Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Stretch and Reach

 10 May 2012

Its not long after I return form Paradise that the weekly forecast for the Pacific Northwest looks unusually promising. It takes me a flash to pack up my Blue Zeusmobile and head south to Zittles Marina. There floats Shatoosh and Pashmina, wondering where I have been for a month. Three hours pass of extreme boat washing and we are off on another adventure. The sky is blue and I am so happy to be back on the water. First stop is McMicken Island which is such a nice place to hang out but will be a short over nighter.

I am all alone for the rest of the afternoon and about sunset a sailboat comes in with his big jenny flapping in the breeze and instead of picking up a buoy, they begin to anchor downwind and with an incoming tide and that jenny flapping. When I see things like this, I don't like the looks, as disaster could be soon coming. That puts them just up wind of me. They put out little scope and are close to shore. They are also towing a canoe, which they immediately take to shore. After a short walk they return and tie up their canoe to the stern. At this point I am down below putting in new batteries to all my flashlights and I look up and here come the canoe floating by. The sailboat is in hot pursuit, but the canoe is being blown in close to shore and with a large draft on the sailboat I hail them to see if they want me to get the canoe. He says he can manage and by now the canoe is pasing me to starboard and he is cutting around me to port. He makes his catch and as he is tying up the canoe, no one is at the helm. He looks up as the shore is rapidly approaching. He yells to his crew(probably wife),"why aren't you at the helm". She gybes the boat which puts her closer to shore and and he wrestles the helm back but they are aground for a short time. With the flooding tide he is lucky and gets off with some reaving of the engine. I happily smile as they take off into the near darkness to the opposite shore to re anchor. Some how I sensed the possibility of trouble.

11 May 2012 The flooding light fills the cabin which wakes me. Aha, the sky is blue and today seems like a  Stretch and Reach day. No, I am not on a new exercise program, but I plan to go to Stretch and Reach Islands in the upper portion of Case Inlet.. This is all new territory for me, so can't wait to get going, but its 0515 hrs. Its cold still and in the highs 30's and low 40's, so I reach & stretch to pull the covers over my head for some more sleep. I'm not in that big of a hurry to get going! There was a north wind blowing and I was awake til midnight bouncing and rolling. We have had some extreme tides and as much as a minus 3.9 ft ebb the other day and a total range of >18 ft. The McMiken tombolo revealed the greatest part of her and made this a complete cove at low tide yesterday

Stretch and Reach are 2 small inhabited islands that have bridges going to them from the Pennisulas, and since they are both equally placed they have inner and outer harbors. However access under the bridges are mud flats at low or minus tides. There is a small, nice marina which is family owned. I met the owner when he was hauled out this spring at Zittels. There is a small state park with buoys on the northern point of Stretch that I plan to use, but if a north wind prevails I will have to look for another place to spend the night.

Stretch Island State Park with North wind

Fair Harbor Marina

nice pilot house sloop

Another one-- I like this one.

The wind dies so I decide to tie up and spend some time at Stretch Island
This point has steep shoreline so the buoy is in about 30 ft of water
Olympic Mountains in the background .
Shatoosh is pointing to Reach Island

The Northern Point of Stretch Island

That weathered north wind carves a nice photo

Pashmina's first trip with her new bow logos

The weather report calls for 25mph winds after midnight. That makes my decision for the night an easy one. I'm not hanging out here and bouncing all night. Pashmina is living up to her logo and carrying me to new places. I am really liking her ease in rowing and getting her up on the swim platform. Now for the next test: how does she tow? At first I put her out on a long towline and she is fish-tailing like crazy. That is not going to work so I snug her up closer and she holds steady with her bow on the first stern wake. Atta girl!
We are both happy with this.

Wow, look at those Olympic Mountains

I continue to poke my bow around Case Inlet, but then head back to Harstene Island and Jarrell's Cove for the night. I tie up to the dock and I am the only person here. Friday night, a beautiful day, so where are all the boaters?

My day and a half adventure: 23nm