Hunkered down in Sequim

We initially wanted to go to Port Townsend this weekend but we could not clear customs there on Thursday so, knowing we had to make a detour to Port Angeles, we were unsure if we would make it farther than Sequim (pronounced Squim not like sequin). As we sailed the weather forecast became more and more intense and we started focusing on Sequim for at least the first night. A nice guy at the Port Angeles dock even came over to ask us if we knew about the weather warning while we were waiting for customs to clear us.

Sequim is a little smaller than Port Townsend (less room for a fetch to build), has protection from all sides, has mooring buoys, an anchorage and a marina. A lot of options sounded like a good thing.

It turns out that although Sequim is relatively protected, the worst of the wind was guessed it...right here.

We have seen mostly 20 knots plus since we arrived with hours of closer to 30 and occasional gusts to 40. The waves are difficult to photograph but they built up some energy at various points. We put two docklines through the mooring buoy ring and got up every few hours (by accident, not design) to check on a new noise and check on the lines for chafe while we were up.

Good thing because we chafed clear through one thick dockline during a sustained 30knot period. We now have 3 lines. Anyone have a good idea for chafe gear for a mooring buoy? You can't really reach down to the buoy to position leather or plastic hose or anything. We have considered switching to anchoring and might yet although things seem to be calming down as the wind veers to S and it is supposed to go to West which is our best protection angle (we are hugging the W Shore).

All is well. Our full enclosure is the bomb. I'm typing in it during a monsoon right now and I've spent hours up here today watching our position and the wind and the lines, all the while relatively warm and completely dry.

Tomorrow we are meeting up with the folks for lunch here at the John Wayne Marina. Yes, you heard me correctly. Apparently John Wayne was a sailor who liked to visit the PNW and donated the land for the marina to the State of Washington.

- Livia


  1. Those look like pretty wild waves to be out in.

    Do you have a dockline with an eye in the end? You could use the eye to make a cow hitch - that'd give you two parts on the eye, and it should pull tight to minimize chafe. But I'd leave the standard bridle in place too (but slack), in case the other line fails.

    The wind is beginning to lay some down here...


  2. Amazing that it would chew through the line that quickly. We have no experience with that. Stay safe!


  3. I often use a bow shackle on the mooring buoy ring if I'm worried about chafe, although if your boat is such that it's tough for you to reach down to position chafing gear it's probably also such that it would be hard to put on a shackle. When it's rough, I will either do this from the dinghy, or I'll short-rope the boat on a second line further aft to position the buoy so it can be reached more easily from on deck.

    I've never tried it, but I suppose you could also find carabiners with a sufficient load capacity to use for this purpose. They would certainly be easier to attach in bouncy conditions.

    Hope you made it through all right! Much nicer out up here this morning. :)

  4. @Bob - Crazy wind wasn't it? The waves were big for "at anchor". We took a greenie on the bow while adding lines to the mooring buoy! Apparently a couple of marinas on Vancouver Island suffered some bad damage.

    @Mike - Hope you never have to - the situation required a lot of attention, but as long as we were on top of it, nothing dangerous.

    @Scott - It was lovely yesterday evening, we slept well all night and had a gorgeous day today thankfully. I did not even consider using a line from the buoy to an aft cleat to bring it closer. Brilliant. With our main winches we could do that even in the wind we have. We didn't like the idea of metal-to-metal (bow shackle) for future boaters who now have a ring with metal burrs on it chewing on their lines...with that being said, if we needed it for safety, it would have been done!



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