September 2010



We woke up yesterday well before dawn to the sound of seiners working on the water outside our house.      We watched occasionally them throughout the day as they worked the seas in the squall.  It was not a nice day to be out but they can't take the day off or take even much of a break because when it's their allotted time to catch the fish they work as hard and fast as they can no matter what the conditions are.  We on the other hand, don't have to ply the seas in bad weather, so delayed our trip to Puget Sound hoping for better conditions today.  It looked like we made the right decision this morning as things looked brighter out.  We had the boat ready and loaded two days ago.  Larry even had to make a quick trip down to the boat in the rain to get some food items so we could have dinner at home.  I had cleaned out all the perishable items from the house they day before  thinking we were heading out.

We haven’t cruised much this summer.   We were pretty much burned out after 5 months in Florida on the boat freezing our bottoms off and the few times when it was warm enough, we were cruising seas that were restless or sitting out storms.  I can count on one hand the nice days we had.


This summer here in the San Juan islands we did enjoy a couple local mini-cruises, one to Portland Island, BC and another to Ladysmith, BC and then the usual stuff, quick jaunts to Victoria a couple times (one to see and photograph the Swiftsure Race), and Ganges (for the Farmer's Market), Sydney and to Sucia Island to show visitors our local cruising grounds but this trip will be a bit longer and to areas we haven’t really cruised before.  This is just a pleasure cruise, no adventure involved.


We had on our itinerary an overnight stop in Whidbey Island but that was scratched do to the lousy weather yesterday.  So now we had a long day today to keep up with our tight dock reservation schedule.  We had to get to Seattle today.  Larry has been working for weeks trying to get the reservations lined up. 

Larry’s always wanted to stay in Seattle’s downtown marina so that was big on the list.  We had two nights planned there.  Then we're heading on down to Olympia, for me, to see the Vintage Tug Boat Races and then work our way up through Puget Sound with planned stops in Tacoma to see the new glass museum or Gig Harbor (depending on reservations and if they open up) and eventually to Port Townsend, another stop for me, just in time to see the Wooden Boat Show (another reservation question mark).  That stop will be the most challenging because you can't reserve dock space.  It's all first come first serve. 

All the dockages were difficult to get, as they were either "full" or "under construction" or "events" taking over transient spaces but Larry always perseveres but there's nothing like weather to put a glitch into a schedule.  So today we have to make an extra long day of it to make up for yesterday's lost day and I wonder if perhaps it will be an uncomfortable ride over unsettled seas in Juan de Fuca. 


It was a misty wet morning as we headed down the road to nearby Snug Harbor.  We piled the rest of our last minute items into a wet dock cart.  I didn’t like the idea that we were also trudging around in mud and gravel, a wet mix from yesterday’s down pour, and undoubtedly will be tracking it into the boat. 


We have no water at Snug as the water supply is “all dry” at the dock and the priorities at Snug Harbor is to save the water for the rental cabins.  It’s a sore spot with me as we can’t wash the boat nor our dirty feet.  We like to keep the boat clean and simply put "without water" it's impossible!  It's really a pain in the butt! 

Snug Harbor depends on well water and it has become a regular scenario that around or more likely, before mid-summer the "well goes dry" and those that dock their boats in Snug are on the bottom of the totem pole for priorities.  We all complain but put up with it because it’s a really unique place, close to home and has “old island feel” and we know everybody.  Compared to the nonstop chaos of Roche Harbor it's a dream but on a day like today it stirs up a few appropriate but unprintable cuss words from me.

The docks are old and ratty looking and wobble precariously.  Add to that some especially big fresh piles of otter poop on the dock today and the resulting smell that creates, the place was revolting this morning, especially when the otters purposely poop on top of your lines. (And remember, all this and no water to wash them off!)  I guess what also topped the cake for me after putting up with this all summer was how they have the gall to bill us $27 for electricity when they cut your water off.  The electric bill comes in the mail with no apology tucked inside nor even a hint of embarrassment or guilt that they have cut your water off.


