Monday, April 24, 2017

April 2017 7 days on Bainbridge Island

 7 days on Bainbridge Island and the Boat Projects Begin.

Our Daughter planned a getaway to Bainbridge Island during the Seattle spring break week. Since most of almost 4 year old Big D's weekly activities would be closed for the week she smartly rented a house on Bainbridege Island and invited us to join them. Great, I would be able to get away each day for some boat project time. Bainbridge Island was a very pleasant surprise, even though we had all been there several times, it was usually just for a day trip or just passing through to other Olympic Peninsula destinations. Bainbridge Island is an incorporated island so all the towns are managed under one local government. BI is just a 35 minute ferry ride from Seattle across Elliot Bay to Eagle Harbor and  the town of Winslow. Seven days allowed us all time to get to know the community of Winslow and Bainbride Island. You switch to Island Time and at 25 MPH you are forced to slow down and enjoy the environment. We really liked this community, it is just diverse enough that anyone can fit in and of course our marina is in Eagle Harbor so having the time to find things like marine/hardware stores and other things one might need gave us the opportunity to see how easy it is to live in this community without having to drive elsewhere for everyday needs.The island is a forest, in fact if your in the Pacific Northwest and your not in the smack dab of a beautiful forest, that is because they clear cut the trees to build something like Seattle.

The entrance to Eagle Harbor by vessel is from the South, the channel marrows as you near the entrance and you have to stay out of the way of the constant ferry traffic. In the lower right side is Blakely rock, a future dingy exploration adventure.

The first afternoon we walked to a nearby park to begin the exploring.

GiGi, can you do this?
Our Eagle Harbor Marina is on the south shore, about a ten minute drive from where we were staying for the week.

Good to arrive or depart at high tide.

Fitting the new Stem fitting was the high priority project so we tackled that first. I spent a few hours removing the front rub rail and cleaning all the surfaces for bedding the stem.then the Admiral showed up and sat on the dock holding a wrench to keep the bolts steady as I laid across the open anchor locker with my arm in an access hole up to my elbow blindly reaching in with a socket wrench to install the lock washers and nut. Seven bolts in all but it took a few hours to accomplish this. The new stem was thicker Stainless so it required a trip to the local hardware for 1/4" longer stainless steel bolts for a few of the holes.Our bodies took a while to recover from our lack of Gumby like elasticity, but We Got 'er Done.
Getting away gave these two some bonding time, being a Big Brother is not always easy sharing mom, so having time to relax together and play is priceless. 

Mom found Battle Point Park, a great place to dig with sticks.

The first trip to the boat, Big D learned how to fill a bucket with water and look for any sea creatures that just might happen to visit.
Next day we all took a 20 minute drive to Fay Bainbridge State Park

You can see all the way South to the Port of Seattle and Mt. Rainer.

North toward Port Madison and far beyound to Mount Baker.

This interesting cove adjacent to the park at low tide.

It was an Easter Shell Hunt

Best finds ever
True Love

And a big crab shell

You have to find the flat ones
A great log hut.

Seaweed to boot.

No matter where you in this region, if you can just walk to a clearing you have a view of some part of the Olympics, or the Cascades. From the beach at Fay Bainbridge you can see Cascades from the Peak of Mount Baker which is North to the East of Bellingham all the way south to Mt. Rainer.

This was a day of sometimes rain but it cleared up enough to see the Cascade Range. Looking East towards Edmonds with the Olympics in the background and one sailboat.

South to Rainer

And just over that point across Madison Bay is the peak of Mount Baker.

What is that Black thing sticking out of the water, A whale fin?

Done for the day

Great place to wait on the bus to the Ferry Dock

Found some worms on the sidewalk, took them home for further study.
Back to Battle Point Park for Skipper training.

No hesitation in giving the Captain and Admiral orders.

Now for the real application, winch training.

Helm training.

VHF Radio Telephone Communication training.

On our last day the Admiral wanted to do some more touring before our last boat project for the week, so we drove to Hidden Cove Trail Head.Hidden cove is Center right.
We walked about 3/4 mile down Hidden Cove trail and realized it may not take us where we wanted. So we walked back up the hill and drove to where we believed the park was.

Hidden Cove Park Public dock is marked by the purple pin , the park is covered by trees. I have been in the cove three times by boat, it is interesting that the home on the island at the top center is completely surrounded by water by high tide. This cove has a very special Aurora. 
Hidden Cove Park Public Dock

You can see Mount Baker a little better from here.

As I was standing here taking in the cove a very healty Sea Otter swam towards me from the bank, unfourtunately my phone battery was to low for a video, he swam under the dock and headed deeper into the cove.
Our last project for the week was to remove the old life lines, mark them and bring them bak to Seattle to take to Fisheries Supply to have some new ones made. 
We went to the Ferry but since it was the end of Easter weekend there was a couple mile long line, we decided to just go check out another park and hope the line would get better later. We drove past our marina to Rockaway Beach Park.

