Sailing Mango

Heading Home Today

I just wrote out the title of this post, Heading Home Today, and it struck me as strange, since we are in our home, our boat, and have been this entire trip. I guess the old "home is where your family is" thing doesn't quite hold yet, at least for me.

We are heading for Shilshole Bay Marina this evening, and that has been our home for the past year, or a little less. The people are what make it special, and I look forward to seeing our friends again.

This morning we woke up in Port Ludlow, having motored sailed most of the way there from Mackaye Harbor, just on the south side of Lopez Island due to light winds on the nose. We were going to sail from Roche Harbor all the way to Port Townsend two days ago, but the winds were light, and the distance non-trivial. While we did sail for most of the day, we had to stop in Mackaye, as the sun would have left us half way to Port Townsend.

Mackaye is a nice anchorage. Shallow without being dangerous, and plenty big. However the swells from the Straight of Juan de Fuca curve into the Harbor, and if you are not snug into the head of the Harbor, you roll. We rolled. It was only in the morning that I deployed a long snubber from the aft of the boat. Combine this with a snubber from the front of the boat, both leading to our chain and eventually the anchor, and you have a bridle that exposes the wind to the beam of our boat, but the bow of the boat sees the waves, and thus no rolling, only a gentle up and down motion. Nice. It was just unfortunate that I didn't do it sooner, especially since Annie The Dog never did settle down, and just walked all over us all night long in a perpetual state of worry. I wanted to throw her overboard. Speaking of which, Biscuit went overboard yesterday.

The dumb dog. We were rowing over to the marina in Port Ludlow to walk the dogs, and Biscuit decides to simply walk off the boat and onto the water. Dogs don't walk on water very well.

A: "Oh! Biscuit just went overboard!"
Kristen, while ordering pizza for delivery to the marina: "Can you hang on just a minute?"
Scott, reaching down while a completely submerged poodle nearly passes by the aft of the boat: "Got him!"
Kristen: "Sorry, our dog just went overboard, but he is OK now. Yes, the extra large with mushrooms, onions, and sausage."

The pizza delivery driver was smiling and almost laughing as he delivered our pies half an hour later.

This morning we will begin motoring over to Edmonds to inspect our bottom. Of the boat. The marina yard will put Mango in their slings, where we can see what the damage is from our barnacle scraping back a few days ago. Hopefully it will be just some gouges and a chip or two. I will be prepared with our handy-dandy epoxy kit, ready to slap on some thickened epoxy with the fast cure hardener, then back in the water.

One of the reasons we purchased this model of boat is that the keel is integral with the hull. It is not bolted on, like many boats. The theory being that it is stronger, and a little rock rub will have no deleterious impact to the structural integrity of the hull. We will see.

One of the cool things we did was to fly the working jib these past two days, and not our genoa. The working jib is a 100% jib. If you draw a line from the base of the mast up and perpendicular to the forestay, that is your J measurement. Jib sizes are relative to J, so our 100% jib is equal to J. Our genoa is a 135% jib. While 35% may not seem like much, I'm guessing it is close to double the surface area.

For one reason or another, we can head into the wind better with the working jib. Perhaps because it is a hank on sail vs roller furling like our genoa, or maybe there is another, really cool geeky sailing reason. Regardless, we found we could go 5-10 degrees higher into the wind. Nice! That was really helpful sailing from Roche to Mackaye two days ago. Additionally when the winds are in the 15-25 knot range, the working jib plus a reef in the main really make a pleasant boat. No undue stress, nice easy movement, and the boat is fast. We were regularly sailing at 6-7 knots upwind, close hauled.

Below are the usual pics, but also a couple of videos.

This video shows the motion of the boat when the winds were light, and we had both sails up, as well as the engine on.

We passed about 60 feet from this navigational buoy just south of Widbey Island, with a sea lion basking upon it.

Working jib. The genoa is furled on the forestay.

Working jib and the main with a reef in. We haven't quite figured out how to get good sail shape while reefed.

Kristen and the two kids, with E behind Kristen.

A and Annie after a rolly night in Mackaye Harbor.

Mackaye Harbor after anchoring in the evening.

Forward and aft snubbers to put the boat broadside to the wind, and how on to the waves. I would only do this with light to medium winds with good holding. The exposed square footage of the boat is a bit more than double, but the shape of the side of the boat is more brick like, vs. the more aerodynamic front of the boat. So maybe three times more windage from the side vs. the bow?