South Puget Sound


South Puget Sound

The numbers listed on the chart below are: 1—Breakwater Marina & Tacoma Yacht Club basin, 2—Quartermaster Harbor, 3-Narrows Bridge, 4-Wollochet Bay, 5-Fox Island, 6-McNeil Island, 7-Anderson Island & Oro Bay Outstation, 8-Carr Inlet, 9-Case Inlet, 10-Seattle, 11-Vashon Island, 12-Colvos Passage, 13-Longbranch Peninsula & Filucy Bay, 14-Harstine Island


2009 Local Trips

2010 Local Trips

2011 Local Trips

2012 Local Trips

2013 Local Trips

2014 Local Trips

2015 Local Trips

New Year's Weekend

We took Helios over to the TYC outstation at Wollochet Bay, (#4 above), on the morning of December 31st, Linda had one vacation day left and it was use it or lose it. There were three boats there when we arrived and they helped us tie up. The dock was white with frost and you could see patches of skim ice out in the bay where freshwater had frozen before mixing with the saltwater.  I had the diesel heater running when we left our slip so Helios was warm and toasty upon arrival. When plugged into shore power I use the reverse cycle on the air conditioning units to convert the heat from the saltwater and heat the boat, so it is a nice 70 degrees with 20% humidity or less. We had a nice dinner and then watched some shows before Linda wanted to read for awhile in bed. I woke her a little before midnight to watch the fireworks the people who live around the bay set off to celebrate New Years. There were three houses in competition for the best fireworks display and it was a great show for about 15 minutes. We slept in on New Year's day and had coffee and a relaxing breakfast. A little later I helped a couple of boats leave, and we were all alone on the dock


As you can see from the pictures above it was a chilly New Year's, but we did have blue sky and sun. We spent most of the day inside with Linda reading her Kindle, and me catching up on a stack of sailing magazines. We did walk the dock and visit with the other club members and help them get away from the dock and on their way home, and then we were alone on the dock. As the picture above shows, we did not have running water, so I ran the watermaker to top off the water tank. I kept up with the college bowl game scores on my cell phone. We had and early dinner and a quiet evening. On Saturday we debated working on projects and decided only small ones that we had put aside in the past that wouldn't create a mess, (my projects). Our friends Donna and Dan live close by and Dan drove down after dinner to pick us up. I had wanted to see his new wood shop he had built, and then we settled down to playing pinochle. Dan and I tried being the victors for a change, but after winning the first game lost two to Linda and Donna. After Dan dropped us off back at the outstation we had a good nights sleep and a late breakfast. We untied and left the dock around 10 to use the ebb current through the Narrows to our advantage and were tied up in our slip at Breakwater before noon.

February 25th - 28th

We had spent the previous weekend in Victoria with our granddaughter Kelsey at a water polo tournament and decided it was time to get away on Helios. Linda suggested that I leave on Thursday to make sure we could tie up on the inside of the slip at Wollochet. I was on my way before noon using the current through the Narrows to my advantage and made the 9 mile trip in a little over an hour. The dock was empty when I arrived, giving me any space I wanted. I backed Helios in on the inside, a little farther back than the last time allowing space for another boat in front. Since Linda was working Thursday and Friday, I was left to my own devices, which included doing some re-organizing of my tool bags. Linda got away in the afternoon on Friday and helped play taxi for my granddaughter before coming across the bridge and to the outstation. It was a quiet dinner, chicken dijon and cheesy broccoli. I enjoy shopping at Dave's Meat Market in Tacoma, as they have numerous preparations which I can buy two of for a dinner. After breakfast on Saturday we got the gear out for scrubbing down Helios and went to work. Afterwards I topped off the water tank and then hosed down the dock to get rid of the shells left by the birds, along with their droppings. Shortly after we got things put away the rain started. We did have another boat come in and I helped them tie up. They were new members and this was their first trip to an outstation. I showed them how to sign in, turn the power on and off, explained than there key would open both gates and the restrooms and kitchen buildings. A little later Linda and I walked up to the kitchen building to get a strong wifi signal and stopped to visit with the new members who had built a fire in the firepit. The dinner was bacon blue cheese burgers with chips, then a quiet night of reading or movie watching. We had breakfast and coffee then consulted the current table to see when I could leave to get the benefit from the ebb through the Narrows. I left a little after noon with Linda casting me off before driving home, only to drive down to Breakwater to help me dock when I arrived. The ride back was interesting, with rain falling I just used the motors and peered between the drops on the windscreen. At one point it was raining so hard I couldn't see the water, but it did lightened up by the time I got to our slip. As the days get longer we are planning on more weekend getaways.

