Around sunset (Sat. May 12th) I took a quick stroll to the beach. There were impressive sand-cliffs and a lot of it was sloughing off onto the beach beneath.
Sunday May 13.
Mother’s day today I reminded myself. It was foggy and there was no wind. I drove into town to see if there was any there; nope. Sailors of small boats are picky people, there is either not enough wind or there is too much. The day before seemed perfect, but I got there too late. I sat down in the Beachcomber Café with coffee and a ‘bean bowl’ and plugged in the wall to top off my laptop. A lot of wall outlets had cover plates on them, so suitable seats were sparse. A fellow Internet user informed me that café owners are cutting back on outlets, because people with their laptops sit there for hours with just one coffee. Oops! I made sure I ordered enough to be worthwhile. During blogging and emailing a guitarist came in a played some good songs, which made for a pleasant morning. I noticed a different kind of customers here than before in cafes. There may be an alternative community living here. I guess I’m getting closer to Eureka and Arcata.
Back at the harbor there was still no wind, so I stood there for a while thinking what to do. Just leaving didn’t seem right, so I decided to take out the kayak. In the trailer box, next to Fetch, I carry an inflatable kayak and a foldable bicycle (as well as a spare trailer wheel). I needed to try the kayak anyhow, because I only had it out once at home. It doesn’t have much of a fore deck, so I put on long johns to stay dry. I paddled for about 2 hours and it was nice to feel the swell under me. I got to a cliff where the swell was breaking, so I beached and took a short break. During the paddle I saw some seals, vultures and cormorants. It felt good to be out paddling.
After packing the kayak away I took off toward Eureka. I explored the edges of Arcata Bay and took a walk in Woodley Island Marina. I noticed more sailboats than along the Oregon coast, where there are mostly powerboats and fish boats. On one of the docks I saw a guy standing on a nice looking sailboat. I asked him if it was a Vertue by any chance and he asked me surprised how I knew that. He never meets people that know that design. I told him I worked in the boatyard in Port Townsend where there were a few of those boats. He said his boat came from there, one of 8 built by ‘Fiberglass George’. After talking for a while he mentioned Kit Africa as someone who did the original rigging on that boat. I said I worked with Kit till I left on this trip and asked him if he knew Kit. Apparently he married Kit and his current wife! He knew him very well. Small world. Tony Carter was his name.
I asked him about an unusual looking steel boat at the end of the dock. He said it was designed and built for a guy, who took it out once about 25 years ago! Apparently the propulsion is in the rudder and that wasn’t working well in the swell, because the prop kept coming out of the water. The steel hull is over 100 feet long and only about 12 feet wide with steel masts supporting a junk rig. The bigger unstayed foremast had a hinge and was bolted with massive bolts to the base like a big telephone pole. The things you can do in steel. Very unusual boat indeed.
I parked in downtown and walked around. I had some excellent salad and beer in ‘Lost Coast Brewery and Café’. It felt good to be in a bit of a town again after all these ‘holes in the wall’ (sorry) along 101. I’m not much of a city guy, but in Port Townsend we are spoiled with good quality bakeries, coffee shops, food coop, restaurants etc.