Monday, August 29, 2011

Inati Bay continued

29 Aug 11 Monday- 0010 hrs

I'm anchored in Inati Bay, Lummi Island and on vigilant anchor watch. The southeast winds are blowing, the skies are clear and my stern anchor has dragged, necessitating my pulling it up. This means I am swinging at anchor with the wind howling. I have been sitting at the helm station watching my close position with a large trawler when I look out to the entrance and see another solid green light next to the flashing one that is far beyond the entrance. I go below and check my position looking through the forward hatch. I'm sitting in my bunk with flashlight in hand, taking a break. I am wide awake now. Another big wind gust and Shatoosh sails off in another direction however the main anchor seems to be holding. I think I hear someone yelling way off in the distance. Again it happens, I get up and go into the cockpit and there is a boat bearing down on me. The guy on the foredeck is yelling, "Scotty, slow down". I turn on my running lights and shine the light onto my hull and decks. I go forward and pop up through the hatch. I call out, "can you see me"? "Yes", the guy says. But the boat is bearing right towards me. This time, I yell, "you are bearing down on me". He yells, "Scotty, turn to port". They yell back and forth to each other and the guy wants to know how much anchor line I have out. The large low sleek sailboat's starboard green light sails past my bow with about 20 feet between us. The guy at the helm is calm, saying I see you, everything is ok. They move fast past me and into a dark corner of the bay. They must have been here many times before and seem to be headed for the shore to anchor in close. I would never have thought anyone would be coming in to anchor after midnight. But there you have it, another Lummi adventure. Now, I know what that other green light was at the head of the bay.

I am up and down all night with the wind gusts and sitting abeam of some small waves, however it is calmer than Legoe Bay. Every time I am awakened, I get up to check my position, check my depth sounder and check my anchor. I am holding my position, well. At 0800 I watch a sailboat sail in, furl the main and jib, slow to an easy speed and maneuver between the boats. The skipper is a single handed woman...she anchors quietly next to Shatoosh, checks her position after the first swing she readjusts her chain length. It is foggy and drizzly and later I complement her.

At 0900 hrs, Scotty and his big wooden ketch of 50 feet in length weighs anchor and speeds out of the bay, heading north. Too bad, I miss getting to to talk with him, as I am certain he has lots of stories to tell.

Scotty's Boat the Night Stalker

Another Bow and Stern Anchor

More boats come and go, some staying for just a few hours. This is a short cruise from Bellingham so many people use it. As more people leave, I try anchoring in different places with different stern anchor set-ups. All practice is good and when things don't go right, then I am learning patience. Often when I lift the anchor out of the water it has a watermelon sized glob of mud and in it is entangled kelp. I have to climb out of the forepeak onto the deck, lie down and grab the chain, lifting it and dropping it to get the stuff off. After about 30 times, my biceps and right SI joint are screaming. I'm sure tomorrow I will be feeling sore. At 1945, the last boat sails off in the direction of Bellingham. I'm alone at last and the winds seem to have abated. I am anchored in a nice place with only the bow anchor and with no one around I can swing without worry. Hopefully no one will be anchoring at midnight.

This has been a long day with lots of lessons for me about anchoring in new coves. Adjusting to the currents and the tides, analyzing types of anchors and lengths of rode and chain, using lines to shore are just a few things I need to consider. I will be readjusting my ground tackle. One thing is for certain I am loving my swim platform. It is making getting on and off Pashmina easy.

My Route Around Lummi