Inaugural Season

So much for blogging about our boat adventures… I had good intentions of maintaining a meticulous ship’s log. But, for the most part, I’ve been throwing receipts in a folder, checking the oil, and forgetting to write down the engine hours. The good news is it’s because we’ve been using the boat! We’ve been cruising, hanging out in the marina, and performing maintenance. There aren’t enough hours in a day – and if it’s a choice between using the boat and documenting the boat… well that answers that.

It’s bee exactly a summer since we last updated – and we’ve had a wonderful season getting to know Shifty and building our confidence. Here’re some highlights in no particular order.

Poulsbo has become our like our own cabin on the lake; it’s such an easy, quick jaunt (about 90 minutes away, depending on how we drive). It’s the perfect destination when we don’t have time to plan. Downtown Polusbo is right off the marina, it’s cheap (about $35 per night), there’s plenty for the girls to do, and it’s Clyde-friendly. There are kid-friendly restaurants and breweries, an awesome convenience store (mini Chuck’s plus ramen and licorice), coffee shops, ice cream parlors, and even an acquarium. So far, we’ve found the people to be friendly and helpful. We’ve been out with family, friends, and alone – all total maybe nine or ten times now. It’s so easy and fun that there’s a real danger of not taking chances on other destinations.

We took our first trip through The Locks to Lake Washington and Andrews Bay. It was everything we’d heard – crowded and filled with knuckleheads pretending they’re on some even trashier version of MTV’s Spring Break. The fresh water was nice, though. It was a blast to go swimming. We ancored for the first time and managed to break our windlass when pulling it up, so I had to haul the anchor up by hand. Fun. It takes about three hours to get there from Shilshole, so it’s a commitment. I’d prefer to make it a weekend rather than try to go out and back in one day. The Locks were chaos but they’re really good at getting dozens of boats filled with noobs through safely and quickly. We’ll go back once we’re better equipped for anchoring over night.

We took a trip to Vashon and Quartermaster Marina, but the nicest part was the cruise. The harbor itself was just ok – and there wasn’t much public beach to explore. The marina was private and expensive ($65 per night) and there’s nothing near by. We went for a walk and found a convenience store to buy ice cream, but quickly found ourselves on a shoulderless country road with heavy traffic and blind corners. It was nice to see South Sound, though. It takes about three hours to get there at 1,500 rpms (plus another 45 minutes to get up the five mile harbor).

We’ve had a bunch of family and friends out for short and long criuses. We had a Fourth of July party in Shilshole surrounded by amateur fireworks. We did our first overnight with my sister’s family where we converted the dinette to a bed. We’ve spent many nights having cocktails in the quiet evening marina. All-in-all, it’s been a great inaugural summer of boating. With this last trip to Polusbo, we both feel like we’re out of complete noob territory and are moving into the advanced beginner stage.


  • As I mentioned, we broke the windlass – it’s still broken as of this writing. Also, if we’re going to get serious about anchoring we’ll need to replace our ground tackle.
  • I finally found a replacement wiper blade and got it mounted on the starboard window in front of the lower helm. I need to order two more plus a new motor for the center arm. The blades themselves are a little long so I might need to get something smaller than 28”. I forgot to write down the size of the nuts I used to attach it. Oh well. I can drive from inside now when it rains. Yay.
  • I found parts for our main cabin door and now it slides open and closed smoothly. I’ll order a second set as well since the company that made them is out of business.
  • Our old Norcold refrigerator died and we replaced it with a much nicer Vitri-Frigo. It’s a drop-in replacement that runs much quieter and has two additional cubic feet. The mounting flanges weren’t exact, but it was nothing a few creative screw angles and some screw caps couldn’t fix.
  • We replaced the old Parker BBQ with a new Dickinson Sea-B-Que. The old one kept blowing out and took 45 minutes to cook a burger. There was also no grease trap, so not only did hot grease blow onto the deck, but the grill spontaneously burst into flames a couple of times. I put the Parker out by the dumpster and it was gone in under 10 minutes. Let someone else figure it out. The new grill is beautiful and, more importantly, functional. It’s like a mini-weber (flavorizer bars and all)!
  • We added some weathercloth to enclose the aft deck to waist-high. This is still in progress as they haven’t added all the doors yet, but it’s made hanging out with the girls so much less stressful. They would have to work at it to fall off so we’re not constantly on edge trying to corral them. It’s also surprisingly effective at sheltering the deck. We’re definitely going to enclose the aft deck entirely now – just a matter of money and time. Canvas Supply was incredibly hard to work with, but they did do nice work.
  • After a summer of cruising, both engines were a little low on oil. I added 1/2 a quart to each to bring them up to the bottom line on the dipsticks. I’m not sure whether burning oil at that rate is normal.
  • We added a small kayak to our repertoire. Paddling around Shilshole and Liberty Bay at dawn and after dark is so much fun.

