Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sail to Eagle Harbor, Bainbridge Island

Tugs and Tows are constant in and around  the shipping channels so you always have to keep a watchful eye.
You can see the shoals at the North and South points that form the entrance to Eagle Harbor. The bottom is rocky so it wuld not be a good idea to cut the corners here.

After Safely navigating across the shipping lanes we enter Eagle Harbor, just have to be mindful of the Ferry now.

This ferry has been sitting over here in Eagle Harbor for some time, I wondered if it was just permanently out of service and being used as parts? I found on Wikipedia that it is Currently out of service due to repairs, stalled and broke down July 29, 2014

Safely tied up on the transient dock located just West of the ferry docks

Almost free, at 10 cents a foot our 22' Capri is just $2.20 for our lunch stop.

Interesting but it doesn't have a sail.

Lots of fishing rules

Chris at the Helm 

Little Tug towing some new floatig docks for some marina improvements in Eagle Harbor

Gotta have a long gangway for these big tides.

Glad it's not foggy, that rock is not very soft.

Seattle in the distance

Rain developing to the North, hope we make it back in before that one comes through!

Sail to Eagle Harbor, Bainbridge Island

I checked the weather report for the last week of September into the first of October. October usually brings misty foggy weather so I wanted to try and go sailing early in the week to beat especially the fog. Windworks has a email system called Windshare allowing members to do a broadcast email to find other sailors to share the sail with. I had never used the system but I thought I would give it a try. I sent a email hoping to find someone willing to do a day sail to one of the area destinations. I constructed the email as broadly as possible since I know few are able to ditch work and go sailing during the week. Out of 198 emails I got 1 reply from Chris who said she could go anytime Tue-Thur that week. Great so I suggested Tuesday to try and beat a front headed at Seattle Tuesday night and would bring rains through Thursday morning.
We traded text the day shed alongof and met at Shillshole around 10:00. We made quick introductions and after a bit of discussion decided to sail to Eagle Harbor to eat lunch and sail back. We had 10-15 Southeast winds and a favorable current. But to make Eagle Harbor we would have to motor there but the dau promised an awesome sail back. The Little 4 hp Mercury outboard pushed us along 4-5 knots helped by the current but not the winds.
The 2 hour motor over gave us time to talk sailing and get to know each other a bit. She is a Engineer who worked for the big companies in product development and then set out on her own as a consultant to mostly small companies doing the same thing. Her work takes her all over the world so she is not home much and had only been out sailing 6 times in the summer season and some of that on San Francisco Bay. She appreciated the chance to work on her skills since she finished her Basic Keel Boat Certificate early this season. She lives in West Seattle and has been here a while so she has a lot of local knowledge. I told her to pick the place for lunch since I didn't really have that planned out.
The fun part for me is learning how to navigate into each of these harbors around this part of the Sound. Eagle Harbor has a huge shoal off each point at the entrance that has to be avoided but the navigation aids are great up here.  I had been through here several times by Ferry so I had a good idea on how to behave. I did look at the charts the night before and there are Garmin chart plotters on the Capri's. The main thing is to just stay out of the way of the ferries since there is always one coming or going. There was one preparing to depart as we entered the channel and so rather than guess when he would depart we chose to go ahead and cross the channel early to avoid him altogether.
We started getting a light sprinkle as we passed the ferry docks and since she was very conscientious and brought along a local cruising guide we located the city dock for temporary transients pretty quick. As I do in any unfamiliar harbor I advised a drive by to check out the dock and choose a good place to dock. This is especially good if there harbor is busy but at this time the only other boat moving in the harbor was the Ferry.
I thought we might just walk into town and choose a lunch spot but Chris had plenty of local knowledge and suggested Pegusus Coffee House . It was just a short walk in the increasing rain and the food was great. The stop for lunch was great timing as the small bit of weather had mostly passed as we returned to the boat to sail back to Shillshoile. I was looking forward to this since we should have some decent winds and we could return on a reach. There were no winds in the harbor but I was not concerned as it is sheltered from the Southwest winds and I knew as soon as we got out of the channel to the entrance we would be moving right along, unfortunately the wind forecast sucked and there was not even a ripple on the water out in the open. I was thinking it was pretty smart of me to make sure the fuel tank on board was full before we left Shillshole that morning.

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