Thursday, September 24, 2009

We Covered Some Ground Wednesday

Actually we covered some water today, but using that as a title didn’t seem quite right.
We pulled out of Jarrell Cove State Park about 10am after a leisurely morning. We headed south and took a tour up Hammersley Inlet, a narrow, eight-mile-long channel that runs due west from Hartstine Island and into Oakland Bay where the city of Shelton is located. Bob had seen parts of this channel 35 years ago when he live near Shelton just after college, but neither of us had seen it from the water. We finished that tour about 11:30 and were just south of Hartstine Island when Cathryn, who was putting some things away, became aware that we were missing one of our pieces of boat canvas. We tore the place apart looking for it and finally agreed we must have left it on the dock were we had placed that morning it to dry from the nights’ dew. So back to Jarrell Cove we went! Maybe you can just see the glint of the plastic windows in the canvas in the picture below. We got back there just about noon, so we tied up and had lunch.

After lunch we headed south and east again, keeping an eye out for Orca whales just in case they were still around. Our plan was to go to Steilacoom, the first incorporated City in Washington just north of Ketron Island as our destination for the night. We had never stayed there before, but our Burgee book said there was a small marina there with a guest dock. It turns out that Steilacoom needs to work on its accessibility from the water. The so-called marina was a decrepit boat house, and the dock looked like it could disintegrate in a puff of wind.

It was about 3 PM by this time, and we were just south of the Narrows Bridge. We thought about just heading home, about 15 miles north, but the weather was too nice and we knew that this would be our last chance to get in some boating in good weather before the season ends next week. So instead, we called Mackenzie and asked if she and Matt wanted to me us at Maggie’s Bluff Restaurant at the Elliot Bay Marina for dinner . She accepted, so we headed north to Seattle and got a slip for the night.

Thursday morning we left Elliot Bay Marina about 10 AM headed for home under overcast skies. It did feel like the end of the season. As we headed south toward Blake Island we were passed by two Coast Guard boats cruising east at full speed. Within a few minutes we heard an announcement over the marine radio that a man overboard had been reported off a Seattle-Bainbridge Island Ferry and all boats in the vicinity were asked to lend assistance. Since we were only a mile or so away from where the Coast Guard was searching, we headed that way to see if we could help. About 30 minutes later the search was called off – apparently (and thankfully) a false alarm. So we headed south again and tied up to our buoy back home about noon. The rest of the day was consumed by chores as we’ve discovered we have a LOT to do before we leave for Baja, Mexico in just 2 ½ weeks!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Autumn Equinox

We left today for our annual “San Juan Island Boat Trip”. We usually take this trip the last week of July or the first week of August, but we missed it due to our spontaneous Inside Passage trip to Ketchikan, AK on Gold Rush. Because of the late season and the weather forecast, our itinerary actually changed and we ended up in South Puget Sound instead.

As we passed the mouth of Gig Harbor we saw the “Adventurer” sailing north. We then passed under the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, turned right and went down the west side of Fox, McNeil and Anderson Islands. Once there, we turned west again at the south end of the Key Peninsula, just north of Johnson Point. As we passed Johnson Point the occupants of a small boat began waving their arms in a manner that we thought meant there were porpoises in the vicinity. Were we wrong!

We spent the next hour slowly cruising north up Case Inlet, between Key Peninsula and Hartstene Island following 6 orca whales. We called in the sighting to, and they told us that these were transients that had been in South Sound for the past couple of weeks. After an hour the whales went one way and we continued north to Grapeview, and our favorite South Sound marina – FairHarbor, for fuel and a visit to Cathryn’s favorite marina gift shop. We then cruised south to Jarrell’s Cove State Park on Hartstene Island, pulling in around 4PM. It was still warm, so we spent a leisurely afternoon having a beer and reading books. This evening after dinner, it’s more reading and what will probably be an early night. It’s getting dark early these days.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Indian Summer - Olalla Style

Summer was out in full force yesterday (Saturday), the temperatures got up into the 80s and we just couldn't focus on all the items on our "to do list". So we got in the boat and headed north towards Poulsbo. On the way up Colvos Passage we passed our neighbors, Josi and George, coming southbound. They were returning from their 3-week vacation to the US and Canadian San Juans. They took the picture that accompanies this post. We pulled into the Port of Poulsbo Marina around 4 PM and walked over to The Loft restaurant. We had a nice dinner of fish and chips and beers on the deck under a sun umbrella. We headed home about 6PM. When we got to the east end of Rich Passage we saw a small runabout with four guys in it, paddling. They reported that their battery had died and they were trying to get to Manchester, about 3 miles to the south. We took them under tow, and delivered them to the boat ramp at Manchester about a half hour later. We silently wished them luck in getting the boat out of the water - they were more than a little under the influence themselves, and in response to their offer to pay us for the tow, we commended them to pay it forward in the future. We returned to the buoy about 7PM and settled in for the evening. Life is good!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tieton River Rafting & Hiking in Mt Rainier NP

We spent Thursday and Friday this week in Mt. Rainier National Park doing a couple of short hikes and a raft trip down the Tieton River with Bob's sister Lynn and her husband David. The Tieton drains out of Rimrock Lake, just east of White Pass on SR 12. The lake serves as a reservoir to support late summer irrigation in the Yakima valley. Eleven months a year the Tieton is nothing more then a small stream, then in September they release 1500 CFS into the river and it becomes a 12-mile long class III white water river. The water was cold, but the temperature was in the 80s so we had lots of fun. (So much fun in fact that our guide got in some trouble with the boss for some of the places she took us and the raft. We had a bit of a gouge in the raft after one encounter with a rock where we got hung up for several minutes.)

Here is a link to more photo's of our trip:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

 We flew to Boulder CO for the weekend and had a chance to participate in Adrienne's life for a few days. We saw her new apartment, meet her roommate Morgan, went to work with her one day and watched her teach a class, went on two bike rides, one hike and Cathryn joined her for a yoga class. Bob declined to participate in the yoga class, and went browsing in used book stores on Pearl Street. If it sounds active - it was. But we also had down time to catch up with each other. Oh, and she found a couple of times to take a break and study -she is two weeks into her junior year, half way there!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Nephew Jeff Gets Married

Four of us made a quick turnaround weekend trip to Houston to attend Cathryn’s nephew, Jeff Hutson’s marriage to Katie Fay. A good time was had by all