Chasing Salty Lady

by Chuck July 23, 2002

Dana's sister Shelley told us she and the boys would be going out on Salty Lady with Ron and Sue to do some salmon fishing off Possession Head, and invited us to meet up with them so she could see our boat sailing. We agreed, and so we put the sailboat in the water about 2:00 p.m. Ron said he would be out until around 3:00 p.m., so we figured we'd meet them somewhere past Mukilteo.

We headed down the river and out into the Sound, then hoisted sails and tried to sail south toward Mukilteo. The water was quite rough, and we had quite a bit of trouble making headway. The wind was fitful, and when it died down the waves would pound us to a halt. Eventually, we started the motor and motor-sailed out to the middle of the sound where we picked up the wind.

Once we had some wind, we headed south on a broad reach. We made good progress, and even sailed quickly through the ferry lanes, a place where we usually lose the wind. Today though the wind held until we were about half way down the pass between Mukilteo and Whidbey Island, then died out. We decided to turn and head back toward Everett, motoring for a while then sailing whenever the wind came up.

The whole time we've been looking around for Salty Lady, but there's no sign of her. Katie was playing with the FRS radio, and said she thought she heard something, but we couldn't make anything out. Turns out Ron was trying to hail us, they were bottom fishing in the lee of Gedney (Hat) Island due west of Everett. Thanks to our blue genoa, they could see us, but Ron claims he couldn't catch us in the chop. I don't think he was trying too hard, since he has a 26-foot Tollycraft.

We tacked our way back up to the ferry lane, then turned on the motor and motor-sailed through the ferry lane and back to the mouth of the river. When we got into the calm water in the lee of Jetty Island, we turned off the motor and sailed under main alone back to the boat launch.

Dana was at the helm when we started into the docks, and I'm afraid I got a little short with her when she headed for a launching dock when we needed to be at a removal dock. It probably wouldn't have made any difference, but she just handed me the tiller and said "You do it." So I did. We turned, went back out of the docks, then turned and sailed under bare poles back to the removal dock. I turned the motor off in the calm area inside the boat launch docs and sailed her right up to the dock, then stepped out and made her fast. Ron was waiting for us, and helped us get the boat out of the water and on to the trailer.

We dropped the mast, tied the boat down, and headed back to Monroe. It was a rough trip, but the first time we'd tried to go somewhere and used sails and motor as needed to get there.



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