Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bellingham Layover

31 August 2011 Wednesday

I slept from 2130 hrs to 0720 this morning. Boy, so I feel rested. Its raining this morning, so I will enjoy a break, check the engine and try to get some photos put up on the blog. I have had a spotty internet connection over at Inati Bay, so that is why I am behind on posting pictures.

The other day I coined a term for all my faceless blog readers and abbreviated it FBR. It was only a few hours that I received an email from someone who said he was a FBR from Oklahoma asking a question about my use of the NOAA Charts and the free Sea Clear program. In matters of hours the term for this sub culture has taken off. Let me hear from you other FBRs. The blog stats showed new readers from Brunei and Mexico. The one in Nepal continues to read the blog. When I return I will have to count the countries, as my list is growing and may be even with the numbers of navigable river waterways I have cruised-over 70.

I'm happy to get all the pictures up. It does take lots of time, but I love doing it. It is always easier when the signal is good and I'm plugged into 110. I got the engine and batteries checked and my next 11 days programed out. My new DC cooler is running well and after one week I still have frozen ice in one of the gallon jugs. I freeze filtered water from the house and bring them. They have never lasted this long. I asked a lady on the dock where I could get block ice. She said they just put on 6 blocks so she'd give me one. I paid her for it, of course. That was the easiest block of ice I've ever taken on. She even delivered it to Shatoosh. ASK, and you shall Receive!

I'm working my way over to Orcas Island where I will be meeting up with friends. Tomorrow I will take a short leg to Cypress island and pick up a mooring buoy. The guidebook stated that Cypress is a jewel of an island. I have never been there so looking forward to going.

I heard a knock on the deck. A new set of Faceless Blog Readers(FBR's) were staring at me. They read the blog and are living aboard a 45 ft Ed Monk wooden trawler. They just happened to be docked a few boats down and have just returned from Portland by car. They wondered if they might run into me on my trip north and immediately recognized Shatoosh as they ventured down the dock. Wow, this is too much. I'm definately in cruising country and blog readers are ever so present. I walk down and see the Viking Star; a stately ole lady with lots of upgrades. They also, write a blog, Lets take a peak. I've been reading it for about 30 minutes. I love it. Before I left their boat we talked and they gave lots of good information on the buoys at Cypress Island. I can't wait to get there.Thanks Al and Kristi for stopping by. I look forward to seeing you in some special cove.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Inati Bay to Bellingham

30 August 2011 Tuesday

I slept much better but was awakened often with beam waves coming into the bay. It is overcast and reporting 15-20k southerlies. I'm moving slow but get off by 0900hrs. I am going to tow Pashmina up close and give it a try, as it is a little rolly. We only have about 10 nm to go. Bellingham is the closest  pumpout for the head, so that is our mission today.

I'm cruising at about 5.5k just to keep Pashmina calm. The wind and waves are on my beam and aft quarter and later on my stern. It is probably only about 5 k of wind and the seas are not more than 3 feet.
There are 2 sections of marinas, the East and the West. I take the East basin as the guest dock and pumpout are close by.  After pumping out I call the harbor master and he gives me the location to dock. Another boat has come in and helps me dock in a tiny space. Another lady singlehander on an Island Packet 31 has been out cruising with another boat for 2 months up north. It is so good to see more ladies out cruising on their own boats. At the end of the dock I find another Porta boat- my 4th so far on this trip.

12 Ft Porta Boat
Dinghy Storage at East Basin Bellingham

Shatoosh and Pashmina get a really good bath and I get a long shower. I re stow Pashmina on the roof.

All Clean Again
Ready For The Next Leg

I take an early bird dinner at the restaurant at the end of the dock and have salad, Idaho trout, rice pilaf with cranberries, green beans with almonds, and cream burlee. All for $17.95. Plus I couldn't eat all of it so have another meal tomorrow.

