Weather: Sunny and warm. Winds: 0-10. Seas: <1ft.
Kelly was off to Austin, Texas on an annual pilgrimage/spiritual renewal with a great friend. The supermoon lunar eclipse hype had been going on for days. I wanted to see it. However, we live on the west side of a mountain with great views to the west...not so much to the east.
So, I loaded up the mutts, moved aboard Strider and shoved off, stopping by the fuel dock to extend the amas - our slip is too narrow to extend both. Once extended and out in Burrows Channel, there was a nice breeze and out came the screacher and Strider was making 6kts. Midway across Rosario, the wind died and we motored towards Thatcher Pass. Inside the pass, the wind picked up and once again, we sailed all the way to the south side of Frost Island and Spencer Spit. Only one mooring ball was available and I quickly snatched it.
From there, it was just a matter of waiting. Took the dogs ashore a couple times and let them run on the beach, chasing seagulls, splashing in the water and covering themselves with sand. Back aboard, I washed them off, getting the salt and sand out. Dinner, a boat chore or two and simply relaxing with a book.
Around 1915, the sky clear above, a marine haze low and the sun still high to the west, my brother in Michigan calls. He and his family have been outside with a campfire, watching the eclipse. "Whatta you see?" he asked. "Nothing, the sun is still up." "But what does it look like?" "NOTHING, the sun has not set yet!" "Oh, I thought it would be neat to talk about what we were seeing together." "Yep," I responded, "but I need another hour." "Well, we've been watching it for a couple hours now and are going to bed." "Roger."
About an hour later, I thought I saw something through the marine layer. Got the binoculars out and sure enough, it was the moon, a lot higher in the sky than I thought it would be. Damn marine layer. 30 minutes later, the moon was high enough above the layer to be clearly visible.
I think I was expecting more drama, a clear, definitive line like I'd seen in other eclipses. There was no line per say, just a gradual shadow to light. I watched for 15min and realized this was going to be slow. So, I grabbed my book and read for 30min. Looked up and not much had changed...really slow. Around 2045, still not much change and with cruiser's midnight approaching, I went to bed.
The next morning, took the dogs to the beach and let them run again. Back aboard, breakfast and coffee. Sun was up. Bored. Life aboard Strider without Kelly is boring. No wind, didn't want to wait. Motored back to Skyline, stopping at the fuel dock to fold.
Unbeknownst to me, this would be the last outing of a most excellent year: San Juans, Gulf Islands, Desolation Sound, clams, fireworks, orca, Roscoe Bay and Black Lake! Shore life caught up with us and we found it tough to even get out for a boat visit. October would be our best grape harvest ever and grapes needed crushing, soaking and pressing - into November. Just as the apples were ripening, a black bear decided to visit and eat most of them...had some beautiful honeycrisp...sniff sniff. The worst part of bear event was it appeared the apples just passed right through it, leaving piles of applesauce in the orchard, along with claw marks on the trees. Thanksgiving saw us in Maui. December and the entire winter was the rainiest on record, with storm after storm coming through. Then, late December, while stopped at a light, Kelly was rear ended totaling the Honda. Cannot divulge specifics, lets just say she was hurt badly.
As I write this in April, spring has sprung, Kelly is on the mend and this man's eye is being teased by thoughts on the water. The mast, needing work, is next to the garage. New solar panels have been ordered and the hull needs a little fiberglass work at the mast base. Soon. Soon!