After a lovely day exploring the nooks and crannies, bays and coves of Lummi Island's south eastern coastline Sunday, and finding no available buoys to try and buoy to, we decided to head for the moorings found near in to Fairhaven at the south end of Bellingham Bay.
By the time we had reached Fairhaven and the mooring buoys the sea had freshened a great deal and holding course among the buoys and other boats already moored became very difficult. We had purchased and installed a new hooking system which we attached to our boat hook. It seemed easy enough to utilize but between the heavy sea and our inexperience we had a devil of a time attaching. My wife even tore some skin from one of her fingers in the attempt. The wound looked pretty nasty. She was demoralized and hurting and I was feeling bad for her. In debriefing we figured we just hadn't planned this through well enough and that trying to moor on a day other than a flat calm one was just foolish. Live and learn.
So we headed home. I at the helm and my wife soothing her wounds. Both of us pretty shaken by the experience. We asked for advice from a couple of well experienced boaters who both suggested we should attach to the buoy and then either shut down the engines or at least put them in nuetral. Then simply allow the wind to bring the bow of the boat around to the direction of the buoy, draw up the line and tie it securely to the bow cleat. Oh, now you tell me.
Next time, we will be prepared and we'll get that buoy. But it will be a very calm day when we try.