It was 2 p.m. on a brilliant blue September day in the Pacific Northwest as I made the turn out of Saratoga Passage, heading for the big, bending curve that would lead us around the easternmost coast of Whidbey Island and into Skagit Bay. I was at the helm of a new North Pacific 28—hull number one, in fact—bound for the buoys that would lead us into Swinomish Channel.
The afternoon sun slanting in the portside windows of the saloon and pilothouse had warmed the interior nicely, leading my wife, Peggy, to stretch out on the settee for a languorous nap. I planned to wake her soon, as we approached La Conner, to discuss whether to tie up there for the night or press on to Anacortes. As it turned out, we chose Anacortes and had a nice stroll down Commercial Avenue for dinner. La Conner would have to wait for another cruise.
We had passed a busy morning, boarding the NP 28 early in her slip at Shilshole Bay Marina, stowing supplies and food in short order, and finally getting under way around 8 a.m. for Peggy’s very first Pacific Northwest cruise. Over the next five hours, thanksto a window of wonderfully clear weather, we soaked up the beauty of the water and the landscape surrounding Puget Sound.