A perfect night

I'm curled up in the vberth of Ripple, snug in the tidy Kingston Harbor Marina.  Fees paid, dinner eaten (a surprisingly good burger (gorgonzola and bacon), Buddy walked, and now curled up on his dog bed.

All the imponderables of the day are resolved.  A call from the Wooden Boat Festival suggested it would be good to arrive by noon, which scotched my planned early-morning departure on Thursday.  Instead, I scrambled about through my final provisioning and packing, aiming for a departure that would get me under the Fremont bridge before the 4 PM rush-hour embargo.  I cast off at 2:53, hit Morrison's fuel dock to top of the tank, and the Fremont Bridge was opening up just in time for me to get through.

I was overtaken on the 30 minute run down to the Ballard Locks by one of the big sea-going tugs (something-or-other Titan), which made me wonder... uh oh... The Big Lock!  Sure enough, thats what we did.  So, I followed the behemoth into the lock, and threw myself on the mercy of the Lock Wallah (I'm solo!).  a 20 ft runabout came in with me, and the locksmen had him raft with me, and help me manage the wall lines.  The poor fellow didn't know how to tie a bowline, but he had two hands and an eager heart, and we did fine.  Cleared the locks at 4 PM, an hour after the Fremont Bridge.

The Sound.  Raised the sails (Main, Jib, Stays'l) and set a course for Kingston in a following sea with a fresh southerly wind.  No one in the navigation channel... no one... for two hours and more.  Ripple moved at a steady 4.5-5 knot clip, in sun warm enough for an all-over-tan.  It was brilliant. 

All this time, the Budster was content to snooze on his dog bed on the cabin sole.  We made fast in Kingston at 6:18, and availed Buddy of the lush grass, paid our duty, and got that Gorgonzola burger at the Drifter Pub and Grill.  Yum.  Buddy got his share for good behavior.  I got mine because I paid for it.

The sunset was beautiful, the water calm, the WiFi free, and even at this moment, I am snuggled into my down bag in the vberth, wondering what heroics I managed in another life to merit an evening such as this.  At dawn, on to Port Townsend, where 500 other hand made wooden boats will congregate for the best wooden boat festival in these united states.


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