Monday, September 8, 2014

Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival

We weren't the only ones in Port Townsend getting ready for the Festival.  We saw the Lady Washington at the fuel dock on Wednesday afternoon.  She was featured in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies as the HMS Interceptor. She was quite a sight to see under way!  

We finally had the boat all ready to go, and woke up early on Thursday morning to fuss about with the interior while we waited until it was time to head to Point Hudson Marina.  We listened to channel 68 on the VHF to get a feel for how things were proceeding down there.  

"Festival Harbormaster, Festival Harbormaster, This is sailing vessel Aura."
"Aura, welcome to the festival!  This is Harbormaster."
"Yeah... I'm here and ready to come into the marina, whenever you're ready for me."
"Aura, we don't have control of the marina until 11:00, so we'll put you in the queue.  Please enjoy some sailing in this beautiful weather until we call you."  

It went on and on, and people got less and less patient as the afternoon went by.  We hauled up our anchor around 12, and sailed towards the marina.  Once we had informed the Harbormaster that we were nearby and would await his call, we sailed out of the fleet clustered around the marina entrance and practiced heaving to in the 10-15 knot breeze.  (Heaving to is a means of trimming your sails to slow your forward motion, and essentially "park" your boat so it points just off the wind.  It's an important storm tactic, and we had rarely had a good breeze and a warm day on which to practice.)  

We were lucky and only waited 45 minutes before the Harbormaster called us into the marina.  We sailed as far into the marina as we thought prudent, and then the little inflatable dinghies hipped up to us to assist us in backing into our designated slip.  We made it in fairly easily, but breathed a sigh of relief once our lines were secured.  

My mom and our family friend Colleen had come up to visit and see the boat.  We had a wonderful lunch in the sunny cockpit, and watched as the rest of the boats were squeezed into the marina.  I don't think there was an extra two feet of dock space in the whole place!  

Point Hudson Marina- full to capacity!  So many beautiful vessels in one place.  

It was surreal and exhilarating to walk down the dock, past all these beautiful, classic, wooden boats, their varnish gleaming, and see our little Rabannah, tucked in the row, looking right at home, among her own kind.   It was odd to think of all the hours spent in Shop 61, when Rabannah was just a skeleton, an empty hull.  They don't feel that long ago.     

We made a slideshow of the building process to show to people who were interested.  If you've been following the blog, this won't be anything new!  But if you're new here, and interested in boat building, this will give you an idea of how we went about it.  

Once I had hugged my mom goodbye, we settled in to enjoy a whirlwind weekend. We took turns staying aboard the boat to give tours and answer questions, ("Salt Lake City, Huh?  Musta been a long sail to get here!"), while the other would sneak off  to attend a few of the many seminars offered during the show.  It was a fun and bustling pace, and the weekend seemed to fly by.  We met many interesting people, saw many beautiful boats, and learned as much as we could.  

Packed in like sardines! 

When Sunday arrived, we had time enough for a few more seminars, a brief chat with our role models, Lin and Larry Pardey, and a surprise visit from Cody's Aunt and Uncle.  Then, it was time to untie our dock lines and head out for the Sail-by, which is the grand finale of the festival.  There must have been a hundred or so boats of all sizes and sail plans under way in the bay.  It was some wild sailing!  

At the helm! 

 Our friend, David, who we met in Parks Bay on Shaw Island.  He was attending the festival, and we invited him along for the sail-by.  It was great to have an extra set of hands on board so we could all take in the sights and keep a lookout.  He took several of these photos for us. 

We had a wonderful time at the Festival, and want to extend our thanks to the festival directors, the harbormaster, the push-boat drivers, the presenters, and especially all the volunteers, who make it happen.  

Now, it's time to go sailing again!  


  1. Hi Guys,

    The email address you have me ( didn't work. In any case, it was great meeting you two in Port Townsend this year.

    Mike Higgins
    (s.v. Jean Alden)

    1. Hey Mike, sorry about that my email is, I have a pretty cool photo of you during the sail-by.