Wednesday, November 30, 2016

28-31July2016: Des Moines

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

While under the SeaTac airport's flight path, we found Des Moines to be a clean and pleasant place.  Met quiet a few friendly people on the docks and were able to run the dogs up and down the docks - they need their exercise!

We were there in the midst of the Pokemon Go craze and there were a ton of people in the park around the marina, all of whom seemed intent on having a good time.  I asked one if they called themselves pokemonsters or pokemobsters.  She responded with, "Well, I'm Italian so it must be pokemobsters!"  Another guy who was out enjoying the afternoon with friends said both would apply!

With most of the day taken up with a swim meet at the King County Aquatics Center, we really did not have much chance for seeing any local events or enjoy a local restaurant.  We were surprised by a 'farmer's market' in the park on Saturday morning.  We've found most of these markets are more craft fair than farmer's market and this one was no exception.  A local bakery was setting up their stall and I hoped to get a sticky bun before we had to go to the aquatics center.  The person behind the counter said they have them, but would not sell any before 1000.  Since it was only 0830...well, I guess they were confident they would sell and did not want to be bothered by us.  Move along, nothing to see here.

The one big exception to the above paragraph was a Don Gregorios Taco Truck.  Parked in the lot above the marina, it was excellent, easy and a great price.  Further, the two ladies running the truck were gregarious and made me smile.  My opinion:  Worth the stop!

Thursday, 28July2016: Dockton to Des Moines

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  Light.  Seas:  Flat.

We needed to get to Des Moine and headed out around 1000 after walking the dogs and a pleasant breakfast.  With so little wind, we motored the distance.  The flood tide was against us, but we found a back eddy along the beach on the SE side of Maury Island.  The nice thing about motoring close to shore is being able to take in the wildlife along the beach and see the houses up close and personal.  Definitely helps to break up the monotony.

Much to our surprise, we came across the annual tribal canoe journey as they rounded Maury Island's east and south side, as they rounded Robinson Point.  Quite a parade of canoes.  See here and here for photos and story.

From Robinson Point, it is a short, 2nm jaunt across the Puget Sound to Des Moines.  The marina seemed a little tight, probably because of all the time tied to Freestyle in Gig Harbor and the openness of Dockton.  I'd talked with the marina staff and they were not expecting a crowd and they gave us the go ahead to leave Strider spread.  This may also have contributed!

Des Moines advertises the least expensive fuel in the area and there was a short line for the fuel dock. So, instead of jockeying around in the fairway and generally clogging up the place, we found an open slip a the head of the nearest dock and rested there on a spring line.  There was a little confusion when it was our turn for the fuel dock and the other boat backed off...turns out, they were Sparties!  Once fueled, we backed off the fuel dock and almost directly into our chosen slip.  Quite painless!

Wednesday, 27July2016: Gig Harbor to Dockton

Weather:  Sunny and warm.  Winds:  Light and variable.  Seas:  Flat

Basically another lazy day, relaxing in Gig Harbor...until:

MM had made a social engagement with local friends for an afternoon sail so our raft off with Freestyle ended.  Around 1600, Freestyle and Strider motored out of the harbor and sailed around in the light winds off Point Defiance.  While Freestyle had main and genoa up, we went with the screacher only.  It quickly became evident the advantages a light boat has over a heavy boat.  While the Oceanus 45 seems to be a fast boat in moderate to heavy winds, Strider sailed circles around Freestyle.

After an hour or so, we split off and headed north into Quartermaster Harbor.  We continued sailing up into the entrance, then motored to Dockton, taking an outside slip unfolded.

Unlike the last time we came to the county park, the place was nearly empty, only about six boats.  All was pretty quiet until later in the evening when, what looked like a group of local high school football players came and started jumping off the facility's roof into the clear water below.  About a 16ft plunge into about 15ft of water.  Along with the boys, other local kids came for a evening stroll on the docks.

This is a nice place for a couple days with plenty of room to walk the dogs and a quiet atmosphere.  A pleasant evening!