Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hira Gets the Surprise of Her Life

21 September 2011 Wednesday

I depart early at 0700 hrs from Deception Pass State Park and don't eat breakfast as I want to get under way as soon as I can. I am meeting my friend, Pene, this afternoon at Langley Marina on Whidbey Island to give her some special things I found on the beaches. I, also want to stop at Coupeville on the northern part of Whidbey to say hi to Jeff, my ex brother in law. He has purchased a home here this spring. It would be fun to see the place and he might like to see Shatoosh. I start to get hungry and see a nice cove I could anchor in and fix me some eggs, but my intuition tells me to continue on to Coupeville. I can eat there.

After docking I call my niece who lives in Denver, to get her father's number. She sounds surprised when I say I am in Coupeville. I had mentioned to her that I might stop by on my way home. I get hold of Jeff and he picks me up at the marina. I tell him that I am starving, but he seems to be set in showing me his house first. When we pull up front, my big surprise is waiting on the front porch. My 2 great nieces, Georgia and Flora are waiting to see me. Then Erin and her husband, Matt appear. So, the whole time I was talking with Erin, she was in Coupeville and not Denver. The surprise is on me. Matt hurries into the kitchen and fixes me some eggs and toast, while I get lots of hugs from the girls. They show me their new special play room which is a secret hiding place.

Later, we go down to Shatoosh and Flora falls asleep in the car, but Georgia hangs in to come aboard and see where they will sleep one day in the aft cabin. She takes her place at the helm and says the boat is bouncy. I have been waiting for the day when these girls can come aboard and never in a million years would I have dreamed that it would be today. Thank heavens, I listened to my intuition, as I would have been really disappointed to miss them.

Its 1310 when I get off and the waters are calm. Soon everything changes as I enter Saratoga Passage the wind whips up a nasty bowl of waves. They continue all afternoon and this leg is similiar to Wallula Gap on the Columbia. Pashmina sounds like a drum beating out some foreign tune on the cabin top and Shatoosh is simultaneously going up and down and rolling from port to starboard, while the ship's bell is ringing constantly. For the next 3 hours I stand and steer and recall William Least Heat Moon's commentary of "riding a bucking brahma bull", while he is unable to read his chart to find a safe haven on the river. I sigh a deep breath as I pull Shatoosh around the fortress of a breakwater and dock in my previous A-5 slip at Langley Marina.

Pene picks me up and we have a scrumptious Thai dinner that saves my life. I give her my beach gifts that I have found and she seems pleased with them. It is so special to get to be with her again.

What a wonderful day!
Day's run 35nm
Total 351 nm