Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dinner Cruise with Neighbors

The weather has been so nice that I invited my neighbors for a dinner cruise. Kitty and Mike brought pizza and chocolate chip homemade cookies and Diane brought wine. Hira supplied the boat.  It turns out the largest container ship ever to come to Tacoma had anchored. The next day they took her into the Blair waterway to unload it 10,000 containers. It is documented out of Monrovia. Her name: Zim Djibouti, her length is 1145 ft, beam is 151 ft. She is larger than the USS Nimitz, an aircraft carrier.



We did a nice loop of Commencement Bay, traveling from 40 ft of water in my slip to over 500 ft in the bay. Later, we ran across a school of Dall Porpoises and they were having a wild time swimming circles around us. It was exciting as in the 2 years I have been in these waters none have ever ventured close to Shatoosh.

Dall's_porpoise  click here for more information

It was a great evening and as we pulled into my slip, Mt. Rainier started to become it beautiful pink color.
Thanks Kitty, Mike and Diane for a fun time.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Odds and Ends on My Cruise

I was gone for 5 weeks starting in May and ending 1 July 2013. I logged in 412 nm starting from the South Sound and going as far as Newcastle Island in BC and returning to Tacoma Wa. I was fortunate  that my timing coincided with an Albineers of BC  Rendezvous in Telegraph Harbor, Thetis Island. I towed Pashmina the whole way. Fuel: 37 gallons @ 412nm = 11.13 miles/gal.

My stops along the way:
1. Gig Harbor, Wa USA
2. Blake Island, Wa
3. Langley, Whidbey Island, Wa
4. La Conner, Wa
5. Bedwell Harbor, Pender Island, BC
6. Annette Cove, Prevost Island
7. Montegue Harbor, Galiano Island
8. Telegraph Harbor, Thetis Island
9. Nanaimo, Vancouver Island
10. Newcastle Island
11. Pirates Cove, De Coursey Island
12. Conover Cove, Wallace Island
13. Winter Cove, Saturna Island
14. Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Wa USA
15. Parks Bay, Shaw Island, Wa
16. Jones Island, Wa
17. Blind Bay, Shaw Island, Wa
18. West Sound, Orcas Island, Wa
19. Spencer Spit, Lopez Island, Wa
20. Cypress Island, Wa
21. Vendovi Island, Wa
22. La Conner, WA
23. Langley, Whidbey Island
24. Kingston Harbor, Wa
25. Blake Island, Wa
26. Gig Harbor, Wa
27. Foss Harbor Marina, Tacoma, Wa.

The San Juan Preservation Trust liked my posting on Vendovi Island and posted it to their Facebook Page.

I met so many wonderful people, who have inspired me and I have inspired them, as well. I have received many emails lately thanking me for keeping up the blog and keeping up my travels. I had the best time and thanks to Joyce, my crew who shared in the rowing, the steering, the cooking, the docking, the navigation and the fun. Blog readers have viewed over, 60,000 pages as of this morning. Thank you all for continuing to read, dream and boating.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Life Along the Foss Waterway

I have met several of my Dock Mates, made an evening run up and down the waterway and am enjoying the simple 9 mile trip to my new boat slip at the Foss Harbor Marina. This will be my shortest commute to Shatoosh in 13 years and I am liking it.

Yesterday while tinkering with my projects, the 11th St Bridge sounded its horn to open her lift up. Wow, something big is coming or going, as sailboats pass freely under her. What it be?  Finally we see the newly built vessel, outbound for Alaska. I had seen her the other evening on my run up the waterway.

A flock of marina Geese cruise by looking for a hand out. This boater doesn't feed, I tell them and they turned and departed.

Securing Pashmina to the Hardtop

This past week I have been tinkering and contemplating a simple way to stow Pashmina on the hardtop. I don't want to put any holes in the hardtop, so this is my first prototype, after talking it over with several people.

I bought some swim noodles, as they are called. Then put  PVC piping down the center of them. An image came to mind as I slowly moved the tube along the piping; it was like working a leg into a tight panty-hose. It would have been good to grease the pipe first, in hind sight. The PVC then would prevent the noodle from being compressed. I still need to run a line through the PVC tubing to tie and secure the  tubing to the grab bars.

Thoughts on the lift and getting Pashmina on to the hardtop. This all started when I first bought Pashmina, a much larger dinghy than I had previously owned. With P1, I could get her up on the hardtop by myself. I always cruised with her on top, rarely, towing her. My mantra was I'd rather "Stow than Tow".

With P2, my mantra changed to I'd rather "Tow than Stow", after P2 got swept away off the swim platform during a storm. She tows really well in rough water so far. If I was to cross a large body of water here in the NW, like the Strait of Juan de Fuca or the Strait of Georgia, then I would have to have her on the hardtop. My friend Jim from Orcas, being the innovative guy that he is, dreaded the thought of me crossing the Strait towing Pashmina and went to work building a lift. While this needs some tweaking still, I am happy to be able to lift her up on the hardtop, especially for stowing during the winter months while under a covered slip. While it is cruising season, I will continue to have her stowed on the swim platform while dock-side and towing her in the water while cruising. She tows really easily and she is easy to get on and off the swim platform. I can rest assured that I have enough options to handle several  situations. When "Mother Nature" kicks up her heels, my other mantra will be,  Don't Stow, Don't Tow, Don't Go.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Shatoosh's New Home: The Foss Harbor Marina, Tacoma Washington

More, coming soon, but for now click on link above for web site and click on map location below.
The Foss Waterway is in Downtown Tacoma and my slip is outbound of the 11th St. Bridge, which has recently reopened after a long and historic refitting.

I depart Gig Harbor at 1000 hrs and make the flat water run to the Tacoma Foss Harbor Marina and arrive
1130 hrs in my new covered slip, J 20.
Days run 8nm
Total run: 412 nm.

Blake Island, Gig Harbor

I make it to Blake and get the last inside slip near the rocks. I barely squeak in between the rocks and the docks. I spend 2 nights and this place is jumping with all types of watercraft.

I take some time to go to Tillicum Village and have a pulled pork sandwich for dinner. It is smoked there all day. Yummy.

I am ready to get to Gig Harbor and meet my friends, Virginia and Jane for dinner at the Mexican Place across the street. A dock buddy helps me get Pashmina up on the roof. While I am still getting used to this new process, it is not smooth. I have some carpet and a towel under her to protect the hardtop. It has been suggested that some pool noodles might support her and protect the hard top. Another suggested putting some pvc tubing inside the noodle to keep the noodle from collapsing with the weight of the porta bote might be of help.

This Albin Vega comes into port with her new owners, John and Ann . They are going to name her Walkabout. I like that and really like the owners. I hope to see them again on the water.

After dinner, I take my Gig Harbor buddies for a spin around the harbor.
Virginia, sitting next to me, is a retired Colonel PT who has been my teacher, mentor, boss, and Chief since I was a 2nd Lt. at age 22.
Jane, a  retired Colonel, Army PT. We were stationed together 3 times and have been friends since 1971. She continues to work as a PT in the civilian community.