We thought we were really prepared for our trip across the Strait. We had pored over maps, provisioned, had fabulous life jackets and thought it would be a breeze, everyone said it would be provided wind wasn’t against current. So from Port Ludlow we made our way to Port Townsend as our jumping off point to cross the Strait. We had a lovely evening in the marina but it was getting a bit windy, so we checked the forecast and we decided it was a bit too much wind for us and that we would stay another day.
Now, here is where things come undone, because to have a nice sail one needs to wait for a good weather window. When one has a full time job, and one only has a few days to vacation, one is apt to make bad choices about weather when one wants to get going on one’s vacation. Needless to say, we did not fully appreciate this until later.
So we stayed another day, then checked the forecast for the next day. Small Craft Advisory. Winds in excess of 25 knots. Didn’t sound good to me, but time was running out and we had reservations at various marinas that we didn’t want to lose. So we left the next morning at 6am.
Things started off pretty mildly, and we thought it wasn’t so bad. It was a bit choppy. Nothing too serious. But halfway across things got way sportier. White Caps. Chop. Swells. Wind. And we were battling the wind and the current, so we were only doing about 2 knots – wind opposed to current – we had been warned.
It took us about 7 hours to get to Cattle Pass from Port Townsend, and we were exhausted. Our plan was to anchor in Mackay Harbor for the night and go through the pass at slack tide the next day. But we looked at the tide charts and it said it was slack then, so we decided to keep going.
Note to self: We make very poor decisions when we are tired.