Friday, April 18, 2014

Puget Sound Keepers Alliance Patrol

This is a 23' Parker with a 250 hp Yamaha outboard. She will cruise at 15-17 knots. 4 can be comfortable in the pilot house and 2 more could stand in if the weather was bad enough

This was a day to visit Marinas and hand out some free materials for boaters, even free pump out fittings.

More educational and useful stuff like absorbent pads

Paul is our skipper for the day

Andy is on the Left, he is the Lead today as his mission is to monitor the marinas we will be visiting today and check with their compliance to the Clean Marina Washington program: Jimmy is on the right, he schedules volunteers for the Patrols and supervises them on the Patrol. Kristina is on the far right and this is her first time out also. She is a Marine Biologist that works with the Alaskan fishing fleet 6 months each year. She was very accommodating to all my questions regarding her work and the Alaskan fisherman who make Seattle their home port.

Totem Poles are common to spot around the Sound

We crossed the Sound to Port Madison Bay and entered Agate Passage to Liberty Bay, That is the Agate Passage Bridge. My fourth time to pass under.

Keyport Navel Underwater Warfare Center, gota go slow here so you do not hit a submarine

I have been by here 6 times and the red light is always flashing.

Liberty Bay Marina, this is where we bought Wand'rin Star

Landslides and errosion are common in the PNW so you are always seeing attempts to halt the progression.

A perfect day for a Fur Seal

It is almost guarenteed you will spot a Eagle on a trip like this.

Docked at the Poulsbo Marina

Just in case they missed the sign when entering the Marina

The crew meets with the Marina Harbor Master

This was a big plus, they had several of these kits on each dock ready to deal with any spill.

Kristina, and Andy continue the conversation with the Harbor Master

The first Eagle I have seen on a Mast!

We were early for our next stop so Andy and Paul thought it would be good to encourage PYC to join the Clan Marina program.

Well they had the right signage up.

No one home.

Always an interesting vessel, wished the owner was around to talk to.

Know this place well, we stayed aboard Wand'rin Star here after we bought her a few weeks before bringing her back to Texas.

The approach to Port of Brownsvills, here is a short clip of our trip from Poulsbo to Port of Brownsville:

I guess these people can read the No wake signs on the water

Looks Beautiful huh?


You get a prize if you know what these are.

The local Indian tribes Geoduck Dive boat, The geoduck (pronounced "gooey") is a very large, edible clam (Panope generosa) of the Pacific coast: We ate some Gooey duck a few years back when visiting Seattle, can't remember what it tasted like but I do remember it was good.

Don't worry, aluminum does not rust.

Those little tugs are very powerful.

Puget Sound Keepers Alliance Patrol

After wondering around Harbor Island and checking out the Harbor Island Marina at the mouth of the Duwamish River where it empties into Elliot Bay and South Puget sound I found myself researching a bit about the Duwamish.After finding out that the Duwamish is a Superfund site and one of the largest in the US I wanted to find a way to travel by boat up the 5-6 miles of navigable river to see it myself.
At a meeting of volunteer sailing instructors at the Center for Wooden Boats I met Phil . We later met to do some practice man overboard drills together to refine our instructional strategies and I learned he was retired from thge EPA. I told him about wanting to go up the Duwamish to learn more about the river and he suggested I contact The Puget Sound Keepers Alliance (PSKA) who he also does volunteer work for using his EPA expertise. They have a weekly patrol boat the often goes up the Duwamish and I could get a ride with them.
Great, so I called the number I found on their website and was able to get on the next Patrol to Poulsbo where they would be meeting with Harbor masters regarding compliance with the Clean Marina Program. I jumped at the chance knowing I would learn a lot from the experience and hopefully soon get a trip up the Duwamish as well.
I met Paul at 0900 Thur. morning on G dock at Elliot Bay Marina. Soon Kristine, a first timer, walked up. While we were waiting to board I found out she was a Marine Biologist who works on the fishing boats in Alaska to monitor the catch and collect data. She works on board 6 months a year from anywhere to 1-3 months max out in the Bearing Sea.Soon Jimmy who coordinates volunteers for the patrol and Andy the Leader for this trip showed up and we were off across the sound to Port Madison Bay and through the Agate Pass to Poulsbo. Kristine was here to learn what actions are going on in Puget Sound to address pollution and learn how the Puget Sound Keepers are finding solutions. She stayed by Andy's side the whole trip to get a close up experience and take what she learns with her to possibly practice in her work as a marine biologist. I was more of a observer here to learn on my first trip out and determine how I could be effective as a volunteer later on.
We entered Liberty Bay and motored slowly by Liberty Bay Marina where we bought Wand'rin Star so I was very excited to see all this again. The first stop was at Poulsbo City Marina and by my observations this marina was working hard to comply with the Clean Marina Program. This part of the PSKA mission was clear, it is a friendly helping mission to provide materials and information to assist Marinas in achieving the goals of the Clean Marina program. Andy also is very good at his job in not only approaching the marina staff in a positive role but also as a watchdog who stands by the PSKA mission to clean up the waters of Puget Sound.
We made a unplanned stop at Poulsbo Yacht Club Marina but no one was home, then just a short distance to Liberty Bay Marina where We had spent a few weeks getting Wand'rin Star ready to bring back to Texas. The Harbor Master was more than willing to spend what ever time Andy required to get his questions answered and she was quiet the politician as she managed Andy's interest with great care. It was then I realized that compliance with the Clean Marina program required educating all the marina tenets and monitoring their behavior witch is a big order for most Marinas. Those run by city governments are much better armed to do such work since they have the city bureaucracy supporting the cause. There is no doubt though that everyone I have met in any capacity wants the Sound cleaned up to the fullest extent possible but it is a big job that will take years of effort.
The Puget Sound Keepers are finding those that still live in the old way of thinking that if you dump it in the water the ocean will take care of it.For those who can not be encouraged to change their behavior they are taken to Civil court and as I understand it the Puget sound Keepers Alliance has not lost a case and the millions of dollars  they were awarded by the courts are returned to the communities mitigate the problems created.