You can see the Seattle cityscape in the distance

Blakely Rock is the purple pin just off Rockaway Beach, a future adventure.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

March Tides Bring #1711 to Puget Sound

It's All About the Tides
It's All about the tides. When you live in an environment like the Pacific Northwest you begin to feel the incredible influences of nature upon human life. One of those forces, the ebb and flow of the tides are ever present, yet not even considered in the flatland of middle America. The influence reaches across continents whether you think about it or not.  Those who live in coastal areas are more or less aware. The tides along the Gulf or Mexico are generally in the one to three foot range, but here in the Northwest you experience tides in the -3 to 12 foot or more range. The Moon is largely responsible but even the rotation of the planet plays a roll. Full Moon means a wider range of tides on those days. I'm thinking tides even affect human behavior, they certainly determine timing to depart and  arrival at your favorite harbors. But I think the influence goes way beyond even our scientific understanding. This article  provides a bit on support for this idea but sometimes I wonder if tides even influence much more of our lives than we currently imagine.
Unable to find our next boat in the Puget Sound Area we turned to California and brought #1711 to our home Port of Eagle Harbor, Bainbridge Island.

#1711 waiting patiently at Emeryville Marina, CA

At KKMI Boat Yard for decommissioning in Point Richmond, CA. The mast going up!

I did as much as the work as possible to save some coins. The two riggers that showed up to unstep the mast were fast and efficient, Always an opportunity to learn a few new tricks!

They took the time to explain how I should wrape the mast for shipping.

Almost finished. The project manager offered me a job when I was done!

The stem fitting AKA the bow chain plate had a crack so I had them remove it so I could send it to Catalina to have a new one made. They are so unique they need the old one to copy.

Pacific Trade and Transport out of Gig Harbor had the low bid and the best reviews so he got the job and the vessel arrived safely without any issues and on time!

More work to do ...


Sean operates the Travel lift and quickly unloads the vessel and puts her on the hard at Hybelos Yard in Tacoma. 

Michael Joudeh, He IS Pacific Trade and Transport. A good man, got the job done and he is a Pro!

OK, now lots of work to do. Spot paint the bottom paint, wax and coat the rigging, prepare rig to be stepped, and sand and paint the shaft, prop, and strut, put on new zincs, re-install steering wheel, auto pilot, and pedestal guard and load lots of gear on board and stow. Then help Step the mast. 
If this stuff works so well around the Gulf of Mexico, it will be outstanding in this environment!

All the outdoor work had to be done between showers, Still the rainiest winter/spring in 150 years. All the rigging got a cleaning with a 3M pad, a coat of the above Metal wax, and then a coat of the Insulator wax. So that meant 4 passes on all the rigging.

Part I
And with this 

Part II

The old name has to go so I measured for the new lettering. And with a heat gun the old came off without to much fuss.

Sean is a one man show at Hybelos, sometimes he has an assistant but just as often he does all this single handed, the crane, Travel lift, fork lift and much more in a very busy yard. This guy never stops moving.

Steve and Glenn are Something Special Yacht riggers. They worked for Catalina for years troubleshooting warranty claims in the Pacific Northwest before venturing out on their own. I was very lucky to get this very busy crew, definitely none better in the Puget Sound Region.

This 1970'S Roughwater Trawler was right next to me and the owner was doing a complete topside and bottom paint job. You make friends in the boat yard the same as on the docks. 

I served as a deck hand to help him off the docks after he splashed.

Telling you it's all about the Tides! Due to weather and tides I would have to hang out on this dock for three days waiting for calm weather and favorable tides to make the 5 hour trip to Eagle Harbor.

The Admiral dropped me off at Hybelos the night before so I could wake up early and take advantage of the tide. here I am heading Westward exiting Hybelos Waterway into Commencement Bay, Just beyond the anchored ship in the distance I will make the turn North down East Passage. The Stem fitting is not due for another couple of weeks so the Forstay/roller furling is lashed to the bow pulpit and two halyards are taking the place of the forstay for the trip. I am so lucky to have this one sunny calm water day for the trip.

Just after making the turn to East Passage after passing the Browns Point Light house.

Four hours later after passimg Vashon and Blake Islands Seattle is in view. I saw 3 harbor seals 4 big seals, and TWO ORCAS! 

The approach to Eagle Harbor, Bainbridge Island. Famous rock just ahead to the right.

Very little traffic on the way, just had to slow down shortly for a couple of ferries. Securely moored in B10 at Eagle Harbor Marina. The Garmin that came with the boat was not operating properly. I had a Portable Garmin but the battery was on the fritz so I just used my iPhones Navions App and I had my laptop in the cockpit running SeaClear II with a GPS puck. This is the first time I had ever used SeaClear as a Chartplotter and it worked flawlessly. Since I could plug the laptop into a cigarette lighter type plug no power problems. 

The Marina has just finished a complete make over and it is said to be the most advanced marina on the Sound now. The last time we were here it was an old funky marina that time had forgotten, but the new owners changed all that.


You know how the saying goes " the happiest day in a boaters life is when he buys a boat and when they sell a boat." The Journey to get to this point is especially Sweet.