Now we get to go cruising! And learning more about Mahalo. For our first night out we chose Liberty Bay in Poulsbo WA. This is about an hour and a half from our home dock, at a leisurely pace.
As we were preparing to depart a ferry was leaving, which is great, now we know we won't have any issues with a ferry. We tie up starboard, so once we cast off the lines, driving from the starboard cockpit controls, the other person is on port to assess traffic.
What the.....? There's a ferry there? And not at the passenger dock, much closer to us? Ah, it's an empty ferry coming into the maintenance yard across from our dock. Okay. We set a course that will take us behind the advancing ferry, as does another boat that is quite close to the ferry. All of a sudden the ferry goes into hard reverse and blasts its horn at the other boat. That boat is freaked out and tries to accelerate out of the way.
We of course hold station until we figure out what is up. Now the ferry proceeds again toward the dock and we resume departure. I'm so off my game with all this that I don't get the boat into the channel proper. We are off to the South, with the green buoy on our port! I tell Deb to hold course on the big mark ahead and begin to stow fenders. All of a sudden she's excitedly saying "get in here!"
We are in five feet of water below the keel. We turn hard to port to get to the channel pronto. I put the transmissions in neutral and we coast into the channel. Can't even get out of our own home port without drama.
We have a lovely cruise. The UPS powering the computer hiccups and we lose the PC screens (Maretron and cameras while underway). I know how to fix this and do so (we need a different UPS).
Liberty Bay is not deep - 25 feet or so. We'll have a big plus tide tonight, 9 feet or so. Like the good boaters we are trying to be, as we are approaching we talk through everything we are going to do. Headsets? Check. Wind? Basically none, check. Scope? 4:1, check. Windlass remote? Check?
We choose our spot, I loosen the anchor fastener and hit the button on the remote. Big nothing. Cycle the thing a few times and it says it cannot find the "base." Well, sh*t.
I'll do it the old way with the buttons you step on. But, I have no way of counting, since we haven't marked the chain, as we count on the Maxwell remote that displays the amount of chain out. Okay I'm going to guess. I deploy what I think is about 100 feet. I watch one link as it goes out, from the top of the windlass to the roller. I see this is about 6 feet, so if I just do that like 15 times I should have 90 feet out? I get to about the count of six of this and geez, too much work. I just let out more. I'm having Deb bumping in and out of reverse so we lay the chain out.
Right when I think it's enough, Deb reports over the headset that the Maxwell counter in the PH is showing how much is out! 120 feet. Okay fine, 5:1 is better anyway and there's no one close to us. I'm thinking we are just about there. I put the dog in place on the gypsy and we back down. And we are moving smartly backward. And more backward, and more backward.
How in the heck can our huge anchor not have set in this mud bottom? I think about this a little bit. Even if not set, 176 pounds of anchor and 120 feet of 1/2" chain should keep us good. But there's no way I'll sleep not being sure the anchor is set.
Let's redo this. We do it all correctly, bumps in forward so the chain is straight down, we aren't using the windlass to pull the boat. Deb is reporting the amount of chain remaining out. We get to about 35 feet and the windlass stops. I look and make sure this is not a "chain pile problem" (another thing to fix on the list) and it isn't.
I had tightened the clutch pretty good so I can't really imagine why the windlass can't pull the anchor up? I tighten it some more and tell Deb to hit the "UP" again. The windlass strains and then WHAMMO the anchor starts coming up.
Am I a lucky guy or what? I have managed to snag an old metal cable, it's like 5/8's thick! This was wrapped around the anchor. I guess we just snapped it apart. Score one for the Ultra anchor and Maxwell windlass.
Regroup. This time everything goes the way it should.
Did I mention I love rum? This is the best rum I have ever tasted. The local spirits shop had a rum tasting one day about a year ago. Hideously expensive I decided when the time came for our first cruise I would have a bottle on board anyway. Cheers to Mahalo and screw you old cable!
Let's get on with that crab salad dinner, shall we? Whoops, I have neglected something to crack crab with. Into the tool box we go.
All smiles now as we try to put the day's learning experiences behind us and enjoy our first meal on the hook.
A beautiful night and what a way to enjoy it.