April 1st - 3rd

Linda got off early after a luncheon and we were able to pull away from the dock by 2:30 for a little over an hour trip to the Des Moines marina. The wind was gusting between 1 and 2 so we didn’t bother to take the sail covers off. It was about an 80 minute motor so we arrived at the dock a little before 4. We got directions to where our spot was and tied up to the long dock at the end. While I got the power hooked up and working and then walked over to pay for 2 nights moorage, Linda got out the hose and gave Helios a quick wash and rinse to get the pollen off. We read in the cockpit until it cooled off when the sun went down. It was deli turkey sandwiches and chips for dinner, then a movie and it was bedtime. We slept in a couple of hours and got up at 7 to fog. It was a quiet morning and after breakfast we watched the action at the fuel dock, which is right across from us, and the coming and leaving of boats from the slips. We headed out for a walk a little after noon and walked the length of the marina before making a left turn and stopping at the Hallmark shop. We started up Marina View Drive, the main street, to see what businesses still remained from when we lived here 8 years ago, and half of them were still here. We stopped at B & E Meats for some pepperoni, they make the best. We made it back to Helios and Linda decided to visit Pretty Nails and have a pedicure and visit with daughter (owner) and mom who have been there for 23 years. I found some cleanup projects. We decided on the Mandarin Kitchen for dinner and it was better than we remembered. We were back at Helios a little before sunset and sat in the cockpit watching the marina activities until it cooled down to where we get coats or move inside. I put a movie on and after it was over Linda headed to bed to read for a while, and I watched some episodes of Flash. We were interrupted by a large otter that decided to come aboard and walk the decks. Linda would hear him coming up the steps and I would go out in the cockpit shine a light on him and watch as it ran down the steps and jumped in the water. I went to bed after 11 and we were otter free until 5:30 in the morning, when Linda, the otter wrangler, got up and chased it back in the water. We slept in like teenagers and didn’t get up until about 8. We had clear blue skies and were able to sit in the cockpit and have morning coffee, watching the boats come and go. We decided to leave around 12:30 and motor down the east side of East Passage between Des Moines and Tacoma, since there was not enough wind to sail. We went by our friends, Dave & Lyne, and waved but I don’t think they were home. We were tied up in our slip by 2:30. It was a very relaxing weekend. It will be at least a couple of weeks until another free weekend and the destination will depend upon the weather.

August 5 - 7

I went to the store to get our foodstuffs for the weekend and then went down to Helios. I wasn't in any rush as the slack at the Narrows was at 2:20 in the afternoon and I went aboard Helios at 1. I got things stowed away and was reading a sailing magazine to pass some time, finally I started the engines, disconnected shore power and then cut loose the mooring lines. I was a little ahead of the flood, but by staying close to the Owens Beach shore the counter current always runs toward the point and I was able to get a 1 knot lift. There was no wind to sail, so I motored over to the TYC outstation at Wollochet in 1 hour and 20 minutes to find only one other boat, Sojourn, with Roget and Sue. They were watching their grandson participate in Junior Sailing. A little later Steve Carlson came in on his Baltic 42. Linda arrived around 5 and we relaxed in the cockpit until time for dinner. Saturday morning we washed all the salt off Helios from our vacation trip to Barkley Sound and the San Juan Islands, then it was time to kick back in the shade. We had thought about taking the car into Gig Harbor for dinner, but decided on heavy snacks in the cockpit, instead. Sojourn had left Saturday morning to take advantage of the current so it was just the two sailboats. Steve left Sunday morning around 9:30, and Linda cast Helios off at 12:30. I called Linda that I was 15 out and she was already in the parking lot, so when I got to the slip I could toss her the lines. It was a very relaxing weekend.

