Thursday, April 5, 2018

23-26June, 2017 A weekend on Spencer Spit

Weather:  Sunny and mild, mostly.  Winds:  Variable, 0-15.  Seas:  Flat to 3ft.

Friday:  Departed Skyline midday and motored out.  Had winds initially through Burrows Pass but then had to motor across Rosario Strait.  Got increasing wind through Thatcher Pass and sailed to a south side mooring at Spencer Spit.  Wind was southerly and the mooring was not comfortable.  The north side moorings appeared to be full, but we kept an eye out.  Around mid afternoon, a couple opened up and we slipped our lines and made our way around.

Once on the north side, we saw the western most mooring was open and took it.  It is not a popular ball because of a lack of depth at the expected low low tide.  With Strider and her shallow draft, this was not a problem!

Thus began a delightful weekend on Spencer Spit.  A little dog walking, a little clamming, a little rowing, a little banter with an Ohio State alumnus, a park employee dumping the trash (said just in case she reads this!), a lot of sitting back and relaxing in the sunshine!

While we had been to Spencer Spit quite a few times and seen the clam information posted on the beach, we had never seen anyone actually clamming.  This weekend would change this.  The low low tide was indeed low.  At the lowest point, the beach was exposed for at least a hundred yards.  From our mooring, I could have jumped from the stern onto the beach.  I had to move the dinghy from the stern to ensure it would not be aground!  Then, about 0900, at first a trickle then a rush, the crowd, mostly families, descended, armed with shovels and buckets, upon the exposed beach to hunt the tasty bivalves.  We joined them one morning and grabbed a few large cockles for fritters.

Sunday was the only change in routine and we decided to explore.  We'd heard Eagle Harbor on the northeast side of Cypress Island was a good spot, a favorite of a buddy.  Slipping the lines, we motored out and picked up wind and sailed under the main and screacher through Thatcher Pass.  Once again, the wind died and we motored across Rosario.

Rounding the south side of Cypress, the wind picked up to about 10kts from the north, straight down Bellingham Channel.  Under main and genoa, we tacked up the channel and reached into the entrance of Eagle Harbor.  It was full...and so was Pelican Beach to the north.  So, we continued north in the good wind and made our way around the north end of the island.  What to do?  Head back to Spencer Spit of course!

Once around the north end and after dodging a couple fishing boats, the wind died in Rosario...again.  We motored through Peavine Pass, fighting a little bit of current.  Once inside, we had some light wind and sailed, main and screacher, at about 3kts towards the Spit.  With the wind out of the north, we headed to the south side and picked up a mooring.

The cool thing, at least for us, is the water encloses the spit on both sides.  While not allowed to be off leash, it is easy to let the dogs run on the sand, knowing they cannot get into much mischief.

Another excellent evening, a great night's sleep and we had to reenter the real world on Monday.  Overnight, the winds had picked up out of the south, blowing 15kts.  Under reefed main and genoa, the ride across Rosario was a bit rough, but we made 7-8kts directly home!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Anacortes Boat Show, 5-10April, 2017

This was 2 simple motors from Skyline to Cap Sante Marina putting Strider into the annual boat show.

5April, 2017
Weather:  Overcast and cool.  Winds:  Light and variable.  Seas:  <1ft.

Roughly 7.5nm motor with my sister and nephew aboard.  Did some close up sight seeing along the shoreline and spotting some marine mammals!  Motored into the marina and figured out our spot and secured Strider.

10April, 2017
Weather:  Sunny and cool.  Winds:  Light and variable.  Seas: <1ft.

Basically the same as the above, but with nicer weather!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Friday, 5Aug2016: Fort Flagler to Skyline

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  West 5-10kts.  Seas:  1-2ft.

Once again, we weren't in a hurry and had no real destination.  Motored out out the channel into Port Townsend.  Wind was calm in the channel and started to pick up, 5kts as we entered the bay.  Raised the main and unfurled the screacher.  Sailed north towards Point Wilson, dodging crab pots along the way.

The wind increased approaching Point Wilson and was blowing 15kts as we rounded the point.  Along the way, furled the screacher and unfurled the genoa.  Making 8kts under sail, we encountered a traffic jam at the point, all motoring sailboats.  We quickly passed 2 boats and were concerned with a 3rd off our port side as our paths were converging.  As we got closer, the other boat yielded the right of way and ducked under our stern.  Now on our starboard side, our paths diverged as he headed towards Partridge Point on Whidbey Island and we towards Smith Island.

Since we had no real destination we decided to head north, perhaps to an anchorage off Lopez Island, and go via Smith Island as we had never been there and heard whales had been spotted there recently.  Rounding Point Wilson, winds became more westerly, funneling down the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  These winds also decreased as we approached Smith Island, necessitating another sail change and then motoring the last mile.

