Thursday, August 7, 2014

Gig Harbor

During a heavy storm in 1840, Captain Charles Wilkes brought the Captain's gig (small boat) into the harbor for protection. Later, with the publication of Wilkes 1841 Map of the Oregon Territory, he named the sheltered bay Gig Harbor.
1867 brought fisherman Samuel Jerisich to the Gig Harbor area, along with many other immigrants from Sweden, Norway, and Croatia. The town was platted in 1888 by Alfred M. Burnham
Google maps indicated just under an hour to drive from Seattle to gig Harbor,.
 Mt. Rainier Led the way 

First time over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. This is an Awesome bridge to drive over

This is Why! The Channel under the Bridge is called The Narrows

Captured this from the internet, you can see how protected the harbor is and why it developed into a premier spot on South Puget Sound

This is the West End of the Harbor, several marinas dot the shores. 
A little to the East toward the center of the Harbor

Great views from all points Gig Harbor

Public dock right in the center of the Harbor

Lions Head Jellyfish seem to be the most common in the Sound.

Everyone has a view 

Not if these moorings are public or private.

I have read about some public mooring balls but not sure where they are located in the Harbor, no reference to them on Active Captain?

The Harbor is usuallyt full of cruisers during the "Season" so the locals show up to sell their arts, crafts, and their  

Chicken Pens.

Rent a Kayak here

Looking East towards the Narrows and the inlet to the Harbor

We wanted to eat here at The Tides Tavern but they were packed

So we looked for the next best thing

The Green Turtle Restaurant was not open yes since it was Sunday and they only served Dinner but they agreed to sell us a couple of drinks. 

We had a great view from their shaded deck to see the boats coming and going from the Harbor.

I asked a waiter about the depth at the opening and it does not seem to be a problem for most vessels even at low tide but a 100'+ yacht had to wait for high tide to transit the inlet.

Sailiing the Narrows looks great as well!

At the Geen Turtle I had a  BALLZ DEEP DOUBLE IPA BREWED Brewed at 7 Seas Brewery just a few blocks away so on our way out I stopped to get a 4 pack to take home.

Spotted Tohee

Gig Harbor
  For years I have often read of Gig Harbor in the various sailing publications. It is just one of those names that sticks with you. When I realized we were just a hours drive I started looking for a day where we could go do a day trip to check it out. It is a more popular destination for cruisers than ever as the harbor is often full throughout the "Season" and it is easy to understand why. Absolutely beautiful views and one of the most protected Harbors in Puget Sound. There is plenty to entertain all shore side as well making it a great family destination. If we did have our boat up hear it would be difficult choosing a home port since there are so many great places to be for a extended stay. Even the parking was tight so we ended up driving all the way in to the West end of the Harbor to find a space, but that turned out perfect for me giving us the opportunity to stroll along the entire South shore past most of the marinas and shops.
There was a small Arts and crafts fair going on just adjacent to the Jerisich Public Dock and Park, a free dock where you can tie up for two nights. There was only 1 space left on the long dock which is accessible on both sides and a 70 yacht slowly motored in and managed to just tuck in between two vessels very neatly.
I had read the reviews of the Tides Tavern and my Corpus Buddy Randy strongly suggested we eat there. When we arrived around 3pm, the place was packed and had a long waiting list. Little chance to get a good table with a water view so we walked on.We neared the inlet to the Harbor and found the Green Turtle Restaurant. It was clear they were not open for business yet but there were a few employees apparently getting the place ready to open for dinner, The Admiral went inside and asked if we could just get a couple of drinks, they very graciously accommodated us and since we were the only ones there we found the perfect table on the deck overlooking the entrance to the harbor. Perfect. They also had a Double IPA I had never tasted and it was a local brew so that was even better.

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