South Puget Sound

2009 Local Sailing Trips

2010 Local Sailing Trips

2011 Local Sailing Trips

January 28-30

Linda was able to get off a little early, since she was in the office early all week. I went down to the boat to turn the heat on, and run the engines. I took an inventory of what supplies are onboard to feed us and what we needed from Safeway. Linda was home a little before one, changed clothes, and we were on our way to Safeway. We were underway a few minutes after two and headed towards the Narrows. It was going to be a longer trip than normal since we were almost at maximum ebb of 3.5 knots. We used all our tricks to fight the current and were able to keep  our speed as long as possible. The wind was blowing between 15 – 20 knots on our nose, which slowed us a little more. The slowest we were traveling was just before going under the bridges at 3.2 knots. We were tied up the Wollochet outstation docks a few minutes before four and we’re the only boat here. We have the power hooked up and it's warm and toasty inside since we left the heater on why we traveled.

Linda called Donna and we made arrangements to have Dan pick us up at 630. Linda cooked up a couple of pot pies for dinner. Dan picked us up and we were back at their house in less than 5 minutes. We visited and played pinochle until about 9:30. They are watching their grandkids play basketball on Saturday and then heading for the Arizona home on Sunday.

We got back to the boat and were still the only boat at the dock. I had brought along season four of Bones. We watched a couple of episodes and then were off to bed.

We were up just before sunrise, which was hard to tell with the clouds and rain. It turned into a day for inside projects and reading. I was able to get through some of the backlog of sailing magazines and Linda was reading her book on the Kindle. She also did a little housecleaning and I worked on the chartplotter restoring some of my custom screens. We had lasagna and French bread for dinner and then it was time for some more episodes of Bones.

Sunday morning we were up after daylight, and there was no rain. We had a nice breakfast and did a little reading, and then it was time for the day’s project. We spent almost an hour getting the dinghy cover on and tied down. I think the project would go much faster in warm water, since I would take more risk and not worry about falling in the water. After that job was done, Linda cleaned the cockpit.

At about one o'clock Lester and Linda Dent pulled into the docks. They had spent the weekend at Bell Harbor on the TYC cruise. They are the caretakers of the Wollochet outstation, and live on their boat. We untied and headed home at 2:30, and were tied up at our slip by four o'clock.

February 19th - 21st

We delayed our start until around noon because slack at the Narrows was at 12:41 PM. We had a nice morning, made our shopping list, stopped at Safeway and were down at the boat around 11. There was a good north wind blowing, which made our choice of Oro Bay even better. We got everything stowed and the sail covers off, halyards attached with just the sail ties to come off before hoisting the sails. The water from TYC to Pt. Defiance was like a washing machine, so I didn't want Linda up dancing on the bimini with the boom and main sail. We got around the point and put up the jib turned off the starboard engine, (it has 11 more hours than the port engine,) and were able to move comfortably towards the Narrows Bridge(s) at 8-9 knots SOG. We were able to see the last half of the racers involved in the Toliva Shoals Race from Olympia as they rounded the marker, raised their spinnakers and headed back towards Olympia. We managed to stay out of the way of a few of the cruising class racers. There were four powerboats at the docks when we arrived, and they helped Linda with the lines. It was a rough afternoon and evening with the north wind waves coming into the bay, but by later in the evening and the tide going down, letting the spit block some of the wave action, it was a pleasant night's sleep. Sunday morning was calm with the trees reflecting themselves in the water. I noticed around 9:30 that the battery bank was at 12.6 volts, and usually when plugged into shore power the charger will kick in when the battery bank reaches that level. The solar panels were charging more than was being used, so there was not a need to turn anything off. I noticed a couple of the members talking on the dock and went outside. They said the circuit breaker on the transformer pole had tripped and there was no power. They were all running their generators, except for Cool Change, which had already left. One of the members said he had already called in about the situation, and didn't expect much to get done on a Sunday of a 3 day weekend. The 3 of them left by 10:00-10:30 and we were alone at the outstation. I noticed around 11:30 that the flood lights were on at the storage shed and walked up. The power meter was moving, so I turned on circuit breaker #2 and we had power, with no problems the rest of the weekend. I had some parts on the watermaker to install, which took a couple of hours and Linda was working on some office work, she had brought with her. The parts were successfully installed, but the testing of the system resulted in a leak in the high pressure pump unit, which will require a rebuild. The rest of the day was spent reading and relaxing. A little later in the afternoon we were joined by Tahoma and helped them tie up opposite us. We had received the Glee first season DVD for Christmas and finished up season one Sunday night. The weather prediction for Monday was south winds, so we made ready to sail and left the dock at 10 hoping to get through the Narrows by slack at 2:00 PM. The winds were in the 6-10 range shifting from S to SSW and we were able to sail the entire way to TYC. The top wind speed was 14 knots and 8 knots for Helios. If was a very nice weekend and the long sail was nice since it will be a while until I get Helios out again.


