Saturday, December 7, 2013

We Passed the Winter Test

Distance traveled:  67.8 miles round trip

Travel time: 4 hrs 7 mins northbound, 4 hrs 35 min southbound

As we’ve mentioned, conventional “boating season” is May through September in Seattle. This Fall has had exceptionally little rain, and with the purchase of our new boat we wanted to discover whether we could expand the boating season comfortably. Well, if the forecast below doesn’t prove we CAN, nothing will!


Wednesday morning we slipped our lines and left Gig Harbor with Bob’s sister Lynn and her husband David aboard (who joined us for a week in Chattanooga and the Tennessee River on our Loop trip). Lynn and Cathryn had made fitted bedsheets and blankets for the V-berth mattresses in the guest stateroom, and we hoped to test their increased comfort over the sleeping bags in which friends Jim and Phebe slept two weeks ago.

It was sunny, calm and COLD! But the fully enclosed flybridge let in so much solar heat that we were soon removing coats, gloves and hats as we motored north. (OK, we’ll admit we used our Mr. Buddy propane heater initially to take the chill off the flybridge).


And just as if in Florida, we had to wear sunglasses to protect from the blinding sun the entire journey.


Our destination was Poulsbo, the Scandinavian-influenced town where we spent Oktoberfest weekend as part of an  MTOA (Marine Trawler Owner’s Association) Rendezvous back in October. Look how different the marina looks in December (below) . . .

photo 3 (1)

. . . compared to October (below). Doesn’t our boat look lonely above?


We wandered the galleries and shops in town for a couple hours in the afternoon, had lasagna, salad and wine aboard Next To Me for dinner, and stayed warm and cozy with the diesel heater running all evening and one electric heater warming the salon all night.

But yikes! It was 16 degrees when we got up in the morning, and we were happy to be tied to concrete floating docks instead of wood, so they weren’t slippery. The sunrise was pretty despite the cloud cover that rolled in shortly after, making the air temperature warmer, but not warm enough on the flybridge.

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As occurred two weeks ago, we journeyed home driving from the lower helm in the salon instead of from above. We saw dozens of Dall’s porpoises, thousands of water fowl, a few seals and sea lions and hardly any other boats except for the ubiquitous Washington State Ferries running from Bremerton, Southworth and Vashon Island. It was a wonderful trip, made all the better for learning this boat, and her Captains and crew, enjoyed winter boating in below-freezing weather!

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