Monthly Archives: June 2013

Latest trip – The 2013 MacGregor Owners’ Rendezvous at Port Ludlow

DSC_1933Another long weekend, this time heading off to Port Ludlow at the northernmost end of Hood Canal to meet up with about 40 other MacGregor sailboats at the annual rendezvous. It was all hosted by Todd and Cheryl from Blue Water Yachts, the excellent dealer we bought Southern Star from last year. 

The trip started on Thursday the 20th, in absolutely miserable weather.  DSC_1936It was raining and windy, and we were actually worried on Wednesday about whether or not we’d be able to go because there were gale warnings and small craft advisories.  Fortunately, by the time we actually left it really wasn’t that bad; in fact, the seas were not as rough as that trip to Edmonds a little while back when we faced 4 ft waves. However, with all the rain we were exceptionally grateful for the full cockpit enclosure that we had purchased shortly after getting the boat.  We were snug and dry inside. The only thing we wished we had added was a windshield wiper!  As we got further north we saw a large pod of dolphins – we think it consisted of dozens – jumping and playing nearby.  We also saw several other MacGregors that were making their way north to Port Ludlow as well. Once we got there, we were assigned a slip and pulled in. We were among the early arrivals at around 3pm and by later in the afternoon there were two long rows of Mac 26Ms, 26Xs and a couple 19s up and down both sides of the A dock. 

We had several good seminars. The guys attended sessions on engine maintenance and sail selection, while the ladies had sessions on docking and anchoring, and one on cooking in a small galley. Stella learned how to boil (yes, boil) an omelet! We had a variety of meals, including a great pot luck dinner, a cookout with dogs and burgers, and a pizza party from a local Italian joint.  It was all delicious.  Each evening also had some kind of band playing music.  We were especially impressed by the jazz ensemble that played on Friday night.  Wow, were they good! 

DSC_1924We experimented in our own galley on Saturday morning with a new way to prepare breakfast sandwiches.  We buttered slices of bread and grilled them for a minute on a flat pan with a slice of cheese on one and ham on the other.  Then we set that aside for a minute while we fried an egg in a very small round pan that made a perfectly sized egg layer to put in between all the other two grilled bread slices with the cheese and ham.  Beats the heck out of an Egg McMuffin! 

The best part was catching up with friends we had just met at our first rendezvous the previous year.  We missed several friends that couldn’t make it this year, Chris and Debbie, and Peter and Grace, but we made several more new friends this year.  We really enjoyed going from boat to boat on Saturday afternoon sharing appetizers and drinks, but mostly visiting each other’s boats to see what modifications were made to their Macs and consider which ones might be interesting to add to our own Southern Star.  I got several ideas and I think we inspired a few for other people that seemed to appreciate our pressurized water system and our new handmade wood table.

DSC_1938It was a great trip, and over way too soon.  However, it was dragged out a little longer than we expected by having the longest wait to go through the locks we’ve had to date.  Oh well.  Were we ever tired by the time we got the boat cleaned up and emptied at our own slip.  It was good to sleep in our own bed finally!

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Final day for this trip is in Poulsbo

WP_20130602_003Well, we come to the last day of this extended weekend.  We left Bremerton and motored on over to the quaint little town of Poulsbo.  What a striking town – founded by a Norwegian immigrant, and clearly fiercely proud of its Scandinavian heritage. We ate an absolutely delicious lunch at JJ’s Fish House which backs right up to the marina. I don’t I’ve ever had a better fish and chips. We wandered around the many shops for most of the afternoon, and enjoyed some baked goods from one of the bakeries there.  Stella is still talking about the cinnamon roll with cream cheese icing.  I suspect we’ll have to make another trip here sometime in the near future just to get another one of those for her.

We came back to the boat to rest up before dinner, and instead found ourselves facing the biggest adventure of the day, indeed the entire trip.  We were sitting in the cockpit reading, when I noticed a large sailboat backing into a slip at a rather odd angle, and definitely coming back too fast. It hit the dock with such a thump that I knew something was seriously wrong.  Sitting up and looking more closely I saw a head bobbing in the water – someone had fallen off the boat and was in danger of being crushed between the boat and the dock.  Stella and I ran down there and arrived about the same time as several others from surrounding boats.  It was an elderly couple, and the lady was stepping down from the boat to the dock as her husband backed the boat in when she slipped on the step fender and fell in, dislocating her hip in the process.  She couldn’t get out of the water on her own.  So several of us held her up while one lady called 911 and another gentleman ran back to his boat and brought back a triangular tarp.  We managed to slip under her, then grabbed the edges of it and hauled her out.  The paramedics arrived shortly afterwards and took her and her husband off to the hospital.  Another gentleman and myself ensured that the boat was tied up securely and hooked to shore power.  I turned everything off except for the refrigerator and the master light switch so that they could turn on the lights easily enough if they came back aboard after dark.

WP_20130603_001Later that afternoon, our excellent friends Mark and Dorothy came over via the Ferry to visit with us and have dinner.  We ate at the Loft, also right near the marina, and in fact on a 2nd level patio overlooking it. What a find way to end a trip – with fine conversation and an excellent meal with great friends.

The next morning we had a good breakfast and, as Stella would say, we “tootled on home”.  Time to look forward to the next trip!WP_20130602_004

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A Quiet Day in Bremerton

Last night sure ended in an unexpected way! We took a late evening stroll to watch the sunset, and when we got back we saw aWP_20130601_003 shadowy shape moving around the cockpit. Sure enough, one of the local raccoons chose to grace Southern Star with a visit. We chased him off and thought no more about it that evening.
This morning though, the early sun showed that Southern Star was covered in furry little footprints! What an annoying little pest.
WP_20130601_005After washing the boat down, we took one more hike in the woods and then visited the Tillicum Lodge Gift Shop, where we bought (ironically enough) a bag of “Raccoon Droppings” (a.k.a. chocolate covered pralines) for Katie.
We were just getting ready to leave when a large boat dropped off a mass of Jr. High kids for a campout. When we heard the captain say that he was going back for more, we hightailed it out of there!
Heading through Rich Passage, we made our way south to Bremerton. Very nice marina, but surprisingly empty.
The big highlight of the day was a tour of the USS Turner Joy, a 1960s era Navy Destroyer. Fascinating history and massive guns. Very cool.  We had a fine dinner at Anthony’s, where we were seriously under-dressed, as it turned out that dozens of high school kids on their way to Prom were having dinner there this evening. We watched the ferries come and go a bit, and then came back to Southern Star for a quiet evening of reading and a good nights sleep.WP_20130601_006

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