June 3rd - 5th

We left Breakwater Marina around 9:30 Friday morning headed to the Oro Bay outstation. We were planning on motoring the whole way for two reasons, 1 – the wind was light, 2 – we had no sails to use. While I was in the South Pacific my friend Dave had taken the sails off so Linda could have them cleaned. We brought along the headsail figuring we could attach it while at the dock. The current through the Narrows was against us, as maximum ebb was at 10:08. We rode the back current along Owen Beach and then cut over to the south side and rode that back current to Pt. Evans. We went through the Narrows on the west  side about 20-30 feet off the shoreline and were able to hold our speed to 4.5 knots or better. We arrived at Oro Bay at low tide, which was a -2.5 feet, to find there were no other boats. We tied up on the outside end of the dock leaving the open end for Joe and Cheryl to tie to when they arrived. Tom and Cheryl Marshall on Solleone came in and tied behind us leaving enough room for Joe and Cheryl, who came in about an hour later. We all thought it was pretty amazing that on this first beautiful summer weekend with temperatures in the mid to high 70’s there were only three sailboats at the outstation, (Joe and Cheryl’s Island Packet 45, Tom and Cheryl’s Beneteau and our Manta).

3 sailboats at Oro Bay Outstation - Right   3 sailboats at Oro Bay Outstation - Center   3 sailboats at Oro Bay Outstation - Left

From the left - Helios - Focused - Solleone - outer dock Oro Bay Outstation

 The wind was a thermal wind from the north during the day and stopped at night. We ended up in Joe and Cheryl’s boat, Focused, for a late afternoon early evening get together, trading stories and talking diets. Saturday was a day for small projects on Helios and the other two sailboats. Linda was working on the clear panels of our cockpit enclosure, cleaning and polishing, while I attacked attaching the headsail, with its camber spar. I ended up dropping one of the parts that attaches the camber spar to the forestay, which required a telephone call to Pennsylvania to order a new one and a backup. Joe was putting his headsail and staysail on their roller furlings, while Tom was also cleaning and polishing his clear panels in his dodger. We gathered at our picnic table on the dock for a potluck of sorts for a finger food dinner. As everyone returned to their boats with the sun going down we put on our only DVD movie onboard, Dirty Dancing, which was a nice ending for a day that we celebrated our 12th anniversary.

We were up early at 6:30 on Sunday with sun and a calm port, as the bay was a reflective mirror. The plan is to head home around 1:30 and top off the fuel tank for our summer trip before tying Helios up to her home slip. Linda finished up cleaning and polishing the windows in the cockpit enclosure, and I rearranged the forward starboard locker. We left a little after 1 following Joe and Cheryl, we should have left sooner as we were moving against the flood the last 45 minutes of the trip. There was a large power boat at the fuel dock, so we just tied Helios up in her slip.

June 10th - 12th

We had decided to go to Wollochet for the weekend and spend some time with the Morans at their house on Saturday night. I had everything ready to go except for Linda packing her carry bag for the weekend. We were pulling away from the dock around 6:15 and since we didn’t have a mainsail, (taken off to be cleaned and put back on Monday the 13th,) we motored against a light ebb current, and were tied up to the dock behind Aquatherapy a little before 8:00. We had a light dinner and settled down to watch a couple of episodes of Numbers season 1, before heading to bed.

