Fall happenings with Quinque

First, a recap of summer: by the numbers

  • Trips under sail across the bay to the Scottish Pub = 12
  • Pints of Guinness (13) and total hamburgers (12) ingested at that pub
  • Onboard stores of Werther’s caramel candies consumed = two 900 gram bags
  • Friends who came sailing = 10 (Jon, Diana, Aeneas, Rob, Chris, Shane, Lou, Carmen, Ava & Chad)
  • Number of times we went aground = 2 (that I’ll admit to)
  • Killer Whales sighted = 3
  • Number of times we went sailing without the use of oars = 12
  • Longest row = 14 nautical miles
  • Number of times live instruments were played aboard = 5
  • Items lost at sea = 1
  • Drifting discarded party balloons retrieved = 3
  • Stars counted while anchored at Blake Island = 10 billion
  • Ratio of Barb total rowing time versus Stephen total rowing time = 3:1
  • Number of times we took in a reef = 6
  • Number of times we should have taken in a reef = 8
  • Total strokes on the bilge pump = 98
  • New anchorages visited = 10
  • Rotten days = 0
Balloons captured at sea & recycled = 3

Returning to the wooden boat festival

Barb and I capped this sailing season by trailering Quinque to the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival. Over the past thirty years, we’ve attended the festival on a variety of boats. As a family, we first sailed there from Victoria aboard our boat Gamester II, an English cutter we lived aboard. Years later, in 2012, we proudly brought our old cutter Carlotta. Then, Barb and I were there again, when they honoured Jasper at the bell tolling ceremony for lost mariner loved ones. We scooted in and out quickly on that visit, passing thru without taking in any of the festival activities or even walking the docks – it was all too sad to be there without Jasper.

Crossing Juan de Fuca Strait to Port Townsend aboard Gamester II

So it was with some trepidation that I entered Quinque into this years festival. Would I be ripping off old band aids? Turns out that yes, there were some hard moments to be had; Jasper’s absence was truly evident. Also, chat of Carlotta still seems to bring a bit of a sting with it to me. These times were outnumbered by the good stuff though, as we re-connected with old friends, made some new ones, and stretched ourselves to explore and fully take in the fun long-weekend.

We started with a night-sail under the stars. A following wind pushed us down Port Townsend Bay to anchor off the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building. The next day was a pancake breakfast at the school, followed by a ‘raid’ to the festival with a fleet of the school’s boats. The raid organizers had us retrieving strategically placed pool flamingoes – anchored with ‘bounty’ attached for the lucky finders! In all the action we witnessed a small boat turn turtle in a gust! I helped the sodden skipper aboard while Barb took his capsized vessel safely in tow.

The rest of the weekends fun included some more sailing, lots of eating, and visiting with other festival goers. We met several folks who were connected with Quinque’s builders, the Foster family. When we had Carlotta in the festival, we had a class of elementary school students come aboard for a knot lesson. I’ve always enjoyed sharing in this way, so it was a real treat to have a young boy come aboard Quinque to look over everything at his own speed – asking questions and taking it all in. In the end, we were happy that we made the effort to attend, and to overcome some of our fears of being there without Jasper. We had a really good time!

Other happenings this fall

After thirty-some years, I figured it was time Quinque had her name displayed on her hull. I chose a fitting font (the same one as the ‘5‘ on the mainsail) and transferred the type onto her port quarter sheer plank. To relieve the letters, I used a combination of my old hand-carving tools, and Jasper’s electric Dremel tool. Jasper used that Dremel tool on a lot of his projects, so it felt good to be able to include him in the process. I’m pleased with the result.

Magazine photos & features

What a pleasant surprise to see that Small Craft Advisor magazine have given Quinque the cover for their November/December issue. It’s a shot by photographer Ted Sweeney of Quinque beating up Henderson Inlet during this years Salish 100. (Read my blog post of the Salish 100 here.) In addition, Quinque is to be featured in the following January/February issue of the same magazine, as I’ve been asked to submit a piece for inclusion in their Reader’s Boats column.

Off Center Harbor videos

During our participation in the Salish 100 event, photographers Nate Rooks and Ted Sweeney shot video and photos from the dedicated ‘media capture boat’ Grasshopper. Nate works with Off Center Harbor – a website with a collection of videos on boat handling, maintenance, and building. We’re looking forward to the video of the Salish 100 event, as well as a possible profile video on Barb and I with Quinque.

Popsicle Toes revisited?

After experiencing such a wonderful sailing season, Quinque has now been put to bed on her trailer for the winter. Perhaps she may stir before the spring, as I’m toying with the idea of re-enacting a December cruise that Barb and I took back in 1997 on a friend’s 20′ wooden schooner (‘Popsicle Toes‘ link here). Maybe we will launch the boat for a short Christmas cruise? I could document the voyage for a sequel to my Popsicle Toes article… hmmmm (and brrrrrr!)

One last summer tally:

smiles and laughs at sea = countless

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