Tuesday, July 12, 2011

11- 12 July 2011 Penrose and Cutts Island State Parks

After a frustrating week of getting Shatoosh registered with the state of Washington, and borderline weather reports, I decide to make a break and high tail it out of town. I want to explore some new and revisit some old favorite spots. The South Sound is considered to be the forgotten stepchild, as everyone heads north to the San Juan Islands. However, there is plenty to see and do in the South Sound which is all waters south of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Before I depart, I go to the dumpster and get some cardboard to fabricate a template for a sun screen for my computer. Will see how it does on this trip.

As I make another run through Hale Passage and under Fox Island Bridge it begins to rain which makes me change my plan. I proceed to Penrose again to be tied up to a dock in case the weather gets nasty. By the time I cross the inlet the rain has stopped. There are 2 boats tied to the dock on the inside so I try to dock on the outside, but with the wind and current throwing me everywhere, I make a mess out of it all. I looked like a beginner boater on my first docking attempt. I finally got tied up, after eating a big piece of humble pie.

This morning I got up early and noticed that the ebbing tide had nearly sucked our little cove empty.
I had 3 feet showing on the depth sounder which meant I had 1.5 feet under me. The tide chart said it would be -2.1 ft. I clambered out of the cockpit and untied Shatoosh and walked her down to the very end of the dock with her bow extending out past the dock. That should do it, I say confidently. Later, the other 2 boats sat grounded, as Shatoosh and I departed on the early flood tide. I didn't arrive so smartly yesterday, but this morning we leaped out with flashing colors. PS--it helps to have a shoal draft cruiser.

Cutts Island
 I  pass Cutts Island to starboard and circle down and around Raft Island to visit this place for the first time. It is a small island with lots of homes on it. Big homes/docks. On the back side there is a bridge that connects the island to the mainland. This is supposed to be a good anchorage area and many boats are on buoys. There is a beautiful aft cabin ketch for sale. and a large sloop tied to a dock, bare-ing her large keel. Another looked as if it had been rolled, all the stanchions, pulpits and stern railings were bent and torqued.
This would certainly work to anchor in here, if caught in a storm.

For Sale


This One took a Tumble

I return to Cutts island and pick up a buoy and tie off to my stern. The sun comes out and I have lunch. This is so lovely. I used to come often here. It is a magical island similar to the ones near La Push. It has on the east end a high barren bluff covered at the top with lots of madrona trees while the other end slopes down to a beach that seems to slide into the waters. It is a haven for crows and they were very busy talking back and forth to each other. I had to wait out the tide change here which was most pleasant.

The sun came out and I listened to the Coast Guard reports of numerous incidents. A canoe was adrift without a person on board, only a paddle and a backpack with lunch in it were onboard. Then, a report of someone in the water off the Narrows Bridge in the middle span. They were recovered by the fireboat. Makes me wonder if someone had jumped. Then the Big Grand Banks, that was aground this morning, came crusing by. We all waved, as we have to be the happiest people in the whole wide world. The sun is out.

Diva Swan 36

I depart Cutts at 1530 hrs and pass Kopachuck St Park which has one mooring buoy and I had heard it was closed for some reason. I enter Horsehead bay with its huge gorgeous homes. I want to see this bay as it is also reported to have good anchorage near the dead end. I see a boat on a mooring and my heart almost stops. I get the binocs out, it is a Swan 36, could it be Sabra? I get closer and see it is Diva out of Gig Harbor. I remember her, she has a gold mast which many years back she was kept in beautiful condition. Now, she is in really bad condition, all her brightwork is peeling off, her hull and topsides are dirty and graying with age. How could anyone let one of these Swans go to waste? I'm sickened-- Gosh, I hope Sabra is not looking like this. This would be a great fixer upper. How could this boat be left to rot amongst these million dollar homes?

I wave to Virginia as I pass Fox Island Bridge and when I pass Ann's house in Tacoma, I call her and she can see me. It s nice to have friends who live in high places, but I very happy to live low down on the water.
I arrive back in my slip at 1850 hrs. As I am driving home the rains pour down. What a lucky 2 days I had.
Too Tall Tom called this morning and has been cruising around the northwest in a land yacht, avoiding the heat in Texas, so he is arriving for a visit which will be fun and funny.