Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sojourn to Jetty Island

Today was one of those days when a sailboat name like Tranquility Base would be apropos - cool, dead calm and peaceful.  And enough sunshine to make it very comfortable.  Jack and I headed down the boat to play a little Pokemon. When we arrived, we could see a bunch of sailboat masts over Jetty Island to the West, adorned with brilliantly colored chutes.  Jack asked if we could go see and so I went where this man has never gone before - single handing our new sailboat.  This was my 4th official trip in the boat, if you can call a mile round trip a trip.  The current was strong, but the wind was calm.  The only trouble I got in was that Sojourn's transmission isn't easy to find neutral in and Jack stepped on the throttle a couple of times.  Thanks to my friend Ben's suggestion for simple rope-shock cord tiller buddy, it was a breeze.
Sojourn's tiller buddy

We motored to the Jetty Island dock and took a stroll on the west side of the island at low tide.  The sandy shoreline of the island must extend two or three hundred yards at low tide.  Jack and I had the whole Island to ourselves save a resting Bald Eagle, a black crow and a team of some kind of ducks flying in ground effect along the water.   We walked down to the water holding hands and getting our feet wet.  At seven, it is way not cool to hold hands with your dad, so I took this as a rare honor.  I'm sure readers would be fascinated to know just how many rocks, logs and weeds resemble the various species of Pokemon out there.  We stopped to photograph the more striking resemblances.

Jack on Jetty Island
One of the coolest things on Earth to a seven year old is my binoculars, which I let him bring.  Through the binoculars, we witnessed perhaps the slowest and probably equally enjoyable sailboat races in the world.  There was just enough wind the keep the chutes inflated, but that was about it.  I was envious and am looking forward to seeing what treasures await me in the two turtle bags that came with Sojourn.  When we bought her, I could barely spell spinnaker, so I peeked in the bags thought "Yep, someone must have killed a lot of parkas to make these."

We returned to the boat, Jack happy that there were so many Pokemon lurking in the wilds of the Island and me happy that the tide was rising and Sojourn's five foot deep keel wasn't stuck in mud.  Jack took off his shoes and crawled in the sleeping bag that I usually use when Annie and I sleep on the boat to warm up his feet.  Getting off the dock was a piece of cake, as the current pulled us away from the dock.  Sojourn's fin keel and spade rudder make it a breeze to turn around in tight quarters.

Back at the dock we played a few rounds of Pokemon, the game that perhaps more than anything else, taught my seven year old to be an amazing reader.  I inspected the mast and boom in anticipation of a lazy jack project, and the we buttoned up the boat.  We headed home having killed a very relaxing four hours.
Sunshine - Northwest Style

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