Friday, August 31, 2012

Christening of Dreamspeaker's New Dodger and Sail Cover

I had another opportunity to visit with Dreamspeaker on Sunday while they were in Gig Harbor. Anne and Laurence Yeadon-Jones were celebrating their new Dodger and Sail cover. They were tickled pink with the craftsmanship and service of Randy, of Randy's Boat Tops in Olympia, Washington.

A Little Bubbly to Christen her: Dream Dodger

Soon afterwards, they departed and will continue to criss-cross Puget Sound in a northerly direction to speak to boating organizations and community groups about getting businesses on board for participation in their new Puget Sound Cruising Guide, which will be available next year.

Anne and Laurence are a lovely couple providing a wonderful service for the international boating communities of British Columbia and the United States. They confidently guide boaters through the maize of British Columbia and San Juan Islands and now the Puget Sounders will have their own guide to bring focus and clarity into Peter Puget's Sound of inlets and islands. I have been made a member of their team and given a Dreamspeaker cap.

It has been wonderful to meet them after years of reading their articles and seeing their drawings of different locations in BC. I hope to meet them again and again next summer as Shatoosh, Pashmina and I venture north into Canadian Waters. I look forward to your new Cruising Guide.

I have posted a permanent link to their website at the bottom of my blog. Please, order your guides from their website as it will be cheaper and you can get an autographed copy.

More New Finds

The next day I took Care on a loop from Jarrell's Cove thru Pickering Passage to a few turns after the entrance of Hammersley Inlet, so she could see how Puget could miss the entrance, which he did. Since there were no interesting birds in the bights, we continued on to Hope Island where we grabbed a buoy and had lunch. We proceeded on to Zittlel's Marina where I dropped her off and continued back up Case again for McMickin Island. Why not, the weather is good, I say to myself. It was so good I spent 2 more nights there. and then continued on my way home, exploring places I had seen from a distance and thought they had potential.

The Key Peninsula separates Carr and Case Inlet. At the southern end of the peninsula on the Case side is Devil's Head, a high bluffed point which overlooks the entire Nisqually Delta. This delta is formed from the Nisqually Glacier on Mt. Rainier and the Nisqually River. My small guide book speaks of 2 DNR properties on the southwest side of Key Peninsula.

The large beach at Joemma gives lots of room to beachcoam and then you move into DNR 13 and then into an older settlement of Taylor Bay. There is a stretch of private homes and beach with Do Not Tresspass Signs. Then I came across an area not mentioned in the book. It is called Johnson Wildlife Refuge and is part of the Great Peninsula Conservancy. The sign, while difficult to read said Sensitive area, no fires. It has a beautiful gravel beach with sand proceeding it and some sort of lagoon in the back. I was inching Shatoosh up into the clear water and drifted in 5 feet. This area needs more exploration from us as it looks inviting and peaceful. Then I cruised farther towards Devils Head and came across DNR16 which is really beautiful and at one point may have had a fresh water lagoon. I drifted south and east along the shore with a flooding tide in 10 feet of water. The beach is pristine gravel with sand farther offshore. It is lovely and also is one to revisit.
DNR 13

Johnson Wildlife Refuge

DNR 16

It has been difficult to find some of these areas on the internet, but it seems that in 2010 a 94 acre park was created using the DNR property, part of Taylor Bay and the Johnson Wildlife Refuge.

All these places are less than 2nm from my marina. As I cruise more and more in Case Inlet, there are numerous little inlets, lagoons behind beaches and glorious beaches that are well worth exploring in our dinghies.

I cruised 32nm with Care and a total of 47.5nm. It is always so nice having Care join me and I love finding new birds and new beaches/lagoons. What a great week.

Care Joins Me for Exploring and Birding

This has been a fruitful week on many fronts. Care is a 47 year friend of mine from Army days. She is an expert birder and has run the Bluebird Project on the Air Force base of McChord for over 20 years. She is joining me for a full 2 day trip.