This is a good stopover to get rested some, so I plan on another day here.
Day's Run: 8nm

Monday, August 29, 2011

Inati Bay continued

29 Aug 11 Monday- 0010 hrs

I'm anchored in Inati Bay, Lummi Island and on vigilant anchor watch. The southeast winds are blowing, the skies are clear and my stern anchor has dragged, necessitating my pulling it up. This means I am swinging at anchor with the wind howling. I have been sitting at the helm station watching my close position with a large trawler when I look out to the entrance and see another solid green light next to the flashing one that is far beyond the entrance. I go below and check my position looking through the forward hatch. I'm sitting in my bunk with flashlight in hand, taking a break. I am wide awake now. Another big wind gust and Shatoosh sails off in another direction however the main anchor seems to be holding. I think I hear someone yelling way off in the distance. Again it happens, I get up and go into the cockpit and there is a boat bearing down on me. The guy on the foredeck is yelling, "Scotty, slow down". I turn on my running lights and shine the light onto my hull and decks. I go forward and pop up through the hatch. I call out, "can you see me"? "Yes", the guy says. But the boat is bearing right towards me. This time, I yell, "you are bearing down on me". He yells, "Scotty, turn to port". They yell back and forth to each other and the guy wants to know how much anchor line I have out. The large low sleek sailboat's starboard green light sails past my bow with about 20 feet between us. The guy at the helm is calm, saying I see you, everything is ok. They move fast past me and into a dark corner of the bay. They must have been here many times before and seem to be headed for the shore to anchor in close. I would never have thought anyone would be coming in to anchor after midnight. But there you have it, another Lummi adventure. Now, I know what that other green light was at the head of the bay.

I am up and down all night with the wind gusts and sitting abeam of some small waves, however it is calmer than Legoe Bay. Every time I am awakened, I get up to check my position, check my depth sounder and check my anchor. I am holding my position, well. At 0800 I watch a sailboat sail in, furl the main and jib, slow to an easy speed and maneuver between the boats. The skipper is a single handed woman...she anchors quietly next to Shatoosh, checks her position after the first swing she readjusts her chain length. It is foggy and drizzly and later I complement her.

At 0900 hrs, Scotty and his big wooden ketch of 50 feet in length weighs anchor and speeds out of the bay, heading north. Too bad, I miss getting to to talk with him, as I am certain he has lots of stories to tell.

Scotty's Boat the Night Stalker

Another Bow and Stern Anchor

More boats come and go, some staying for just a few hours. This is a short cruise from Bellingham so many people use it. As more people leave, I try anchoring in different places with different stern anchor set-ups. All practice is good and when things don't go right, then I am learning patience. Often when I lift the anchor out of the water it has a watermelon sized glob of mud and in it is entangled kelp. I have to climb out of the forepeak onto the deck, lie down and grab the chain, lifting it and dropping it to get the stuff off. After about 30 times, my biceps and right SI joint are screaming. I'm sure tomorrow I will be feeling sore. At 1945, the last boat sails off in the direction of Bellingham. I'm alone at last and the winds seem to have abated. I am anchored in a nice place with only the bow anchor and with no one around I can swing without worry. Hopefully no one will be anchoring at midnight.

This has been a long day with lots of lessons for me about anchoring in new coves. Adjusting to the currents and the tides, analyzing types of anchors and lengths of rode and chain, using lines to shore are just a few things I need to consider. I will be readjusting my ground tackle. One thing is for certain I am loving my swim platform. It is making getting on and off Pashmina easy.

My Route Around Lummi

Legoe Bay to Inati Bay

28 Aug 11 Sunday

I had a very rolly night on the buoy and at 0600 hrs we are shrouded in total fog. I can't see the dinghy on the next buoy. By 0830 hrs the fog has lifted enough for me to take off. I'm headed south to round Carter Point on the south side and explore 3 of the small bays that are good anchorages. I pass Lummi Rocks, while in light fog. My radar is working well and I have about a quarter of a mile of visibility. The depths along the shore are well into 40 fathoms so I move in closer to see the high cliffs. At Carter Point there is an immature eagle sitting on the rock shoreline. While still young, he looks very large and stately.

