Naaman & I doublehanded the Northern Century last August.

We had a good start at 7:30 p.m., and then spent a long night beating North between Lummi and Orcas Islands.  The current at times pushed us backward!  So why didn’t we just anchor and wait it out?  It’s too deep in the middle, and getting into shallow enough water in that wind and current, in the deep black of night, with no protected anchorage in range anyway, freaked us out a bit.

The current eventually changed, dawn broke, and we clawed our way to Point Roberts.  Dang it though if we didn’t round the mark and the wind shifted to the SW, which meant we didn’t get that nice spinnaker reach down to Hein Bank that we’d waited for!  Oh well.  We spent the day working our way down to the South side of Saturna Island before the wind just died.  We bobbed around until about 9:00 p.m.  At that point the current was slowly pushing us (and a few other boats) back onto the island.  There was really no decent place to anchor near our location, and we were out there in the way of commercial traffic, so we decided to motor the five miles to Cowlitz Bay on Waldron Island and wait for the wind to fill in.  I figured if we restarted the race from where we’d originally started the motor we could adjust the time and stay in the race.

It was a pleasant anchorage and a beautiful evening.  There wasn’t any wind, so it was quiet and peaceful.  The sky was full of stars.  Seeing bioluminescence trail behind our anchor rode in the light current was really cool.  I’d never seen that before.  You spit in the water and it explodes like a silent fireworks show.  I’d rate it right up there with seeing the Northern Lights.  The whole experience was kind of Zen; sometimes you just have to look around you, notice how spectacular the world really is, and say holy shit this is cool!


Anyway, we slept a little too long.  We got underway, did the math, figured out there was no possible way to finish by the deadline, and decided to head into Friday Harbor for a little break.  The Northern Century had become, for us anyway, a competitive cruise.  The rest of the trip was great.  We called AYC from Friday Harbor, withdrew from the race, and headed back to Port Townsend.

It was a great race/adventure/cruise.  The Anacortes Yacht Club puts on a great event, and I’d like to do it again this year.  I sure wish I’d tried to get a picture of that bioluminescence, though.