We head up Case Inlet in South Puget Sound and swing into Joemma State Park to show it to her and immediately I spot a flock of birds and Care with a quick look in her monocular states they are Wilson's Phalaropes. This is new for me. Birds are taking on their winter plumage and are beginning to migrate from the north. Even pigeon guillemots have a new look to them.'s_Phalarope
I see a shadow of a big bird on the water and look up. It is an Osprey carrying a fish. I don't see many ospreys in Washington compared to the Columbia River and I really miss seeing them. From there I cruise to a new area for me as I want to check out a remote, undeveloped State Park. On the way we see
Red necked grebes.

We take Herron Island to port and follow the shoreline for 2 nm and start looking for Haley Property State Park and a Totem Pole. It has been owned by the state since the 80's but has remained undeveloped. Once owned by the Haley family since the 1920's. They owned candy company, Brown and Haley in Tacoma and are famous for making Almond Roca. The company is still in business. As we approach , it is looking quite interesting with a lagoon, old weathered logs with silver patina and a smart looking silver Totem of a Raven. The park has over 170 acres upland and has second growth trees on it. We anchor in 12 feet of water with my lunch hook and the tide is beginning to flood. After a quick bite to eat we row ashore and beach comb. This is a beautiful place. A red Crossbill couple land on the shoreline. Care says they are forest dwellers and with their cross bill they can open the conifer cones. It is unusual to see them on the beach, so this is a treat for me. Click on the link an see their very unusual bill.

As you can see this place is fascinating and I am going to return as soon as I can. I want to find out more about the Totem. One link said the candy company made small sticks and called them Totems. Another alluded to the fact that perhaps Mr. Haley carved the Totem. I have lots of questions about this new gem I have discovered. We depart and cross Case Inlet and head straight down Pickering Passage to Jarrall's Cove. Care has never been here either.

We take delight in seeing the numerous jellyfish. I said to Care they look like egg yokes and in fact, they are called, Egg Yolk Jelly Fish.

I see lots of these and they are called,
Moon Jelly Fish.

We traveled 15nm today and had a great time seeing new birds and a new park for me.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Boston Harbor

I drop Linda off at Boston Harbor which is a small family owned marina. As we are coming into the marina area I see another famous boat that I had overlooked.

Kea was owned by Sam McKinney. I first learned about him from Capt Dan of the WhiskyJack while on the Columbia River. Sam has written several books about the Columbia River and his cruising adventures. Recently I read his book about Cruising Vancouver's Routes in the pacific Northwest. It was there I learned he kept his boat Kea in Boston Harbor. I wanted to meet him and learned that he had died a short time ago.

I walked the docks to take a look at her, as Sam had sailed in Puget's wake, as well as, Vancouver's. It looks as though the new owner is taking good care of her.

Well, I depart Boston Harbor and head back to my home marina. The tide is ebbing and Shatoosh kicks up her heels and we move along quite nicely at 9.5 knots. Linda learned what it means when we say its better to go with the flow, than to buck the tide.

I was out for about 11 days and traveled 101nm. As usual, I had a wonderful time and love living with nature on my door step. Life on board is simple, everything is in arm's reach, the sun greets you in the morning and says good bye at night. You slow down and move with the tides, taking delight in the littlest things and living on the crisp edge of mother nature. NO matter how seasoned you are, you are always learning and flexing your mental and physical muscles to deal with the elements and problem solving. You are always in the moment, mother nature forces you to be there and you have no other choice. Be present and you become wise. Day dreaming is for land, but when we get to sea we have to be present and in the moment. Mother nature shows us we have little wiggle room.

Hope Island and Starfish

I am going to combine several visits to Hope Island to save time in posting. Hope Island is a good jumping off place for exploring the southern inlets of Hammersely, Totten, Eld and Budd. It is always interesting to me that no matter how many times one visits and island it is different and one leaves with a whole new perspective of the island. The different sides of an island has different beaches, different marine life and different energy. I walk Pashmina along the shoreline on the east side for the first time and revel in all the starfish that are there.