Carter Pt. South Lummi

Fish Buying Boat Returning to Legoe Bay

The first bay which is a DNR site has a small boat anchored with 2 lines to shore. There is suppose to be a buoy here but I don't see it. The second one is Reil Bay and is an exposed small bight and it doesn't look good to me, so I head farther north to Inati Bay and this one is a beauty with about 5 boats anchored. I swing by a large sailboat and they say they are leaving so I can anchor near them. I set the bow anchor easily. I get in Pashmina, which I have towed this morning, to put out a stern anchor to keep me from swinging. Several of the boats depart and at noon a lady hails me from her kayak. She is anchored here in her Columbia 26 and wanted to meet a fellow woman boater. I invite her aboard and fix some coffee for us and we have a nice chat. I get back in Pashmina and clean the waterline and reset my stern anchor as it seems to have lost its set. It is so beautiful and peaceful here. Another sailboat comes in with a portaboat, as a dinghy. This is my 3rd portaboat to see on this trip.

Anchored Inati Bay
Bow and Stern Anchors

Fog rolls in.

My Lummi blog readers show up late afternoon and we raft up together and have another delightful time, sharing stories, munching on chips and dip. I am so happy that I came up here to meet them. They are both easy to be with. As I cruise around, we might hook up again. I invite FBR to join me for an over nighter, if she would like.

More boats come and go and it seems by sunset there are 4 of us anchored. I am awakened at 1100 hours with south east winds and strong gusts. My WYC burgee is a good wind alert as she bangs on the bow pulpit and it always wakes me up. I better get up to check my position. My stern anchor has dragged and I am swinging over to the trawler which was on my port. This does not look good. I check my bow anchor and it seems to be holding well. The Albins tend to swing alot at anchor when there is the least amount of wind. Having the stern anchor really stabilizes the boat. This is important in a crowded small anchorage. I return to deal with the stern anchor and decide to pull it in and I discover there is a huge kelp tangled into the flukes along with lots of mud and rocks. I set it on the aft deck and secure it to the cleat. Then go below and wash both hands. Oh! the joys of cruising. I return to the helms seat and hang out watching my position, taking note of the wind gusts, keeping my flashlight in my hand and put some socks on, as my feet are cold. I just have to make certain that my anchor is holding. I really don't want to have to reset it in the dark.

Day's run: 10nm
Total: 126nm

La Conner to Lummi Island

27 Aug 11 Saturday

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon re-tuning my radar. I haven't been happy with its performance since being in the Sound. With the new calibration, I depart at a foggy 0700 hrs and, quickly see all the channels markers showing up as bleeps on the radar screen. The tide is ebbing and both sides of the channel are bearing mud flats. Hundreds of birds are enjoying their breakfast.

Did I Mention that the channel was narrow?

Road to Fidalgo Island-Anacortes

Once out of the flats, I'm heading to Lummi Island to meet one of my faceless blog readers(FBR). I'll refer to her as FBR from here on out. At 0930 hrs, I am at the edge of a large fog bank and cannot see any islands, like Lummi, Orcas, or Sinclair. I call FBR and she can see some clearing in Legoe Bay. I move into the fog bank and pick up Lummi Rocks to starboard on the radar, Not long after I see a radar blip a quarter of a mile to port and minutes later a large sight seeing boat is in sight. Glad to have taken the time to re-calibrate the radar. She is working like a gem. This and the chartplotter have taken the unknown out of the equation and I proceed with confidence.

Lummi Island

In the thick of the fog
Lummi Rocks to Starboard

Legoe Bay

I have some wind and following seas which make Legoe Bay pretty lumpy and not a place I want to try to anchor. My FBR says to go to the other side of the island where there is a private dock. The sun is out and the waters calm. We rendezvous and have a wonderful time meeting and sharing stories. Later her husband joins us and brings me fresh strawberries.

East Side of Lummi with Mt Baker

They have a freshly caught pink salmon at home that want to cook for me. They call friends to check how Legoe Bay is doing and she has quieted down. A friend of theirs who has a couple of buoys in the bay has offered me use of one for the night. FBR joins me on Shatoosh and we head for the Bay, while Hubby returns by car. We pass behind the famous Lummi Island Reef Fishing Boats. This sytem of reef fishing has been used by the Lummi Indians for hundreds of years. The boats are flat like barges and the nets are hung in the waters between them. They locate in this place each year as the fish make their way up to the Frazier River in BC. There is a large fish buying boat anchored off in the bay and at the end of each day they buy the fish. To learn more about this ancient system of salmon fishing just google it.

