Friday, August 19, 2011

18 August 2011 Blake Island to Gig Harbor

We depart at 1000 hrs and circle the island to see the numbers of state buoys that are located in beautiful coves along the shores. They have many more out since I was here in June.

I tell Ann that I want to stop  and check out Olalla which is on the west shore about half way down the passage. I had printed up some history of Lt. Peter Puget's exploration of the sound and had been reading it to Ann. On May 20, 1792, Captain Vancouver had given orders to Lt Puget to take a party and 2 boats south from their anchorage north and west of Blake Island. Their party departed at 0400hrs and headed south. They pulled into Olalla to have breakfast. There is an inlet there with a tidal creek. They had spotted indians and left trinkets and trading items in their canoes to show they were friendly. This was their first landing. Hira guides Shatoosh in the direction of the inlet and is in 80+ feet of water. It quickly drops to 40, 30, 20, 10 where the engine is placed in neutral and we drift. An anchorage is possible here and Hira tells Ann that in the future there is a plan to anchor and explore the inlet in Pashmina. We continue to read Puget's account of his exploration and their excitment to see Mt Rainier rising high above the large bay at the end of Vashon. Vashon Island is named after Lt Vashon who served with Puget in the Caribbean. It is interesting to note, that as they ventured south they completely missed the entrance to Gig Harbor and it wasn't explored until the mid 1800's by Lt John Wilkes. Puget describes how they were swept down rapidly through the Narrows making a landfall impossible.

We make our next landfall in Gig Harbor. The entrance is very narrow so it is easy to see how it can be missed. The day is so beautiful that Ann and I are seduced by its beauty that we stay over for the night.
I pull into my favorite spot which gives us a wonderful view of the mountain at sunset.