A large jellyfish comes floating by Shatoosh.

A few days before on my evening paddle I wanted to find a little beach to meditate and just around the bend I found a nice Zen Rock that someone had placed earlier in the low tide. I thanked them for doing this as it was just what I wanted.

Linda counts 76 rings

Linda and her short walking stick

Hira and her large walking stick

Otter skat in a tree trunk

Sunset at Hope
My friend, Linda joins me for 2 days and this is her first visit to Hope. We have a relaxing time and enjoy exploring Hope.

The wind really picked up during the night and by 2300 hrs it was blowing 20-25 k. I woke Linda up to help me put on an extra line to the buoy. The wind let up about 0200 hrs. It seems as though it is a trend, nightly south westerlies. Hope is so exposed to the SE and the SW winds. Our last night there was as calm as could be. Better to be safe and have peace of mind.

Linda is such a great being and gardener so she supplied some really wonderful items from her garden. We ate well for 2 days. Thanks Linda for joining me and bringing all those fresh veggies and fish.

Dreamspeaker and Her Famous Owners

I return to Hope Island and get a buoy again. Boy, I do have good buoy karma. A very nice Sloop anchored near by and she was flying a Canadian Flag. I had seen her in Olympia at the yacht club dock. I haven't seen many Canadian cruising boats in the south sound, so when I departed in Pashmina to row ashore they were returning to their boat so in passing they said she was a Sparkman Stephens design. No wonder I liked her. After I cruised the shady side Of Hope Island in the evening I returned with the change in tide and noticed the stern name for the first time. Loud and Clear it was Dreamspeaker. Oh my goodness, I say to myself and row over so excited. Dreamspeaker and her owners, Anne and Laurence Yeadon- Jones are famous Northwest Cruising Guide Experts. They have written 6 Cruising Guides for the British Columbia and Vancouver Island and are writing one about Puget Sound. One or more of their books was on my wish list.

I am invited aboard and we have so much to talk about--cruising Puget Sound and Peter Puget. I buy a book and get it autographed and Laurence gives me a signed copy of his new Puget Sound Planner Chart which will be coming available. His elaborate charting of places and Anne's descriptions of  cruising sites makes for wonderful guides. If you have never owned one, it is time to buy one, or buy a copy of their book chronicling their adventures in Dreamspeaker and Tink their dinghy. I have so much respect for their cruising abilities and their ability to publish such elaborate guides for all of us to plan our next vacation, adventure or summer. Thank you Anne and Laurence for your efforts, focus and perseverance in guiding us..

You can contact them and purchase guides and books from their website: or click here: Dreamspeaker

PS. Anne lost her sunglasses ashore, so a few days later when I went back to Hope Island I was able to find them next to a log. I will deliver them to Anne when they come to Tacoma. Anne tells me her sunglasses have been cruising with her for more than 20 years. Glad I found them.

How do I look with these fancy glasses?

Eld Inlet: Anchoring in the Wrong Spot

On 15 Aug 2012 Wednesday

I was exploring Eld Inlet and stopped to take a look at Frye County Park. The tide was flooding and I noticed a small lagoon behind a land spit. This looked like a nice place to stop for a while and grab a bite to eat. I dropped my stern anchor and it set easily in mud. I had a nice time exploring and then left to explore the rest of the inlet.

This boat looks like it is sinking and is anchored in an area of Eld with several boats high and dry on the shoreline.

I enjoyed the ride into areas that are normally dry with this flooding tide. I see lots of jelly fish, of all types and thousands of them in waves and currents of them. I see a float with a different species of seals on them. They were much larger than the harbor seals and had thick, dark brown fur. They were much smaller than sea lions.

I return to Frye Park and anchor in a slightly different spot to get out of the afternoon sun. I had a funny feeling about how the anchor set and in close examination of the chart I notice for the first time it says,
" submerged obstacles." Well, I don't like this and take a look at the morning tides and see there will be a  minus tide so if I am caught on something, perhaps I can be in shallow enough water to salvage my anchoring gear.

