97, 98 and 99
BlueWater Yachts Rendezvous
Des Moines to Port Orchard Marina
We pulled the boat out of the boathouse and gave it a good exterior wash
before the trip. Over the past week it has had a major facelift
inside (see the picture at the right and more
here in the mods section). We received and installed our new
cushion covers from
www.boatbimini.com along with the new carpet and three wall
organizers. The color named "Teak" coordinates great with the
edged Berber carpet they sell. This of course made the existing
blue curtains and pillows look out of place so we spent a couple
evenings sewing new matching curtains and pillow covers. These
turned out very nice and now the entire interior looks fresh and new.
Once washed, we loaded the gear and headed south to
Des Moines marina. No one was at the launch although there was one
other suburban with a Mac trailer in the parking lot. It started
to rain steadily just as we pulled into the lot. We are making
this trip with the motoring mast which will I'm sure be the topic of
much conversation at the rendezvous. This made setup quite quick
and in 10 minutes we had all the canvas up and the cockpit equipment in
place. As usual the sling launch was simple, after pulling into
place the boat was picked up and placed gently in the water.
We got under way at 2:30 pm headed north to the tip of
Vashon Island. Once past the ferry dock we ducked under Blake
Island and went up it's west shore. We made our way through Rich
Passage and in to Port Orchard Marina just before 5pm. The
rendezvous has the entire 50 slip dock reserved with a large party area
out at the end. We were in slip 48 which turned out to be the
furthest inside slip on the east side.
We proudly motored in with our party flags flying from
the motoring mast as people started to talk. Once tied up and
plugged in, we headed out to socialize. The boys made a bee line
for the pilings and began building their aquarium. A series of
squalls kept making their way through the area and we alternated between
dock time and times huddled inside to stay dry.
At 6pm BWY gave their welcome talk and announced my
"Princess Louisa" presentation at 8pm. We started a movie for the
boys, "Casino Royale", and had take out Pizza for dinner. I had to
stop the movie short and pry the computer away to give the presentation
Everyone assembled in their chairs on the large party
area at the end of the pier and we set the projector and screen up under
the metal cabana the marina keeps there. I showed over 250
pictures in the slide show but I had them all in a timed PowerPoint that
auto ran as I narrated. It was setup with longer pauses to allow
story telling at the appropriate times. This turned out great.
It let us show many pictures without turning into a long boring family
vacation slide show. I was able to tell all the cool stories from
the trip yet still stay on track keeping the show to the 20 minutes
length I had promised.
After the show we hung around and talked finally
turning in for the night around 10pm.
Port Orchard Marina
We all slept below with Mike in the aft berth middle as the nights
weather was nasty at times. Friday dawned with what looked to be
We had to make one early morning venture out of the
boat. Jenny managed to get over the hatch boards into the cockpit,
work her nose under the canvas and lift the zipper, then jump off the
boat onto the dock. Dawn was able to corral her without too much
trouble and bring her back from her walkabout. Everyone returned to bed
after the capture was made.
We slept late past the free coffee and treats at 9am.
We went for Sausage and Pancakes for breakfast. BWY was holding
various seminars throughout the morning but we didn't attend any.
The boys hit the jackpot on the marine life collecting at the low tide.
Most of the late morning was spent just chatting and
hanging out. After lunch we set about cleaning everything up nice
and shiny for the boat tours in the afternoon. Those of us on the
east side were scheduled to be the host boats between 2:00pm and 3:00pm.
The the tours swapped over to the west side from 3:00pm to 4:00pm.
Dawn took the boys out for a walk just past two to clear out space for
our guests. We had a steady stream of people during the first
hour. Dawn returned at 3:00pm and set out to tour the west
side boats. Every time I thought I could get away more people kept
showing up and I wasn't able to escape to any other boats until 3:50pm.
I did manage to get to one other boat, 'Chinook', for a tasty rum drink.
Food started arriving and everyone began to queue up
for the potluck at 5pm. We arrived late with our nacho's and found
they didn't have the BBQ's running to heat them up. One of the
boats out at the end of the dock graciously fired up their BBQ and
allowed Dawn to heat the food. She slipped them onto the line just
as the initial offerings were beginning to fade.
At 6 pm BWY had scheduled a line handling
demonstration. This morphed on the fly to incorporate many things.
Cheryl from BWY started off demonstrating how to coil and throw a line
to lasso a cleat. Her method involves holding both ends of the
line and tossing the center out past the cleat. Ray from BWY then
demonstrated throwing a line far out for docking or rescue purposes.
He then climbed up on his boat and talked about his bow line and fender
setup that makes it easy to dock especially singlehanded.
The line handling demonstration finished up with me
talking about using spring lines to deal with difficult docking
situations. I limited the details to using a single spring from a
bow cleat to a aft dock cleat for both down wind approaches and up wind
We then had some time off before Mike of 'Chinook'
gave his slide show of their Bahamas' trip a couple years back at 8pm.
He was using just a picture viewer on the computer in manual advance
mode and while it was interesting it ran pretty long. We finally
left at 9:15pm while he was still in the middle of the show.
We had promised the Boys they could go to the arcade
that was in town for the 'Fathom Days' celebration. It was setup
where the farmers market usually is. Dawn took the boys to ride
the rides while I stayed with the dogs and got the boat cleaned up for
the night. Once I completed that, I took the dogs for a walk down
the boardwalk. On my way back the dogs and I met up with Dawn and
the boys returning from the arcade. We continued the other way
down the boardwalk to the park at the east end. The playground
there is filled with lot's of new twirling equipment and for a while the
boys, Sam included, were all 5 year olds again laughing and playing on
the play equipment. Once everyone was too dizzy to walk we made
our way back to the boat for the night.
Port Orchard Marina to Des Moines
The main agenda item on the BWY morning schedule was the captains
meeting for the 'Not quite a race, race'. Since we didn't have
sails with us and were planning to leave midday anyway we didn't
Dawn and I went for a walk into town to get coffee and
breakfast snacks. The whole downtown was packed with booths of
every kind for the weekend celebration and parade on Saturday night.
After wandering around for a while we finally got food at the bakery and
returned to the boat.
With everything basically ready to go we decided to
ship our lines and head out just after noon. About 3/4 of the way
through Rich passage we ran out of fuel on the tank and switched to the
final 6 gallon tank. This was a bit sooner than I had anticipated
so I decided to take it slow at 7 knots to make sure we could reach the
dock. We made it with at least a gallon to spare.
We made our way south down the east side of Blake
Island this time and to the Des Moines marina. It was a calm
smooth trip on a bright sunny day. Dawn and the dogs had a nice
long nap as I stood by while the autopilot drove.
The marina was busier and we had to orbit for a while
to get space at the sling dock. In theory the launching and
loading order is determined by the order of the trucks in line, but
there was unfortunately no place to stop and get out to go get the truck
in the line. Once the dock cleared I just pulled in. It
turned out we had to wait for them to load one small little whaler
fishing boat that sneaked in in front of us. The loading was quick and
after 15 minutes of packing in the parking lot we were on the road home.
For a trip that was suppose to be just Dawn and I, it
turned out to be a good trip with the whole crew on board.
50 slips, all Macs, plus a few more on the
breakwater to the right
(The big powerboat is not on our dock)
Our new seat cushion covers, carpet,
curtains and pillows.
We were provocative and left the sailing
mast at home.
Motoring mast with festive flags.
The boardwalk totem pole.
On walkabout during 'Fathom Days'.
We missed the parade which was Saturday
Seattle from North of Blake Island.
Nap time while the Autopilot drives.