114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121
8/21/2008 - 8/30/2008
Summer in Seattle
A New Kind of Trip
Newport Shores to Elliott Bay Marina
We hitched up and pulled the boat out of the driveway
just after 1:00 pm. Only Dawn and I are in the truck for the short drive
to the Newport Shores launch. We are embarking on a totally different
end of summer boat trip. Rather than travel place to place we are
putting Allegro in a slip at Elliott Bay marina for a week. We will make
day trips and spend a night or two on board. We will also be
entertaining guests a few times.
We drove to the launch and found a shady spot in the
parking lot to put the mast up. We intend to sail on this trip, multiple
times. The launch is quiet when we finished with no traffic so far. With
the mast raised we backed in and launched the boat. We walked it to the
end of the dock to leave room for any other launchers.
Good thing, as shortly before Dawn left with the truck
and the empty trailer a line began to form. Dawn is taking the trailer
back to the house and will be bringing Nick and Mike down as crew for
the transit through the lake and out the locks.
While she was gone I set up everything else and got
ready for the trip. Traffic held her up and we didn't leave the dock
until 2:40 pm, this could be tight because they stop opening the Fremont
bridge from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm for rush hour. While the distance isn't
far, once we hit Webster Point the speed limit is 7 knots all the way to
Once under the I-90 East Channel bridge we rolled the
throttle forward and made our way across the lake at 15 knots. From the
520 West Channel bridge we slowed to just over 7 knots as required and wound our way
through Montlake, Portage Bay, Lake Union, and finally to the Fremont
Bridge. It was 3:45 pm when we arrived. Just as we approached I could
see the traffic gates coming down as there was a sailboat on the other
side as well. The span soon opened and we cruised through.
Once into Salmon Bay I had Nick take the wheel while I
set the lines and fenders for the locks. We pulled up just as they
opened the gates to let a bunch of inbound boats out. They loaded a
couple large commercial boats and then the dozen or so pleasure boats
waiting. We were rafted to a 36' Grand Banks and had a small ski boat on
the outside of us. At 4:30pm we started the quick trip down as the tide
is about 3/4 high. Nick did a fine job both coming and going in the
locks and soon we
were headed out into Shilshole Bay. It was a easy run around West Point
at 15 knots and soon we were standing off the breakwater at Elliott Bay
I called the office on the cell phone and was assigned slip M59.
We made our way in and around a huge pleasure boat (170' I later found
out) and down the fairway to our slip. I was told it was a starboard
tie, but it turned out to be port. We had to stand by while Nick moved
the fenders. There is quite a current running toward shore pushing us
along as he worked. I backed up to the slip we had now drifted past and
then turned in. The current spun us too far and after a soft bow bump
Nick was on the dock and we straightened up the boat then tied up.
It's a nice spacious slip as it is a 36' long one. Once we
were secure, I headed to the harbormaster office to check in. We had
planned on getting a slip for 7 days with power which would run about
$250. As it turned out they suggested I book it for 10 days which would
get me on a different rate plan. We now have the slip for 10 days with power
for only $144, what a deal. I called Dawn on the way back to the boat
and she is heading this way with dinner.
Back at the boat I cleaned up, put the rest of the
canvas up and hooked up the power. We are all settled in to Allegro's
new home through Labor Day weekend. Time for a nap.
Dawn arrived a little before 8 pm, the Mariners game
traffic held her up yet again. We all walked out to the parking lot to meet her and
bring back the KFC to the boat. We had a quiet dinner then buttoned
things up for the night and headed back home. Leaving the boat in
a marina is a new thing, but I guess I'll get used to it.
Once home, Dawn ran out to do some late night shopping
for supplies and I turned around the truck and trailer then put the trailer
back in the boat house. I hope to clean it up a bit, paint any rust, and
take care of a few boathouse issues while I have access to it without
the boat on the trailer.