The next morning I discovered I was in trouble. I had brought the anchor line in so that it was vertical. After cleating it, I put Shatoosh in forward and it wouldn't budge, but then it slipped some. I went forward to pull up the slack some and again found it caught firmly on something.  On trying to go forward with the engine again I could hear metal against metal. I did not like that sound, but continued to move at many different angles in forward and reverse and changing the tension and slack. Then for no special reason or event I was free. It was a miracle.

Lesson learned: pay close attention to the chart when anchoring.
Another thing: Because I waited until low tide, I was in 10 feet of water and would have been able to unshackle my anchor chain from my  line and attach a buoy to it. Down the way a bit were lots of divers on boats harvesting sea life. I could have gotten one of them to dive for my anchor. This would have been a nice back up plan.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Woman Over Board

I departed Budd Inlet and picked up a buoy on the east side of Hope Island. I checked the AIS in the evening to see if any tugs would be passing after 2100hrs and the area looked clear. There was a small Erickson sailboat on the buoy next to me with 2 small children and 2 adults.

I get up around 0600 hrs and look out to total fog and cannot even see the Erickson.

About 0800 hrs. it is clearing and the lady on the Erikson is busy cleaning the zodiac and hoisting it to the deck via the main halyard. After drying it she deflates it and stowes it in a rubber bag. I am drinking my coffee and eating breakfast when the zodiac rolls off the cabin top. She kneels down to  grab the bag and falls over. Two big splashes one for the bag and one for her. I jump up and see her holding on to the bag with one hand and holding onto the boat with the other hand. A man appears in the cockpit and she calmly says," can you help me"?  He grabs the zodiac bag and pulls it into the boat and then goes below. She is still in the water and swims to the other side and climbs up the swim ladder and gets into the cockpit. She takes her wet clothes off, dries off, and goes below, reappearing in a new outfit.

As I was watching the whole episode I noticed she was barefooted and not wearing a life jacket. I heard her say to the man who is still below, a breeze is coming in. She again goes forward, barefooted and without a life jacket on, and unties from the buoy and then raises the main. Off she sails and waves hi to me as she departs. The man and children are still below.

In a blink of an eye, she fell over board and yet she was so calm about it and quite independent in getting herself back on board. Nobody seemed very concerned about the incident, but those children could have lost their mother. Sometimes I see things happen on the water and just scratch my head and wonder, did I just see that or was it an illusion immerging from the fog.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Lunch with Reiki Friends

My journey to the capitol was to meet up with 3 of my Reiki friends. One had to go to the dentist, so that left Mary and Patrice to have lunch with me at Anthony's. We had fun catching up; Mary busy with her artwork and Patrice busy with her property/gardening/artwork, too. I discover that Patrice lives at the very end of Little Skookum Inlet and in fact she ventures even farther up the Skookum creek. Skookum creek?? I didn't even know there was one. This intrigues even more. If I can't get back that far in my boats, I just might to have to start on her land and come out at high tide. She says on higher tides she might have 15 feet of water.  Boy, that is not what the charts reflect. Stay tuned.

They are finding their houses on the chart.
Mary can see Eld Inlet from her house.

Mary is in a scooter because of her MS, so we didn't try getting her in Shatoosh today, but she made it down the ramp and Patrice and I helped push her back up. She went on her way and

Patrice was up for a ride, so we headed out Budd and back and she learned about range markers and channel markers. Looking pretty smug about it all.

All in all we had a very nice time together and will have to do it again and we will get Mary on Shatoosh for certain.

PS- I met up with Patrice again, this time by car. We went to her house on Little Skookum Creek at high tide. As you can see there is water. I know what my next adventure will be after I study the high tides and get back on board. Patrice's house is filled with interesting items. Humm, I am always interested in looking at other animal's sphenoid bones. The sphenoid bone is intriguing and spiritually significant, as it is also called, the temple bone.

A rather large Moon Snail

Beaver skull