We headed back to Port Townsend after the Great Dingy/Car Exchange, sold our old dingy, and planned for the bit of maintenance the “new” dink dearly needed.
Port Hadlock was the (mostly) perfect place to do it: less rolly anchorage than PT and with a wonderful organization we had just discovered — The Community Boat Project. All it is sadly missing is parks or comfortable beaches that aren’t covered in fishing/crabbing gear this time of year. So, finding things for the kids to do was a challenge.
But the CBP is amazing! Community pancake breakfast on Saturday morning, teaching, building/sailing with youth…
Check ‘um out https://communityboats.wordpress.com
They helped Gene haul the dink up a steep and sidewalkless hill, let him unlock and lock up the place (after working with him for a day and determining he wasn’t nuts), loaned us a spare dingy, and gave him the space and scrap wood to repair Ciao’s gunwale…then the stern’s eccentricities…then some rot he found there…then the oarlocks…
Then we had to find the oars! They had gone on walk-about. Jury’s still out on how that happened. We found them (surprisingly…after much searching) in another dink at the dock. Down the road. No suspicion toward CBP, someone must have been around snooping in their open work area after hours.
Anyway, we got them back.
While we were in Port Hadlock, we did some clamming and crabbing and made a fantastic chowder! Some new friends from the CBP completed our evening, as they sailed their former ship’s lifeboat (recently modified into a colorful sprit-rig) out for a weekend camping trip. Rowan went nuts for their two dogs, who spent the evening jumping from their rafted boat into our cockpit and back again. (the dogs…not the baby 😉
Two days later, however, as we walked through town, Gene started to itch, then hives erupted, then his mouth and tongue began to swell. I know! Two days later! We couldn’t contribute it to anything but the crab (he had similar reaction years ago after a binge on Hooter’s crab legs). The worst part was that our little 22mo old broke out in facial hives the same day! She didn’t seem uncomfortable, but it looks like she might share her daddy’s allergy.
We’re planning to get them tested, as we have had crab one other time in the past weeks with no problem. But maybe it was an accumulation thing? The beach and area were clean and free of red tides. So, more research needed there. Needless to say…no crab for them till we know for sure.
So, that lost us a day or so during the week for attack, frantic dash to the drugstore for antihistamines, and recovery. Gene was feeling well enough the next day to attempt some hull scrapping though.
After a week like this — keeping two young, energetic kiddos busy while Gene was involved at the CBP, the crab attack, the lack of anything interesting in Port Hadlock (aside from the CBP) — I was ready for a break.
A friend of ours from Colorado happened to be visiting Portland on business and it was too good to pass up the 4 hour drive to see our new life. He arrived Saturday night and promptly took me to dinner and a dip in the heated saltwater tubs at SOAK in Port Townsend. Heavenly! He and Gene had a breakfast and soak on Sunday, we were able to warm up, catch up, and we all felt rejuvenated. There are so many things one misses when doing something out of the ordinary like cruising. I miss baths and old friends back in Colorado most of all.
So, we are back in Port Townsend now (yeah for the playground and nice beaches!) and planning to take a recon trip out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca tomorrow. This is a big deal for us, as it’s the biggest water we’ve seen yet. The wind is supposed to be light, and we’re making a careful study of the tides and currents.
Here we go!