months after we last applied varnish, we found Taleisin's
spar was in fine condition. Guess there is a lot
less sun at this latitude.
Port Madison, where Taleisin spent the winter, is a
true sailor's haven. Some of the most beautiful six
meter yachts we have seen lay at anchor here. About
half a dozen ocean voyagers have made this their home
base. Other locals include fishermen who have worked
from this well protected spot for decades. It would
have been easy to spend the whole season right alongside
the dock at Craig and Kay Compton's home, enjoying a
full social life, talking about sailing, doing a few
chores around the boat and eating an abundance of fresh
crab while black berries ripened all along the shores
and roads of an area that feels more like isolated country
than a small town within 5 water miles of Seattle.
whole crew came home laughing after each day of
racing on board Saga. They took second in their
class for the weekend.
Kimo came by one day to introduce himself one day.
He mentioned he owned three wooden boats including a
28 foot Thunderbird, a San Francisco Bird Class sloop
and a six meter built in Sweden in the late 30's. "Which
one?" Larry asked. "Saga" was Kimo's
answer. "I lusted after that boat when I was a
kid," Larry said. "It was queen of the fleet
in Seattle or thereabouts in the early 60's." That
led to an invite to sail on Saga one day. One day turned
out to be sooner than expected when Kimo found out he
was short one crewman for the Lipton Cup regatta happening
that weekend. So Larry had two grand days of sailing
on a true classic speed machine and with his usual good
luck, there was wind in an area that often lacks this
valuable component of grand sailing. In fact the winds
were strong enough to challenge some of the gear on
the six meters and Larry's bag of fix-it tricks and
jury rigging ideas were a welcome addition to the day
according to Kimo.
We were made honorary members of the Port Madison
Yacht club and had the use of their tidal grid
for three days. Thank you Bob Schoonmaker and
all the pleasant folks at this user-friendly club.
I was also offered a place on board another of the
ten six meter yachts that raced that weekend, but I
instead took the opportunity to spend the time with
Beth Leonard who, with her husband Evans Starzinger
on board their 47 foot Hawk, had arranged to rendezvous
with us on their way to Seattle. The two day rendezvous
grew to over a week as they too fell under the spell
of Port Madison. And what do two women sailing friends
who only get together about once every year, talk about?
In our case it usually seems to be about writing, about
the ideas that are spinning around in our heads, about
integrating writing into our wandering lives so we enjoy
highlight of our nostalgic summer was definitely
cousin Kellei and Scott Bakers wedding at Sechelt,
British Columbia. The bride arrived by sea (Kellei
and Scott are both Coast Guard boat crew.
We also talk of mutual friends around the world and
about finding the right place to settle - if and when.
But this time, aging parents also came into the picture
as my Mom, at 85 was going through an awkward patch,
which made me feel I should fly down to be with her
and take some of the load from my generous brother and
sister. Beth and Evans also feel this concern about
spending time with their aging parents and have plans
to return to be near them on the Atlantic seacoast sailing
by way of the Chilean Canals over the next year or so.
Larry's folks are now gone, but having some time with
his mother while she was still alive, was part of the
reason we sailed north to Canada after rounding Cape
Blagbourne is one of Larry's oldest sailing buddies.
We had three lovely days with him and his partner
Nancy at their cliff edge home on Saturna Island.
(I had a blast of a time doing something terribly
old fashioned, assembling a 750 piece puzzle with
his 8 year old grand daughter.)
Another reason for coming to these waters was for Larry
to catch up with old friends and take a serious look
at his old home waters once more. So after finally dragging
ourselves away from Port Madison, we only sailed for
a week, then left Taleisin at anchor in another beautifully
protected spot, Port Ludlow, went back to get our trusty
old pickup truck (called Brownie) and its compact camper,
then set off for a two week visit to Canada, where we
visited many of the good friends we made during our
two seasons of cruising, plus people who Larry grew
up with and who became close friends to both of us through
the years, even though we only saw each other every
four or five years. We drove into the interior of British
Columbia, through stunning mountains and along beautiful
lakes to the Okanogan Valley where Larry lived until
he was 14 years old. There we camped along the lake
where he learned to swim, row, and sail the old Indian
dug out canoe he found on the beach. He relived his
days of playing cowboys and Indians with local natives
and being the only cowboy in the group.
used to swim across the Shushwap Lake when he was
a kid. When I saw it and realized it was a mile
and a half across I was really impressed.
The grand finale of the tour, a two day reunion with
30 of Larry's high school buddies. Talk was of rugby
games won and lost, cars souped up and raced through
the city streets. Beautiful as this area of British
Columbia is, heartwarming as the welcome his old friends
gave him, Larry looked back as we drove south toward
our sailing life and sailing plans and said, "If
I had stayed in the Okanogan I probably would have ended
up driving a logging truck, wishing I was out having
some grand adventure. Now I sometimes wish I could have
spent more time with my old buddies, but this week has
shown me that most of them only see each other once
a year at best." His words sum up the answer we
give when folks ask us about the downside of our cruising
life, having to say good bye so often.
and Craig hope to sail offshore sometime soon on
Little Wing. While we stayed at their dock, Craig
built a windvane like ours.
Now Brownie is parked in back of a barn on Bainbridge
Island. She may stay there for a year or two, who knows.
We are car free (and fuel bill free) and Taleisin is
provisioned sufficiently for a month at sea. Just before
we left Port Ludlow, Craig and Kaye sailed their BCC
Little Wing from Port Madison and tied alongside for
a final evening together. Then in the morning, with
Christian Toss and her son Cody on board, we had a wonderful
day of sailing, the best we have had in the Puget sound
in fact, beating across a sparkling sea, warm, sunny
and with another boat alongside to keep us on our toes.
At the end of the day we anchored of Port Townsend.
This must be our favorite northwest town and it definitely
(as home to the wooden boat festival which we have attended
with both Taleisin and Seraffyn) is full of old friends.
Brion Toss, Port Townsend's well known rigger, charmed
us into taking a bit of the modern world back to New
Zealand for our lovely lady Thelma. After looking carefully
at pictures of her with all sails set in a fresh breeze
he commented, "You are never going to keep the
topsail jackyard snug against the mast with a normal
halyard, too much stretch. I am going to make you a
spectra topsail halyard." Paper napkins were soon
filled with doodles as he and Larry tried to figure
a way to attach the spectra halyard without tying a
knot as Brion explained that a knot weakens Spectra
by 70%. Be interesting to see if this bit of the modern
world makes 111 year old Thelma faster. Also be interesting
to figure out a cost to speed ratio for this if we had
actually had to pay for the time both men spent developing
such a highly sophisticated halyard to replace a simple
piece of Dacron line, one knot and three wraps around
a belaying pin.
and Christian Toss took us to a grand Mexican dinner
just south of Port Townsend. Grand margaritas, grand
As I write this I am at a lovely café in Port
Angeles, Larry is off taking care of our laundry. We
got here after a two day stop over behind Dungeness
Spit. Tomorrow, if winds permit, we will sail towards
the entrance to the Straits of Juan De Fuca, and then
turn left towards San Francisco.
Wish us luck in finding fair winds and following seas,
Lin and Larry
Be sure to check out a new pod cast interview with the
Pardey's available at no charge on Furledsails.com at