So, maybe we shouldn’t admit this, as I’m not sure how “legal or appropriate” it is...we have resorted to running the boat over to Roche where we will have a quick lunch or breakfast and then sneak in a fast boat wash and fill the water tanks up all at the temporary dock.  I feel like a criminal every time we've had to do it. 

It must be a funny sight to see us too old farts scrambling around washing that boat so fast.  We've got it down to a science now.  We come, get the job down, and split in the blink of an eye and then what’s even more ridiculous we creep back down Mosquito Pass as slow as we can so we don’t get any salt spray on our clean boat.  We avoid all other boats like the plaque for fear they will splash us, getting salt spray on our clean windshield.

Two times now we've done the hard labor of washing and wiping down the boat only to get totally wet and dirty again as we came out of Mosquito pass.  Either a big boat has waked and splashed us or the winds and waves have picked up out on Haro Strait and when we make the final turn into Snug we get swamped and all our hard work goes down the tubes.  That really pisses me off! 

Anyway,  this morning we tip toed the best we could around the fresh and old crusty otter poop and climbed aboard with our muddy shoes.  Larry knows better than to even ask me to get the lines as I will not touch them with poop on 'em!  No way, I refuse.  I usually drive the boat out as Larry manages the poop covered lines and stows them in the corner of the cockpit where we hope we can wash them off at our next stop. 


"Hooray!" I think to myself, as today we can drive fast and free and not worry about waves and salt spray getting on the boat as we know the marina at Seattle will have lots of water to wash it all off when we get there.


As we head south into Haro Strait, the seiners are out again in full force.   We count maybe five or six boats all working the water.  It’s a "Humpy Year" we were told.  The waters are said to be full of salmon this year and that’s why there are so many yellow jackets air.  It doesn’t make any sense to me but it’s an old Indian proverb and surprisingly it seems like it’s true.  We’ve watched from our living room window for several days now as the seiners have hauled in  unprecedented loads of shimmering wiggling feisty fish.

Our friends from Florida that just visited had just been in Vancouver and were told there is so much salmon this year that the fisherman are having problems selling it all and have resorted to selling the surplus from their boats on the docks.  I haven’t heard of such news but hope it is true.

We stop to take a couple pictures of the seiners with the morning sun coming up over the island turning them into nice silhouettes.  Once I get a couple shots and come inside Larry pushes the throttle forward until we reach a nice 2200 rpm on the gauge and off we go.  Larry says it will probably get rough further south but at the moment it is pretty calm.


Once we hit Juan de Fuca the current will be with us and the same with the wind.  As we head out Haro Strait the current is on a flood against us.  Once we reach Juan de Fuca we'll have it with us and a smoother ride.  It’s a little choppy.  Soon we can see the lighthouse by Victoria and a freighter coming in from the Pacific.  We head East and soon pick up several knots as now we are riding the current. 

It’s a beautiful day out and we have a clear view of the Olympic Mountains and Lopez, Whidbey, Smith Islands.  The sea gets a bit rough at different points along the way as we travel diagonally across Juan de Fuca.  There are low rollers coming in from the Pacific but the current and wind is in our favor so it's a nice ride.  You always wonder when you cross this body of water.    

We pass a sailing vessel with two masts and all its sails are full of wind.  They are heading west and in the distance is the little ferry from Port Angeles making its crossing behind us heading to Whidbey Island.  You can see forever today.  It’s a perfect day to be out on the water. 












Downtown Seattle has a nice marina.  They are new concrete docks with lots of beam width, huge cruise ship cleats and lots of water, water, water with plenty of force.  That's another thing about Snug that drives me nuts.  When you do have water the water pressure is so weak that you can't get enough pressure to squirt the boat.  It's maddening.  Anyway, it was so cleansing and in more ways than one to hose down the boat after no water at Snug.  We could hose off all the dust from various teak projects that had been going on at the docks including Larry's and it was so nice to hose off the otter poop and pee, and dirt from Snug's newly graveled driveway.  We were now finally starting to feel clean.  And the docks were stable not wobbly like Snug's.  It was nice to feel firm footing under your feet again.    

