Monday, August 18, 2008

Hope Island to Olympia Yacht Club – Olympia Washington August 17, 2008

We left Hope Island and about ninety minutes later we were in Olympia. Alexus had made contact with the Commodore of the Olympia Yacht Club and via email, arranged with our Alameda Yacht Club Rear Commodore to have a reciprocal letter sent. Again it is a great deal as we pay only for electricity, and that was only $3.00 per day and we can stay for 48 hours. After that we can stay docked at the club, but we pay fifty cents per foot, still very inexpensive to be right downtown Olympia. While we are in Olympia we will be looking at a new boat, a Diesel Duck, that will be coming in for its new owner. We have been curious ever since we saw a smaller version at the Anacortes Trawler Fest, as we have not seen this larger boat layout, other than on paper. We hope they get it here before we leave. More on that later...

Jarrell Cove to Hope Island August 16th, 2008

We left Jarrell Cove and as we continued our state park trend, moored next at one the buoys at Hope Island. Hope Island Park is far more exposed and there was a great deal of recreational water craft traffic, boat, jet skis, kayaks, you name it.

However, we moored in about 20 feet and by high tide it was about 35 feet. So, I dropped the crab off the back of the boat and we caught one crab. Then about ½ hour later we had another larger crab. Going for broke, I tied a chicken thigh just inside of the trap and 40 minutes later we had three more large rock crabs. We had planned on a steak dinner, but that changed as we ate all five of the crabs for dinner. It was the first time we had caught our limit. CRABAGANZA!!!

Gig Harbor to Jarrell Cove- South Puget Sound August 14-15th, 2008

We left Gig harbor and headed out through the Tacoma Narrows and under their famous double bridge, enroute to Jarrell Cove, which is another state park where we tie to a mooring ball.

The weather was warm in the mid 80’s so we spent two days enjoying the park, exploring by dinghy, and taking our crab pot out into deeper water in hopes of a crab dinner. No luck on the complete crab dinner, more like an appetizer, as we only caught one small male rock crab. But it was fun to set the pot, leave a marker buoy, and to find it later when we came back to check the crab pot. And a crab appetizer is still better than no crab at all. Ha!

Fauntleroy Cove to Gig Harbor August 12th- 13th 2008

After anchoring overnight at Fauntleroy Cove, and being rocked to sleep by the frequently-scheduled ferries, we decided to stay again at a marina so we could refill with water, hook up to electricity and have the ability to walk around town, so we headed south for Gig Harbor. We had slip C2 on the dock, registered at the office, and immediately began utilizing their laundry facility, since we badly needed to catch up on laundry.

While we were there we saw the folks we had met earlier at Bell Harbor Marina, Donna and John aboard their sailboat Sea Gal. They too, were enjoying Gig Harbor, celebrating a birthday and getting ready to head back to Canada. They were the folks that had watched us go through the Ballard Locks in Seattle.

We had a lazy day where we just wanted to cocoon on the boat and not do much except watch the Olympics on TV.

The next day we were looking for something other than fish for dinner and a boater walked by and recommended Brix 25 Degree. We cleaned up and headed off to dinner, they were very busy so we decided to eat in the bar. There we had the most robust conversation with a most interesting man, Mr. Robert Divers. Bob is the owner of United Power which is developing alternative fuel systems, his current project involved methane and one of the largest dairy farms. His stories of the things he and his brother took on were simply amazing and the art work they obtained during one of these forays is striking. Bob truly is a “Renaissance Cowboy” and is doing great things for the world. (even if he is a member of the GOP) Ha!

Before leaving Gig Harbor, we also met some folks across from our boat Carol, Ron and their dog Rowdy. Carol had asked about our Burgee and asked what yacht club we belonged to. It is interesting, when we had our hailing port of Alameda, California put on the boat, we wondered if anyone away from California would know of such a small town as Alameda. We thought maybe we should we have used San Francisco. However to our surprise it seems everyone knows of Alameda. The folks we met were either in the Navy, Coast Guard or had friends, relatives or spent time in the area.

Bell Harbor Marina to Fauntleroy Cove August 11th, 2008

We awoke Monday morning somewhat sad because Bruce would be returning home to Boulder. We walked up to the dock onto Pier 66 to wait with him until his shuttle arrived. The shuttle arrived on time and we said "goodbye for now" to Bruce. I know we will see him again and I hope it is within the year. We were hungry so walked over to the Marriot and had a nice brunch.

Alexus had been in recent contact with another Colorado - Seattle friend, Marci Bowers, and we hoped to get together with her and her family at their home here in Seattle. It worked out perfectly.

