Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Sailing Trip Upon the Salish Sea

This was the 10th Gathering of the Brethen of the Salish Sea, aka the Latitudes and Attitudes Northwest Cruiser's Party. If you've ever wondered what it's really like to go on an extended sail, maybe around the world or even dare to dream what it would be like to live aboard a boat, especially a sail boat, then get a copy of Latitudes and Attitudes magazine and let the dreaming begin.

The first picture shows a new convert to sailing, my Granddog Honey who is now a certified sea dog. The second picture is of a real Sea Dog, Bob Bitchin the editor and publisher of Latitudes and Attitudes magazine. He originally started a couple of motorcycle magazines, sold them and with that money, spent 5 years sailing around the world...twice, I believe. When he returned, the letters he'd sent to friends had grown from a few to over 300. He thought there just might be a magazine on the subject and sent out invitations to the 300 recipients of his newsletter, to be charter members of a new magazine, just send money. Over 600 responded and the rest is history! Bob and his wife Jody are simply awesome people who've dared to live the dream.

The next photo is of Capt. Woody and some lucky, beautiful wench. Woody, stumbled across Bob and Jody at the beginning of their magazine and they helped him get his boat ready for his own sail around the world. Woody had a great series of articles, although not regularly sent in, but gave a great glimpse of what a first time circumnavigator goes though.

But enough of the background on this incredible party. Over 120 boats registered this year! I've been three times before and every year the party is held at a different location (probably to give the marina time to recover). All different types of people are on boats but for that weekend, become pirates, reducing their vocabulary to very simple sounds like, "aye," "arrrr," and "RUM!" Unfortunately the bottle of Goosling's Black Bermuda rum didn't make the entire trip to the party. The top got knocked off and it evaporated like magic.

While Bob and his crew help round up boating related businesses to offer prizes and support, this party is really organized by local boaters. I don't know how they do it, but it always a great time. Most attendees also contribute in their own ways, such as bringing a projector, hoisting the mail sail at night and showing movies to kids and adults. Quite a few musicians show up from around the Puget Sound and offer to play for beer or a moorage.

The rest of the pictures are typical of the beautiful scenery encountered up to the San Juan Islands. Typical of August, there was plenty of fog but out of the 8 days on the water, 3 were very hot and sunny. While my boat (Lil' Smokey) hadn't recovered yet from the little fire, I went with John on his beautiful 36' wooden sail boat, the Seafeather. His wife Diane joined us up at Friday Harbor and sailed back with us. They're pictured in the last one against one of the wonderful sunsets we enjoyed during the trip.

If you've ever thought about a sailing trip, do it! You can join Latitude & Attitudes Share the Sail program where they meet at different great sailing places around the world for a week of instruction and experience sailing, usually in a group of 6 to 8 boats. Maybe someday I'll join them, like through the Greek islands or Australia's Whitsunday Island or New Zealand or.... Until then, I'll just putz around the Sound on my 30' Coronado. You can join me as she should be ready to go by next spring!

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