Logbook Days 42, 43,
6/21/2004 - 6/23/2004
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
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
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
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
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.