Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hammersley Inlet: Lt Peter Puget Didn't Explore This But Hira Does

I left Jarrell's Cove early to catch the flooding tide into Hammersley Inlet. Before I departed I had to get a picture of what I believe is an old Williard Pilothouse Sloop. Now I do like this.

Hammersley Inlet is the narrowest of all the inlets in Puget Sound. Al and Kristi stated they bucked a rather stiff tide of 3k going in and coming out. So, armed with that information, I had planned on going with the flood and coming out on the ebb.
The entrance to the inlet has a dog leg to port, so that is why Puget didn't go in.

I was throttling back but still going 7.3k. There are considerable shoaling so I was paying close attention to the depth sounder and chart. I'm liking the new sounder and being able to see the bottom contours is really helpful. I like the looks and feel of this inlet. While there are houses on both sides they are not gigantic and overpowering. It seems more simple and relaxed.

Shelton is an old lumber town and is about a mile from the marina. The marina is filled to the brim with boat houses and some slips for sailboats. The guest dock seems jammed in between them and this was not where I wanted to be. Farther into the inlet is a large, Oakland Bay, which dries at low and minus tides. The chart depths are 1/2,  1 and 2 fathoms, so again I precede slowly and with caution. I find an area on a peninsula, where there are no houses that joins an adjacent cove. This looks just like the place I have been looking for. Solitude, no boats, houses or people.
Hammersley Inlet

Chapman Cove

I put out my small lunch anchor off the stern and have a bite to eat. I have an hour before the tide turns. I jump in Pashmina and off we go. This place is so beautiful. The whole shore is lined with really healthy madrona trees.There is not a lot of debris on shore. It looks as though no ones comes here.

Then I found a lagoon within Chapman Cove. There lots of oyster shells everywhere. There are several large piles of them on shore and interestingly, they have become "nurse-logs" in a sense, and for some strange reason all these small,delicate yellow-golden flowers have created a carpet on the mounds. I have never seen anything like this in my life.

I return to Shatoosh and decide that I will stay overnight. I pull up my lunch anchor and move out to deeper (18 ft) of water and set my new Bruce anchor. It is after 9 pm and I have moved through the low tide and now I am back up to 17 ft. I will have to wait  until tomorrow afternoon for the ebb tide, but I am happy as a lark and can explore more tomorrow. I found a goldmine.
1.5 hr rowing Pashmina
Days Run 16nm
Total 55nm.