We were able to anchor about 200 yards from the beach in front of Marci and Ann’s lovely home. They have a beautiful waterfront house, three great kids and a softy of a dog named Maui. Marci and Ann prepared a wonderful vegetarian meal as we conversed, while their son Thomas taught Alexus and I how to play Wii video games. After dinner Marci, Ann, Thomas, Alexus and I all squeezed into the dinghy to take them out to NuMoon for a short cruise before it got dark. We weighed anchor and headed for the north point of Blake Island enjoying the last light of sunset with weather that was still warm enough to sit on the forward deck for the outward trip. As the sun set and it cooled, we all moved to the fly bridge on the way back. We once again anchored in front of their house, returned safely to their beach via dinghy, and had some fantastically fresh peach cobbler. Since it was getting late and tomorrow was a work day for Marci and Ann, we thanked them for the dinner, hospitality and gracious company. We said our goodbyes and Alexus and I returned to NuMoon for the night.

Bainbridge Island Marina to Bell Harbor Marina Seattle August 10th, 2008

We left Bainbridge Island Marina to head back to Bell Harbor Marina as the next morning, Aug 11, Bruce would need to catch a shuttle back to the Seattle airport. We spent sometime cruising Elliot Bay which is part of the working port of Seattle. It is a great deal like the Oakland estuary with large cargo ships and cranes loading containers. We had a reservation at Bell harbor and would be in slip A14 near the Harbor office. When we pulled in there was a sail boat next to us and they said “Hey NuMoon we watched you go through the Ballard Locks yesterday”. It really is a small boating world. We asked if they had taken their boat through the locks and they said no, they were there just watching, in order to see how it worked. Bell Harbor Marina is a great location and we decided to explore a little of Seattle. So Bruce, Alexus and I took off walking the Seattle waterfront being tourists. When we came to Seattle by plane for the Seattle boat show last February, we had found a great restaurant called “Brooklyn's”. They had excellent food and wonderful fresh oysters, so we walked the mile and a quarter and enjoyed a fantastic meal and drinks and were entertained by the bartender Kalani. After dinner, we headed back to the boat so Bruce would have time to shower and pack and be ready for the next days early shuttle. Both Alexus and I thoroughly enjoyed having Bruce join us. He is a wonderful man, and his wit and humor made the events of the day go fast and he filled them with memories. If he is free when we take our next trip, perhaps Mexico… Bruce can you meet us in San Diego?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Andrews Bay to Bainbridge Island Marina August 9th, 2008

We left Andrews Bay and once again made our way back towards Ballard locks. Only this time we knew what to expect so felt like old pros. Ha! We again were fortunate and inadvertently timed our entry into the locks without having to wait outside the closed gates. Once again, we were tied to the starboard side and had two smaller boats rafted to our port side. We passed through the locks without incident, and we were once again back into salt water and Puget Sound. We had received a call from MK and Rachel letting us know that they were on Bainbridge Island for a couple of days, completing move activities and working on the house they are renting. We knew that Bruce would enjoy meeting MK and Rachel so we headed off to meet them. We had hoped to stay at the Harbor Marina and called Fred, but they were booked solid, Fred recommended we give Darell McNabb at Bainbridge Island Marina. We called Darell and they did have space. This marina is across the harbor from where we had stayed last time we were in Bainbridge. We had a 60 foot slip, power and water so we were good to go. MK and Rachel met us with their car. We introduced them to Bruce and Bruce immediately fell in love with both of them so we all had a great time.

We went to see the house they are renting. It is in a wooded setting that is simply beautiful and the house itself is warm and comfortable. The walls are baled hay covered in stucco, very eco friendly and great insulation for both sound and warmth. I loved the feel of the house it has a very soft feel. As more of their own furniture arrives I know they will make it a wonderful home. We went into town for dinner and continued our tradition of sharing life stories, laughing and enjoying each others company. We drove back to the marina and said our good byes. We hope to see MK and Rachel again before we leave the area after Labor Day. In fact, we had SO much fun together, we forgot to take ANY pictures! (boo hoo)

