Friday, July 21, 2017

A Rocking Good Time in Padillo Bay! -- Tuesday, July 18, 2017

After using our limit of two nights on the recip dock, we planned to go outside the marina to the ‘cheap seats,’ to borrow a phrase from a guy in one of the other reciprocal slips.  

So returning from a walk to The Market for last minute provisions, the fireweed among the rocks inside the marina at low tide catches my eye.  I look carefully to see that the blooms are open only up the lower one third of the stem.  Yep, according to the legend of the fireweed, it won’t snow in Anacortes until at least November.  Meaning one third of the summer boating season and is gone. 

We untie our lines just after lunch and take the ten-minute cruise out into Padillo bay to anchor.   Sweet! Herb deploys the anchor in sticky mud, hooking on the first try.  This is our first time to anchor since the trip with Ray to Alaska a couple of years ago.

The 10 to 15 knot breeze is apparently favorable enough for some sailboats to sail around us in the bay.  It is not Wednesday night, so this can’t be the regular sailboat races.  These small ones must be from a junior sailing club, and do quite a bit of tacking near us.  It's amazing how quickly those little boats can turn around, almost seeming to be jerked around by the wind.  I see the sailors move very fast from one side of the boat to the other.  This must take skill and practice.

I am not used to the sound the wind in the sails makes, but I recognize it instantly.  Did this little boat just come within a few feet of Willie’s Tug?  I reach for my camera, but she has already moved away.

The breezes increase and we get a lot of wave action also from other boats and dinghies in the bay.  I suppose we will sleep well tonight.

Listen!!!  I know the eagle's song;  I hear one and I hear two.  I can always see them with the naked eye, so I search, search. Yay, yay!  I see one white head, and I get the binoculars to see her reaching down into her nest -- feeding her young?  Oh, how exciting!

So I get the Nikon and zoom --  There she is near the right side of the photo in the top of a tree -- has the white head and looks to me like brownish feathers, looking to her left.  I have only seen one eagle nest in my life; it was a few years ago while walking the Tommy Thompson Trail which goes by Fidalgo Bay RV Resort in Anacortes. Those nests are huge!

Now she flies a short distance away to join her mate, and I see the pair of eagles that I heard earlier sitting in the top of the tallest trees, seen near the left side of the photo below.

I turn to see where voices are coming from, and see someone in a red shirt on top of Cap Sante Bluff.  I don't see a car parked in the lot there, so he must have walked the road or trail. Some years ago Ray told me he and Brenna had walked the trail from the path by "K" Dock, where we used to keep our R-27's, so I assume it will be do-able for me. I did it. I got to the top, but to get to the parking lot, there was a ravine I had to cross.  Too deep to climb down into and up the other side, and too wide to jump across.  Hmmm...I don't remember how I made it -- probably by floating through the air.  That became a trail named, "Trail Willie won't walk again."  The trail was not too difficult, but the ditch was!  I can laugh now.  I laughed that day after I got to the parking lot.  I walked the road to get back down to the marina, avoiding the ditch.

There's lots to see in the bay today.  I can't imagine why so many dinghies are scurrying about -- enjoying the ride in the chop?  Can't be going to check crab traps because the season closes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for recreational crabbers.  I watch intently at one dinghy get back to his sailboat, and am glad he makes it safely.  I'm content to sit in my safe bigger vessel.

Happy Hour finds us in the cockpit, bouncing, bouncing, and I know we will be rocked to sleep tonight.

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Tuesday, July 18, 2017

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