Some nice guy came over to help with the lines.  He grabbed a center line that I had hanging over and began to cleat it tight from the stern cleat as we maneuvered into the slip.  The line crossed over so I couldn’t get off the boat which prevented me from getting the stern line cleated so Larry could use his bow thruster and pull the bow over.  I quickly gave it to the guy telling him we need to cleat the stern instead.  I mistakenly said the "bow" instead of the "stern" and he understandably was completely confused.  At first he had both lines crisscrossed like a spider web.  I was trapped on the boat.  It was one big cluster F#@$%.  Sometimes it’s better without “help” although you can’t complain about help because intentions are always good. 

The Seattle marina is in a great location to visit Pike’s Market, the Art Museum and lots of shops and restaurants.  The waterfront is walk able and the new sculpture park is nearby and lots of fun as they had set up a farmer's market on the new grounds.  We walked and walked and had a great time.  The other benefit was Anthony’s Restaurant that overlooks the marina.  The best thing about it was that they are dog friendly.  We could sat on their deck, enjoy the beautiful weather and stunning view of Mount Rainier as a back drop to the city skyline, while having lunch, dinner and cocktails and Ziggy under foot.  The service was very friendly and we enjoyed it so much. 

It was a great stop and lots of fun for us "islanders" especially since we have been island bound all summer.  There was so much to look at.  That view of Mount Rainier was icing to the cake.


Today we were going to leave Seattle and head south to Olympia for the annual Vintage Tug Boat races.  It was quite a shock as we woke that morning to the sight of a  multi-story Crystal Cruise Ship that snuck in the night and parked beside the marina!  (That explains the hideous smell last night.)  It was a good time to leave.  In fact, the fleet was in as just across the way near the Elliot Bay marina there were two more cruise ships.   Incredible sight!

We left the dock at slack tide and there was not a ripple across the water.  Moisture in the air gave the landscape a grey cast.  We made the turn to head south towards Puget Sound and this time we had the grand Olympic mountains on our starboard and magnificent Mount Rainer on our port.


It was quite a stunning sight that we are not used to seeing.   The water was busy with the sight of several ferries coming and going, shuttling people from the nearby settlements in Puget Sound to go to work in Seattle.



Our cruise today will be about 50 miles and Ziggy has a lot to worry about as he didn’t do his "duty" this morning.  As we headed out he looked up at me and cried suddenly realizing he should’ve "gotten busy" on shore.  So I matter-of-factly told him he will just have to deal with the poop mat today.  He knows exactly what I'm saying and thinks hard on the idea. 


After three hours of nice scenery, we pass the working smoggy skyline of Tacoma in the distance and head under the Narrows Bridge.  Ziggy still is holding out for an early stop but finally gives in.  He gives me a look that says so much and then heads out the door to the cockpit and accomplishes "business" on the "poop mat".   Good dog.  He knows the routine but always hopes for an alternative and holds out as long as he can hoping it will be a short cruise. 



We never realized how much Mount Rainier looks over this area.  It’s an ominous presence.




As we pass Gig Harbor we begin to pick up four knots in free ride with the current.  Off to our port is a line of houses at the base of a cliff that look like they are built on stilts over the water.   It's like a little village with no road to get to it.




We saw A funny little ferry and wondered where it was going and were shocked to finally realize it’s the prison ferry that was delivering some new prisoners to the Neil Henley Prison.  There it was in full view, the prison,  standing prominently on the side of the hill and several.  It looked like a batch of prisoners had just arrived and were being marched up the long ramp to their new quarters.   You don't often see that on a boat outing!