Meydenbauer Bay to Andrews Bay – South Lake Washington August 8th, 2008

We left Meydenbauer Bay and headed further south to an area called Andrews Bay. It was very peaceful and we anchored out along with about six other boats. About an hour later the number of boats anchored has increased significantly and there must have been around twenty boats anchored by the time the sun set. In the wee hours of the morning, we had another experience of things going bump in the night. About 3am I heard a noise off our aft port side. It sounded like when the dinghy runs into the swim deck if we have any wind of current and have tied the dinghy to the stern of the boat. The only problem with this noise is that our dingy was up on the boat out of the water. I threw on my PJs and headed up to the salon, I opened the side door on the starboard side and did not see anything so I walked around the front deck over to the port side and saw a small 20 foot boat drifting away. It seems they had glanced of our stern, as they were drifting by. I went on the aft deck to grab the boat hook in case I needed to push them away again. Now, I am thinking I could use some help so I pounded on the aft deck above our stateroom to wake Alexus and Bruce. Bruce was up first and the small boat was about 15 feet off our stern. We tried waking someone by shining flashlights through the windows, but to no avail. The boat began drifting further away, fairly quickly, and we were concerned it would run into four boats that had anchored and rafted up nearby. Somehow, it managed to miss those boats but kept drifting. We were not sure who to call as it was an inland water and earlier we had seen a Seattle Police boat on the water, so I called 911 and asked for the Lake Washington Marine Police. They transferred me and I gave the best description I could of the vessel and they took our phone number to have someone call us back. They did call back and we gave the description again and said they would launch a boat. We continued to watch the small boat drift further and further, by now it was ½ to ¾ of a mile away. We saw the police boat with it’s red and blue flashing lights come onto the lake and make its way toward the drifting boat. By now all three of us have been up for about an hour and were wondering if we would be able to get back to sleep. As the drifting boat returned to the anchorage area Bruce and Alexus tried to get their attention to be sure they would still be there in the morning so we could see if there was any damage to NuMoon. The folks in the boat were pretty rude and moved further south into the bay to re-anchor. We all decided after all that excitement it was too early to be up and retired to bed. The next morning we checked NuMoon and did not find any marks or damage. It was a fairly small boat and the current is not strong enough to generate any real speed, but you can still drift quite a distance when being blown by the wind.

Lake Washington North to Meydenbauer Bay, South Lake Washington, August 7th, 2008

We headed south continuing to explore Lake Washington. There are unbelievable homes and mansions with docks for boats and sea planes that surround the lake shore. We came to Meydenbauer Bay Yacht Club and tied up at an end tie, registered with the office manager at the club and walked downtown for lunch. We walked into town and went to the Bellevue mall where Alexus could get her new IPhone. Bruce and I left Alexus in line and we went to PF Changs for lunch. About two hours later she showed up with her new toy and apologized for being in line so long. We finished lunch and returned to the boat. When we arrived, it seems we had inadvertently tied up where Mr. John Griffin normally kept his boat. We walked NuMoon around to a slip on the other side and apologized to Mr. Griffin and informed him that we had been "cleared" to use that slip. The dock master then came over and said that the club had been removed from the registry and was no longer doing reciprocals. We asked him if he wanted us to leave and he said we would be OK as we were only there for one night. At the Yacht club we again had electricity, and water all for $2.00. Bruce taught me how to organize and stow the lines. I had been trying to tie them a way our friend Ken at Alameda had showed me once, but I could not get it to work. The way Bruce showed me was great, especially for the longer lines. The lines with the snubber are still a challenge to make neat, even for Bruce. We spent the night laughing about our mistaken tie up and walking NuMoon around to another slip.

Port Madison to Lake Union – Lake Washington August 6th, 2008

With Bruce aboard we had a third hand who had extensive boating experience from his life on a boat. We decided we would go through the Ballard Locks which take you from the salt water in Puget Sound up to the freshwater in Lake Union. Bruce had been through locks in a boat with his wife Jackie, but locks were a new experience for Alexus and I. Off we went, we were lucky in that we timed it perfect and did not have to wait. We had a 50 foot line on the stern and a 75 foot line on the bow. All our fenders were down as you tie up to the wall of the locks and a boat may raft up to your other side as they fill the locks. Bruce was at the bow, I had the stern and Alexus was at the helm. The dock hands at the locks throw you a line and you attach your dock line to their line, they haul it in, and they attach your dock line to the lock wall.. It was actually very easy as they slowly raised the level of the water about 20 feet to the fresh water lake level. Once the boats ahead of you have exited, they untie your dock line and toss it to you and you are off into fresh water. Fresh water is a good thing after so many days in salt water. It is good for the boat as it cleans off all the little barnacles and other growth from the salt water and with our raw water pump, we could hose off all the salt water on the boat. We toured around Lake Union and had lunch at Chandlers Crab House using the docks right in front of their restaurant. After lunch we made our way through the cut between the two lakes that goes right by the University of Washington and we were in Lake Washington, which is a much larger lake. We headed north and anchored out near the north end of the lake. We watched sea planes come and go and watched the sun set and the moon rise. It was a wonderful night and Bruce went for a bath/swim in the fresh water.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Blake Island State Park to Poulsbo to Port Madison- August 5th, 2008

We left Blake Island State Park and circumnavigated the island of Bainbridge. This led us to Poulsbo, a city that was founded by Norwegians and for those familiar with Solvang in California, has the same feel. There is a yacht Club in Poulsbo so we docked there and Bruce, Alexus and I walked the small town of Poulsbo. Being typical tourist we stopped and had the best chocolate dipped ice cream bar ever. We all looked like kids as we sat on a city bench quickly eating our ice cream before it melted. After walking the town we decide to move on and headed for Port Madison. We got to Port Madison and anchored out in a very protected harbor. It was simply lovely and we spent the evening enjoying the quiet and peacefulness of the area. I tried fishing and again no luck. Bruce broke out his ditty bag and showed me how to finish the ends of our lines and wrap them to keep them from fraying. We also spent time trying to throw a Bowline knot, which Alexus and Bruce could do, but I did not master. The weather was perfect and we enjoyed the evening in conversation and friendship. It was simply lovely.