Elliott Bay Marina
I arrived at the boat around noon. Dawn was off to
pick up her parents who were returning from an Alaska cruise and I made
a quick stop at West Marine before heading to the marina. The plan is to do some clean up and work on
a couple projects so everything is ready for this evening, then sail
I finished vacuuming
and washing the enclosure windows then moved on to adjusting the
new battery combiner voltage so it kicks in properly for both the charger and
the motor. Unfortunately it refuses to work right for the motor as I see no
voltage bump on my e-meter even though the combined status LED lights up. Perhaps I am not getting any charge from the
new motor. I need to bring down the multi-meter to check. There should be no
problems this trip as every night we are back at the dock plugged in.
far this afternoon has been dead calm. So much for sailing. I worked out
a location for the oidio iPod amp in the cockpit then un-furled the genoa and raised the main while at the dock to make sure all was good
with the sails and the spiders were all out. Everything is clear and
ready for this evening. The Espes are picking up Dawn at 4 pm and coming
over for the evening sail the bought as part of the auction at church
Time to just hang around and relax until they all arrive. Dawn,
Mark and Connie arrived at 4:45 pm and as soon as we had the food loaded we
cast off the lines and backed out of the slip. We made our way around
the mega yacht and out past the breakwater. At first I headed toward
downtown thinking we would just putter along as the wind was
non-existent here as well. Dawn wanted to go west toward the view of the
Olympics so we hung a right. After about 10 minutes we hit some light
wind and decided to give sailing a shot. I went forward on deck and hoisted
the main then un-furled the genoa. The wind was a nice consistent breeze
from the Northwest and soon the boat was in a nice grove close hauled at
4-5 knots headed to Bainbridge island. The boat basically sailed itself
for the next 1/2 hour until we were just off Tyee Shoal outside Eagle
We tacked to the North and set a course for West Point. Dawn
went below and started preparing the dinner salads. Just as we were
crossing into the Northbound shipping lanes a large container ship
appeared to the South. These move fast and I lowered the motor and sped
up to 8 knots so we would clear it's path. We all continued to enjoy
great conversation and food as the boat settles back into a nice easy 4
knot passage North. The wind shifted some and we had to head more east
as we approached Magnolia Bluff. We watched the Victoria clipper and one
of the goodtime boats cross our path as we approached shore. We then
turned to starboard on a reach back toward the marina. As we paralleled
the shore the breeze went more east and warmed. We were able to sail
close hauled right back to the marina breakwater. Once off the east end
we furled the sails and motored back into the slip right at dusk. It was
a great smooth sail and the perfect end to a relaxing day. Back in the
slip we put the covers on and zipped up the top then sat in the cockpit
talking and enjoying a delicious desert. The Espe's left around 9:30 pm and
we left just after 10 pm.
Elliott Bay Marina
We were going to go for a cruise to fish and relax
over at Blake Island with Ron and Bonnie, but the weather has taken a
turn for the worse. Dawn and Bonnie have wimped out so Ron and I
alone went over to the boat. There is a constant drizzle falling
with occasional heavier rain. We pulled out of the marina and
turned north toward West Point as I know this is a place I often see
people fishing. The current is from the south and we decided to
drift fish between the point and the green can navigation buoy.
We opened the starboard side side canvas and Ron
fished while I sat dry at the helm with the motor idling. The
fishing was somewhat slow but we got enough bites to keep going back for
more. Nothing but flounder was brought up as we went back and
forth. Things slowed as we tried further south so Ron turned in
for a nap while I drove south toward Alki. We gave fishing one
more brief try off Duwamish Head without any luck. The weather was
now even worse so we turned north across Elliott Bay to the marina and a
warm dry ride home.
Elliott Bay Marina
With Dawn's dad Ron staying for an extra week we took
advantage of a built in responsible adult at home and left for a night
on the boat. We planned on a 4pm departure but traffic, reality, and
kids delayed our departure to 7pm. I'd finished up my last day of work
for the week but neglected one task so I needed to stop back by the
office. We first went down to the Keg for a nice relaxing steak dinner,
then went to the office to finish things up. It was 10 pm when we left
and went north to the marina.
