Boatbuilding Blog

September 15, 2010

Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival

Filed under: Longer Trips — tomlarkin @ 2:09 pm

Oh Lord above, send down a dove with beak as sharp as razors
To  cut the throat of them there blokes what sells bad beer to sailors!

Sailor’s Prayer by Tom Lewis (heard in the beer tent)

We showed the boat at the festival and got a lot of attention. Almost a constant flow of people came on the boat or craned their necks in the door to see the interior. We spent three days answering questions and talking about boat and boat design. It was tiring but mostly fun.

The trip up was interesting. We got a late start on Wednesday, and after a stop in Ballard for groceries we made it through the locks at five PM and headed across the Sound to go the seven miles to Kingston for the night. The weather was nice and we had a perfect falling tide so we decided instead to go all the way up instead of stopping. With the new moon and thick clouds it got very dark in a hurry. Lightning played to the North where we were heading. It was scary but fun. With the current we were going almost 10 knots most of the way, peering into the dark for other boats and deadheads. We entered the marina by spotlight and took the first empty slip we found. (In the morning they charged us $40 for the night, which was pretty annoying.)

Meryll had a toothache most of the trip and was pretty miserable much of the time, but she took a lot of aspirin and did the best she could.

There was a regatta outside of Shilshole as we left the locks:
Shilshole regatta

Passing Kingston:
Coot cabin with chart

A lovely sunset near Point No Point:
Sunset clouds 

Early morning in Port Hudson basin – starlings:
Starlings on a mast

The days were mostly overcast, but not much rain:
Light rays on the water

Much staring and pondering and many questions to answer:
Coot at dock

Relaxing down below after a long day:
Coot down below

Our hero – Sam Devlin – was on the Driftwood, two boats down from us in the ‘Devlin Ghetto’:
Sam Devlin 

Storm Petrel on the left is the latest boat out of Sam’s shop. Cyndie was a wonderful neighbor for the four days:
Coot with Devlin boats 

There were some sailboats there too     😉


Mats Mats bay was chilly when we stopped on the way home. We lit the furnace, watched the Simpsons on the computer, and went to bed early. People really loved the furnace when we left it running during the show. Everyone commented on how homey it was.
Coot cabin with furnace

Morning was very foggy.
Mats Mats fog

The boat above was slightly less lovely close-up:

Our anchor hung up on something and we lost it trying to pull it up.  The line broke at the splice to the chain.

Scary navigation in the fog:
Mats Mats Entrance

People have gotten in trouble there – King 5 News:

From Afoot & Afloat North Puget Sound – a great book:


We idled out of the bay very slowly through the narrow channel, past the rocks and around the shoals, and went a few miles to Port Ludlow where we had a very leisurely and delicious breakfast while waiting for the fog to lift.  Port Ludlow is quite elegant. Breakfast was wonderful. Try the Challah bread French toast:
Coot at Port Ludlow

When the fog burned off we motored home without incident. The whole trip was about 100 miles. We spent five nights aboard. (Click for a bigger version of the map.)
Trip Map

September 5, 2010

Duwamish Trip

Filed under: Longer Trips — tomlarkin @ 2:03 am

Just a weekend trip to look for birds and tugboats on the Duwamish river. This is Seattle’s main working waterfront. The river drains into Elliott Bay at downtown Seattle. In the midst of the concrete and pollution (it’s a Superfund site) is a small  bird sanctuary island – Kellogg Island. We tied to a piling for the night and tried out our new inflatable dinghy. In the morning we went across the Sound to Winslow town for lunch and window shopping. We got back to the marina as it got dark on Sunday night. Pretty nice.

Meryll took lots of pictures of tugboats.
Meryll taking pictures

A Salutation of Cranes
A Salutation of Cranes

Bird-watching off the bow.
Coot boat bow from above 

Baby Mergansers run on top of the water as a group when they’re startled.
Baby Mergansers

We stern-tied to the piling. She’s more stable in a breeze this way, and we want to try this out at anchor. It was low tide at 2 AM and this dolphin towered above the boat. We were surrounded by mud flats at low tide, with Killdeers running around in the weeds.
Coot Boat

Me at the helm of our new $300 West Marine dingy.

Peaceful anchorage.
Coot boat at anchor

Kellogg Island (pdf) (from the Seattle Urban Nature website):