I think that’s everything. We had a dozen smaller projects like finding better dinnerware, purchasing deck chairs, and adding 100 feet of generic dock line, but I’ve started to forget them all. We’re really excited about making Shifty the best boat we can. We’ll never get her back to Mint – or to be anything better than a Bayliner – but we can make sure she’s got it where it counts. Solid, well-thought-out, reliable systems to support us on our adventures.

24-May-2014 – 25-May-2014 Overnight in Bell Harbor

Stacey and I took Shifty for an overnight in Bell Harbor Marina on the downtown Seattle waterfront to celebrate our fourth anniversary. Stacey’s mom, Carol was in town and took the kids overnight (the first time we’ve left them with someone overnight). The original plan had been to head out to Poulsbo, but when we called ahead they were all full. This was another valuable lesson – we had called the day before to make reservations but they told us it was first-come-first-served (which turned out not to be true) and assured us there would be plenty of spots.

The lessons here:

  1. Treat moorage reservations like camping spots. Almost every time I have headed into a state park or national forrest without a reservation or firm plan (thinking I could work it out when I got there) I wound up driving from full campground to full campground – eventually finding a free spot after hours of searching and then setting up camp in the dark. If we want a dock slip or a mooring ball in a popular place, either leave early, go in the off season or an off weekend (it was Memorial Day weekend after all), or make a reservation. Poulsbo takes reservations but they won’t do them for next-day.
  2. Get set up to anchor. Anchoring opens up our options tremendously – no reservations required and there are some lovely spots in calm, sheltered Liberty Bay just a short dinghy put from downtown Poulsbo. The main steps here are to mark off our anchor rode so we can set the correct pitch, get a motor for our dinghy and find the slow leak, test how long our batteries hold a charge so we know we can get the engines started again, and practice practice practice.

Adaptation and luck saved the day. Stacey called Bell Harbor Marina and got someone as they were leaving for the day. Their charter dock had only one other reservation and they had a very rare opening for us on extremely short notice. They took our information over the phone and we had our spot. Stacey took us out of the slip and drove us all the way over – it was good for her to bond a bit more with the boat and I had a blast just relaxing. We passed relatively close to a container ship on it’s way out to sea and Stacey took us through its massive wake with panache.

Arrived in Bell Harbor and docked without incident. Tied up with what I think were full hitches, but may have been more of a Wyatt variant of the hitch. We’re going to need to practice some different knots for different tie off situations. Our spot at the end of the charter dock pointed the bow right at the downtown skyline – it was perfect.

After tying off and hooking Shifty up to shore power, we headed into downtown to find dinner. We hit our second piece of good fortune when we walked into the Pink Door on a Saturday night without a reservation and scored a table at the edge of the deck with an unobstructed view of Elliott Bay (we may have dropped that it was our anniverssary). Stacey had the mushroom pasta and I got the halibut. We also had cocktails, wine, and two deserts. Everything was delicious. After dinner we returned to Shifty and enjoyed a glass of wine on the flybridge as the sun set and the city lit up.

The next morning, Stacey went on a latte run and paid our moorage fee. It was $1.25 per foot, but we got a $10 discount for being members of the Port of Seattle through Shilshole. Stacey took us out of Bell Harbor and back to Ballard. We tied off at the pump-out dock and Stacey went home to fetch Carol and the girls while Wyatt pumped out the tanks and used the dock’s bilge pump to clear out the annoying 2″ of water that the onboard boat pumps can’t get (it’s the exact amount of water that fits in the lines between the pumps and the through-hulls).

