Logbook Days 61, 62,
63 and 64
7/10/2004 - 7/13/2004
The Trip Home
We rewarded ourselves for a successful trip with two
nights in a 2 bedroom waterfront suite complete with a hot tub
overlooking the bay at Deer Harbor Resort. From there it was
a shortened trip back south to the lake and home.
Fox Cove on Sucia Island to Deer Harbor
We spent the morning getting everything ready to
leave. We had to put the BBQ back together, get the motor off the dinghy,
as well as the dinghy on
deck and rolled up as we shouldn't need it any more. We used the hoisting sling from the jib
halyard. I tried using the whisker pole like an lifting arm, but we don't
get enough purchase with just the halyard alone. In the end I just
pulled up the bow while Dawn used the halyard and the sling to lift the
stern on deck. Deflating and rolling the dinghy up on the bow was
no problem. I deflated the keel tube while it was still in the
water so the boat sits flat on the deck. We left the cove and once outside we raised
The wind was OK for a bit but then it went fluky.
We tacked south toward Orcas for better air. It filled in again but then when
we tacked back west again it died shortly.
We decided to test out the
dinghy motor on the bracket pushing the whole boat. The idea is
that in addition to a place to store the motor when it's not on the
dinghy we would also be able to have the 6hp motor serve as a backup to
the trusty Tohastu 50hp. I lowered it
and fired it up. It is mounted to low as the motor head is barely
above the water, I need to raise it about 3"
which will also be a help in clearing the water when up on the bracket.
It's been just a bit to close to the water for the whole trip and
occasionally drags and spins the prop. At 3/4 throttle it moved
the boat at 5 knots. Raising to full throttle didn't add much.
We had full ballast, so empty it should approach hull speed with no
problem. I noticed that one of the upper bracket bolts was loose
so I shut it down and we switched over to the main motor.
all the sails tidied up then dumped the ballast and ran at 9 knots
for Deer Harbor. With the dinghy up out of the water we are
getting over a knot better speed than when towing. We arrived at
Deer harbor and were assigned slip C20. We ended up parked next to "Gladys Allen" a Nordic
tug 26 just like Rockie's. Turns out they are slip mates in
Bellingham. Such a small world.
Once settled, we went up
and checked in our Suite, #125. It is the lower level of an all
cedar 'A' frame right on the water. Two bedrooms, Two baths,
kitchenette, large living room with a big wrap around deck and a Jacuzzi
tub on the corner with a great view. Every wall inside is cedar,
We got the kids a quick microwave dinner and then Dawn and I
walked up the road for a nice dinner out at the Deer Harbor Inn.
Keep your eye out for the shortcut sign. We had very enjoyable evening. Sam only called once on the radio for help
with the VCR. Sometimes you just have to get away. We got home
around 10:00pm and tucked everyone in but Nick and Mike,
sharing a bed, were up past midnight.
We slept late (see a trend here) and had a lazy morning
and brunch at the Starfish grill. We started out on the patio but
were driven inside by the bees. The kids played on the beach
while Dawn and I went to do boat stuff. She then snuck off to the
local craft store for some un-authorized shopping. Mike ended up
buried in the sand. Later in the
afternoon Dawn took the kids to the pool. They returned for dinner
and some hot tub time. Dinner was take out burgers and corndogs
from the dock cafe. The closer we get to home the simpler things
We then went down to the dock again and got ice
cream, 5 triple scoop cones for the price of 4 singles, quite a deal as
the dock girl was feeling very generous.
We then got everyone to bed early for a quick start in the morning.
We have decided to cut a few miles and days of the trip and go inside
via Deception pass tomorrow. The goal is to get home Tuesday
rather than Thursday. Dawn and I enjoyed some late night
hot tubing after dark.
Deer Harbor to Langley
We packed up the suite and rolled everything to the
boat in a dock cart about 9:30am. Once checked out and loaded up on
food from the free continental breakfast we got under way. The wind
made the departure from the slip difficult and it took two tries to back
out and get turned. We fueled up and pointed the bow South East
ever closer to home.
We went along the north side of Shaw and across Lopez.
ferry tricked us by backing out, stopping and then reversing ends and heading right at us
when I thought we would be following behind it. We made a quick turn
to shore and passed along side it. From there we went between
Frost and Spencer Spit. For a fleeting moment we considered stopping
here as the drift wood supply was huge, but the call of home was too
strong for the boys and we turned south down Lopez sound to an exit from the
islands out Lopez pass.
Once out, Rosario Strait was glassy calm.
Where did all the wind go? We did a speed test and in our extremely heavily loaded condition and we
were just able to touch 14 knots at wide open throttle. We slowed
to 11 for the run across the strait and arrived at Deception pass at
12:45pm. Slack after flood was at 1:30pm so we went through with no
After a momentary stop in Cornet Bay while we also considered
staying there, we proceeded around to the east and further south down Whidbey Island bound for
Oak harbor and fuel. The wind and seas were up in Crescent Bay as
we crossed and entered Oak Harbor. We got gas, but the marina did
not look very appealing so we fired up a movie and continued south for
Langley while Dawn made sandwiches.
It was an easy cruise down
Saratoga passage once across Penn Cove which was seeing quite a bit of the west gale
force wind blowing on the other side of the island in the Strait. We arrived at a small Langley marina at 6:00pm.
It is very tight here in many ways and getting in the small short slip was
tricky. Shortly after we arrived many more boats came in and filled all
the slips. We just beat the rush. The kids hit the beach after our longest day of 7 hours
and 23 minutes under way. Dawn made some much needed drinks and
then headed of shopping. She returned to report that the small
town was a wonderful place and we had to come back here again for our
cooked up the last burgers and hot dogs and tucked in for the night
Langley to Newport
We got up and under way at 9:00am while the kids slept
on. This pattern has proved a surefire way to get some distance
under our belts without hearing "How much further do we have to go?" We are headed south on the final leg. We ran at 6 knots
for a while enjoying the quiet morning. At Clinton we needed to
speed up to cross out of the way of the ferry so we throttled up to
5000rpm. This gave us 11+ knots. Curious, and with plenty of
fuel on board, we stayed at that speed all the way across and down past
Edmonds before the tank gave out. We went over 15 miles, the
mileage I would expect for 4000 rpm. I think as heavily loaded as
the boat is, 5000 rpm is actually a more efficient speed. The boat
also runs flatter than normal with all the weight. I switched
tanks and we continued at 11 knots down to Shilshole. The boat
also has better directional stability at this speed and requires less
work at the wheel. maybe we have been going to slow all along.
We went in the Shilshole entrance and
tied up to wait for the locks. The tide was low and we had to hold
the boat off the barnacles and mussels for over an hour while we waited.
They weren't running the small locks and there was a lot of outbound
traffic in the large lock including the dreaded "GoodTime II" which
always gets priority. Finally we went in the large lock and rafted
to a larger boat. We had a hard time getting the bow tied.
Once up and out, we made our way for Ivars for a late lunch, but there was no space
at the dock. We zipped out into Lake Washington and sped across to the
We made some calls and Nolan, another neighbors son, was able to come down and
pick us up after about 45 minutes. We did a lot of the trailering
prep while we waited floating at the dock and then the boys and I went home
when Nolan arrived. I
brought the truck and trailer down and Dawn and I loaded the boat, took
down the mast and brought everything home at around 5:00pm.
Making such a long trip in our small boat was not
without it's share of difficult challenges to go with the good times,
but by far overall the trip was a positive adventure that we will all
remember for many years to come. We cannot be anything but
encouraged by it's success and look forward to many more days cruising
aboard our fair ship 'Allegro'.
Musings on the trip for