Once you head down the channel to Olympia the skyline is impressive.  The Capitol building is the focal point.  After a quiet day out on the water the boat traffic suddenly gets busy and everyone seems to be in a hurry.  We had more wakes heading down that channel than anywhere we've been since we left San Juan Island a few days ago.  As you approach the inner harbor beside the dominating presence of the capitol dome there are many marinas with old boats tied to the docks, some looking quite derelict and on their last legs but nevertheless interesting and beautiful.  Behind the docks are rows of aluminum boat houses with their monopoly style roofs. 

The channel splits at a fork at the inner most part of the finger.  Another Anthony’s Restaurant sits out on this point of land.  We take the narrow channel to the left and the major harbor channel veers off to the right.  We follow the slowest sailboat ever down the long narrow channel.  He finally comes to a complete stop right in the channel wondering where he was supposed to go I guess.  We squeezed around him as did a couple other boats following behind us and proceeded down past several docks to find H Dock.  It’s way inside, actually the second slip from shore dock, and a bit of a tight squeeze but the location was the closest for the walk to town, marine office and facilities.


People are very friendly on the docks, some come right up and give you a warm hand shake.  We didn’t venture to town that first day as the weather was unbearably hot and we were tired from a long day.  Ziggy was especially hot and needed to stay cool, no long walks to town in the heat with a pup.  It was late anyway and so we’d save the exploring for tomorrow when the weather would be a bit cooler.

We instead walked the docks.  On the outer docks near the entrance to the marina is where the transient docks are.   It was bustling and full as there were several rendezvous going on, at least one yacht club rendezvous and a power squadron rendezvous had gathered.  People and dogs were sitting on the docks in folding chairs, having cocktails, laughing and chatting and BBQ'S were going.  The marina is very nice with a landscaped walking path and lots of park areas and facilities. 


The next morning we were up early and anxious to see the town and public marina where the tugs were.   Larry had read that there was a Farmer’s Market nearby and there sure was.  It's a great farmer's market!  They have their own permanent open air building and offered all sorts of things including organic local meats, cheese, fish, fruits, vegetables and all the superfluous items that you find at local farmers markets, things like handmade soaps and tie-died clothing.  Local musicians were playing instruments and singing and one a little off tune.  They even had a little mini-stage for small stage and musical performances.  Several mini restaurant booths lined the perimeter serving a range of foods from Thai, Italian, German and delicious baked goods.







The only negative was “NO DOGS ALLOWED” and signs were plastered everywhere.   
Across the road was a “Starbucks” like coffee place and a nice Italian restaurant with nice patio seating which you would think you could bring a dog but again “NO DOGS ALLOWED.” In fact, we couldn't find one place where a dog could go in this town.   We asked at several places and it was a "no go" everywhere we went.  This made it difficult for us because it's a long walk to town from the boat so not an easy task to take Ziggy back and that means a long time to leave him in the boat.  That was the biggest disappointment about visiting Olympia for us.



We hit the jack pot this weekend because along with the Vintage Tug Races, there was a small seaport festival going on which included lots of artisan booths with arts and crafts, photography and food booths.




Best of all though was the opportunity to see up close, even climb aboard the vintage tugs.  They were all open to the public today.  Unfortunately the main town's waterfront docks were under construction and so we were told that they didn't have room for the usually large turnout of tugs but still we were thrilled to see what was there and thoroughly enjoyed the day.








Sadly we had no luck finding a place to eat that was dog friendly though, even the most likely places with outside decks overlooking the marinas said "Definitely NO!”  I guess that part of our visit left us with a sour taste as this is not a great destination if you are like us and have the dog tagging along as so many boaters do.  The town and restaurants were a long walk from the docks so if you did leave your pup you will be gone for a long time.  So, we opted for some food "to go" that night and took it back to the boat.