Smith Island has an interesting history and I'll encourage everyone to follow the links.  Today, it was...boring.  No wind, no whales, no sea lions...just quiet and sunny.  And it affected our mood.  Suddenly, we were tired and home, in our own bed after a long, hot shower, sounded fantastic!  So, mood brightened, we headed to Skyline.  Still no wind, but the tide was with us and we motored into an uneventful mooring.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Thursday, 3Aug2016: Fort Flagler

Weather:  Sunny and hot!  Winds:  Light.  Seas:  N/A

We were in no hurry, only chores awaited at home.  The sun was bright, the weather pleasant, the coffee fresh and a place to we did.

Fort Flagler was part of the 'triangle of fire' along with Fort Worden, near Port Townsend and where parts of "An Officer and a Gentleman" were filmed and Fort Casey, across Admiralty Inlet on Whidbey Island.

The Fort Flagler anchorage is just off a dock next to the Lower Campground, which is huge.  There were 6 mooring balls and the way the tidal current rips through, I wouldn't risk anchoring.  Walking the dogs in the morning, the current was with us and we just let it bring us to the dock.  The campground area has a small convenience store and a large open space.  The open space allowed us to carefully run the dogs off leash, particularly out onto a sand spit, which grew larger as the tide went out.  After a morning run (they need their exercise!), we rowed along the beach avoiding the current.

After a couple boat chores, we leashed the dogs and went for a long walk through the parks many shaded trails.  We thought to go to the main barracks area, but the place was larger than we thought and only made it to Battery Bankhead, about half way to the main facilities.  We then walked to the north shore trails and headed back to the boat...the dogs were exhausted - really.  The terriers were fine, it was our feet!  Something to work on....

Though the sun was not setting - its August and the sun doesn't set until 2100 - it was time for a sundowner once we got back to the boat.  The grill was fired up and a couple of burgers made.  After one more dog run on the spit, we just relaxed, reading and watching other boats coming into the anchorage.

All in all, a pleasant day and we will definitely come back!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wednesday, 3Aug2016: Poulsbo to Fort Flagler

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  S 5 becoming W 10kts.  Seas:  <1ft (except when it wasn't).

Departed Poulsbo with the ebb, motoring out Liberty Bay and through Agate Pass.  Made 9kts through Agate with the current!  Motored across Port Madison and into the Sound proper.  Managed a little sail northward under the main and screacher.

Winds picked up as we rounded Point No Point, as did the washing machine.  Stuck close to shore avoiding the largest of the churning.  Once through Skunk Band and past Foul Weather Bluff, the seas calmed and the west wind picked up.

Sailed upwind at 7kts through Oak Bay and the entrance to Port Townsend Canal.  Motored through the canal and then the remaining 3nm to Fort Flagler State Park.    The waterway to the park is wide, but the navigable channel narrow making motoring up the channel interesting and requiring attention to the markers.  Our back up plan was Mystery Bay State Park, further into the bay, but there was no need as six of the seven buoys were open and we selected the one with the most space around it, which was the one closest to the dock!

We very much enjoyed this park, to the point we stayed an extra day!

Tuesday, 2Aug2016: Poulsbo

Weather:  Predicted dicey with thunderstorms.  Winds:  Variable.  Seas:  N/A

Safely tucked into one of our favorite marinas, we decided to stay and wait out the predicted storms.  After watching the moms exercise class in the park, we ended up walking the dogs all over, exploring further than we had in the past, finding the Safeway and the businesses along/off Hwy 305.

While there was some rain in the day, it was not as bad a predicted.  For us, it is always worth a stop in Poulsbo just to go to Sluy's Bakery.  We got several tasty pastries, including a viking cup, and a loaf of their brod.

Monday, 1Aug2016: Des Moines to Poulsbo

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  Variable, 0-10 kts.  Seas:  Flat

Departed around with the ebb and with no real destination, just headed north, just took it easy and thought we'd find some place towards the end of the day.  Sailed off and on with the main and screacher as the wind allowed, else, motor.

Made it to Blake Island around noon.  There were mooring buoys available, but it was too early to stop.  So, we pressed on.  Winds dictated we head towards the Rich Passage and Poulsbo became the obvious destination.  Saw a couple dive boats off the south end of Bainbridge Island apparently harvesting shellfish.  We then sailed between the salmon pens off the SE corner of Bainbridge.

Winds were fickle through here but we were able to sail through most of the pass.  Making the right hand turn at Point White, the winds became consistent and we had a nice broad reach making 7kts northbound to Keyport.  Motored past Keyport.  Once in Liberty Bay, southwest winds picked up and we sailed to the marina.

Once in the marina, there were plenty of slips.  Not wanting to fold, we searched a couple minutes looking a double wide open slip.  Thought we found one and set up for a port side tie.  Unfortunately, upon closer inspection, the slip was too narrow.  So, backed out and moved to another section where the slips were wide enough.  Pulled in and let the wind kiss us against the dock, holding us secure.

The marina was closed for the hour early!  However, there were quiet a few people on the dock and we were able to get the bathroom codes.  There was also a USCG cutter on maneuvers from Bangor tied to the end of the dock.  The crew was pleasant to talk to and they offered a tour...which was politely declined - I'd spent enough time on naval vessels.

A pleasant evening!