Reef Fishing Lummi Style

Mooring Lummi

Beautiful Sunset Legoe Bay

We have a wonderfully cooked dinner of salmon and fresh garden veggies at their lovely home. I return and row Pashmina back to Shatoosh as the setting sun makes for an idyllic scene. What a day this has been, fog, meeting new blog readers, home cooking and a buoy to tie too. I'm liking this Lummi Island.

Days run: 39nm

Friday, August 26, 2011

Langley to La Conner

Friday 26 August 11
I'm up early but not in any hurry to depart so leave at 0830hrs.. The couple next to me on a Catalina have been in Desolation Sound for the past month and they are both tan as you can be. A lady appears at my dock to help me get underway. It is low tide and my depth sounder reads 5 ft just outside the entrance and I can see bottom.

My course today will take me between Whidbey and Camano Islands and up through the Swinomish Waterway. I travel close to Camano island and come up on Cama State Park which has lots of nice cabins and a Wooden Boat Center. I never knew this existed. What a delightful spot.

Cama St Park

Mt Baker

Since it has been 25 years since I cruised this passage I forget how long these islands are and the vastness of the waters between them. Whidbey(35miles long) vies with Long Island to take the top honor of US longest island in salt water, excluding the Hawaiian islands, as they are not in the Continental USA. I have to correct myself. According to Wikipedia, Whidbey is 3rd in line, with Long Island being first, Padre Island( longest barrier island) in Texas is next. If you add fresh water into the mix then Isle Royal Michigan is the largest. Wikipedia also says," The first known European sighting of Whidbey Island was during the 1790 Spanish expedition of Manuel Quimper and Gonzalo López de Haro on the Princesa Real.[4] The island was fully explored in 1792 by Captain George Vancouver."

A nice Fisher 30 on the Swinomish Waterway

Winding along the Swinomish

I like this
La Conner

Bayliner Cockpit Extensions
Possible Hardtops for an Albin 25?

A 1215 hrs I enter the lower aspect of the Swinomish Channel. It is a narrow, winding slough, shallow at low tide with rocks and tide flats bearing on both sides. 3 inbound, speeding boats pass me with big wakes and for those of us who honor the no wake zone, we are caught with no room to head up into the waves. We just hang on and roll and roll. I get fuel in La Conner and get guest moorage on the breakwater dock.  I explore some marine stores and find one of the Albin 25 who in listed in the newsletter of the British Columbia Albineers. She will be attending the gathering in Roche Harbor next month and the Skipper will be on vacation and be able to do some additional cruising. I look forward to getting to know another female owner.

I have a leisurely afternoon, find a floating fender which I grab with the boat hook and look at charts and cruising guides for the next days adventures. I spend some time re-tuning my radar, as I have seen some fog over the island in the Straits of Juan de Fuca.
Day's Run: 26.5nm
Total: 77.6nm.

San Juan Island Cruise 2011

25August 11 Thursday
I'm excited about my 5 week cruising window to explore new and old places along my route to the San Juan Islands and returning to my new home port at Zittel's Marina on Johnson Point in the South Sound. I am underway at 0530 hrs from the Foss Waterway in Tacoma, Washington. It is still dark and the harbor and city lights lights give me a hint of reflected visibility. I see 2 working tugs at the entrance getting ready to

tend to an anchored ship and one tied to the grain elevator. I pass the anchored ship to my port and cut across Commencement Bay, where the sun is beginning to peak over the cascades. I can see many small fish jumping and some salmon splashing. I pass Brown Point and Dash Point as I cruise north along the mainland. To port are Maury and Vashon Island. I'm moving nicely with this early morning ebbing tide at 7k. Normally I wouldn't leave this early, but wanted to catch some of the ebb tide. I have about 50 nm to go and want to get to Langley on Whidbey island to meet friends. Langley is a small marina, so I have made a reservation ahead of time to make certain I get a slip. I love mornings and this one is nice, clear skies an calm seas. What else would a cowgirl turned boatgirl want?

Hindsight is a must and as I look astern I see a tug in tow with a large fuel barge and the big ship immerging from Commencement Bay. They are moving very slowly and don't pass me for hours. On each of the points I pass I dodge many fishing boats and to my surprise, I pass a guy fishing in a 12 ft Porta Bote. Upon entrance to Shilshole the radio crackles and a woman is calling the coastguard. Someone has run across a fishing boat with a man collapsed. They boarded it and one is performing CPR, while others are towing them into the marina. A coast guard boat is speeding past my stern and heading to the marina with flashing lights and sirens. I hear nothing else about the incident.