Next morning, locals were coming in droves to the marina docks, arms loaded with picnic baskets.  They were heading out on their boats, out the channel to get in position for a good view of the races.  We kind of wondered what the races would be like because there were so few boats and they varied in size and I must admit we were thinking it might be a disappointment but decided to hang in there until 1:00 PM for the race start.  We had a 3-4 hour trip after the races to get us up to Gig Harbor our next stop (we got lucky at the last moment and Larry was able to secure a slip space that opened up at Annabelle’s so we decided to forego Tacoma (and the big city feel) for the quaintness that we hope Gig Harbor will prove to be.)  So we hoped the race would be fun to watch and worth waiting around for since we had a long day of cruising after that.


So, we followed suite with the rest of the locals and left the dock following boat after boat as we all jockeyed for a good position to see the races.  About 12:30, one by one, the tugs slowly came out of the main harbor channel.  Some lined themselves up to the side tying to a nearby log boom waiting while the others one by one slowly came out the channel.  (By the way at the fork of the inner harbor there is an immense saw mill and logging is a big part of the harbor.  So it was a common sight to see large masses of floating logs corralled in several areas of the harbor.) 


We monitored Channel 6 listening to the race information.  As I waited out on the bow for a good photo position Larry would knock on the window and hold up a number of fingers to indicate how many more minutes were to go before the race started....28, 10, 7 minutes and then BAM, BAM, BAM as Ziggy and jumped at the sound of these incredibly loud cannons that went off announcing the start of the race.    Billowing puffs of smoke from the cannons filled the inner harbor and they here they come.  They were off!! 

It was so cute to see them.  We were so surprised to see that they were all racing in unison.  They gave it their all, big ones, little ones, ugly and cute and each had a load of spectators on them enjoying the ride.  It was great fun and such a sight to see!  It was well worth the long trip to the most southern part of Puget Sound to see festival and races! 



We approached the narrow little entrance to Gig Harbor.  There is a very small “lighthouse” on a sand mound at the “S” shaped entrance to Gig.  Once inside it is totally protected and full of boats and docks with what looks like several old boat building warehouses.  It instantly reminded us of harbors we’ve been in Maine minus the New England architecture and of course the millions of annoying lobster pots. 

We found Annabelle’s easily midway down the harbor and were welcomed by the female dock hands that graciously take your lines and get you settled.  The marina is great, beautifully manicured lawns and flowers billowing out of flower pots everywhere.  It is a charming place.


We were tired and hungry and quickly found a new café near the marina called “Red Rooster Café” which had deck seating and welcomed Ziggy with open arms.  The only negative is I think they have been opened for only a few weeks and haven’t quite figured out a menu that people are looking for.  It’s mostly sandwiches and kind of odd sandwiches like chicken and which don't really appeal to anyone who is looking for dinner.  But at night they offer two “specials” and tonight it was baked Wild Alaskan Salmon, with roasted potatoes and vegetables and though they don’t have wine you can bring you own with a $5 corking charge (which they decided not to charge anyway).  The staff is friendly and it’s cutely decorated and clean and we had a fine meal with a great view of the boats and what seems like thousands of sea gulls that like the sleep on the tin roofs of the old boat houses. 

The next day we walked the town and didn’t have any luck finding a place for breakfast with Ziggy so ended up coming back to the Red Rooster for a bagel breakfast sandwich out on the deck. 


We had an appointment that morning with a local boat builder to see about getting a custom “traditionally styled” dinghy to go on the back of our boat rather than the atrocious pontoon type dinghy that we’ve been struggling with since we bought the boat. 

The boat builder picked us up in his van at the Red Rooster about 11:00 and took us about a mile and a half away from the center of town to his shop.  It was fascinating seeing all the different styles he builds and we think we are close to deciding on one to have built for us.  It can be used as a dingy with a small removable motor, or you can row it or and best of all, you can sail it!  It will be something to think about over the winter and see if we can modify our davit to make it work.



That night after walking the harbor and thoroughly wearing Ziggy out, we locked him in the boat and headed up to the head of the harbor for dinner at Tide’s Tavern.  It’s a great place to go, lots of fun and great pub food! 

