84, 85, 86
Mid Summer in the Mid Sound
What a great 6 day trip!
Des Moines to Dockton, Maurey Island
We had a leisurely morning of loading and prep and left the house after
1:00pm. It was an easy, quick drive to Des Moines. We've
never launched here before but have heard from others that they are
familiar with launching Macs in their sling. Sure enough, we
pulled in to a mostly empty launch parking lot and went through the
quick prep required to transition from the highway to the waterway.
We've left the mast behind for this trip trying to plan everything for
simplicity. No mast, quick setup and launch. Short
distances, no boring transit times for the kids. Lots of parks,
quite no crowd boating. Even the parking was easy, front and
center right next to the launch.
We left the marina and crossed the sound to Maury
Island which is connected to the south end of Vashon Island by a short
bridge. The new GPS/Sounder is great. Having the speed
through water to compare to the speed over ground really show the
current picture. We are going against a .5 knot current on this
crossing. Mount Rainier is looming in the distance above the east
shore (the picture doesn't do it justice) and it's a great day to be on
the water. We entered Quartermaster Harbor and went up to Dockton
on the west side of Maury Island. This is an excellent King County
marina park. After a bit of indecision we selected a slip on the
inside of the outer dock.
The kids went off to play on shore. They found a
steep soft sand bank to slide down. They returned 3 hours later
much dirtier, but we certainly enjoyed the quiet break. There is
one other Mac here, George and his wife in their X 'Escape'. We
had met him on the rendezvous we organized in 2003 up in the San Juans.
They summer up here on their boat and have a really well traveled X.
They have been around Vancouver Island, up to Alaska, and to the Queen
Charlottes. Their X is now for sale as they have bought a 44'
motor sailor to get more space to live in during the summers.
The boys are finding lots of sea life attached to the
docks. In particular the purple starfish were a hit.
We had the standard weeners and beaners first night
dinner listening to the XM satellite radio and tucked in around 10pm.
Dockton to Cutts Island
We woke around 9:00 to an overcast morning. We had a quick
breakfast of muffins and left the dock headed for Cutts Island in Carr
This takes us south through the Tacoma Narrows.
The are in the process of building the second Narrows suspension bridge.
The towers and the cables are all up and the bridge deck sections from
Korea have been brought in on a Dockwise ship for hoisting into place.
Each section weights 400 tons. They hoist it off the Dockwise ship
onto a barge, powerwash it, then take the barge out into position for
hoisting. The current runs 3 knots through here so there is always
a tug at one end or the other of the ship working to keep it in place. They
had one east section up and two center ones up when we went through on
Once at Cutts we had a great hoagie lunch and the boys
and the dog piled in the dinghy to go ashore. They are becoming
quite self sufficient. The clouds burned off and it was a perfect
sunny afternoon with a 5 knot breeze from the SW. The new folding
seat works great, we need one more. We also have the new rocker
stoppers down and they dampen the rolling and swinging quite well.
3pm, time for naps. Sam came back for water and snacks, Dawn went
to the beach with him. On the west side the boys found a rope
swing. They all returned at 7pm for dinner of burgers on the
grill. The wind is up to 10 knots and with the long fetch it's a
bit bumpy but there is little rolling so we should get a good nights
The wind died down after midnight for a calm night.
At 2:30am I woke up to a buzzing sound I had never heard before.
My electric toothbrush in my travel case had turned itself on. It
won't turn off. I decided I'd have to wait until the batteries ran
down but after a couple minutes it shut off as mysteriously as it turned
on. Perhaps it misses it's charger base.
Everyone slept late. Dawn took Jessie to the beach while I cooked
French toast and sausage. The boys decided to try their hand at
fishing and Sam got one by hooking it's tail. We set the crab pot
to get the salmon tail out of the cooler.
I rowed the boys to shore, it took 4 trips to get them
everything they wanted. Their going to work on a fort. Just
after 2pm a seaplane landed and motored to the beach right across our
bow. More naps. The boys wanted to return at around 4pm and
we all hung out and fished until dinner. The salmon tail is
completely gone and the seals swimming around look very suspicious.
I filled the ballast for a bit more stability tonight.
There are a few more boats here now, 5 of the 8 buoys are full. The dog
is pooped and the wind is up.
After a simple dinner of Chicken and Soppa noodles we
settled in for a movie, '2001 A Space Odyssey'. The wind keeps
building, now over 20 knots and the rollers are 2'-3'. I briefly
surveyed around us to see if there was another more protected place to
go anchor but it looks like we'll just have to grin and bare it.
Good thing everyone is a tough sailor in this family.
By the end of the movie the ride was very bad.
The weather report says it should die down after midnight but that
doesn't change having to go to bed in these rough conditions. I'd
say this is the second roughest night we have experienced out on
'Allegro'. Of course now that it is dark and rough Dawn say's
Jessie has to go to the beach. We leaped into the dinghy between
swells and I rowed through the spray to the beach so the dog could pee
by headlamp. It was a wet trip back to the boat. The dinghy
is getting quite a ride hanging out behind the boat. Things
finally calmed after 2am.