It was raining as we pulled into the parking lot and
we made our way down the darkened dock to the boat. Quickly we were on
board hanging up our wet coats to dry and getting the vee berth ready
for bed. We settled in but soon discovered that we had neglected to tie
out the halyards when we returned from sailing last Saturday. Snug and
warm we decided to sleep through the occasional noise.
Elliott Bay Marina
As the night went on the wind built to the 30's and
the rain became heavy. Finally around 4 am Dawn couldn't sleep with the
noise anymore so she bundled up and went on deck to tie out the
halyards. She did the right things but in the heavy wind it wasn't
enough to silence the lines. I followed her on deck and tied the lines
out further to finally get some quiet.
Unfortunately, with our boat now quiet the noise from
all the other boats around us became apparent. Elliot Bay marina is much
more of a home base marina than a guest destination marina. It soon was
apparent that none of the other boats made much effort to silence their
Late in the morning the wind fell and a semblance of
peace ensued. We slept late until 10:30 am. By the time we were ready to
go it was after the time the local grill served breakfast so we buttoned
up the boat and drove home where we had a late big breakfast.
Our get-a-way was pretty much a bust, the dinner was
Elliott Bay Marina
It's Friday and I drove over to the boat around noon.
Dawn and her dad are off to Lake Sammamish to fish for bass in the kayak
and I wanted to go for a sail.
When I arrived I checked in at the harbormasters
office to confirm we were good to stay through the weekend then headed
for the boat. The wind meter in the office was pegged over 20 knots.
Down at the boat there is a strong breeze from the south keeping the
boat well off the dock with stronger gusts. In the open fairway just aft
past the last dock behind us there are whitecaps. At this point it looks
a bit to heavy out there for single handed sailing. I'm particularly
worried about the return to the dock alone as we are on the downwind
I decided to do a small electrical project and see how
it looks in a hour or so. When the motor is running the new combiner
clicks in closing the positive connection between the two battery banks,
but I don't see any increased voltage or current flow on my house amp
hour meter yet I am getting current out of the motor. I have
determined that the settings on the combiner are correct and that it is
doing the right thing. This sent me back to basic wiring 101 and I
realized that I am missing a connection from the starting battery to the
common ground connection outside the meter shunt on the house bank. This
is needed to complete the circuit when the combiner closes to put the
batteries in parallel. I'll need to pick up one more cable.
Once I closed everything back up I took another look
at the sea state and decided a nap was in order. I woke up a bit past 3
pm and decided that single handed sailing wasn't going to happen today.
I put the mainsail cover back on and closed back up the canvas
enclosure. Traffic wasn't to bad and even though I never left the dock
it was a nice relaxing afternoon on the boat.
Elliott Bay Marina
We left the house around noon and made our way to the
marina. It's all hands on board for a fishing trip. Traffic to the WSU
Cougar game at Qwest and Bumbershoot at the Seattle Center slowed us but
we finally arrived at 12:40 pm. We were under way at 12:45. The plan was
to cross to Winslow but we encountered rain so we turned north to West
Point. We're on site to bottom fish at 1:15 pm. The wind is down
and the sun is out making for great fishing conditions.
The current is from the NE at this time so we started
just North of the point itself. At first we were in 100' so we backed in
toward the point until we were in 50' and dropped our lines.
Mike hooked up almost immediately, he soon had a nice
12" flounder in the boat. He continued to set the pace landing fish
almost every time he lowered the hook. Sam and Nick were slower to get
going but soon everyone was bringing fish in. We aren't keeping any
fish, just having fun with catch and release. We made a couple drifts
over the bank fishing from as shallow as 12' to as deep as 60' We're
using a standard bottom rig with 1oz of weight on a 12" drop line from a
tee swivel and a 12" leader back to a medium hook with a chunk of
hearing as bait.
Nick broke the flounder stream with a decent size
Sculpin, and shortly after that Mike brought in a small rockfish. We
were on our 4th drift in about 45 ft of water when Mike's rod bent in
two and he couldn't even crank the reel. We got him better situated and
helped him fight his catch to the surface. He had hooked into a 3' long
dogfish that was putting up a big fight. Just as we got it to the
surface there was a huge wake approaching from astern so we all paused
and found a hand hold.
