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My name is Jesse Morgan. I am a Software Engineer at I also backpack, sail, ski, and play with radios in the woods.

PGP Key: C663 9070 0831 1F3C

Sunset in Port Hadlock

Anchored near Port Hadlock

Leaving the Strait of Juan de Fuca

As we approached Port Townsend, the motor started making a new noise from time to time, which could be described as a grinding sound.... We had originally planned to head to Port Ludlow, but decided to anchor at the south end of Port Townsend Bay, near the canal, and give the motor a break.

Incredibly calm in the Strait of Juan de Fuca

Cap Sante Marina

No one could look at the motor for at least a week, but one of the mechanics we spoke with suggested adjusting the gear linkage. The motor was going in and out of gear fine that morning, but we gave it a small adjustment anyway and started back towards Seattle around 11:00.

James Island from the North

We decided it would be best to see if someone could look at the motor before we headed back towards Seattle. It was Sunday and all the shops were closed, but we decided to head to Anacortes so we could call first thing in the morning. The motor went right into gear and we didn't risk touching it again until we were pulling into our slip.

It wasn't long until we made it to James Island, where we had intended to spend the weekend. We headed counter-clockwise around the island. First checking the cove on the east side and then the floating dock on the west side. Both were full and it looked like a large group of people were camping together on the west side. We decided to continue on in search of a quieter mooring.

Spenser Spit was next, but it was also crowded and looked somewhat exposed. We were supposed to have 25 kt winds in the area overnight. We were going to head towards Blind Bay, but as we stopped to move fuel into the main tank, we noticed Swifts Bay just around the corner with only a couple of boats in it. We motored into the bay (hey, it went back into gear) and dropped the anchor (during which, the motor failed to go into gear) at 16:30.

09:30 - We're officially in the Strait of Juan De Fuca.

10:30 - Just east of Smith Island, we decided the wind had picked up enough to start sailing. We intended to move towards the east side of the traffic lane, and then pick a nice line WNW.

We never got a chance to head north. The wind died back down and boat traffic was picking up, so we decided to put the motor back in the water. However, when I put it in gear nothing happened. It almost felt as if the shift-lever was disconnected... Reverse? Yup, reverse worked. Forward? Nothing. Motor off. Motor on. Push harder. Switch faster. Switch slower. No forward gear. I inspected the linkage. Everything looks fine... Try again. Motor goes into gear. I had no plans to take it out of gear until we got to wherever we ended up going.

Flaky failures are definitely my least favorite failure mode. Flaky problems are hard to troubleshoot and ever harder to know if they're actually fixed.

Moored at Ft. Flagler Sunrise over Marrowstone Island

06:30 Time to get underway. There was just enough wind to provide steerageway. We sailed off the mooring to work our way back to Port Townsend Bay. To be honest, the current was moving us more than the wind.


We decided to moor at Ft. Flagler State Park Friday night and head across the Strait first thing in the morning. Apparently, while we were... negotiating... with crabbers to tie up to the dock, this boat just drove straight into the beach. I have no idea what happened. We saw the lights from a tow boat coming to fetch it a few hours later.

As the wind began to blow the fog off, it was fascinating to watch it deflect around the hills.

The saga of my and Daniel's sailing trip to the San Juan Islands had a foggy start. As the wind began to blow the fog off, it was fascinating to watch it deflect around the hills.

Lake Sammamish from Anti-Aircraft Peak

Anti-Aircraft Peak again, 7 years later.

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