Duane, Dawn,
Sam, Nick, and Mike
(Jessy and Jenny)

Home Up Family Pictures Music



Logbook Days 42, 43, and 44
6/21/2004 - 6/23/2004

Going North.
The first leg of our 500 mile trip.  North from Lake Washington and the locks up into the San Juan Islands.  Our first time crossing the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Newport Shores to Fort Flagler

Sam and I set up the boat at 8:30am at the Newport Ramp.  The day was clear and sunny so it was nice to get a very rare early start for us. Dawn arrived at 10:00am.  Once we loaded everything in the boat we took the truck, trailer and van back to the house.  Our neighbor, Ron, kindly gave us a ride back to the boat. 

We set out at 11:15am across the lake and into the cut.  We had to wait for 10 minutes at the Fremont bridge after giving the mandatory long then short blast of the air horn which caught everyone in the boat by surprise even though minutes ago I had had them get the horn for me.  It was a smooth trip through the small locks after a short wait and we were outside on our way. 

We headed across the sound to Bainbridge in 2' seas and were able to do 8 knots yet stay fairly dry.  The run up Bainbridge smoothed out nicely.  At Point No Point we hit a heavy flood current and building seas.  The wind was out of the north and quickly filled the sea with constant white caps and steep 3'-5' seas after passing Norwegian Point.  We slowed to 5 knots but still got spray.  We struggled to put the canvas up in the midst of heavy seas and a nearby tug wake but finally settled in to a more protected passage. 

Just as we got clear of Foulweather Bluff we were contacted by the coast guard and asked to head south and pass astern a Trident sub they were escorting out of Hood Canal.  This is milestone as this is the first time we have actually talked to someone on the VHF rather than just listening.  Once clear astern of the boomer, we turned back north for Oak Bay.  Near shore, and sheltered from the north wind we were able to speed up to 8 knots.  Closer in yet it smoothed out enough to run at 10 knots through the Port Townsend Canal and up to Fort Flagler on Morrowstone Island.  The entrance to Kilisut bay is shallow and you have to pay close attention to the navigation markers even thought it seems you must be going the wrong way.  We tied up at the Flagler dock and were grateful for the peace and quiet after a testing beginning to the trip.  We were the only boat with people aboard at the dock. 

The kids played on the cliff sliding endlessly down the steep sand chutes on their bottoms, a fun but somewhat dirty start to their beach time.  We had the traditional weaners and beaners first night dinner then settled in for the night.  The new sleeping arrangements, Sam in the vee berth, Mike to starboard and Nick to port in the aft berth, and us at the dinette works well.  The privacy screens create 3 private staterooms and a salon of sorts.  At least that's what we began calling these new spacious accommodations on our little 26' boat.  Dawn and I were a bit concerned about our berth at the table.  While designed and sold as a double berth, we found when measuring for the air bed that it was a perfect fit for a TWIN mattress.  Tests in the driveway proved promising, but this would be the first real night of us sleeping in this limited space.  Surprisingly, the boat is less of a mess even with a lot more stuff in it due to the new storage we added for everything.  This might actually work.

Fort Flagler

We had a lazy morning with breakfast at 11:00am.  The clouds are low with a bit of fog but seem to be burning off quickly.  It was a relief to find that two adults can sleep on a twin bed.  This not without it's compromises as it requires learning the skill of synchronized rolling, but we slept quite well.  The kids hung around the dock fishing and collecting critters as usual.  Around mid afternoon, they and Dawn went out for some ice cream and ended up going to the north spit to build a fort.  Feeling abandoned as time went on, I went in search of them around 6:30pm and found Mike wandering toward the dock.  Being the youngest he had been nominated to go in search of food.  He led me back to the "Surf Shack", by far the largest driftwood fort they have yet to build.  They decided we just had to have dinner in it, so Dawn and I went back to the boat to make Nachos.  We ate in the shack and headed back to the boat around 8:30pm for popcorn and a movie.  We watched "Lilo and Stitch" and then tucked into bed.  It's been a successful day of getting accustomed to living again on the boat and planning this early stop in the trip was a good thing.

Fort Flagler to Fisherman's Bay

We got up at 8:00am to overcast skies and prepared the boat for the strait crossing.  The weather report is calling for small craft warnings and not wanting to take any chances I filled the ballast tank for some extra stability.  It looks like an early start will be the key to a smooth crossing before the winds build.  We left the dock and crossed to Port Townsend for fuel and some last minute shopping. 

We finally left for the strait at 10:00am, so much for an early trip.  When we rounded Point Wilson we encountered some moderate tide rips and rough seas.  The lighthouse did their duty of honking at us to call our attention to the small craft advisories.  Once out in deeper water things settled down a bit to large rollers with about a 2' chop.  We are running at the rpms for 6-7 knots but are making 9-10 on the GPS with the ebb tide.  The seas flattened even more around Partridge shoal and we started to get a head on current.  We sped up to 4500 rpm and dumped the ballast looking to take advantage of the smooth water and get inside quick.  We ran all the way to Cattle Point at 10 knots against the current.  Heavy current at the entrance slowed us to 5-6 knots. 

We cleared into the San Juan channel and ran up to Fisherman's bay on the west side of Lopez island. We were hardly able to find narrow entrance as you practically have to run up on the beach before it becomes visible.  We filled up the gas tanks when we arrived at the fuel docks and checked in to the Lopez Islander Resort marina.  The clouds burned off around 2:30pm and Dawn and the boys went to the pool.  This was the primary reason we had changed our days destination from Friday Harbor to here.  I cleaned up the boat, a mandatory daily process of re-stowing all the stuff that gets left out, and went to join them.  We had BBQ'd flank steak for dinner later in the evening.  The wind came up during the night and the halyards were making a lot of noise even though the were pulled out.

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