We took the obligatory pictures and then grandpa
leaned over the side to try and bring the shark on board to remove the
hook. Just at that time the 12# leader failed and the fish vanished back
into the depths.
We made a few more passes over the bank but the action
seemed to be tapering off so we headed back to the marina. As we
were going along Magnolia Bluff the fuel tank we had been on since the
locks went dry. We have covered 32.6 Nautical Miles on the 6
gallons of gas plus had a lot of idling time during our drift fishing
last Sunday. Most of this has been at 6-7 knots getting well over
5 Nm per gallon, much better than our old motor did.
It was 5:45pm when we pulled back into the slip and
closed the boat up for the night.
Elliott Bay Marina to Newport Shores
We headed over to the marina around 1:30 pm. Sam is
dropping off Dawn, Ron, and I for the trip back into the lake. It was
2:00 pm when we stepped on the boat.
I quickly added the missing ground connector to the
primary wiring running from the new starting battery negative terminal
to the common ground on the outside of the house battery meter shunt.
Now when I started the engine the combiner sensed the voltage, closed
the positive contact and the batteries are truly in parallel so I now
see 14+ volts at both the Starting battery and on the meter of the house
batteries. We are now charging both sides from the shore power charger
and from the motor.
I packed up the shore power cord, singled up the dock
lines and we were ready to leave. I had Dawn take the helm so I could
tend the bow as we backed out as the wind had us pinned to the dock. She
needed to back out to starboard but misunderstood and we ended up
backwards in the fairway. I took over at the helm and got us spun around
facing the right direction. We exited the marina and made our way
north at a leisurely 6.5 knots. The wind is a lot higher today with
rougher conditions. Yesterday was definitely the best day for our drift
We rounded west point and made for Shilshoe Bay. Boats
we just exiting the locks as we entered, however there is a fairly large
group waiting for the ride up. I went in to the shallow mooring field at
the back of the bay to wait for things to sort themselves out.
It seemed to take a long time for them to get a large
mega yacht in and settled, then the parade crept it's way into the large
lock. We were on the 4th raft back on the south wall, third boat out
tied to a Bayliner 36. The rafts were 3 and 4 wide on both walls. The
tide was only 1/2 low so it was a pretty quick trip up. Once those ahead
cleared out we made an easy departure into the ship canal.
We pushed the 7 knot speed limit as we tried to close
up on the first boat to exit, the giant mega yacht. It's towers were far
taller than our mast and it would certainly need the Fremont bridge
opened. While we made up some ground we were still a ways back when it
arrived at the bridge. Sure enough the bridge tender opened up as soon
as it arrived, a perk that goes with a multi million dollar boat. We
sped up even more racing to make it through. As we got close it started
to lower an the tender sounded the closing 5 blasts. It didn't look like
we could squeeze through so I slowed and started to turn to circle. Just
the the bridge must have been lowered far enough for the tender in the
tower to see us because he signaled the long short opening blasts and
started the bridge back up. We throttled back up and quickly passed
under into Lake Union.
As we made our way through the lake we decided it was
time for a break so we stopped at the Ivars dock and went in for an
appetizer and a beer. Back under way we cruised through the rest
of the winding channel and out to Lake Washington. Once under
SR520 we opened the valves and throttled up to 12 knots to dump the
ballast. We headed straight for the I90 west channel bridge and by
the time we were across the tank was empty and we were at 15 knots for
the rest of the way south. We slowed for the speed zone under the
bridge then pulled into the launch dock at 7:15pm. After a call to
Sam for a pickup Dawn and I worked on packing up the canvas. Sam
arrived and she left to get the truck and trailer. By the time she
was back I had the mast down and everything buttoned up. Ron spent
this time seeing if he could tempt any fish to bite his lure under the
We loaded the boat and made the quick trip up the hill
to the house. This was a very different type of trip that we may try to
do once per summer. Most likely we'll vary which marina we put the
boat in so we have access to different area's.