Saturday, July 15, 2006

At last the day for us to depart Moonlight & Magnolias has arrived, We had some wonderful times, and some challenging times....Goodbye Moonlight and fair sailing

Our adventures continue...... Meet Gone With The Wind

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

May 5, 2006: Portage Bay, WA
Temp: 74 degrees
Wind: 13 mph
Conditions: Sunny

Moonlight has been secured to the dock since Sunday, April 30. She is located at the very end of Dock 0, the temporary dock we put up for Opening Day. The wind has been consistant at 13 mph, however she is gusting well above that. We have about 70% of the dock full, and Dock 0 literally looks like an S curve. Evidently not as bad as she did yesterday, however pretty bad none the less.

Dave, Cae and I all arrived at the dock around 11:00AM. The boats are starting to come in pretty fast and furious. Around 1:00PM Jeff Cordick arrived to help out on Dock 0. For the most part we had things under control, so overall we were not concerned.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

April 30, 2006: Opening Day Week

When I arrived to the Northwest from the South, and particularly Florida, I was unaware of the concept of an "opening day" to the boating season. In Florida, everyday is a boating day, and the concept was absolutely foreign to me. Opening day is the first "semi" official kick-off of the summer boating season. While the rest of the country is basking in 70 - 80 degree weather, the Pacific Northwest can easily be in rainy 50 degree weather . The first weekend of May symbolizes the beginning of boating season, and is celebrated by the University of Washington, wonderment Real Estate, and the Seattle Yacht Club, hosting one of the largest rowing regattas in the region. There are literally thousands of people who line "the cut", a canal linking Lake Washington and Lake Union and at the beginning of the cut there are hundreds of boats refuted together in a log boom. You can see a picture of the log boom at the bottom part of the page .

We spent the week hanging out on the docks. Generally an uneventful time and a great experience.

April 30, 2006: Elliott Bay Marina to Portage Bay, Seattle Yacht Club Dock 0
Temp: 65
Wind: SSW 8 - 10
Conditions: Overcast
Crew: John Y., Russel K., Gordon N., Bob, Cae, Ali and Cooper
The Plan (Section contributed April 13, 2006):
The crew will assemble at Elliott Bay Marina to take Moonlight & Magnolia's through the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, open (raise) seven drawbridges on our way into Portage Bay where the Seattle Yacht Club is located. This will be the first time Moonlight will be through the locks under the new owners...Cae and Bob. If all goes well, we will be buying the crew cold beersby 4:00PM April 30, 2006.

The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks - Background (April 13, 2006):
The locks will be a memorable part of our journey. We are expecting a large number of other vessels, and as first timers, we are ensuring we have plenty of crew. To check out the locks, click here.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

March 7, 2006: Off for the winter

So Cae and I have taken some time off this winter. We plan on getting back on the water in April. Look for our next blog coming in early May.

Cae and Bob

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

June 24, 2005: Elliott Bay to Gig Harbor via Blake Island
Temp: 76 degrees
Wind: West 7mph
Conditions: Fair

Dave was in town for the weekend, after a meeting in Seattle, so we had a 5th member of the crew (if you count Coop and Ali). Cae backed the boat out of EBM, however had a little difficulty getting fluidly out of the slip. This was only her second try, and she did really well, though she needed a little help getting the nose around the finger pier.

As we headed out across Elliott Bay, the wind was really kicking from the West. We were sailing with the 150% and with Dave at the helm broke the boat speed record under sail at 8.0 knots per the GPS. We were really flying and even under sail, still made it to Blake in no time flat. We went around the West side of the island, and wanted to drop the hook in our normal location. Unfortunately, with the nice summer weather, everyone in Seattle seemed to have made the same decision. There was no room on the Southwestern side of the island, so we headed East and made the decision to drop on the Southeastern side of the island. The tide was running East to West, and the wind was blowing West to East, and we tried in 60 feet of water three times to get the anchor to set and finally did on our 3rd try. At the conclusion of dinner, I checked the GPS and noticed we were making good time to the West, then went on deck and noticed we were in 105 feet of water, and the anchor was not dragging, heck it was not even touching. So we hauled the anchor up, started the engine and decided this was not the night to try again. With running lights on, we made our way to the Eastern side of the island, the side exposed to the general shipping and ferry traffic of Puget Sound and found an open mooring ball. The one “challenge” is we did not have a spot light with us, however our GPS and the mooring ball locations were spot on, so we spent the night on a mooring ball. As the night progressed, we bounced and bounced and then bounced some more, now Dave and Cae were both completely unaware of this, however I did not sleep a wink, it was brutal.

We awoke to fog and light misting (the weather report called for sun) and NO wind. Moonlight motored South with no excitement until we were about one and a half miles out, when a nasty outgoing tide stalled us at 1.8 – 2.0 knots. Our knot meter was running at 4.5 – 5.0 with our actual speed not even close to this speed. We finally made it into Gig Harbor and Cae did an excellent job landing the boat.