This town was a great stop!










It rained most of the night and late afternoon yesterday. We woke up early and as quiet as we could headed out the harbor.  It seemed like the town was still sleeping.  It’s a quiet place and we’re just sorry that their new Marine Museum wasn’t open yet as that would have put the final icing on our fun visit to Gig Harbor.  It’s not due to open until September 18th  and posters advertised it all over town.  I think it will be something that we will want to come back and see.   

It was a pretty uneventful cruise up to Port Townsend except for various works boats that cruised past us and one big aircraft carrier.  We passed a couple classic  low to the water schooners that perhaps we were on their way to the festival.



Wow, coming into Port Townsend is pretty darn neat.  It has a wonderful skyline with architecturally significant historical structures.  It’s pretty magnificent in that it gives you a glimpse of what an old port might have looked like back when it was a major seaport during the 1800s.


 As you approach the town from the south Marrowstone Point Light and Fort Flagler are on your left and next time we'll give it more room as we suddenly were engulfed in some pretty nasty waters close off shore.  Off in the distance further north is Fort Worden and Wilson Light And just a short distance across Admiralty Inlet is Admiralty Head Light and Fort Casey.  These three served as guardians to the waters heading to Seattle mostly during WWII, now they serve more as picturesque buildings and a reminder of their importance in the past.


We cruised past the center of town heading to Bell Harbor Marina where we were able to get slip space today.  They take no reservations at Bell Harbor so you have to chance it when you come.  We didn't want to take any chances on coming a few days later and not getting a slip during the Wooden Boat Festival.  That was not an option for me so we decided to come a few days early and secure a spot.  We couldn't anchor out because the notorious dinghy engine is on the blink again.  That thing is going to the dump soon. 

We pulled up to the fuel dock first and put on 200 gallons.  A couple in a nice red hulled sailboat with a homeport of Norway were just leaving.  They are probably heading south to continue on their long journey.  Wow, what wonderful experiences they must be having.  They looked like they were enjoying themselves.   I would imagine this is a stopping point for many mariners on their way south and also coming up that long stretch as they head north.  Just that fact makes this an exciting place to me.


We got an excellent slip on the end of A Dock in full view of everybody coming and going in the marina.  There was so much good boat and people watching that it would take me pages to describe it all.  I loved the docks too.  They are old wooden docks and so solid.  You can feel the solid thick planed planks beneath your feet, even the knots take on some character and they pathways kind of weave over time.  They just don't build them like that anymore.  It's too bad they are going to rip them all out this winter and replace them with something  “better and newer”.  Somehow things that are “newer“ these days never are as good.  Nothing is built to last like the old days.  So I enjoyed my walk up and down the docks as much as I could as I knew this was another page of history was going to be torn from the book.

There’s something very magical about Port Townsend.  I love it here as there so much history, (still visible), maritime history, serious classic boat builders, old classic boats, etc. etc. etc.   It’s a feast for the eyes if you are interested in all those things. 


We sure made the right decision to come early as we were able to watch the staging of the Wooden Boat Festival day by day. It was fascinating and we were dead dog tired at the end of each day just trying to take it all in.  Many of the boats for the show were patiently waiting in our harbor, pruning themselves,  getting ready to show off their duds.  The nearby boat yard was fascinating too as it is full of old boats under restoration.  This whole area it a bit like a real modern day Cannery Row in a way with lots of character. 


We dropped both jaws one morning just having our first cup of coffee and looked up to see “Lady Washington” come into the harbor.  She motored right on by our bow her tall masts towering over the marina.  An hour later as we headed down those great old wooden docks we were again shocked to see “Lady Washington” suddenly rise up out of the water as the repair yard was putting her on the blocks for a good bottom cleaning.  Everyone was in awe and was drawing quite a crowd.  The motley crew of Lady Washington was standing around looking a bit bewildered and maybe wondering what to do for the next few days while their mother ship was getting serviced but I noticed later that day they set up a picnic blanket and had lunch below her belly on the parking lot.  At night they would climb up the multi-story ladder to their bunks way up high overlooking the marina.