Shilshole to Bell Harbor
Start: May 24, 2014, 5:14 PM
End: May 24, 2014, 6:17 PM
Duration: 1H 2M
Distance: 7.6 NM
Average Speed: 7.2 kts
Max Speed: 9.3 kts

Engine Hours Start / End (estimated end hours since I forgot to record)
Port: 1736.8 / 1737.8
Stbd: 1736.6 / 1737.6


Shilshole to Elliott Bay Google

Bell Harbor to Shilshole
Start: May 25, 2014, 9:35 AM
End: May 25, 2014, 10:34 AM
Duration: 59M 37S
Distance: 7.3 NM
Average Speed: 7.4 kts
Max Speed: 9.1 kts

Engine Hours Start / End (estimated)
Port: 1737.8 / 1738.8
Stbd: 1737.6 / 1738.6


Elliott Bay to Shilshole Google

15-May-2014 Bainbridge Counterclockwise

Took part of my work team out for a cruise to celebrate hitting a milestone. Derek spent the last week on the boat and helped me get it ready. I was really nice to have someone down here making her feel lived in. We got some new gear to accommodate a larger group (10 people were on the invite list). We got four deck chairs, a cooler, and a 4-pack of PFDs from West Marine – probably not the best deal around, but the gear is serviceable and it was convenient. We also pulled out the lounging pad and headrest from storage and affixed them to the bow. This turned out to be a popular spot – cruising at eight knots on a beautiful hot day made it the place to be.

Including me, we wound up with eight people: Matt, Martin, Justin, Niran, Ron, Mark, and Chris all showed up around noon. We ordered pizzas to the dock (oddly, Pagliacci wont deliver during the day, so we ordered from Zeeks) and stocked the cooler with beer and soda. The first two thirds of the cruise was beautiful, calm, and warm. The group voted on a more “rural” cruise, so we went around Bainbridge in the opposite direction as our last cruise. Rounding the south end of the island it got a bit cloudy and cold, so we went a bit faster heading north. Saw a few porpoises on the way back. Docked without incident. Everyone seemed to have a great day. The boat fit this sized crowd easily, but we had to establish a five-person limit for the flybridge, since it is rated to 700 lbs.

While getting Shifty settled, I knocked the cover off the starboard nav light with my shoulder. Of course it bounced off the dock and into the water. I saw that it was sinking slowly and figured I would try to grab it since it might save me yet another obscure part sourcing problem. Fast forward to me pulling myself out of the water, fully dressed, with my iPhone in my pocket – I fell in chasing what turned out to be an easily-obtainable $30 part. I’m sort of glad it happened – the water wasn’t cold and it removed some of the dread of falling in. At low tide, I have seen our slip get down to under 10′ deep. If we had to, it wouldn’t be a big deal to retrieve something off the bottom. I hung my wet clothes on the railing, used our shower for the first time (it works great), and bandaged up my hands (I ripped off half of a fingernail and got several splinters from the dock). Fortunately I had AppleCare on the phone – they don’t cover liquids, but the plan gives you two “I fucked up” replacements, so I got a brand new phone for $80. The only loss was some pictures of Kyla and of my team from the trip.

Nav light turned out to be relatively easy to replace. $50 in parts and about ninety minutes of work. I’ll document the repair in another log entry.

Start: May 15, 2014, 12:27 PM
End: May 15 2014, 4:14 PM
Duration: 3H 46M
Distance: 28.3 NM
Average Speed: 7.5 kts
Max Speed: 10.9 kts

Engine Hours Start / End
Port: 1732.8 / 1736.8
Stbd: 1732.7 / 1736.6


Bainbridge reverse google

11-May – Circumnavigate Bainbridge

Circumnavigated Bainbridge Island with Wyatt, Stacey, Quincy, Kyla, Derek, and Kerryn. Amazing weather and very little other boat traffic. Saw two pods of what I assume were Dall’s porpoises – one just off the south end of Bainbridge, the other just north/northwest of Shilshole (could have been the same pod, I suppose, given the timing and distance). Also saw an otter right in the marina on our way out. Stacey took us out of the slip and drove about half the trip.

