Duane, Dawn,
Sam, Nick, and Mike
(Jessy and Jenny)

Home Up Family Pictures Music



Logbook Day 81, 82, and 83
7/13/2006 - 7/15/2006

A Quick Get-A-Way
Time alone, finally

Newport to Illahee Park

Sometimes everything just falls into place. Dawn finished up her jury duty, I had a couple extra days off coming, and all three kids were gone for the week having arranged camp and other accommodations on very short notice. Faced with the choice of spending our quite time at home or on the boat we chose to skip the pending house projects and hit the water.

We loaded and prepped the boat quickly on Thursday morning (the mast is off, perhaps for the long term) and headed to the Newport launch. This will be the first extended trip for us without the kids (we do however have the dog along). The only thing we forgot to grab was the camera.

The launch was deserted and we filled the dashboard of the truck with parking coupons and headed out. It was a smooth and easy passage across the lake to the locks where we slid up to the holding wall at the head of the line. Shortly after arriving another Mac pulled in behind (they had their mast). In no time we were loaded and made the long trip down to a quite low tide.

From Shilshole we turned south tentatively headed for Blake Island which was the closest park. Dawn and the dog retired below for their second nap and I set the autopilot for the cruise across an empty sound. As we drew near Blakely Rocks it began to rain and the wind rose. Rather than bang away into the seas I elected to hang a right into Rich Passage and head for our original choice of destination, Illahee Park. Dawn awoke just as we were approaching the park.

There were a quite a bit of fishermen on the dock so we decided to take a buoy. At first we hooked the north most one, but Dawn felt it was too close to the dock so we moved down to the middle one. There are 5 buoys here and they are all empty. While they are exposed to the south and boat wakes, the ride seemed tolerable with only occasional rolling.

The next task was the dinghy so the dog could get to shore. I hooked up the pump and unrolled the dinghy on the bow. Opps, something is not right. Where is the air floor? Apparently when we cleaned it at the end of last season we pulled the floor and never put it back. Dawn wanted to try it even without the floor. I inflated the tubes and the boat is plenty firm and stable, but the vee bottom is slack without the floor to push it down. With instructions not to step on the bottom Dawn loaded up the dog and rowed to shore.

I filled the ballast and did some final cleanup and organizing while they were gone. Time passed quickly and so quietly without the kids and we decided to call it a night. While there was some rolling, after dark all traffic and the wind died and the water was mirror flat giving us a still, quiet night.

Illahee Park

Rising late the next morning the only required task was to take Jessie to the beach. Dawn rowed in and spent some time walking around the park. Once they returned we considered our options. Should we move elsewhere? Even though some of the rolling is back we decided to just hang out on the buoy and do nothing at all. We whiled away the day resting and enjoying the peace and quiet. The wind built quite a bit in the later afternoon as it shifted North East making the ride more uncomfortable. We were almost ready to head to the dock for a bit of shelter when things eased just enough to make it tolerable. (I see rocker-stoppers in our future.) 

Conditions were strange, usually when the wind climbs the boat swings back and forth wildly at anchor or on a buoy.  For some reason we sat nose just slightly off the wind without any side to side movement.  There must be quite a unseen current running from the north working against the board and rudders holding us in place.  We wrapped up the day with dinner and a movie then turned in. Just as last night, everything died after dark and we were back to a glass smooth sea. The boat sat so still in a fixed position that more than a few times I wondered if we were somehow aground.

Illahee Park to Newport

We decided to get under way fairly early on Saturday headed for Port Orchard marina. We’ve never stopped there and wanted to see some new places. With ballast full and pulling the dinghy without a floor we made our way at 6 knots south. The marina is just across from the naval base at Bremerton. It’s a nice marina, but staying in the very industrial area is not appealing. We entered and found space to tie up for a short stop. There is a Chris Craft rendezvous going on here this weekend. With everything secure we headed into get something to eat. We found a nice restaurant with outdoor seating where we could have the dog with us. Once we had dined we wandered through the Saturday farmers market. It really was more of craft show than a food market.

Having had our fill of the land we boarded and headed for home. The dinghy is now rolled back up on the bow and it was a simple passage.  Crossing in front of Elliot Bay the wind was up with white caps. We still had our ballast in (a rare thing under power for us) and the ride was quite comfortable at 4000 rpm and 9 knots. Perhaps we’ll use ballast more often.  I would have expected the need to slow down to keep the boat from launching in these conditions.

Entering the lock area it appeared our timing was perfect. They were just loading the small locks and it looked like we would be set. However as we crept in it became clear there wasn’t going to be room. The lock attendant thought we should be able to fit our bow in between the two back boats and make the ride, but I didn’t see it. The gap was not near big enough and there was no way they would have been able to close the doors behind us. We elected to back out and wait for the next trip.

We spent the next 30 minutes circling not wanting to tie up at the mussel and barnacle covered wall during the very low tide. There is Goodtime boat waiting along with quite a few other boats now. The captain of the Goodtime indicated that he expected them to call him first and that we should just follow him in. This is exactly what we did. There was just room for us on the south side behind him. They put 4 other smaller boats rafted 2x2 behind him on the opposite wall. These folks struggled with the instructions and we looked quite professional.

We were last out and made the 7 knot trip back to Lake Washington. Once we were south of 520 we sped up, opened the valves, and dumped our ballast as we made our way across the lake to the ramp. Loading was quick and simple and in no time we were secured and on the road. Not having the mast makes this so nice.

This turned out to be a very nice trip alone. We’ve got a short list of boat tasks and are looking forward to a couple more extended trips next month.




  We forgot the camera! 

  Better use the packing checklist next time.





























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