Landfall, Neah Bay

Miles traveled day 42: 92
Miles traveled total : 5,170

It wasn’t what I’d call a glorious ending to a 30,000+ mile journey. The fog was heavy through the night and the outgoing current from Puget Sound turned against us in the middle of Rob’s 2:00 – 5:00 am watch (his last 2:00 watch for a while, we’re both happy to know). The boat slowed to 2.5 knots and stayed at that speed all through the morning, putting a daylight arrival at Port Angeles out of reach. We finally motored into Neah Bay about 2:00 yesterday afternoon, ending a very long 5,170 mile passage. Our intended first meal out at a steakhouse with a big piece of prime rib and salad ended up being in the only cafe in Neah Bay, eating an overcooked cheeseburger. But the boat was stopped and we were tied to a dock.

GoosenecksThis morning we got up early to continue on to Port Angeles, and again we’re out in the Strait making only 2.7 knots. If we hadn’t motored into Neah Bay yesterday at 5 knots and confirmed we could make better time, I would swear we had either caught something we were dragging underwater, or the bottom of the boat and prop were so barnacle laden they were slowing us down. We do have an amazing amount of gooseneck barnacles along the waterline near the bow and stern. And when I lifted the paddle for the windvane out of the water yesterday it was even covered with gooseneck barnacles. We’ll get the dink down and get into the water and clean them off before we leave for Port Townsend tomorrow. It’s not exactly as enjoyable as hopping in the warm water of Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas after that long passage to do the cleaning, but if we don’t, they’ll cement themselves to the boat and be much more difficult to remove.

As we neared the coast yesterday and Tatoosh Island became visible through the fog, I suddenly realized that it was ok to be coming home for a while. Up to that point I hadn’t been able to muster much enthusiasm to give up the incredible adventure of cruising and return to the working world. Suddenly, though, a warm feeling of familiarity and comfort sort of washed over me (sounds kind of flaky, but really it happened that way) as I remembered crisp fall mornings on anchor in the Pacific Northwest. Sadly it’s the middle of August, during the summer that’s not happening here, but it was good to feel like it was ok to be home again.