Boatbuilding Blog

November 30, 2010

Our First Winter Trip on the Sound

Filed under: Overnight Trips — tomlarkin @ 4:40 pm

We were pretty nervous, leaving the locks during a Small Craft Advisory, but the winds were pretty mild, only about 10 knots from the south. The waves weren’t bad, mostly under two feet. We discussed where we could abort to if the weather got worse, but it stayed the same all the way across to Kingston, ten miles across the Sound. We pulled into the marina just after dark. After tying up, I plugged in the shore power and fired up our little 110 volt heater. We walked up to town and had an excellent Italian dinner.  In the morning we borrowed the tiny electric car from the Port and drove at 25 miles per hour around town, stopping to buy some paperbacks and a few groceries.
Keyport electric car, and Meryll

Around noon we chugged out of Appletree Cove and followed the coast south to Port Madison and nervously went through the narrow, shallow entrance into Miller Bay to look for ducks. Mostly, we just saw lots of large houses all in a row. The water along the shore was dredged to 11 feet, but shoaled to just a few feet away from the docks.
Miller Bay houses

Took a short break on the long pier at Suquamish where I wandered around and Meryll took a nap. The tiny town has a few restaurants, a bar, a motorcycle shop, and Chief Seattle’s grave.
Coot at Suquamish

Southwest through Agate Passage (one of my favorite place names) and up the narrow winding channel past Keyport into Liberty Bay. I dropped Meryll off on a pier in the early dusk and she took the short video below. Poulsbo is at the north end of the bay and there were still a few transient slips still available when we arrived just after nightfall.

Liberty Bay at dusk

Another nice Italian dinner and a short walk around the town and back to the boat as the docks became icy. We ran the heater all night and were warm and cozy. We left the LED Christmas lights on for most of the trip, plugged into shore power at the dock, and into the little inverter while we cruised..
Coot Christmas lights at Poulsbo

I took a couple 110 volt lights on the trip as an antidote to the darkness that falls at 5 PM this time of year. It was good to have the extra brightness aboard.
Coot Lights

Sunday morning broke very cold. We found a nice bakery for breakfast then motored to Keyport where we walked to the Undersea Warfare Museum. Noon saw us heading home after a short detour to look at the fancy homes in Port Madison. Here are some Cormorants along the Ship Canal.
Pelagic Cormorants roosting

And a dramatic sunset to light the way back to Kenmore.
Sunset looking West

Sunset over Kirkland

A very pleasant trip, with an easy itinerary chosen to test winter camping in the Coot. The weather was dryer than advertised, but cold and breezy with occasional showers. We stayed comfortable by running the propane heater almost constantly for the three days. Staying at marinas let us use the electric heater and 110 volt lights through the long nights. The total distance was just 70 miles in three days. We’ll do more of this!

Trip Map


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