68, 69, 70 and 71
5/27/2005 - 5/30/2005
Memorial Day Weekend
A nice start to this summers boating season
Newport to Blake Island
We all arrived back at the house around 12:30pm from our morning
activities. Dawn finished packing the coolers then she headed off
to get Sam and lunch while I changed the tail light and did final boat
prep. Even with the new bulb the right trailer tail light doesn't
Amazingly while we own 4 kid sized life vests, we
could only find Mikes. Dawn finally went to Mark and Laura's and
borrowed one for Nick. We're all packed and loaded, but now no
shoes of any kind, any where can be found for Mike. Yet another
'believe it or not' episode. An extensive search turned up some
sandals. We're finally on the road.
At the Newport launch there is police action going on.
One of the two lanes is closed while the police deal with some sort of
recovery of two stolen jet skis. Both launch and recovery have to
use a single lane slowing things down. Yet more delay as the guy
shows up to fix the parking ticket machine which is taking money but not
giving out tickets. Hampered by the two Bellevue police cars
parked in the way along with the jeep of the ticket guy we finally get
turned around and launch the boat. After unloading the dinghy and
motor Mike and I go to park. Just as I'm pulling out the ticket
guy brings me a ticket. One down, now we need two more.
Hopefully they will not ticket us for staying 3 days when you are only
suppose to stay for 24 hours. We did pay for all three.
Walking back to the dock the two jet skis are now
wrapped in crime scene tape parked right in the center of the ramp.
The county cop from the patrol boat that arrived says they'll only be
there blocking everything for another hour and a half.
Perfect timing for the holiday crowd trying to launch their boats.
With the dinghy and motor loaded and the Tohatsu warmed up we cast off
at 3:15 pm.
It's a slightly rough but easy crossing of the lake to
the Montlake Cut. Not too many boats going our direction, perhaps
the lock won't be too busy. About an hour later we are at the
locks. All the wall waiting space is full so we hold station with
about three dozen other boats waiting to enter. It's a continual
dance trying to hold your place yet not hit anyone. We slide off
to the side by the small lock for a bit more room. Finally the
inbound boats are out and we slowly all sort out our way in. By
the time we are all loaded, the larger east section of the large lock is
full end to end with boats rafted 5 and 6 wide. We're in the
middle, 5 rows back from the front, rafted three wide on the left wall.
Three more boats are rafted 3 wide next to us on the right wall.
There are 5 more rows behind us, at least 60 boats in all. In a
way it's almost easier when it's busy like this. Small boats like
ours get sent up the middle and we're just along for the ride. The
trip down is easy as the big boats on the wall do all the work tending
their lines. The row in front has line problems when they open the
doors and the current sucks them forward. Their 4 wide raft in
front of us is all crooked and they have to fend off the adjacent raft.
Once they get it sorted out, our departure is easy from the sailboat on
our port side and we're on our way about 6 pm.
It's an easy crossing south to Blake Island with
little traffic once clear of the Shilshole buoys. We pull around
the north point to the west side of Blake. While there is some
space on the horizontal mooring, it doesn't look appealing so we look
south. We are able to tuck inside two anchored boats just north of
the first mooring buoy. There are no open buoys to be seen.
We dropped the Bruce in about 15' and it bites hard on a 60' of rode.
We're here. The water is almost glass smooth with just a hint of a
breeze. We hit a very unusual 90 degrees today and out on the
water is a great place to be.
The boys want to go ashore so I start to work
inflating the dinghy while Dawn makes the traditional weaners and
beaners. After a start with the foot pump I breakout the automatic
high pressure electric pump. Once I sort out the right end for the
valves, it makes short work of the dinghy. What was I thinking
with the silly foot pump. It fills the three side tubes in about
30 second each, puts a rock hard 6lbs in the hp air floor almost
instantly and fills the
keel in less than 10 seconds. It only used 2.6 amp hours of power,
no more foot pump for me. Dawn has the rum drinks ready then heads
to shore with Sam and Nick as they all ate while I inflated the dinghy.
I have a nice quiet meal with only Mike aboard.
Every one is back around 8:30pm and we relax for the
evening. There are about 30 boats here for the night. As it
gets dark the sunset silhouetting the Olympics is a brilliant red and
orange. The boys are all up on the bow debating what heavenly
object the bright white spot is to the SSW. The consensus is
Venus. It looks to be a wonderful starry night. Hanging out
on the hook looks far more appealing than the campground area back up by
the point ashore. Dawn says there were some bugs ashore, out here
there are none. Around ten everyone tucks in for reading while I inflate
the air bed. With the divider panels up all is now quiet, except
for Dawns snoring, as I finish up this log. While the wind and
water is calm, we seem to be exposed to occasional rollers probably from
unseen boat traffic.
