Boatbuilding Blog

August 3, 2010

Tacoma & Gig Harbor

Filed under: Overnight Trips — tomlarkin @ 10:43 am

Our first overnight trip on the salt water. We left at seven Thursday evening. We timed the trip to arrive at Blake Island after moonrise to help navigate the narrow channel into the harbor. The trip through the locks was uneventful, with just one other boat. The lock tenders asked us a lot of questions about the Coot. Watching Seattle glide by in the dark was pretty wonderful. We got the last spot in the Blake harbor and called it a day.

The morning dawned foggy and chilly. We cooked an omelet and walked around until the day warmed up and the fog lifted, and headed for Tacoma. I figured out I can steer and drag my foot in the water at the same time.


We stopped at Des Moines and ate lunch at Wally’s Chowder House. Decent food and interesting décor. Then on to Tacoma. We stayed at the Foss Seaport moorage overnight, where we saw this beautiful thing in the display:

Here’s an oar tip guard made of brass from a different display:

We taped yellow paper over the windows for privacy because we don’t have curtains yet:

Interesting ships in the harbor, with Rainier in the background:

And a delightfully rusty little tug:

Chihuly glass sculpture:

Union Station:

Mandatory tugboat-in-the-sunset picture:

Tacoma has some very weird places. A little faux-town in a warehouse:

On the way to Gig Harbor in the morning…

…my manager Jared was on the beach with his family and took this picture as we motored past:
Our days of anonymous boating are over, I guess Smile

It was a glorious evening at anchor in the harbor:

Meryll got a chill and went below to do a little Linux-y stuff by red night light.

We found a lovely little bakery in the morning and I ate their last two cinnamon rolls. We headed back via Blake Island again, hugging the West side of Colvos Passage to better see the homes and birds. We went through the large locks and had to be against the edge, which was kind of scary. We had two boats rafted to us, and had a hard time keeping the boat against the lock wall. The tire fenders took a lot of abuse against the rough wall as we went up.

We were gone from the house almost exactly three days.  It was a pretty amazing little trip.

We used OpenCPN navigation software running on my netbook, and it worked great. I had the vector charts installed and they were a lot more usable than the raster charts because you can zoom in closer without losing clarity.  Here’s the approach to Blake Island showing our tracks coming and going:

Here’s what it looks like in night mode. It looks too dark here, but was just right in the dark:

The whole trip was about 100 miles We burned about 20 gallons of gas..


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