Shatoosh Gives Way to Crossing Ferry

At noon I pass my stern on the south shore of Whidbey and call my friends. I slow down and get me some munchies to eat on and watch 2 eagles trying to pick up a fish, then return to my cruising speed. I miss my ETA by 3 minutes. I radio for my slip assignment and the dock hand is waiting to assist me. This is a marina built years ago for small boats using funding from trailer boat registration.

Pene arrives and takes her first viewing of Shatoosh and then we return to their home. Terry is in his studio turning bowls, which he masterfully does. Pene, who is also talented, does elaborate weaving and wood sculptures.  She has worked several years completing multiple displays of Homer's Odyssey. We take a tour of some of the new garden art which has a whimsical aspect to it. I have fun with the giant Spider. They have more pieces of wood laying around just waiting to be rejuvenated into something special. Later we have a wonderful dinner at a local Langley bistro, a walk about town and some ice cream to top off the evening. Terry gets his tour of Shatoosh and I take extra time showing him all the different kinds of woods that make Shatoosh unique, like African Sapele, and Hawaiian Koa.


Hi Blog Readers

Attacked By a Giant Spider

Dinghy Storage Langley Marina

Norweign Tresfjord 28

My Favorite Nauticat 33

This has been a long day for me, so I fall asleep early. It has been a delightful day visiting with friends and seeing a new marina for me. The 2 harbor masters are really helpful with the docking, as this is a small marina and can be a tight squeeze.
Day's run 51.1nm

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Blog and The Porta Bote Company

After receiving my "Magic Stick" from the Porta Bote Company, I thank Mr Sandy Kaye. Today I get this email which I just have to share. This blog and the Porta Bote seems to have a life all of its own. Through my writings about porta bote experiences my magic wand or stick has stirred the company's pot. Here is the latest addition: Sandy Kaye writes,

"Hi Hira,

Glad your "stick" arrived in time. It should make quite a difference. Although, I want to note that the more the Bote is opened, the easier it gets (not as easy as the new design, but a lot easier then before).

The rather funny story of the owner who was "permanently trapped" in his boat caused me to try an experiment. Our staff found a 68 year old Porta-Bote owner who lived nearby and owns a 10+ year old Bote. They offered him a free dinner for him and his wife of 35 years if he would help us with an "experiment".

Yep, we wanted to try to replicate what was written by the other owner. He agreed (great attitude). He brought his boat to our nearby outboard motor warehouse and proceeded to open it. When it was opened enough he "climbed into it" and let the sides envelope him as completely as possible.head to toe.

Then we asked him to try to get out. He is about 5'8" tall and they estimate he weighs about 160 pounds.
He pushed open the sides, stuck one leg out, then the other leg. Then he "rolled" out (slowly). A FREE man again. Cheers went up from the admiring staff and he called us a couple days later to tell us how much he enjoyed taking his wife out to the local Red Lobster restaurant! (We had a gift card for that great eatery).
I felt somewhat better after this non-scientific test was finished successfully. Just couldn't figure out how a person of normal strength could have been "permanently" trapped in a 10 year+ old boat.

Have a great trip, Hira and thanks for keeping me in your "Blog Loop".

Well Sandy, I'm sure that the test boat wasn't new boat with old hinges and in a truck traveling in winter weather for several days. Did your testee have sweaty socks on?  While the standards weren't the same, I'm glad you and your company is having fun and the testee and his wife got a free dinner and I got a free magic stick.

I'm heading for the San Juan Islands and Pashmina 2 is going to be locked up in the open position in the garage for a month to cure her hinges, before I tackle moving her to her new berth.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Zittle's Marina in the South Sound and A Porta Surprise

Since I am permanently leaving my Foss Harbor slip next week and headed for the San Juan Islands for a month, I needed to drive south and secure a slip at Zittle's Marina for my return. Zittle's is a 4th generation owned marina on Johnson Point in the south Puget Sound. It is out in the country with large farms and located on the edge of a fresh water creek. After speaking with the owner, I walk down to take a look at the fuel dock and the entrance to familiarize myself for when I return with Shatoosh.