Filled up before the cruise: 111.169 gallons (60 port, 51 stbd – not sure why the starboard tank topped off and the port didn’t). $4.199 per gal minus a 15 cents per gal discount (10 for marina resident, 5 for over 100 gal) of $16.68. Tax 42.76 for $492.88 total. Gallons/hour improved from 8.85 at our last refill to 5.87 – probably due to the high speed when we drove the 60 miles from Anacortes. This seems to be in line with the ~2.5 gph estimates per engine that I saw on the Cummins engine spec sheet. Slower cruising is more fun and a lot more efficient. We’ve put about 35 hours on the engines since we bought her.

Considering running the starboard tank lower than the port to counteract the list caused by (I’m guessing) the starter battery banks on the starboard side. Not sure I care enough to mess around with the fuel feeds, but it would be an interesting experiment.

Dropped the dinghy once we were back in the marina and towed Quincy around with Derek and Kerryn – she loved it. Need a motor…

Relaxing, fun day!

Start: May 11, 2014, 11:06 AM
End: May 11, 2014, 2:53 PM
Total Time: 3H 47M
Distance: 29.6 NM
Average Speed: 7.9 kts
Max Speed: 11.1 kts

Engine hours start/finish:
Port engine: 1728.6 / 1732.8
Stbd engine: 1728.5 / 1732.7


26-Apr Hugging the Shore of Elliott Bay

Took a cruise around Elliott Bay with Wyatt, Stacey, Quincy, Kyla, and Jacquie. Pumped out two full holding tanks before the trip. Beautiful weather, calm and warm.   Got much closer to the shoreline and port than we have in the past. Passed close to some big Argosy harbor cruises and to some of the docked container ships.

The flybridge port engine tachometer is starting to stick. I got it unstuck with a Han Solo-esque bonk, but it will need to be repaired.

Start: Apr 26, 2014, 10:56 AM
End: Apr 26, 2014, 1:58 PM
Total Time: 3H 2M
Distance: 17.3 NM
Average Speed: 6.8 kts
Max Speed: 9 kts

Engine Hours Start/Finish:
Port engine: 1725.6 / 1728.6
Stbd engine: 1725.5 / 1728.5

Elliott Bay


12-Apr Port Orchard Bay

Spent our first spring-feeling night aboard on Saturday night. There was a strong north wind, but that didn’t keep us from barbecuing burgers on the aft deck. Lots of sun followed by a bright moon and fat stars. Kyla slept through the night in the pack-and-play in the aft cabin. It was crammed in but it fit. Quincy had a good night too, so Stacey and I had one of our best sleeps aboard. Took a family walk after dinner and watched the sunset. Quincy walked on her own on the dock with her life jacket. She was in a loopy mood – all giggles and stumbles.

Beautiful warm, clear morning. Video chatted with both grandmas and auntie Kira (we get a strong LTE connection in the marina) and had assorted standard delicacies for breakfast. Stacey took Clyde home after eating to make room for our guests, and Kirk, Shanti, Astrid, Clover, Jennifer, and Robert all arrived by 10 am for cast off.

The central sound had a strong north wind, making a lot of chop and tossing Shifty about quite a bit. Stacey got nauseous and had to lie down. Once we got into Port Madison it calmed quite a bit. We puttered all the way up Port Madison inlet where it was lovely, calm and warm – high 60s and lots of sun. Hit very shallow water at the end of the channel; saw it drop to 3’7″ and saw our props churning silt. It was low tide but still deceptive because there were bigger boats and sailboats with a deeper draft closer into shore. Made a U-turn and went carefully back out – having to back up again when it got abruptly shallow. Again saw silt churned up by the props. We’re very lucky it was a soft bottom. It was the right move to wait until we had a functioning depth sounder until we went in (although the old one abruptly started working again), but we still came close to running aground. Lots of private mooring buoys so it looks like anchoring would be a challenge. It’s very crowded and shallow there. Nice houses.

Went over to Agate Passage, which I told everyone was the opening to Hood Canal. I was only about 20 miles off. Very calm and clear, though there were several power boats going fast and leaving a large wake. Curved around Sanday Hook Park into what I told everyone was Dabob Bay. Even with a digital chart it’s easy to make stupid mistakes if you don’t stop, think, and plan. Made a U-Turn and enjoyed calm water and very warm sun back into the sound.

