With Fisher's help (of course), we got the dodger on.
And then Ben stopped by to lend us a hand (of course) getting the blocks setup on the dinghy davits and outboard motor crane. We then stowed the outboard on the stern rail and hoisted the dinghy on to the davits. We're starting to look like a real cruising boat! Now, all we need is to line the decks with jerry cans and add some solar panels and it'll look like we've been doing this forever.
Ben and Gina had plans to meet us down at the south end of Blake Island. Rather than wait for them, we were chompin' at the bit to get out there so we took off. Fisher came with us on Hello World rather than solo sail White Cloud. As much as I love White Cloud, it was only fitting that he was on board for the first sail. He's put almost as much sweat equity into this boat as we have.
Fisher and I did some last minute rig tuning while motoring around West Point.
We hauled out the sails in about, oh, zero knots of wind. So we intermittently motored and sailed our way towards the south end of Blake Island to shield us from at least some of the predicted northerlies that evening.
Ryan performing the traditional sailor pose. And watching our windex do 360s.
We pulled up to an empty mooring bouy (or as Ryan calls them - "Bill Murray balls") for the night. I was not particularly confident in our anchoring skills just yet. Also, the anchors haven't even been pulled out of the anchor locker from the trip up from Mexico. One of these days.
Still buzzing from the bottle of rum he annihilated on the trip over, Fisher decided a swim in the Puget Sound was just the ticket. Water temp? About 50°.
No sooner had I rowed into shore to pick up the near hypothermic Fisher, Ben and Gina showed up in his beautiful Westsail 28. We tried to raft up to do dinner but the anchorage was a little too bumpy from passing wakes. I also wasn't crazy about two large heavy boats on a single mooring ball for the evening. My caution earned my a new nickname: Safety Pup. Awesome. Ben and Gina motored about 100 yds away and dropped anchor.
We tried tieing them off our stern for a while but Safety Pup still wasn't satisified.
Ben and Gina came over to Hello World and threw down a ridonculously good dinner. French beef stew, mashed potatoes and an awesome raspberry pie.
After cleaning up, we went up on deck and soaked in a jaw-dropping sunset.
This is Ben's Westsail. He has a line of Tibetan prayer flags running along his topping lift that looked incredible.
The next morning, we poked our head out and saw it blowing like stink out on the Sound. We threw together a quick breakfast for everyone and then bolted off the mooring ball to get out into the wind.
We made the prudent decision to unfurl every stich of sail we have on this boat minus the spinnaker. It was blowing a consistent 15 to 20 knots. We found out she's over-canvased as we got a healthy weather helm and some nice heeling. But man it was fun!
Ben on the Westsail tiller.
Gina on the Westsail helm with Hello World whooshing by in the background.
Ben flying the prayer flags on a beat.
Ryan's a natural.
I can't think of a way to make this inaugural sail any better. Unbelievable weather, sun, wind, great friends, the Puget Sound. We set the bar pretty high on this trip.
Since we moved (more on that later), we can't seem to really find anything. Including the upload cables for our cameras. So these pictures are all courtesy of Ryan, Fisher, Ben and Gina. Thanks guys!
They're re-hosted here and here along with a truckload more pictures.
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