Several factors need to be considered; the cold front and small craft warnings, the direction of the wind, and the extreme tides--up to a minus 4 ft. If we leave, we need to depart at the end of high tide this morning so we can ride that minus 4 ft perhaps to Blake Island. At dawn, the wind is not blowing so we decide to head out at 0630 hrs. with coffee mugs filled, empty stomachs and a burning desire to get this show on the road.
I had attached another lower line on Pashmina to hold her steady to the transom while she sits on the swim platform. If the seas were big then I was concerned about her stability. With this extra lashing I felt good that she was secured. We make good time to Eagle Island and the tide is picking up and so is the wind. At 0730hrs a beam sea washed Pashmina off the platform. I am at the helm, and feel an immediate slowing and say out loud, what was that? At first I thought we had caught something on the prop. Then I tuned and saw Pashmina in dire condition. Too Tall took the helm, headed the bow into the seas, slowed Shatoosh to nothing, then I jumped onto the aft cabin and while holding tight assessed the situation. My new line had stretched and had pinned Pashmina under the platform and she was full of water. I called for a knife, which Too Tall passed to me in no time. I cut the line and was able to get her upright but another line was preventing me from freeing her completely. I pulled her along side and switched places with Too Tall. With his long arms and legs he was able to unlash the line while hanging over the cockpit side. All this took about 45 minutes. We got her freed up and in a towable position, even though she had lots of water in her. We decided to pull into Gig Harbor and bail her out, and have breakfast. At the Tacoma Narrows we were moving at a fast 11 knots with Pashmina riding well with a belly full of salt water.
After a well deserved breakfast, another break in the rain, Pashmina get the water dumped out of her bottom. There were probably 20 gallons in her. We still had time on our ebbing tide, the rains had stopped, and Colvos Passage was as calm as a bath tub. We headed north at 1100 hrs and got into Blake at 1315 hrs.
There were sun breaks, rain squalls, all afternoon. The north wind came in about 1600 hrs along with a late afternoon arrival of the Carlyn, a 50 ft adventure boat filled with about 20 youth. Their attempts at docking created lots of problems and was not very controlled. They were blown down onto Pashmina and Shatoosh. Pashmina was side tied and got caught briefly in a crunching situation. She survived another blow thanks to her flexible hull. The young men in charge were not making very good decisions and I had to have a few words with them to stop any further miss-haps with my boats. Upon docking the skipper came to apologize and to see if there was any damage.
|Tacoma Narrows Bridges|
|Cut line on Pashmina|
|Our First Taste of Grog|
The lessons learned today: Its best to stow Pashmina on the swim platform while at dock, but to tow her while under way. I am grateful for having this experience and have learned more about Pashmina the Porte-Bote. Even when loaded with water she is still towable. That is comforting to know.
Day's Run: 34nm