Final power, -3.6ah. trip time 2:34:59, trip miles
It was a calm night, but with some side on rollers which were worse in
morning. Dawn headed to the beach with Nick and Mike a bit after
10. Sam and I switched the boat over to day mode. We're
still on 60' of rode and the water is getting shallower, down to 10'
with 8.5' more to drop to an afternoon low of -1.9'. I pulled in
to 30' of rode on the bow anchor to get a bit more breathing room but we
will still need to watch our depth as we approach the 3:19pm low.
We need to get a dinghy bridle that releases at the dinghy rather than
the boat. A small stern anchor would also be good for holding us
stern to the beach so the boat wakes stay nose on.
When Dawn and the boys returned they had breakfast
while she and I worked on our anchoring situation. My calculations
now show it's going to get too shallow. We decided to solve two
problems at once. Using the dinghy I took the guardian to shore
and set it up as a stern anchor tied mid line to the aft cleat.
This keeps us nose out to the wakes to avoid the rollers. We then
pulled the Bruce and set it further out facing the opposite way we set
it last night off the bow. The extra 20' out should get us just
enough extra depth, but it's all fins up just in case.
We then put the motor on the dinghy and Nick and I
went for a spin. We ran south to the next point. Unlike what
the guide and chart says, there are no mooring buoys except the one our
neighbor sailboat is using. We ran fast and got a bit wet from the
spray. Unexplainably half way back the motor quit for no obvious
reason. Once unlocked from in gear, it started back up and ran
fine. I dropped Nick on shore, then shuttled Mike in as well.
Of course mid lunch Sam decided he wanted to be on the beach as well, so
now Dawn and I have the boat to ourselves and the kids can't get back
until we go and get them.
We hit low tide at just past 3pm. We are
floating in just less than 2' of water. The beach is just 15' off
the stern. To retrieve the kids I just grabbed the end of the
dinghy tow line, released the painter and pushed it toward shore.
They piled in and I pulled them back to the boat.
At 3:30 we put on a DVD, 'Chicken Run', and left the
kids in charge of the boat while Dawn and I motor around to the other
side of the island to Tillicum village to shop. Sam has
instructions to let out 5' of rode in an hour.
On our way past the horizontal mooring we encountered
a single hander drifting south toward all the boats tied there. He
had run out of gas and was trying unsuccessfully to set his anchor.
He asked if we would run his anchor further out for him. We agreed
and circled around. In the mean time he drifted back against the
stern of the first sailboat on the outside. We collected the
anchor and ran it out 50' while he tried to fend off the boat. His
anchor was now down, but he had no time to go forward and pull it in.
We pulled around to his bow and tried to tugboat him away a bit.
Just then the other boats owners showed up in their dinghy and also
joined in trying to protect their boat. With two dinghy's at the
bow we managed to move him clear of the mooring area. The lady who
owned the other boat was now onboard helping him. He finally got
his tank switched and motor started. She pulled up his anchor and
was helping him maneuver to the open mooring area just behind her boat.
By the sound of the conversation she had things under control as she
directed him on how to approach the mooring so we continued on our way
around the point to Tillicum.
We pulled into the docks around 4:10pm. The
dinghy dock was well hidden and hard to approach in the shallow water.
Once tied up we went to look at the Indian carvings they sell. We
ended up window shopping, literally, as they are closed. Peeking
in we could see their offerings and determined there was nothing worth
making another trip back when they were open. After a quick call
to Sam to confirm that all was well, we each picked up a chocolate swirl
ice cream cone and went for a stroll over to see the SE cove.
There were some moorings there, all full, and others anchored, but with
the S wind things look quite exposed. Back at the dock, while Dawn
made a pit stop, I talked with the park host and he indicated all the
west side mooring buoys had been recently pulled so they can be replaced
with new screw in ones starting next week. No wonder they all seem
to have vanished.
We had a uneventful return back to the boat and Sam
was even on the bow checking the anchor. Dinner was flank steak
and mashed potatoes cooked to the wonderful sounds of Sam's newest
Weezer CD. Luckily meat cooks quickly on the gas BBQ and we didn't
have to listen too long.
After dinner the boys were deposited on the beach to
reclaim their stolen fort wood (darn other kids). After dishes
Dawn joined them and she headed to the north sand spit for the
pre-arranged with Nick.
