Distance traveled: 33.8 miles
Travel time: 4 hours, 10 minutes
Last May we attended Trawlerfest in Anacortes, Washington. We drove a couple hours north, stayed in a hotel for 3 nights, each attended separate 2-day Trawlerfest University courses, and went to the Boat Show. While on our Great Loop in 2012-13, we met lots of folks back east who were members of MTOA, or Marine Trawler Owner’s Association. So while at Trawlerfest, we decided to join MTOA even though we didn’t yet own a trawler.
Fast forward: today we left home to attend our first MTOA Rendezvous, a gathering by boat of trawler owner’s from around the Pacific Northwest, though we’re told this Chapter of MTOA has members from Idaho, British Columbia, Oregon and even California. The Chapters are geographically big here in the West!
At 9:30 am in heavy fog, we pulled out of the marina in Gig Harbor and headed north. A seal on the dock bid us good-bye, and later we spotted sea lions on a floating beacon. As we passed our home an hour after departing Gig Harbor we spotted our friend and neighbor Hobie walking on the beach with 31 friends from his exercise class! We honked our horn, then called him on his cell phone to say hello.
As we pulled into Liberty Bay at Poulsbo after 1pm, the sun was finally coming out. We called ahead to the Rendezvous Coordinator to let her know we were coming in, and 4 people gathered at our slip to catch our lines. Thank goodness they did, as our first attempt (Cathryn at the helm) to back this single engine boat into a slip for the first time did not go smoothly. So different from a twin engine, so we have lots to learn!
For the next couple of hours trawlers arrived one after the other, and eventually there were a dozen in port. Ranger Tug boats were also having a Rendezvous this weekend, so about 15 of them arrived throughout the afternoon as well. One Ranger Tug owner noticed our Great Loop Gold Burgee, and he and his wife plan to begin the Great Loop in January, so he came to talk for awhile.
At 3:30 all the MTOA members walked to a nearby member’s home, with potluck side dishes and beverages in tow, for dinner. What a lively group! These folks are by and large very experienced cruisers. Many of them have been to Alaska in their boats, one brought their boat from the Caribbean through the Panama Canal to Washington, and another couple has lived on their boat full-time for 9 years cruising from Nova Scotia to the Bahamas and Florida Keys, and plans to spend this WINTER in Alaska! It was great fun having conversations with these folks, and Cathryn thinks she “maybe” has met the Female Mentor she’s been hoping for: someone who knows as much as most of the guys about boats, and is happy to teach a sometimes intimidated woman! So far, we’re having a great time.