National Fisherman

At Sea Diary

Matt MarinkovichMatt Marinkovich’s weekly At Sea Diary entry is a popular feature of the National Fisherman Web site, and now you can post your own reflections on Matt’s experiences fishing in the Pacific Northwest and North Pacific.

January 1, 2011 — Friday Harbor, Wash., to Seattle and back in 12 hours

With the coming of the New Year, and the expiration of December's moorage at Fishermen's Terminal, it came time to run the Satisfaction back to Friday Harbor.

I planned on driving down, leaving my beater Volvo at the terminal, running the boat home, then retrieving the car whenever I had a chance. This plan changed at the Friday Harbor ferry terminal when I found the 1:55 p.m. ferry was full, and I couldn't walk on because I needed to drive down to the boat. If I took a later ferry I would arrive in Seattle just in time to buck the tide all the way home.

My wife's friend Linda was going to make the trip with me, simply because she loves going for a boat ride. Thinking fast, Linda and I scoured the ferry terminal, looking for somebody we knew, sitting in their car, waiting to load onto the ferry. Unfortunately, everyone we knew had a full car, as was the case with most other people — many cars full of people. But that didn't stop us, we started cold-calling complete strangers, knocking on their windows and asking them for a ride to Seattle. It only took four tries before we got a "yes" from a couple of tourists with an empty backseat.

It turns out that on the ferry we saw some friends who could pack us in their car, and they gave us a ride directly to my boat without a single stop or detour. Once at the terminal I started up the Satisfaction, and five minutes later we were idling toward the Ballard Locks.

The trip home took seven hours with flat-calm seas and fair tide, and I wound up back at my house in less than 12 hours from the time I left for the ferry. It was a record round-trip, without the hassle of having to go down and get my car.

TO BE CONTINUED...

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