Our First Major Outing together On Our Boat This Season
Summer finally arrived in Seattle. This year it actually arrived on the 4th of July, a bit earlier than normal. Sister Susie, our MacGregor 26X sailboat lives at a marina in Salmon Bay during the summer just inside the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, also known as the Ballard Locks. The
advantage of mooring there is that it is fresh water, which my engine likes to be flushed out with after a trip in Puget Sound. Barnacles also will not stay attached to a boat in fresh water so Sister Susie’s hull stays cleaner. The downside is that it takes some time to get through the locks which adds an hour or more to your trip each time you pass through.
I have gotten good at going through the locks since the first time. For an account of my first time through the locks read my post called It Looked Easy. I can actually manage it alone now. Chris has also gotten more confidence and doesn’t lose it quite so badly as she did before.
Once through the locks we hoisted our sails in a light breeze and sailed a couple hours till we were to Agate Pass where we switched to motor. As we rounded Point Monroe we were favored by this wonderful view of Mt Rainier. The houses you see are built on a spit that encloses a small bay where they have docks for their boats in their back yards. Where do all these people get their money? I am not coveting, exactly, I am just impressed with how much abundance we have in America.
We moored at Paulsbo the first night.
After a nice walk and breakfast we proceeded South down Port Orchard Channel. As we passed Keyport, where the Naval underwater warfare center is I wished we had time to stop and visit the Museum where the have a mock-up of a Trident Submarine interior and other interesting stuff. Maybe next time.
As we motored we looked for a spot to put our crab pots in to soak. Just past Brownsville we put our pots in about 80 feet of water. After writing down the GPS coordinates we went into Brownsville to explore while our pots “soaked”. Brownsville is a great harbor but there is very little town. We did find a specialty meat shop that smokes bacon and other meats and fish where we bought a pound of bacon to try. After about 2 hours we went to check on our pots where we found only one crab but he was huge. The biggest I have seen close to 10 inches across the back. 6 1/4 inches is the smallest that is a keeper. They also have to be males. Now our challenge was to keep him alive until we could cook him. We weren’t as prepared as we should have been. We forgot our pan. At first I thought we were going to have to buy a pot, but as I motored I got the idea to borrow a pot from another boat in the
marina. In an effort to save time we emptied our water ballast and increased our speed to about 10 miles per hour. Just before we reached our destination we put out our pots again. We moored at Bremerton and I immediately began to roam the docks in search of a boat with people in it. In just a few minutes a boat came in and I helped them secure their lines which gave me an opportunity to inquire about borrowing a pot which they were glad to loan. We cooked our crab immediately and had him for supper. He was so large that we each had a nice portion.
Bremerton has become a wonderful destination port. The waterfront is great. There are lots of slips for visiting boats and there is a Naval Destroyer which has become a museum with tours inside. On a hot day like it was when we were there, the fountains in the park are very popular with the children.
When we left the port we checked our crab pots which had been soaking over night and to our delight we found 4 big male crabs. In anticipation of this we had bought extra ice cubes which we poured in the small cooler where we had put our crabs. We hoped that this would keep them alive until we could get home to cook them.
On our way home we went through Rich Passage which is south of Bainbridge Island. As we got out into open water we set our sails and sailed toward the locks. It was a very beautiful day and there were a lot of boats out. We saw a freighter go by, with Mt Rainier in the background I couldn’t resist this shot.
After sailing most of the way the wind died down and we motored the rest of the way.