the night, and this sailor found it quite tranquil. I did wake up once and validated all our boats were still in the same swing position. Such a great anchorage and I thought if it had not been for CYC, probably there would not have been any visiting sailboats (or boats) in Blakely Harbor that night. Sunday morning, we all heard that we had small craft advisories for Puget Sound, and although it was quite peaceful in the harbor, we all needed to get back. Paul & Suzette put their dingy to one last use for the morning and came by to pay their visit to each anchored boat sharing their plan to pull Altair’s hook and head back. Gyung and I though that was best for us too; and as I was preparing my windless to pull up the anchor; out of my peripheral vision I realized there was Bob & Margaret on Tula coming around Lolo just to wish us a good sail back. It was a great sail back, and out of the south we had a steady fresh to strong breeze with 24 knot puffs. Gyung and I decided to just raise the main so with a double reef in, we sailed from just north adjacent of Blakely rock all the way to Shilshole without ever having to jibe. Most of the trip our speed over ground was a steady 7 to 7.5 knots, so with a J/37 we were surfing. However, just because we like to sail in a breeze, does not mean we like docking with a blow astern. Imagine our relief to see Suzette & Paul standing by our slip waving to let us know they were there to catch lines. I am incredibly grateful for their help especially with that last puff as we made the final boat length into Lolo’s slip. I am so glad we all got to be out on the water and flying our CYC burgees. While the weather may have been wet and blustery; we still got some rays of sunshine, and after all we did mark the first day of spring sailing within view of a glorious Seattle skyline.