The first flowers are poking their heads up; some trees are starting to bloom, and slowly but surely, temperatures are creeping upward here in Bellingham. The skiing on Baker is still great (the base on Pan Dome is 273 inches - which is considered a normal amount up there for this time of year...), and there still are powder days to be had - but it's becoming clear that spring is on its way, and daylight savings time only adds to the manic energy that takes over this place when the light returns with a vengeance and people start shedding layers.
Today, however, marked that very special rite of spring - the first session without a hood (or gloves for that matter). It was an honest 50 degrees out. Yes, feet are still kind of chilly (water temps are around 45-46F all winter long, not much colder than in the summer - unless there's a bunch of melt-water coming down the rivers...) - but all very doable. Makes a difference, too, in how you approach your sailing - when you're not wearing gloves and can get a real grip on the boom, and when you don't feel sort of isolated/muffled under a hood, you tend to sail more aggressively.
This tends to be a good time of year for sailing up here; lots of fronts moving through, not a lot of eel grass to worry about yet. A couple months of this should get me ready for Gorge racing season - can't wait!