A few years after we began sailing and living aboard, I decided I wanted to start building my confidence and sailing skills. We already were spending evenings and weekends racing on OPB (other people’s boats). But I knew the next big leap for me was leaving Rob at the dock and truly becoming the captain of my own boat. The first time we did this, I took out some girlfriends from Bell Harbor Marina in downtown Seattle for a day sail. Rob and I took the boat over the night before, I practiced docking the boat in the nearly empty marina on a Thursday night, and decided I was ready.
I don’t remember who was onboard that Friday (T1 and T2 likely), I just remember it was equally terrifying and empowering. I also remember feeling a little bit proud as we pulled back in with all the tourists watching from the sidewalk, and every big powerboat owner in the marina wondering “Where Are The Men”!
Since then I’ve hosted many more “Girl’s Days”, and most all have been fabulously fun (there was that “one”). We even had that one day when the Navy was coming home to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, and we got to see a Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier motor by as we were headed back into Eagle Harbor.
After we came home from cruising in 2010 I went on a Women’s Cruise in La Paz, Mexico, where 30 or so women chartered literally every boat in the fleet for a week. It was fabulous fun – happily I made sailing friends for life, some who I’ll get to see again next week in the Pacific NW.
When we had the boat in Anacortes for the summer a few years ago I did a quick four day lap around the San Juans with a girls crew, and that was fun, but too rushed. This time I’m taking the big leap and hosting 4 women for a full 9 day San Juan Island tour, including crossing the Strait of Juan de Fuca northbound on the way up and southbound on the way home.
Rob and I are busily prepping the boat for this trip. We’ve never had 5 people aboard for 9 days before, so I’m cleaning out lockers to make space for clothes and provisions. The boat has had intermittent starting problems all summer and Rob thought it was just the switches, but found out this week it is not. So this morning a new starter and starter solenoid was dropped on the porch by UPS after an overnight flight from Georgia. Rob is on his way to the boat as I type to install these.
Our route is planned and marina reservations made for when we need to take on fresh water or just have a Spa Day at Rosario Resort. The weather forecast is looking pretty calm – might not get to sail across the Strait, but shouldn’t get our butts kicked either. Maybe we’ll go slow and find some Orcas, who knows? I’ll post another blog and some pix as this adventure unfolds.