Last Sunday Lita and I left the marina in Gig Harbor on our Grand Banks Eastbay, the Lita Theresa, for a week long cruise. At only thirty nine feet (thirteen foot beam) and twin engines, the boat can be easily handled by one person. It rides well in the water and can cruise at thirty knots. It is a comfortable, but not spacious vessel.
The weather was beautiful with a breeze causing a chop in the water. There was a lot of boat traffic with the usual number of boaters who haven’t a clue as to the rules of the road that apply at sea so we had to be on alert. Once we had to slow almost to a stop to allow a fast moving yacht crossing our path from the left to go by even though we had the right of way. We moored at Port Ludlow on Sunday and spent the night at the Port Ludlow Marina. There was an off shore wind that made docking difficult, but we had assistance tying up and managed to do so without real problems. We spent the day reading and had dinner at the resort. We spent the night on the boat.
On Monday we left for Roche Harbor. We went around Point Wilson and past Port Townsend into Haro Straits. It was beautiful weather once again with relatively flat seas. I’m always a little nervous at Point Wilson because of the strong rip tides that can develop, especially on the ebb tide, but it wasn’t a problem. The straits are open water and can become rough as well as change weather conditions quickly, but this day the sea was flat and calm. We left Whidbey Island behind, avoided Partridge Bank and the other potential hazards to arrive at San Juan Island. We moved up the shore line to the area of the Lime Kiln where there were a collection of boats. I knew from past experience they were likely watching whales. The law protects the whales from certain boating activity and requires evasive action if whales are present. As we approached the area, a couple of young women in a zodiac decided to be officious as they pulled along side to tell us what we already knew about the rules relating to whales. They had no official credentials, but we did what we knew should be done to avoid the area and swing wide to go around.
To get to Roche Harbor you have to go through Mosquito Pass which is always a challenge for me even though it is well marked and not complicated. It is a narrow passage and you need to be careful. After navigating the pass we entered the harbor. I was surprised to see so many boats. The harbor was full of boats. We found our assigned slip and tied up without problems. We walked the dock to have lunch and spent the day relaxing. After a nice dinner at the resort we spent the night in a condo close to the Hotel de Haro. We have stayed at the hotel in the room Teddy Roosevelt stayed in before. The next day we took the shuttle into Friday Harbor and spent the day there. The weather was warm and beautiful. We enjoyed walking around. There are benches at a number of locations along the sidewalks and was fun just to sit to watch people. We ate lunch at an outdoor restaurant and watched the Washington ferries come in. Later we caught the shuttle back to the resort, passing Mona the camel in a pasture. We spent the rest of the day reading and relaxing in the warm weather and spent the night on the boat.
On Wednesday we left Roche Harbor for Port Townsend. Back through Mosquito Pass and down Haro Straits to Point Wilson. The weather was again beautiful and the Straits were flat like a lake. Wonderful weather to be boating in. We rounded Point Wilson with some strong tides and entered the Point Hudson Marina. We moored the boat and walked into town. Port Townsend is a wonderful town to walk around and enjoy. We had lunch at an outdoor café right at the beach. We shopped a little and explored the wonderful antique store which is two floors and very large. I bought a 1921 poetry book for the boat, but we made no major purchases. We went back to the boat and relaxed. That night we walked back to town and had dinner at a restaurant. Afterwards we walked to the Upstage Restaurant where there was live music with Rex Rice on the slide trombone, a wonderful piano player, a base violin player and a drummer. We had a beer and enjoyed listening to the music. I had a delightful conversation with Rex about the Conway Tavern and the Sunday music that we attended for so many years when we lived in Mount Vernon. There was a couple from Gig Harbor in the place listening too. It turned out the man was a partner of our close neighbor in Gig Harbor. It’s a small world.
We were supposed to leave on Thursday, but the weather was so good we decided to spend another day. We walked to town again and stopped at a garage to look at antique cars and memorabilia at a place that’s been there for years. We greatly admired a 1935 Packard Sedan as well as a 1954 Ford pickup truck. Next door was an antique book store. We spent a lot of time there checking out the old books. I bought a very old book of Hamlet and Lita bought two wonderful books from Italy of famous paintings. From there we checked out most of the stores, but bought little more. We didn’t leave a whole lot of money in Port Townsend, but checking out the stores was fun. We had lunch outside at a beach café and went back to the boat where we spent the day in the sun, reading. That night we walked back to town to eat outside on the water. Warm evening and good food.
We left Point Hudson marina Friday morning and went a little further down the beach to the Boat Haven Marina and fueled up. That was not fun given the price of diesel. After that we crossed the harbor to the Townsend Canal, a narrow man made canal. When we got to the entrance there was fog that seriously limited visibility. Thank goodness for the radar and the GPS which got us through the canal. Thick fog covered the area to Foul Weather Bluff so we proceeded slowly in the fog checking the radar and GPS. As we approached the Bluff the fog was lifting and visibility improved. As we approached Apple Point the fog had lifted and the sun was out making our trip a lot easier. The water was flat and boat traffic minimal so the rest of the trip was uneventful. We moored at our slip in Gig Harbor about 1:30 on Friday. It was a great trip.