After a 22 day passage, the third long passage in the last 105 days, there does not seem like anything could equal the joy of making landfall. Well we were wrong. After getting safely tied to the dock at Neah Bay and properly celebrating with a bottle of bubbly (put in the icebox only when the final decision to stop in Neah Bay had been reached about 10 miles offshore) we went to the Marina office and checked in. We were a bit disappointed to find out that our cell phones would not work due to lack of service. How was I going to make a few phone calls? I was directed to the pay phone in front of the grocery store a few blocks down the street. No bueno. The phone was broken. So the Marina office/bait store attendant offered to let me use the store’s phone.
Lisa and John on Orcinius had asked us to please call them before we took our much deserved naps. They had left Hawaii with us but made landfall in Astoria four days prior and wanted to make sure we made it in before the two big storms coming down the coast. So, with a not-so-quick call home and then another not-so-quick call to Lisa I had worn out my phone welcome and left the office. Even though there was a celebration of Makah Days down the bay further, filling the air with carnival noise and shotgun discharges to start canoe races, I finally laid down for a nap. Bob had found the bed earlier and was deep in slumber. Aw, sweet rest.
My deep sleep was penetrated by someone calling “Charisma, Charisma!” Such familiar voices. So hard to focus. We both climbed out of bed and up to the cockpit. As the Christmas poems goes…”and what to our wondering eyes should appear?”…Lisa and John from Orcinius!!!! Not being totally familiar with Northwest geography I was confused. Wasn’t Portland pretty far away? That’s where they live. And the answer is yes. About five hours away. And when I called to check in with Lisa as requested, they were at the ticket counter of the ferry about to purchase passage to Victoria, BC. That was our original destination. They were hoping to be there to grab our lines as we arrived. How very lucky it was that I borrowed that phone and informed them of our new location.
How very happy we were to see them! Joy, joy, happy tears! Celebration, laughter more bubbly and stories ensued. How different our two passages had been. We knew we were going to sail over the Pacific High and make landfall further north. Orcinius knew they were going to motor through the High and make landfall in Astoria. Other than leaving from the same location four hours apart, our passages were similar only for the first two days…when they passed us and never looked back. They were sailing brilliantly. We were too. But it seems that a few degrees of longitude made all of the difference. They had some squally weather but nothing like we kept finding. They encountered some lightning, but not three solid nights of it. They never saw the 40kt winds we found. They caught lots more fish than we did. They had more boat issues than we did. Score one for Charisma. But we all win when we make safe landfall. And we can’t do any better than celebrating together!