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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

What's for dinner in Winslow?

Because we have Melissa's Aunt Char and husband Dan here with us this week for Dad's memorial, we figured it would be nice to do a bit of a sail as Char and Dan have never been aboard Apsaras before.  Melissa had this bright idea on Wednesday while on the way to the airport to pick them up.  Dave was like, hey you do know its going to rain and be windy, right?  Well, yeah, but you know, not like we haven't been rained on before!

So Thursday night just after sunset, off we went.  Yes, that's right.  In the dark.  And the rain.  And 4 foot seas.  Yeah, ok, not horrific or anything, but not exactly a nice sail in the sunshine either.  We got over to Winslow to find that in the dark and the rain we couldn't see the entrance marker.  So Dave gets Melissa to stick her head out the window (did I mention the rain?) and see if she can spot it.  Whew!  There it is! Ok, now we are feeling safe.  Only to come round the bend and find the ferry boat pulling out and honking its horn at us.  We call on channel 16 and ask if they want to pass port to port.  No answer.  So Dave dives off to starboard where he knows the ferry will have a hard time hitting us.  We pass them by only to have them call us and chew us out for not talking to them on channel 13.  Channel 13?  But yes, we all know channel 16 is the international hailing frequency.  Alas somehow magically we were supposed to know the ferries won't respond on the standard channel?  Um no.  Actually they are supposed to respond on 16.  Everyone is supposed to.  Sigh.  

As we head into the bay, Melissa says to Dave "you see the piling in front of us?"  Dave says "yeah".  Melissa says "the one RIGHT in front of us?".  Yikes!  Dave takes a turn hard to port and says, "maybe you should go up on deck and watch".  Already in her rain slicker, Melissa heads out on deck into the inky blackness.  Alas she hadn't dawned her full bib rain gear.  Cuz, ya know, its not raining THAT hard.  You know where this is going, right?  Mistake.  Big mistake.  By the time we got attached to the mooring buoy Melissa was a drowned rat.  Good think she had a spare pair of jeans aboard or she would have had to wear PJs the rest of the trip.

Anyway, we find a mooring buoy in the bay, but alas, in the dark, Melissa can't see the black hook at the end of the boat pole.  So she can't catch the dang buoy.  Dave comes on deck to help and between us we get it hooked, but even Dave can't lift it high enough to get a line through it because the dang chain is stuck in the middle.  What is it with mooring buoys anyway?  Like half the ones we encounter stick like that.  The chain is supposed to come up through the middle so you can bring it aboard and get your line on it.  So, only option is to back down on the buoy and snag it off the swim platform.  Ok, so this is a little tricky because (1) Melissa is being VERY careful not to drop the line off the back and wrap it around the prop, and (2) Dave can't actually see where the buoy is to the aft under the dingy which is hanging over the swim platform.  Fortunately Melissa and Dave have well developed enough hand signals that Dave gets to within a few inches of the buoy first try, and we snag it.

Ok, now for a dry change of clothes, and then an important decision.  Do we try to go ashore for the nice dinner reservation in the pouring down rain and wind?  Hmmm.  Well, what are our other options if we stay aboard for dinner?  We take everything out of the canned goods cupboard to find (1) three cans that were so rusted through we could no longer read the label (tossed those in the trash!), (2) two cans of salsa, (3) several cans of artichoke hearts, (4) a can of garbanzo beans, (5) a few other things like olives and mustard.  Oh, and plenty of wine.  Ok, got that going for us anyway.  Fortunately, Char and Melissa had gone to the store earlier in the day and bought ingredients for breakfast.  So breakfast for dinner it is!  Bacon and raisin bread french toast.  And a nice dip made from artichoke hearts and garbanzo beans.  A cross between humus and artichoke dip served with chips.  Not bad for scrounging.

By morning the weather had broke and we went ashore for breakfast.  Then it was time to head back to Seattle.  Dave put up a sail on the way back and leaned the boat over.  Not nearly as windy as the night before, but good enough to get a nice boost from the sails.  Everything in the cabin went flying - including the big screen TV.  Ooops.  Fortunately nothing got damaged.

We had to head back to Seattle, cuz everyone is headed for the condo tonight for "Thanksgiving" dinner.  We cooked up a great meal - turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, apple pie, pumpkin pie - the works.  Been a very long time (likely more than 30 years) since this crew was together for Thanksgiving.  So Melissa is in seventh heaven cooking for a crowd.  All in all a good day.

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