My wife, son and I took the Arima out today with the intent of spending the some time on the water as a family, doing some cruising, getting any kinks worked out of the boat, and I had planned to do a little scouting for potential ling cod spots. We put the boat in at Salsbury park, with the plan to run up towards Whidbey. The weather site I looked at showed it to be a decent day, if a little rainy now and then. I had confirmed last night that the docks were back in at Salsbury so we had little trouble launching and getting loaded into the boat. I hadn't planned on it, but my wife asked me to put the top up on the boat before we headed out. Good thing I listened! I was anxious to get on the water so I did a half assed job of putting the top up, not buttoning and zipping everything completely. Last time I will do that! My 1997 Suzuki 140 horse was cold as usual, but after a few sputter and dies, she fired up and quickly settled in to idle. I let her run for 10 minutes or so as we got things situated on the boat. My wife had packed us a nice lunch, and my son set up his folding camp chair on the corner and kicked back. I pulled away from the dock and headed out, quickly getting up on plane and cruising at 32mph. We headed past the entrance to Gamblebay, and then cruised past Ed's neighborhood and then past our own community in Hansville. My wife and son enjoyed seeing our beach and clubhouse from a different perspective, and I was enjoying getting to play on the boat. As we cruised past the next community I gave a honk just in case Big E was out watching. We cruised north up towards the head and towards more open water. I was watching the sonar and noticed a couple spots where there were some shallower reefs or ledges or whatever that looked like it may be worth checking out after the ling opener next month. At this point we had been on the water maybe an hour, and all of a sudden all hell blew up. Within a span of about 5 minutes it went from calm waters, partly blue skies, and no rain.... to white caps, whipping wind, dark skies and pouring rain. It came QUICK!!!! I did a little looking around and realized this was nothing I wanted to mess around with, so I quickly turned us around and headed back to the dock. Now were were headed right into the teeth of this mess, and our progress slowed! We came out here at 30+ mph, and now the best I could do was about 7.5, and even that was stretching it. I'm no good at judging such things,but there was nasty chop and maybe 4-5' wind waves that were crashing over the bow. Since I had half assed the top, water was crashing down on us each time we would hit a wave. We were getting drenched!!! My son was huddled in the cuddy, scared out of his mind, and my wife was a real trooper. I felt horrible to have them out in that mess, but there was not much we could do at this point. I briefly considered running them into the beach in front of our place, but figured that would be a huge pain in the ass. Not once did I feel we were in true "danger", just very uncomfortable. As the wind as waves got worse, I had to drop down to 6 mph. Arima's will plane at very low speeds, which is very handy, but I was not able to get us up on plane at all. It was just too damn rough. So we just slowly headed back. It was miserable, but I was proud of my family for toughing it out and I was proud of my boat for how it handled it. It took us a about 2 hours of this to finally get back to the dock. I pulled the boat out the water as quickly as I could, then let my wife and son head home in her car while I got everything taken care of. Once we got within a half mile of the launch it finally started to calm down some with the wind break from the bridge and the land ahead of us. I was able to cruise the last little bit at about 20 mph. Back at the dock I looked back towards the bridge and while it was fairly calm on our side, there were white caps piling up on the far side. In the end things did NOT turn out as we had planned, but all things considered it could have been much worse. I was very impressed with how my boat handled that mess, and was glad for the opportunity to show much son the power of mother nature, and help him learn the proper respect for the water. Nobody got sick, so that was all good. Anyway, didn't get to do much scouting but I did mark those two spots on my plotter for further investigation. Anyone have any tips for what to look for when scouting lings? I was mainly watching for spots where the bottom would come up to make ledges and such. I had planned to look for more structure and specfic things up towards Whidbey, but wasn't exactly sure what to look for along the way. Also, anyone have any prefered websites for an ACCURATE marine forecast? Lol Obviously nothing is perfect, but boy did the forecast I saw sure not turn out that way today! Just finished cleaning up the boat and am gonna spend the rest of the day watching movies and tying flies. Was a good experience today, and I think all of us will learn something from this one.