The remainder of the weekend did not offer much excitement.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

June 17, 2005: Elliott Bay to Gig Harbor via Blake Island
Temp: 63 degrees
Wind: No Friggin Wind
Conditions: Partly Sunny

Rough day getting off the dock would be the understatement of the year. The two of us headed down to the boat around 2:00PM and loaded the dogs and food onboard. As we were going through our normal pre-departure rituals, I realized we were missing the GPS, now Jeff likes to tell me about how real men do not use GPS, and to that end, I guess I am not a real man. So I jumped in the car and headed back to the house and grabbed the GPS, and then back to the boat. No big deal, it is now 2:30, and we are ready to head out. We start the engine, and the blower makes that funny noise. If you have ever boated, it sounds like jet engine. I can most adequately describe it as when you are a child and you put any object you can find into a running fan. The sounds of paper being shredded as you place them into the fan blades is how our blower has started to sound. The good news it keeps on ticking, and with a temperature in the high 60’s with pure sun, we need to get moving. As we cast our lines, the inevitable happens. Cae was pushing Moonlight away from the dock, feeling relaxed for the first time all week. Apparently blower was in its final throes. Now, experienced boaters would start by asking a simple question, “have you been blowing the blowers fuse recently” and my answer is of course “well not that many, maybe three or four”. The net of this is THE BLOWER IS DEAD and Cae is seeing sun for the first time since she left Seattle last September and moved for a semester back to South Carolina and we are STUCK ON THE DOCK. So I pull out my handy binoculars, look up the marine service guys at the end of the dock and ask him his take. He is happy to help and can come out later in the week, but he is pretty sure the blower has blown her last and will now need to be replaced. Now I love my fiancé, and she is very patient with the other women in my life, however she and this other lady Moonlight have an agreement, Moonlight gets lots of money, constant attention and occasionally Cooper blesses her cockpit with a warm pile of … well you can guess, however Cae has one simple rule, when it is sunny, we go boating period! So I realize I am in a tight spot, I need to get out for the weekend, but we have a gas engine and they tend to be prone to explosions if not vented. That does tend to put a damper on the weekend’s festivities. This leaves one option, off to West Marine and time to by a blower. Well the good news to this long winded saga is, we got back to the boat with the new blower, Cae opened a beer, sat down with her book and said, “this will be interesting as I crawled upside down and ass up into the port locker to install the new blower. (BTW – the new blower is quiet, so quite we really did not think it was on lol)

We departed the dock at 5:00PM, and headed Southwest to Blake Island. After two attempts to anchor, we got a solid hold and slept the night away.

June 18, 2005

We were up at 6:00AM with the seagulls and Alabama wanting to say good morning. She gets this way, so it is best to say “hi” and then go back to sleep. Cae brought home some new individual French press cup combination from Starbucks and we had a great cup of coffee. We departed for Gig Harbor at 11:00AM and arrived at 2:30. Cae brought us into the center of the channel, the breeze was out of the West at about 5 -7 and the tide was pulling us West resulting in a swirling motion. Cae took the helm and at one point the boat was going sideways. We however landed with NO issue, and Cae officially docked the boat for the second time! YEAH! Next step is Elliott Bay.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

June 10 - 12: Blake Island to Gig Harbor

June 10, 2005: Elliott Bay to Blake Island
Temp: 64 degrees
Wind: SSW 8mph
Conditions: Cloudy

We departed EBM at approximately 3:00PM. I had just arrived from Mo-town, and Cae managed to extricate herself early. We headed out on a south westerly course across Elliott Bay toward Blake Island. Blake Island is 475 acre "marine park" which in Washington translates into "you can only get there by boat".

Since this was our first time to Blake, we headed to the NorthWest side of the island to anchor on the West side. We arrived around 5:00PM and found an anchorage in 50 feet of water about 200 feet from the shore. It was high tide when we arrived, so we wanted to make sure we gave ourselves ample room at low tide. I dropped the hook while Cae backed us down. We had a solid hold and set the GPS anchor alarm to make sure we were not dragging.

After getting settled we had dinner. After dinner we decided to walk the dogs and call it an early night. We fired up the dinghy and headed to the island. As I pulled the dinghy ashore Cooper and Ali got excited about getting out off the boat (especially the dinghy) and started to get off the boat as soon as I stood up. As I bent down to pull the boat ashore so my lovely fiancé could depart, she stood up, I pulled forward, and Cae went over the back and into the water with a splash. When I asked Cae what she was thinking, "well everyone else was getting off". So we made it a quick bathroom break for the puppies and went to get Cae into warmer clothes (the current water temp in Puget Sound is 53 degrees yikes).

The next morning we headed over to the see the Native American camp on the Northeast corner of the island. When we left, the wind was out of the South at 9 but had jumped to a consistent 13 on the way home which got a little hairy. The island itself is nice, but very "state parkish". I definitely recommend it, especially with its hiking trails, but do not count on eating anything other than the salmon show lunch/dinner at $35 a person. On this trip, we opted to skip the show, and head out. When we returned to the boat, it was low tide. Moonlight was sitting in 20 feet of water, about 35 feet from shore. There was a large sailboat race going on, so we lifted hook and started our journey down to Gig Harbor.

After lifting the hook and with good wind we opted to set sail. Cae went on deck, while I held the boat into the wind. At this point it was really howling and we lost two battens. Oh well, the good news is Cae got both sails up, and we agreed, the time for roller furling has come. We shut the engine down, fell off onto a starboard tack and had a good breeze at our back all the way to Gig.

Entering Gig for the first time is a little scary. Our depth showed 7 feet, and it really looks too narrow for two boats to pass at the entrance. Once inside it really opens up, but you breathe hard while you are heading around the point into the harbor.

The SYC outstation is located about halfway back into the cove on the Northern side. We were the fourth and last boat in for the night. The outstation is really nice, and I look forward to bringing friends down for the weekend. There are three bathrooms/showers, but the downside is no ice or trash facilities. No biggy but something to keep in mind.

For dinner we went to Tides Tavern for an appetizer and then onto the Harbor Inn restaurant. We really enjoyed the atmosphere of Tides Tavern, and will definitely make it a regular stop. The Harbor Inn was good food, but the atmosphere was not our speed, so the next time we are down, we will have to explore new places.

We left the next morning at around noon and caught the tide. 25 miles in 3 hours 15 minutes under blue sunny skies.