Monthly Archives: May 2013

Starting Our Long Weekend on Blake Island

Arriving at Blake IslandHello again! This weekend we’re going to the west side of Puget Sound. We came through the locks this morning, sharing the small lock with two other cruisers heading out. We took about two and a half hours to cross the Sound and head south along the eastern side of Bainbridge Island, arriving at Blake Island State Park around 2:30.
Stella at Tillicum Lodge

After tying up at the slip and paying our fees, we took a walk around the east side of the island. The heavy forest (425 acres worth!) was incredible. It was beautiful. We found out that our map of the trails was not quite as accurate as we would have liked and made a wrong turn. We would have gone way out of our way if we had not had our Windows Phones with us and their excellent GPS capabilities to show us where we really were and found the right path back to the marina.

Blake Island Trees

We were then visited by a Park Ranger who told us that we needed to keep our boat locked up, not because of human thieves, but because of raccoons that go aboard and help themselves to whatever you’ve left out!
It’s great that it’s staying light so late; we could sit in the cockpit and read until about nine. Now we’ll take one last stroll to watch the lights of Seattle across the way, then settle in for the night. Tomorrow, on to Bremerton.Southern Star and her First Night's Neighbors in Blake Island

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Back home again…

Well, it was a fine night in Bell Harbor.  We expected a lot more traffic noise than we actually got – a very pleasant surprise. The city lights were indeed spectacular after the sun went down.  Our son Chris and daughter-in-law Kayla drove downtown to meet us and we had a fine little dinner. Stella and I walked around the waterfront a good bit, watching the new Ferris Wheel, and wondering why people paid $15 for just one short ride. Very pricey! I know the view up there must be spectacular, but you spend the majority of your time on the ride stopped while other people get on and off. It sure is a visually amazing addition to the waterfront skyline – especially when it’s lit up at night.What a view from the Bell Harbor Marina!

Monday morning we stepped across the street to Starbucks and got a couple of their breakfast sandwiches, then we packed up and sailed out of the harbor and began the final leg of this way-too-short trip. We trekked north back to Shilshole Bay and the channel back towards Lake Washington.  This time we went through the small lock at the Chittenden Locks in Ballard, and then finished the slow cruise back to our slip at the Newport Basin marina.

Leaving Seattle Behind and Heading HomePoor Southern Star was covered in salt from her voyage, and we spent the rest of the afternoon washing her down and hosing her off to get all the crud off her before letting her rest for a few weeks before our next adventure.  Then it was home to shower all the crud off of us!

What a great trip! After 30 years, you’d think that Stella and I had said everything there is to say to each other, but being on a small boat together with no one else for four days gave us lots of opportunities to find new things to discuss. We’re both amazed when we hear friends tell us that they couldn’t stay cooped up that long with their spouses. There is almost nothing we’d rather do than just set out on Southern Star for yet another adventure. Till next time! 🙂  Thanks for reading!

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Back south to Seattle

SavedPicture-20135517932.jpgA fine evening in Everett and a fine night’s sleep ended with a gorgeous blue sky and brilliant sunshine coming in thru the portholes.
We wanted to take advantage of the two for one offer at the Fisherman’s Café for breakfast. The food was good, but I’m not sure it was worth the hour+ wait we had. Other customers were cancelling their orders and walking out, but we stuck with it. I’m not sure what that says about us.

On the way out of the marina we saw a bald eagle sitting on the rock wall. I’ll have to post that picture later because I took it with my other camera and can’t get that picture onto my phone (where I’m writing this) until later.

We also saw a mama duck with her brood of tiny chicks just swimming along, and a harbor seal who looked at us with a “what do YOU want?” expression.

Seattle From Bell Harbor MarinaThis evening we’re staying at Bell Harbor marina right on the waterfront in downtown Seattle. The facilities there are great.  Call them on VHF 66a to get a slip assignment, but it’s a small marina and on weekends and holidays you might be out of luck. To the left is a pic of Southern Star in her slip there (just above the railing in the lower right) and a pic of Stella relaxing with a good book about some other “famous” ship.

We walked up to Pike’s Place Market and had lunch and bought a bouquet of fresh flowers for Stella’s mom, Katie, who stayed home looking after the menagerie for us. We couldn’t make trips like these without her to look after the animals!

Stella reading about another shipCan’t wait to see the city lights come out after the sun goes down. Back home tomorrow where we’ll have to hose the boat down pretty thoroughly-she’s covered in salt from the spray and getting cranky about it. You know how some ladies are about their appearance.

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Arrived in Everett

What an absolutely gorgeous day for a boat ride. The seas were calmer this morning, so Stella had no interest in steering through what she called “sissy” seas. We had a great view of Mt. Baker directly to the north, the Olympics to our port, and the Cascades to our starboard.
Of course, I didn’t get to sightsee as much as I would have liked, because it was the opening day of shrimping season, and many areas we had to go through were verifiable mine fields of buoys marking shrimp traps.

We got to the marina just as the annual season opening boat parade was starting up. Some of the boats were hilarious. Pic below for an example.

We made it to the Everett marina before noon, and we’re enjoying lunch at Scuttlebutts.
More later. Gotta eat. 😃

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Spending the night in Edmonds Marina

What a first day. We made it thru the Ballard locks without incident, which is always a good thing. Once we got into Puget Sound, however, we discovered 20 knot winds, 4 ft seas, and a small craft advisory was in effect. So naturally, Stella wanted to drive, and she wrestled Southern Star the whole way to Edmonds.
The marina here is great. Nice protection behind a seawall, surrounded by beautiful parks and beaches. The town is about a 15 minute walk away, with all sorts of quaint little shops and restaurants.
We ate a delicious seafood dinner at Anthony’s Beach Cafe and then relaxed and read our books for a while before walking over to the beach to watch the sunset. WOW!

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