We thoroughly enjoyed exploring the town of Port Townsend, they have lots of great shops, really tasty restaurants and wonderful old and beautifully cared for architecture.  It is a feast for the eyes.  The town was bustling the whole week with the interesting boat people that the festival brings to town.  Excitement was in the air for everybody. 

We loved the breakfasts and lunches a Hudson Café the best.  They were delicious and the view from the cafe, watching the festival staging, was great.  We had good Japanese food at the noodle house in town in one of the old brownstone buildings, and tasty mango cherry scones at the coffee house next door, a mouth watering dinner at the Silverwater Café, and the biggest thickest slices of pie at a little side street café that I'm sorry I forgot the name of but I'm sure you could find it.  We just touched the surface of tasting all the places to eat in Port Townsend all within easy walking distance of the Hudson Marina.


We rented a car while we were there as the Bell Harbor Marina is a long jaunt from town (the festival had shuttles during the festival).  The only place in town to rent a car was from “Gary’s Used Car Lot”.  and Gary's idea of "service" is far from what you'd expect.  When Larry called to get the car and asked if they would come pick him up or deliver it to the marina he was told "picking you up isn't part of the deal."  Poor Larry after a long day of watching vintage tug races and cruising practically the length of Puget Sound had  a long walk which ended climbing up a big steep hill to get the car.  The car was an old Ford compact and the brakes were on their last legs but it served our needs well.  (There’s a Safeway Market right across the road from the Marina which was very handy if you didn’t have a car.) 


One day we drove to Sequim to see the John Wayne Marina.  We had lunch in the café there and my steamed mussels and clams appetizer (which was huge) for $19 was delicious but most everything else on the menu was deep fried and the grease you smelled as walked in the door didn’t smell as fresh as you'd like.  We don’t quite understand what everyone likes about that marina except for the name and perhaps that everything is concrete and modern as there is nothing there that remotely reminds me of John Wayne.  There’s no town or anything nearby either so I really wonder why so many cruiser's like it as a "cruising stop".  The one and only restaurant is very expensive for what you get and the atmosphere is minimal so I must be missing something else about the place, if so please set me straight.  I guess people like it because it’s quiet and away from the city for cruisers that are trying to escape the madness of the city life. 


We stopped in nearby Fort Worden where I read later that they filmed Officer and Gentleman and picturesque Point Wilson Light.  These are all close to Port Townsend and quite fun and interesting to visit.


The opening day of the festival was lots of fun but we decided it was just as much fun, if not more, to come at least a day early to see how they manage putting all the boats for the festival into the little harbor and watching the vendors set up in perfect organization.  There's a lot of excitement in the staging part of the show as everyone is busy and happy but still have time to talk without the crowds.  It’s quite a production watching this show come together.  It's nice to see these great boats come in one by one to the harbor in full view to appreciate them in their entirety before they are all squeezed tightly in the harbor. 

We enjoyed the morning of the festival and all the activities too.  They had many demonstrations to show how to make things, all nautically related of course.  I learned how to make a monkey's fist at one demonstration.  That was pretty neat to learn to make a monkey's fist with just a small piece of twine and a marble.  It was surprisingly easy with the help of a seasoned instructor.  The new Maritime Center Building is awesome and there's lots of neat stuff to see there.


Having worn the soles of our shoes bare we decided it was a good time to leave.  We were watching some of the old boats showing off in the harbor and the seas were flat calm out Admiralty Inlet and thought it would be better to leave that afternoon rather than wait until morning.  You could see all the way to the San Juan Islands. 

We had a calm flat trip all the way home and the next day it poured so I think we made the right decision.

 What a spectacular time we had in magical Port Townsend!