Bainbridge Island to Seattle - Bell Harbor, to Blake Island State Park, August 4th

Well the Dock Master, Fred, of Harbor Marina was right, I did want the key to the bath house and I used it. That morning I took the longest hot shower I have had since we left on May 8th. Fred had let me know there was no charge for the showers and each one has its own water heater. Many places we stay have showers, but they charge by the minute. An example is usually a shower for 25 cents for 3 and one half minutes.
We took our time leaving Bainbridge Island as there was no rush. We needed to time our stay in Seattle so we would be in the marina for just an hour or less; as we were pick up a good friend of Alexus, a wonderful man named Bruce, who was flying in from Colorado. Bruce was a sailor and boater having owned both sailboats and motorboats of all sizes. We looked forward to meeting him at Pier 66, next to Bell Harbor Marina in Seattle, and having him aboard for the next week.
The entrance to Bell Harbor Marina is a little tricky as it is hidden behind the docks and breakwater for the cruise ship lines. Once you find your way in, it is a nice marina with cement float docks, water, power and showers, and you are right downtown near Pike Place Markets and all the restaurants, Seattle Art museum and loads of other tourists stuff.
We docked and went up to the Pier and waited for Bruce to arrive from the Seattle airport. He arrived some what frazzled by the travel from Boulder, but ready to enjoy some time on the water. It was great to have him on board and he felt like family from the start. We decided to get a quick lunch since Bruce had not eaten on the plane and then we took off for Blake Island State park. We found a mooring buoy and spent the night in a great spot watching the ferry make it's run and just enjoying being out on the water. I tried my luck at fishing, but to no avail and it was not a day I could use the crab pot. Crabbing is open Wednesday to Sunday for recreational fishing and we were a day early.

Everett Washington to Bainbridge Island August 3rd, 2008

We left Everett and headed for Bainbridge Island. Bainbridge is a good sized island in the middle of Puget Sound. It has Seattle on one side and the “Great Olympic Peninsula” on the other. Bainbridge Island is where our friends Rachel and MK have moved from Denver Colorado. We hope to meet up with them sometime while they are in the process of moving. We called around to the various marinas and by accident ended up right where Alexus wanted to go, Harbor Marina run by a great guy and character named Fred. It really was perfect. We had a bow-in starboard tie in a slip, water, electricity, restaurants nearby, laundry and a shower with unlimited hot water!!! We went to the Harbor Public House restaurant and met two charming men, Jerry and his friend and they shared their boating stories and we shared ours. They were so amazed we had brought the boat up the coast and we invited them to come see NuMoon. They enjoyed coming aboard and seeing a “Trawler.” We exchanges contact information and the next day we received an e-mail from Jerry thanking us for the tour of NuMoon and wishing us the best as we continued our travels.

Coupeville to Everett August 2nd, 2008

We left Coupeville and made our way to Everett. We had planned to stop in Langley, but it was a negative low tide and when we arrived there, there were boats on their sides left high and dry. We did not want to try and enter the tight small marina and decided to head to Everett Washington. Everett is the largest pleasure craft harbor on the west coast after Marina Del Rey. There is a yacht club in Everett, the Everett Yacht Club and they had space for us so we tied up and met the dock master, his wife Adele and their cat Obsidia! Yacht clubs are a great deal for us, it was $5.00 for electricity to stay at the Everett Yacht Club. All along the water has been smooth and the weather fair and the only concern has been watching the tide when in small channels. Everett was interesting in the area around the marina is in transition and becoming more upscale. They had a fantastic chandlery, Harbor Marine, that was the size of a home depot, it was simply amazing and we could have spent hours wandering through all the isles. The breakwater channel that leads to the marina is also the outflow of the river and there is a pretty good current about 3 knots on an ebb (outgoing tide).

Anacortes to Coupeville August 1st , 2008

We left Anacortes and made our way back through Swinomish Channel, past La Conner to Coupeville. These were all waters we had traveled before so we knew in advance that we would be docking back in Coupeville. The weather was great and we had a quick and smooth cruise back to Coupeville where we docked for the night. And of course, we had to re-visit Toby's Tavern for another delicious meal of Penn Cove Mussels.