Opened it up to 2,100 RPMs to get across the windy spot faster. Shifty skipped and shimmied when she was planing. There was yet another sailboat race right in front of Shilshole, so I actually had it up to 2,600 RPMs for a bit to get past the leading boats. I’m not sure what etiquette is here, but if I hadn’t passed in front I would have been in the middle of several dozen tacking and jibing boats.

Rough docking. There was a strong N/NW wind blowing us in and toward our neighbor and the dock. I was too distracted watching Robert and Kirk handle the lines and we hit the dock with the bow. I was trying not to back off too strongly to avoid pulling us into our neighbor’s boat and I let us drift right in. There’s some scratched paint and I hope no structural damage. It was a slow hit, but a hit nonetheless… and Shifty weighs 18,000 pounds empty. I’d be surprised if she were that fragile, though. Kirk pointed out the soft wood border on the dock barely had a dent, so the damage to the boat would be similar. Spent the next hour being mad at myself. Actually, I’m still mad.

Noticed port engine volt meter flickering when the RPMs are under 1,100. I thought this was from the preheater, but I thought those should turn off once the engines were warm. I’ll keep an eye on it. I’m considering contacting a full-service boat yard to work through some of the items on my growing maintenance list. I’d really like a once-over of the electrical systems. Talked to neighbor Ted as he was getting ready to set sail and he highly recommends CSR – either to talk me through what needs to be done or to have them do it for me. Need some money first – we’re tapped out for now.

Quincy in a weird mood all day – seemed introverted and sad. I thought it might be sea sickness but she was able to eat and it actually seemed to start in the morning before we left. Might have something to do with Astrid and Clover – hard to tell. Girls didn’t nap all day so we put them down at 2:00 after docking.

Fun day, but still pissed at myself for hitting the dock.

Tanks were both about half full at start. Seemed half-full at finish too. We’ll see how they settle next visit.

Start: Apr 13, 204, 10:22 AM
End: Apr 13, 2014, 1:36 PM
Total Time: 3H 14M
Distance: 24.4 NM
Average Speed: 7.5 kts
Max Speed: 19.5 kts

Engine hours start/finish
Port: 1722.2 / 1725.6
Stbd: 1722.0 / 1725.5

Port Orchard Bay

port orchart bay chart

5-Apr – Richmond Beach

After breakfast of coffee, egg muffins, yogurt and bananas, we cruised up the North Seattle coast with Wyatt, Stacey, Quincy, Kyla, Jennifer, Robert and Clyde. South wind made the trip up calm but rocky on the way back. Tense moment leaving the marina when the wind pushed us near the north side of our channel. I’m so used to tense docking situations I wasn’t expecting to be tossed around on the way out. Hugged the coastline all the way up. Stacey got a little seasick on the way back when we hit a series of swells. Dodged dozens of sail boats on their way out of Shilshole for another regatta. Docking went relatively smoothly with both Stacey and Robert on the lines.

Looks like Navionics disabled text export for their tracking function, so I need to type everything from a screenshot. I opened a ticket but I suspect it’s some kind of vertical lock-in – they don’t want people easily interfacing with their data.

Start: Apr 5, 2014, 9:17 AM
End: Apr 5, 2014, 11:03 AM
Total Time: 1H 46M

Port engine: 1720.3 / 1722.2
Stbd engine: 1720.1 / 1722.0

Total Distance: 12.0 NM
Average Speed: 6.8 kts
Max Speed: 8.1 kts

5-Apr Richmond Beach


Shifty is an ugly boat…

I look a lot at the picture of Shifty at Edmonds Marina in the rain. It makes me happy. It makes me think about all the reasons we bought a boat – and how we’re actually walking that path (or maybe cruising the course, if that’s a better metaphor). But, the more I look at her, the more I realize what a butt ugly design the 3587 is.