August 19th - 21st

We drove down to Helios after Linda got off work, and headed down through the Narrows to Oro Bay on Anderson Island, where TYC has an outstation. The advantage of an outstation is that I’m not charged for the electricity and Helios has air conditioning. It was a nice cool 65 degrees during the day. There were four other boats there when we arrived and they helped us tie up. Saturday was a couple of small projects and some visiting with the other members. We had a happy hour potluck on Saturday. We left Sunday morning around 10 to take advantage of the ebb tide through the Narrows, and a southerly wind. We put the sails up after getting out of Oro Bay and sailed until we were just off of Owens beach, where we dropped the sails and motored into the marina and tied up at our slip. It was a very relaxing weekend.

September 25th - 30th

I had put a down payment on a new refrigeration system for Helios during the Seattle Boatshow in January. The company, Sea Freeze, is located in Bellingham. I had them install a new system in our previous boat, Fjaera, and it worked great. Our existing system has a small leak that two different technicians had been unable to find, and required the system to be recharged about every 9 to 10 months. Since Linda is working, I left Sunday morning to singlehand Helios to Bellingham. I spent Sunday night at the guest dock of the Everett Yacht Club and was tied up in Squalicum Harbor Marina early Monday afternoon. I called the company upon arrival and they came over to analyze the situation. They came back Tuesday and took out the old system and then came back on Wednesday and installed the new heavier duty system, that uses less power and is more efficient. I left Thursday morning down past Anacortes and La Conner to Oak Harbor for the night. On Friday I was up early and headed for home. It was long day of travel, and I telephoned Linda when I was about ½ hour out from Breakwater, she was already off work, and she was waiting on the dock of our slip to help me tie up.

  October 7th - 10th

It was Columbus Day weekend, and the bank was closed on Monday, so we decided to take a long weekend on Helios. The weather wasn’t that good so we decided on a short trip to Gig Harbor and Arabella’s Landing. It is convenient to walking downtown and a few restaurants. Friday night we listened to the rain and stayed warm and cozy inside. Saturday was off and on showers and we managed to give Helios a quick wash to get some of grime from the construction going on around Breakwater Marina. Saturday we walked up to the Mexican restaurant for dinner and made it back without being rained upon. I was watching a movie while Linda headed for bed with her Kindle. One of the best items we have purchased for Helios is our mattress heating pad from Sunbeam. It takes very little power and makes the bed warm and dry. We enjoyed the one on the boat so much we’ve bought one for home. They are washable and have separate controls for each side, and settings for feet, torso and head. It was a relaxing Sunday with coffee in the morning while reading before a late breakfast. In between the rain showers we walked the marina looking at the boats and visited with some of the tenants. It is too bad none of the permanent slips fit Helios as this would be a marina we would enjoy living aboard in while retired. On Monday we left in the early afternoon for the 45 minute trip back to slip at Breakwater.

November 11th - 13th

 It was another 3 day weekend and we had made plans with our friends Joe and Cheryl to spend it at Arabella’s Landing in Gig Harbor. It is only a 45 minute run for us from Breakwater and we were tied up in our normal end spot on the transient moorage dock. Joe and Cheryl went into a slip close by. We had decided to walk up to the Mexican restaurant for dinner when the time came. We visited most of the afternoon including a Happy Hour prior to going to dinner. After dinner we both retreated to our boats for a quiet evening. After we had coffee and breakfast in the morning a discussion concerning the day’s events was in order. The girls were going downtown to checkout various stores, while Joe and I decided a little walking up to a small restaurant for coffee, and then to checkout the new building housing the marine store on the marina property. It was a productive trip as I found a couple of items, line scrubber and flashlight, for Helios and Joe found some things for Focused. We had decided to walk to Mizu for a Japanese dinner cooked in front of us. The cook is always entertaining while cooking your dinner. It was a nice walk back with plenty of stars overhead and very little wind. Sunday morning Joe and Cheryl had to leave before noon, in order to get under the Murray Morgan bridge before the rising tide would require the bridge to be raised. We left shortly after for a slow motor back to our slip.