My intuition speaks and I have a feeling I am about to find a Porta Bote.  In a few minutes I see a nice Nordic Tug with a very old and well worn porta bote sitting attached to the swim platform with just some lashings. I walk back to the car and get my cell phone to take some pictures of it and then return to the office to make contact with the boat's owner. Later the owner calls me and states they have owned the Porta Bote for years, but just recently started carrying the bote on the swim platforrm on her side. He loves to row her.

Well this is a positive note and a good starting point for me to lash P2 on my swim platform and see what happens. It will be quite a bit cheaper than starting off with expensive davits.

Home Again and Planning for My San Juan Island Trip

While I was gone, my magic stick from Sandy Kaye, the President and Owner of Porta Bote arrived. It has nifty little cuts in it to grab hold of the edges to pry the sides apart.

Before I left for Blake Island, I attached the new letters for Pashmina 2 to the port side.

The other package arrived and it is my new boat dolly. A friend had one and I found it on Amazon. Magna Cart. The thing I liked about it is the wheels fold flat, making it easier to stow on the quarterberth in the aft cabin. I'll certainly try it out this next week when I head for the San Juan Islands. Comparing it to my old luggage cart:
1. The new one is heavier, but lays flat
2. The handle telescopes easily, as opposed to the luggage turn screw to lock it in place.
3. The tires automatically hinge flat when the carrier foot is opened to take the load.
4. It will carry 150 #.
Cost: $ 39.99 plus S/H

19 August 2011 Gig Harbor to Tacoma's Foss Marina

What a difference a day makes. By the time this photo was taken much of the low lying fog had lifted and it wasn't too much longer that we were back in clear blue skies.

We pass a tug and long log boom in Commencement Bay. The depths in the Bay are over 800 ft.

Ann tells me this very unique building is Stadium High School. I have noticed it before high on the hill and is very British/Scottish looking. It does look like the Craigdarrach Castle in Victoria that is part of my ancestors history.

We have had a lovely 2 day trip learning about the Salish Indians and Lt Peter Puget. I found the book in Gig Harbor that I have been looking for about his exploration into the south sound. I hope to replicate his week long journey and share more details of his exploration.

Total Run: 44 nm.

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.

17 August 2011 Ann Joins Me Blake Island

We head up north through Colvos passage and our destination is Blake Island. In all the years Ann has lived and boated in the Pacific Northwest she has never been to Blake Island. So, we slice out a few days of our busy schedules: she is a new grandmother to the 3 children her daughter and son in law have adopted, and I need a break from my Porta Bote delimna. The weather is beautiful, skies are clear and the seas calm.

Colvos Passage separates Vashon Island from the Peninsula and the tide always runs north. We are running nicely with the ebbing tide at 7.3-8 k. The docks at Blake can be filled in no time, but I plan on arriving before the afternoon boats fill all the spaces.

We arrive about 1130hrs and have several spots to choose from, so I take a starboard tie at the end and then later hand turn her around with the bow out for departure. We take a walk along the east shore and sit on a log and look at Mt Rainier off in the distance. It is so calm and peaceful. Some movement catches my eye and I spot a mother Raccoon and 3 babies meandering along the low tidal zone and then they finally make their way up to us and scatter into the forest. We saw a mother and one baby already earlier when we walked up to the Indian Tillicum Village to make our reservation for the evening salmon bake and dinner show.

Mt. Rainier in the distance

More boats venture in and in no time the docks are filled and boats begin to raft up together. Ann and I visit with a couple on their Canadian built boat. They have just had their inflatable dinghy attached to their swim platform with Weaver Davits in Tacoma. He shows me all about it. They keep their boat at the Foss Waterway in the storage areas. This is where I wanted to go, but they are reluctant to store inboard motor vessels.

A sailboat stern ties across from us, so his wheel catches my eye. Both sides collapse to give you walking room while docked. The photo is showing only one side collapsed, but both sides fold in. A Folda-Wheel.
I like this idea. Clever designing.

We have a delicious salmon dinner and show. Afterwards, we get a close-up view of the dancers and their elaborate and huge Salish Indian head masks The long beaked one weighs 50 lbs and is about 5 feet long.

Some interesting photos of old totems.

Sunset from Blake Island.