Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Three Hour Tour

Chris: Rather than just drive back from yesterday's race in Portland, Ben Collins and I decided to drive to Tacoma and then sail his 27-foot Catalina "yacht" up to its new home in Ballard.  Unfortunately there hasn't been much wind and the boat only has a 5hp motor.

Ben: See, a boat's speed is a direct function of several things, the length of the boat (larger boats can go faster than smaller boats), plus the amount of power that goes into propelling the boat forward. The problem that Chris is introducing is that an absence of wind has forced us to rely on a one cylinder 35 year old diesel engine that I was unable to start until about a week ago. Well, it starts now, but about a half an hour ago smoke started spewing from the cabin of the boat, and Chris started acting a little loony.

Chris: and that's why we're stranded here watching the lights come on in downtown Seattle.  But let me go back to how we've been underway for seven hours and have only made it to the middle of Elliott Bay.  You see, when we have run the motor today (sadly, most of the time) we were only running it at about half power.  Ben was concerned about gas mileage and we were a bit short on gas.  But even after stopping to refuel at Des Moines, we were still puttering along at maybe 3 or 4 knots.  I made the joke that one of us should get out at Des Moines and walk and we could see who gets to Ballard first.  Sadly it now appears that would have been an easy victory for the walker.

Ben: I was just explaining to Chris that he should never give up an opportunity for a good story. This, however, is not why we both neglected to charge our cell phones last night, or why I left my GPS in the car, or why around 5pm we decided to say "screw it" and kick this bad boy into gear. No, sadly enough, we set out on our adventure that we would get my new (very used) sailboat from Tacoma to Seattle in under six hours and with as little effort as possible (aside from a few tacks and some sailor lingo). At this point, I'm just thankful it hasn't been raining yet.

Chris: the weather has been so nice today that I'm shocked at how few other boats we've seen out here.  We saw maybe ten boats on our way up and now we just see each ferry as it almost runs us over.   I suppose that's what happens when you're adrift in the middle of the ferry lane.

Ben: no seriously though, the last ferry to com by was REALLY close. As in museum voice distance. Wait, Seattle Traffic is calling me on the radio (our cells are dead, did I mention that?).... brb... ok, the vessel assist is on its way, and now Chris and I are taking turns doing a periodic signal toward the boat, and typing in the blog. OK, my turn.

Chris: neither of has ever gotten Vessel Assist before.  We were wondering whether the Chucklehead Factor of needing Vessel Assist is greater than the comparable factor for roadside assistance.  Vessel Assist is rapidly approaching now.  Gotta go.

Post scriptum ... a few pictures:

Ben blogging while we wait for Vessel Assist. It was a lot darker out than it looks in this picture.

a blurry shot of the Seattle skyline at dusk ... the boat was a-rockin' from some ferry wake

This ferry got a lot closer to us, but my cell phone battery died before then

Alki Point at 7 knots

No comments:

Post a Comment