I was just about to doze off for the nap I'd been
promised, when Dawn called on the radio. Seems a couple in a Mac
19 had pulled into the beach. They just got the boat and are on
their first trip. As Dawn got to talking with them, she graciously
offered my help anchoring as they had never done it before.
Leaving my pillow behind, I climbed in the dinghy and helped them find a
spot and get their anchor set. Then it was off to the beach to get
the boys and Dawn. Back on board, we got cleaned up and settled in
for the night. We whipped up some jiffy pop for our snack.
We're all settled in now at 10:30, but the water isn't
as smooth as we'd like. This side of the island while nice, and
popular, isn't as protected from the boat traffic as we'd prefer.
Blake Island to Poulsbo
We all slept late this morning, rising around 10:00am. The clouds
have blown in, and it looks like it will be an overcast day.
Breakfast was a quick and easy meal of cereal as we prepared to move on.
With the dinghy motor back on it's bracket, and both anchors pulled we
headed north. Dawn is at the helm, as we cruise through Rich
Passage bound for Poulsbo. She handled the dueling Bremerton
ferries well, then turned up Port Orchard for an easy trip to it's north
end and Liberty Bay. Dawn did all the driving duties on this trip
except the docking at the end.
The marina is nearly full, but we found a slip, #51,
open on F dock. Tied stern out we have a nice view west into the
bay and you don't even notice you are in a large packed marina.
Once we got all settled and registered we decided on a late lunch out.
Moorage here is very reasonable at only $.50 a foot with a 30' minimum.
Even their fuel is well priced at $2.56 a gallon, less than the corner
station in Bellevue and quite surprising for a fuel dock price.
Still it's not the $2.21 I paid for our gas at Safeway with the club
card discount. Even better is we are only half empty and don't
need to buy any here.
Originally we went in search of pizza, but not finding
any anywhere but the Italian restaurant with a long wait we elected to
go to JJ's fish house. The food was good and the service quick.
Once done the kids went off to the park while Dawn and I did some
shopping. Then it was back to the boat to rest and some fishing
time for the kids. Dawn went off to the shops while the boys had a
successful fishing outing. It seems the whole dock neighborhood of
kids decided to have a fishing derby at our slip. I spent most of
my nap time tying and baiting hooks. Nick was the champ with the
Dinner was just fruit, cheese and crackers snacks during an occasionally
inappropriate showing of the 'Blue Collar Comedy Tour' DVD. Then
it was of to bed for a calm night.
Poulsbo to Newport
Everyone is up earlier this morning at around 8:00am. Once we get
the dinghy back on board we'll be ready to head out for the 10:29am
slack in Agate Pass.
Sam took on helm duties today. He backed us smartly out of the
slip and drove from Poulsbo in Liberty Bay out the winding course to
Port Orchard, through Agate Pass and across the sound to the Shilshole
lock entrance. Excellent job Sam. Mike made the entire sound
crossing riding up on the bow.
Once we got to the ship canal entrance we fell into
line with all the other boats. We just kept inching forward as
everyone sorted and merged themselves into the parade into the locks.
We were able to gain a few spots forward when we passed up about a dozen
sailboats who had to stop for the train bridge traffic. They were
using the full length of the large lock for this huge inbound group.
From a quick count I would estimate about 90 boats. We ended up at
the mid point, rafted third out on the starboard wall. The tide is
still pretty high so the trip up was quick. It was really nice to
have no wait to enter and a quick lift. Both transits of the locks
went quite smooth.
From there is was a 7 knot parade through the Ship
Canal, Lake Union, Portage Bay and the Montlake Cut. As has
happened before, the roughest water we encountered all weekend was when
we ducked south of the 520 bridge and crossed the lake. The spray
did a nice job of washing down the boat from the salt water trip.
There was no line at Newport Shores, and the load went smooth and fast.
Having left the mast at home yet again paid off in a stress free trailer
loading. A nice way to end the trip. Maybe there is
something to this powerboat thing after all. Even buying three
tickets for the dash seemed to have worked (if they even checked at
all), as we had no signs of any parking concerns.
Day 2, Blake Island, West Side
Day 2, Blake Island, West Side
Day 2, Blake Island, working on the fort
Day 2, Blake Island, Beach Combing
Day 2, Blake Island, Who took our wood?
Day 2, Blake Island, -1.9 low tide, floating in less than
2' of water
Day 3, The torpedo test facility at Liberty
Cool remote controlled submersibles
Day 3, The winding entrance to Liberty Bay
Day 3, Poulsbo
Day 3, Poulsbo
Day 4, Sam's day at the helm
Day 4, Mike on the bow
Day 4, The locks at maximum capacity