Take a ride by clicking the link:

Monday, April 14, 2014

March in Seattle

Sometimes on my trip across the Ballard Bridge to Shillshole Marina you gotta wait for a vessel passing through the Lake Washington ship Channel.

Even though March was the wettest ever in Seattle I still was able to get out on Puget sound about 10 times.

The Long Nights are over, it used to be dark at 6pm.

We went over to Celebrate Ivar's Birthday, the Admiral had salmon and I had Halibut.

Local Artist use the area condo buildings to showcase their work. So you often get opportunities for Wine and Art Greet and Meets. Here is the Artist with the Admiral. His work is featured in the lobby and all the common areas. 

No Fog here in Seattle but the Harbors on Bainbridge Island were socked in, to the left is Eagle Harbor and to the right is Port Madison

Like a lot of the area venues that sell memberships, the family membership includes Grandparents so we get in free to the Seattle Art Museum events and at special showings for members.

Results of the Dale Chihuly's Pilchuck glass School

Not Glass but this one had everyone thinking talking.

Our Daughter treated us to a day at the Spa, I started right out with the Jacuzzi on the deck overlooking the Sound and the Olympics

The Admiral started in the Gym but soon found me

Cool Air, Hot massaging water, and a great view

We want to take the Ferry over from West Seattle to Vashon Island some day so we drove to the West shore of West Seattle to find the Ferry Landing.

The Pacific Science Center is becoming a playground for Drew, at 7 months he is old enough to enjoy a lot of their interactive exhibits and it is just two blocks away.

This was King of sobering. King County is the most populated in Washington but it is just one of thousands of Metropolitan regions around the US. Texas has a least 5 metro ares this big or larger.

The condo was doing the annual emergency power Generator test, very loud.

The top one is the exhaust pipe from the huge diesel engine. It would be weird if the hundreds of buildings in the central city had to run their generators for power.
Surf Scooters at first I thought we might have spotted some Puffins.

Always a new perspective.

With all the rain in March there was always an interesting sunset on the days the sun was actually visible.

This one from Shillshole with the Olympics in the background was the Best! 

March in Seattle

When you come from Central Texas where you have long Summers, a few days of fall, short winters and a 3-4 days of spring. March is when you realize there are actually 4 distinct seasons that you read about in the story books as a kid. We had the end of summer here, a nice DRY fall in Seattle and even a dry and mild start to winter in Seattle. The legendary wet stuff started in February and continued through March. The difference in March though was a rise in the High daily temps and the trees started blooming everywhere. March brought highs into the low 50.s, until then the 40's was our new warm weather.
I was determined to take every advantage I could to get out on a boat anyway I could on Puget Sound and start learning how to sail in these waters of  big tides and currents, dead heads floating about and rock instead of sand or mud. I took advantage of all the activities of Windshare Sailing to learn from Captain Bill ("Curly"), and the other members wherever possible. On one night Sail in driving rain with Captain Curly I learned the stuff these men and women are made of. These people had a great time sailing off into the dark of Puget sound in the heaviest rain I have seen since moving here. By the time we made it back to the dock I was soaked in spite of having a full set of foulies on, it did inspire me to buy some rubber boots to add to the arsenal. It turned out March 2014 was the wettest ever in recorded history for Seattle.
The second best thing we did in March was take a tour of Mt.Rainier. Hopefully we will visit one more time before we leave Seattle the weather has already started hitting the 60's since it is April so I am sure we will not need special tires or chains to make the trip. Baby Drew finally got enough vaccinations into his body that we could actually start taking him around a bit so we enjoyed the Sound Bridge at the Seattle Symphony, the Seattle Aquarium, and Seattle Art Museum. This boy loves getting out and seeing the world, my kind of grandchild!