The sun had us up earlier than usual Saturday morning and we relaxed over coffee and a little reading, followed by a late breakfast. We got a few small chores done, but most of the day was spent relaxing. In the early afternoon we had a couple of power boats come in, (Kiku III – Ivan & Mary; Trostig – Rod & Ivonna.) We had dinner around 5:30 and gave the Morans a call at 6:30 to see if they were ready for company. Dan was down in less than 10 minutes, (they live off Wollochet Drive,) and we were at their place shortly thereafter. It was enjoyable trading pictures (their new grandson – my trip in the South Pacific,) and then we played pinochle where once again Dan and I tasted the bitter dregs of defeat, losing 2 out of 3 to Donna and Linda.

Sunday morning we slept in a little later as we had pulled all the shades closed the night before. We spent the day reading and relaxing and I discussed possible need for upgrading the electrical with Ivan and Rod. We left around 4:30, which was slack at the Narrows and rode the ebb home to Breakwater. It was a relaxing weekend.

September 2nd - 5th, Labor Day Weekend

Linda was able to get off from work Friday afternoon a little early and we were away from the dock around 3:30, which worked out well as slack at the Narrows was at four o'clock.  We motored over to the top of the Narrows in front of Gig Harbor and raised the sails.  The wind was coming down Colvos Passage from the North at 8 to 9 knots, which was pushing us along at 5 knots.  We didn't bother with the code 0, as we could see the wind line was dying under the bridges.  We motor sailed with one engine from the bridges to a line between point Fosdick and the Day Island Marina, where the wind picked up, and we sailed to the mouth of Wollochet inlet.  We dropped and furled sails and headed into the outstation, which had an open space on the inside, we couldn't get to because of the tide and the boat on the inside end, so we anchored.  We had dinner and a quiet night of DVD watching and reading.  The next morning I fired up the generator to heat water and the boat, using the reverse air on the air-conditioners.  The diesel heater isn't working at the moment and will be serviced in a couple weeks.  We had a late breakfast and raised the anchor and headed out at 10:30.  We raised the sails, got to the mouth of Wollochet inlet and had the code 0 on the nets ready to hoist.  It was a beam reach down Hale Passage to the main channel south, with the wind from the north.  At the end Hale Passage, we hoisted the code 0 and pulled the tack over near the port ama, we were able to sail at 150° apparent at about 50 to 60% of the wind speed.  We usually don't use the code 0 unless the apparent wind is less than 13 knots, and Saturday, it was around 10 knots.  We decided to sail around Anderson Island and end up in Filucy Bay, which is probably our favorite spot to anchor in the South sound.  We ran out of wind about halfway along the bottom side of the island and furled sails, motored on flat seas towards Filucy Bay.  We took a detour around Eagle Island to see how many moorings were available for future nights on the water, and there are two on the West side one on the east side.  We motored into Filucy Bay and were surprised there were not more boats here on a three-day weekend.  Our favorite spot was available; East side near a point that juts out and the depth goes from 35 feet to 20 feet.

Filucy Bay anchorage looking east  Filucy Bay anchorage looking north  Filucy Bay anchorage looking south

The 3 pictures are taken from our anchorage in Filucy Bay, looking East, North & South

It was another quiet night with the exception of a couple boats that were side tied together and was enjoying the evening and part of the enjoyment was one fellow hollering and listening to his echo.  We were undecided where to go Sunday morning and as the wind didn't build as it had the previous day, we stayed where we were and did small projects till around two, when we kicked back.  We did drop the dinghy in the water and take a tour of Filucy Bay, and noticed a lot of the old abandoned boats were gone.  Thanks to CHB, Pierce County and the state of Washington DNR.  We had an earlier dinner to make up for no lunch, and sat the cockpit to watch the evening roll in.  We watched a couple of DVDs and then it was time for bed.  We didn't get up until seven, had some coffee and check the currents through the Narrows.  The slack is at 1:30 and the ebb will run for the next six hours.  We will go through Pitt Passage into Carr Inlet and over to the main channel to the Narrows.  We raised anchor and left around one o'clock, and headed for Pitt Passage.  There was no landing on McNeil Island, so we motored close to the northern edge of McNeil Island.  It was a fairly quick passage the Narrows around Point Defiance, and into the basin and our slip.  We were home and gear put away by five o'clock in the evening.

