Another long weekend, this time heading off to Port Ludlow at the northernmost end of Hood Canal to meet up with about 40 other MacGregor sailboats at the annual rendezvous. It was all hosted by Todd and Cheryl from Blue Water Yachts, the excellent dealer we bought Southern Star from last year.
The trip started on Thursday the 20th, in absolutely miserable weather. It was raining and windy, and we were actually worried on Wednesday about whether or not we’d be able to go because there were gale warnings and small craft advisories. Fortunately, by the time we actually left it really wasn’t that bad; in fact, the seas were not as rough as that trip to Edmonds a little while back when we faced 4 ft waves. However, with all the rain we were exceptionally grateful for the full cockpit enclosure that we had purchased shortly after getting the boat. We were snug and dry inside. The only thing we wished we had added was a windshield wiper! As we got further north we saw a large pod of dolphins – we think it consisted of dozens – jumping and playing nearby. We also saw several other MacGregors that were making their way north to Port Ludlow as well. Once we got there, we were assigned a slip and pulled in. We were among the early arrivals at around 3pm and by later in the afternoon there were two long rows of Mac 26Ms, 26Xs and a couple 19s up and down both sides of the A dock.
We had several good seminars. The guys attended sessions on engine maintenance and sail selection, while the ladies had sessions on docking and anchoring, and one on cooking in a small galley. Stella learned how to boil (yes, boil) an omelet! We had a variety of meals, including a great pot luck dinner, a cookout with dogs and burgers, and a pizza party from a local Italian joint. It was all delicious. Each evening also had some kind of band playing music. We were especially impressed by the jazz ensemble that played on Friday night. Wow, were they good!
We experimented in our own galley on Saturday morning with a new way to prepare breakfast sandwiches. We buttered slices of bread and grilled them for a minute on a flat pan with a slice of cheese on one and ham on the other. Then we set that aside for a minute while we fried an egg in a very small round pan that made a perfectly sized egg layer to put in between all the other two grilled bread slices with the cheese and ham. Beats the heck out of an Egg McMuffin!
The best part was catching up with friends we had just met at our first rendezvous the previous year. We missed several friends that couldn’t make it this year, Chris and Debbie, and Peter and Grace, but we made several more new friends this year. We really enjoyed going from boat to boat on Saturday afternoon sharing appetizers and drinks, but mostly visiting each other’s boats to see what modifications were made to their Macs and consider which ones might be interesting to add to our own Southern Star. I got several ideas and I think we inspired a few for other people that seemed to appreciate our pressurized water system and our new handmade wood table.
It was a great trip, and over way too soon. However, it was dragged out a little longer than we expected by having the longest wait to go through the locks we’ve had to date. Oh well. Were we ever tired by the time we got the boat cleaned up and emptied at our own slip. It was good to sleep in our own bed finally!