87, 88, 89
Mid Summer in the Mid Sound
What a great 6 day trip!
Cutts Island to Penrose Point
It's heavy overcast and cool this morning. When Dawn took Jessie
to the beach this morning there were lots of seals on shore. As
they walked the beach the seals followed along with them in the water.
Perhaps Jessie looked appetizing.
As soon as they were back we left for the short
crossing of Carr Inlet to Penrose Point almost due south of us. We
checked out the east side buoys and there were two available so we
decided there was time to look on the west side of the point as well.
The inner most of the 3 there was empty so we took it. Everyone
was tired or rowing and the distances here are greater so Sam and I put
the motor on the dinghy. It started right up even on year old gas.
With all 6 of us (counting the dog) loaded in the
dinghy we headed for shore. This is a nice park with good
facilities. After dumping the garbage we did some exploring.
We needed a few things from the nearby Lakebay Marina store so we loaded
everyone back in the dinghy and took the boys over to the more remote
part of the point to hang out while we crossed the bay to the marina.
On our way we went by the park dock. There was space on both sides
for us, but we elected to stay on the buoy. I'm a bit concerned
that the forecast shift to a north wind could make for another rough
night but we prefer the privacy of the buoy to the dock. We tied
up at the marina and picked up the essentials, ice and beer, at the
store. The place is just as run down as the last time we stopped
here 3 years ago. We then cruised back to the boat.
We had a quiet lunch and around 2pm Nick called for a
pickup to get his swim trunks. Dawn took him in and stayed on the
beach while he poked around in the salt water estuary. They then
went down the beach a ways to another rope swing they had found.
Sam embarked on ferrying driftwood needed for a fort using the dinghy.
They then built a small fort. I spent the time learning about
features on the new GPS/Sounder. Everyone didn't return from the
beach until 7pm.
We had a good dinner of chicken patties and mashed
potatoes while listening to the Mariners game on the XM satellite radio.
Everyone is pooped from the busy day on the beach. The boys fished
some at dusk and Mike got two, everyone else got skunked. Sam and
I took Jessie in to the beach and filled the empty water tank.
Thankfully, it's a dead calm night. This has
been a spectacular stop on the trip.
Penrose Point to Gig Harbor
The next morning we awoke to low tide with the previously hidden reef
exposed. Now everyone can see why the buoys are set so far from
shore. Dawn, Jessie and I dinghy'd in to shore. The tide is
rising fast, we pulled the dinghy completely clear of the water before
walking up to the facilities and when we returned 15 minutes later it
was floating. Good thing I also tied the painter to a rock.
Back on the boat we had a oatmeal breakfast and
prepared for departure. With the dinghy motor back on the transom
bracket and the rocker stoppers pulled we are ready to go. The
fishing heated up and we delayed our departure for an hour or so leaving
around 12:40. Surprisingly we had good current help of 1 - 1.5
knots all the way across Carr Inlet and through Hale Passage. The
fuel tank ran dry just as we were about to go under the Fox Island
bridge and we had to take quick action to avoid drifting into it as we
Once out in the Narrows the current switched to 1 knot
against with a north head wind as well. There is a barge out mid
span with the next section to be hoisted hooked up to the cables.
After passing under the bridge we made our way through the chop up the
west shore to Gig Harbor. We found our way to Arabellas Landing
marina and tied up at he inside end of the main dock. Now if
Jessie would just stop barking at everyone that goes by.
Since this is our anniversary night, Dawn didn't want
to cook, yet we had trouble finding a restaurant to go to where we could
take the dog. We elected to do take out and we placed a order for
fish and chips and hamburgers at the Tides Tavern. Dawn, Sam and
Nick walked up into town to pick up the order. We dinned on the
private marina deck at the party tables.
After dinner everyone wanted dessert. We walked
back up east into town to find some ice cream at one of the two places
Dawn had seen. After a bit of a walk, we found that both were
closed. I had talked earlier with the girl on the dock about gas
availability (for all the marinas in Gig Harbor not a single one has
fuel available) and she indicated that not far to the west there was a
Chevron station. We decided to walk that way to see how far it was
and maybe find a minimart that would be open with ice cream. It
turned out to be quite a hike west, was a 76 station, and had a garage,
not a minimart. We were ready to give up with all the complaining
about how far we had walked from the kids.
It just happened that at that time there was a bus at
the curb and the driver was out loading a bike. He saw Jessie and
came over to pet her. Dawn explained that we were after ice cream
and he said there was ice cream available up he road at Anthonys.
He told us to hop in. We were reluctant because then we would have
even farther to walk back. He solved that problem telling us he
would be making the return trip in 1/2 an hour and would pick us back
We piled into the bus and rode down the road to
Anthonys. Mike was thrilled, this was his first bus ride. We
actually didn't end up going to Anthonys as we found a small little
restaurant called the 'Harbor Kitchen' just down the block. We all
had a wonderful chocolate cookie and ice cream concoction and soda.
They had handy outside tables and our dog join another one already
there. After that it was back to the bus stop to wait for the
return ride. The bus was later than we had expected and we had to
wait about 15 minutes. It all worked out great however as we rode
right back to the marina.
Once back at the boat we all settled in, Dawn and I
took showers (no quarters required, they're free here) and we all went
to bed to the blare of the live band at a club across the harbor.
Gig Harbor to Des Moines
Dawn and Jessie were up at 9am and headed out for some shopping.
By 11am everything was shipshape and ready to go. The dinghy is
stowed on the bow and some how we even found a place for the rocker
stoppers. Dawn ran out once again for some brunch cinnamon rolls
and we pushed off on her return just before noon.
We crossed over to Point Defiance and picked our way
through the raft of fishing boats to the marina. They were
particularly thick near the ferry dock. Once past all them we made
our way to the fuel dock. The main dock is filled with a large
cruiser that takes over an hour to fill his tanks. Imagine that
bill. A small fishing boat was just finishing up on the side and
after a brief wait we were able to dock. I really only need a
couple extra gallons of gas, but we went ahead and filled a spare tank
as well for a total of 9 gallons.
We then zig zagged back through the fishing fleet and
were on our way north to Des Moines. We sped up and dumped
ballast, then settled in at 9 knots through a medium chop. We had
to leave the canvas up because of the spray. When we reached the
marina we pulled in and found the line at the sling empty. I went
ahead and pulled the boat into the pickup dock and hustled up the ramp
to get the truck on deck before anyone else came and made us move.
The loading went quickly and after a brief stop in the
parking lot to pack the last few things for the freeway we were off on
our way home arriving at 3pm.
This was a great trip.