September 24th - 25th

The Tacoma Yacht Club had a Sailing Rally for the sailboat members. We all started at 10 in front of the Clubhouse and needed to be in Oro Bay by 3 in the afternoon. There was no disqualification for using your engine. Linda and I were slow across the line and then used our engine to get clear of the ferry traffic lane. The wind was really light so after a few minutes we motored around Pt. Defiance to find wind in the Narrows. We were able to sail to the Toliva Shoal buoy, where the wind died. We furled the sails and motored to the Club's Outstation. We had 14 boats participating, and the lack of wind resulted in no one being able to finish under sail. Burr Hope had laid out a plan for everyone to fit at the docks, and with our shallow keels we were able to take our normal spot on the inside dock. There was a cocktail hour on the dock, and then we had a great "Potluck" with more food than we could eat. The weather held until everyone was tucked away on their boats, and listening to the raindrops fall while in bed is restful. A large group left early in the morning to get the Narrows before the flood started. There were 4 of us that waited until later in the afternoon to head out, with the plan on arriving at the Narrows after the flood had changed to an ebb. Linda and I were the last ones to leave so we made sure everything was locked and the power turned off on the docks. The weather was from the south with rain every now and then, so we left the side curtains down and the sails furled and motored on home. It was a fun weekend and we look forward to the spring Rally.

October 8th - 9th

Linda and I headed out Saturday morning around 10, so that we could get an assist from the flood current through the Narrows. We were tied up at the docks at Wollochet by 11:30. There was no wind, so it was the iron sails that got us there. We were the only ones there, and Linda refers to this situation as "Anchoring with Benefits", since we have the solitude of anchoring, but the availability of power, water and land access to walk. The birds had made a mess of the docks, so we put our boots on and hosed off the docks, to give the birds a fresh start for the weekend. We walked up to look at the trees that had been cut down, some of which were over 4 feet thick. The large ones were Douglas Fir and Cedar, with some smaller maples taken down, also. There will be plenty of firewood for the fire pit for years to come. It was a quiet Saturday afternoon with Linda relaxing with her Kindle, and I caught up on my sailing magazines. We had a nice lasagna dinner with some garlic bread, and then watched some episodes of NUMB3RS. Sunday morning had us awakening to the sound of raindrops hitting the deck. I got up and turned on the heat and it was a cozy 70 degrees in no time. The nice thing with either the reverse air heat from the air conditioners or the diesel fired hydronic heater is that the humidity moves way down to 20% or lower. We kept the curtains down in the cockpit, so that it was comfortable to sit in the cockpit with a coat. Around 3 in the afternoon Lester Dent came in with Home Run, and Linda (Lester's Linda) arrived by car. We walked down and helped them get tied up to the dock. They are the caretakers of the outstation and do a wonderful job. They had been on the Bremerton Cruise with TYC. Lester in the Assistant Fleet Captain, and will be the Fleet Captain next year. Linda and I watched and episode of Bones and then it was 4:30 and time to head home. The current in the Narrows was slack a few minutes after 5, so we got a little help heading home and were back at the house by 6:45. It was a nice relaxing weekend.

November 11th - 14th

Linda and I had planned on taking a long weekend in Poulsbo. The Banks are closed for Veterans Day on Friday and Linda had some vacation days to use up before year end, so we were leaving Friday morning and coming back Monday afternoon. The weather forecast changed our plans. It looked like there would be winds in the 20-25 knot range on Monday from the south, which would make the return trip from Poulsbo, 5-6 hours of motoring into wind and waves. We elected to go down to Oro Bay on Anderson Island and the TYC outstation. We left around 9:30 and were tied up all by ourselves a little before 1. The weather didn’t allow much time to get out and walk around, but we did get the dinghy cover on and secured. We were tied up so that the prevailing wind would push us away from the dock, and the dock served as a wave break. The wind did stretch the lines a little so we had to snug things up a bit. The highest wind speed we saw was 30 knots, with the wind in the 18-22 knot range most of the weekend. We had the place to ourselves for the weekend, and it was an easy untie and go around 10 Monday morning. We had wind and current with us, and raised the headsail, leaving the main furled. We did use the motors so that we would have plenty of electricity. It was a quick trip back. The only problem was the large batten on the headsail came out of its slot, and Linda was able to capture it before it went over the side. It will be put back in during some calm weather in the near future.