Wolf Moon

“The wolf moon appears in the dead of winter signaling a time of transformation…”

Stina Garbonos, Psychic Astrologer

The wolf moon, like every full moon and every new moon, forges increased tidal swings, currents and vagaries.

Latitude 48° North

Jupiter’s crew arrives by float plane at Roche Harbor on San Juan Island, and finds their boat hibernating, sluggish asleep in her cold winter berth.

We stumble aboard and grope the darkened breaker panel to engage lights and electronics, heaters and reefers, sumps and pumps. The dormant boat awakens and all appears well, until the well runs dry. Under pressure from the pump water from the boat’s full freshwater tank gushes unseen into the engine room while the crew remains dry and unaware above. An odious leak!

Breaker disengaged, water pump disabled, bilge boards awash, inspections reveal a bronze valve rent asunder by a midwinter freeze.

A rare high tide in the the engine room bilge washes clean inaccessible recesses.

It is 1700 hours, full dark, and the local mechanic’s shop is vacant. The crew dewaters the engine room with assistance from Wallace and Willy, and prepares to move ashore for the night.

Aboard: no water, no heads, no washing – just beds.

The dockside Hotel de Haro, accommodating stranded sailors since 1886, offers shelter in the John Wayne Suite where we find the bed freshly frowzled, probably not by John. So, down the hall to the Harbor View Suite where we overlook Jupiter, dejected with her voided tank.

At 0800 hours after a long rainy night, brooding and pondering cause and effect, pride and prejudice, fear and loathing, we re-board Jupiter to encounter Nick, a local technician, who appears in the nick of time to replace the damaged valve.

Improbably, the small island repair shop locates a shelved replacement that is “fairly close”, and is efficiently installed and tested. No other leaks appear downstream, and the crew joyously flushes and washes, rinses, soaks and showers, emptying the 300 gallon water tank once again, this time with purpose and down all the right drains.

A summer resort droops wet in winter.

Up Next: The Winter Shakedown Continues


  1. Heather says:

    Wallace and Willy gave John Wayne a run for his money. Well done crew. So grateful to hear you’re back on board with the tidiest of bilges.

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