heavy rain
heavy rain

I say this with great affection of course. She’s beautiful to me because of what she represents. But, for most boats, form follows function – and Shifty is no exception. The 3587 was designed to fit as much comfortable living space into a 35′ hull as possible. So, where a sail boat is sleek and trim to present a long waterline and to shed waves off the hull, Shifty is boxy and clumsy to fit in three bedrooms and two bathrooms. A sailboat suggests harmony with the wind and the waves. Shifty is more unnatural – like 19th century British explorers sipping tea from silver cups  while reclining on chaise lounges atop rich carpets spread out in the middle of nowhere. It’s not in harmony with nature so much as clumsily, embarrassingly, unnecessarily recreating the comforts of home. As equipped, Shifty has two flatscreen TVs, three car stereos, two DVD players, and a microwave. The house battery bank has a whopping 840 amp hours of juice at 12V. She’s trimmed in mid-90s tacky – beige carpeted walls, tan leather, wood trim, and a disturbing number of mirrors around the master suite. It’s designed to be as comfortable as possible – which is exactly what we wanted with two small kids. But, perhaps without all the AV amenities….

We’re basically a floating RV. And, for the first couple of years, that’s pretty much exactly what we’ll be. It’s becoming clear to me that there are “grades” of cruising the way there are grades of camping. Some hike into the back country and catch their food. Others pull their doublewide off the highway and eat at the KOA restaurant. We’ll be the latter for a while, earning the same scorn the car-campers do from their backwoods counterparts. But, Shifty will grow with us as our skills grow. We’ll get to know her by exploring regional marinas and eating at chain restaurants. We’ll stretch ourselves a little farther by spending the night attached to mooring balls, taking the dinghy into shore, and mastering the galley. We’ll graduate to anchoring and slowly building our cache of supplies and knowledge for staying away from ports for longer and longer. We already pulled out all the fake plants and kitschy decor. We’ll eventually remove the TVs, DVD players, and stereos. We’ll start to equip for safety, redundancy, and longer range cruising. There’s no reason we can’t make this boat exactly what we want for our kind of exploring.

I never thought I’d own a power boat. I love to sail and still buy into the romance of using the wind to get where you want to go. But, this is the right boat for our family right now. She may be ugly, smelly, and loud, but she has a lot of really awesome benefits compared to a sail boat.

  • Tons of livable space – much more than a sailboat of equal length. Three full sized staterooms, a full sized galley, two heads – perfect for a family + friends.
  • Less complexity – A sailboat of this caliber would have all of the same systems plus sails and rigging. Sails are nice when you get to use them, but most of the sail boats I’ve been on in the sound were motoring 70% of the time.
  • No keel, no mast – our draft is 3’9″ making all but the shallowest areas accessible. The lack of a mast means we can go from Shilshole to Andrews Bay without waiting for a single drawbridge.
  • No heeling – unlike a (monohull) sailboat, we cruise flat and level.
  • Two helms – Drive from up high with a great view from the flybridge or from down inside where it’s warm and dry (assuming I ever get the windshield wipers fixed).
  • Power – She’ll do 21 knots – not that we ever should. The last thing we want to do is treat cruising like a drive down I-5. But, it’s nice to know we have the speed if there’s an emergency. We typically cruise at 7-8 knots very comfortably.
  • Diesel heater – Required for four season cruising.

Ultimately, Shifty is our mobile base of operations. We’re about the journey and the destination. The fact that she’s starting us out so easy and comfortable is exactly why she’s perfect for us.

Blake Island Day Trip

Cruised to Blake Island with family and friends: Wyatt, Stacey, Quincy, Kyla, Grandma Bert, Gandpa Kevin, Kerryn, and Lauren. Beautiful calm seas. Cool on the way out but warm on the way home with the wind at our back.

Moored in Blake Island Marina. Very small, shallow, and crowded. One slip available that I think we snaked from a group who was trying to hold it for their friends. They were gracious enough and helped us back into the spot by taking a bowline. Their friends rafted next to them until we left.

We stayed for about an hour. Wyatt and Kyla stayed aboard while everyone stretched their legs after a lunch of sandwiches and beer. Tillicum village is cute if a bit touristy. Lots of semi-tame deer and nice views of Rainer and downtown. Quincy played in the playground. We left at about 1:30. “Check-in” for a moorage spot is at 1:00. It’s not clear how they handle temporary (non overnight) moorage but it looks like the place is geared for overnight. Lots of mooring balls and Stacey noticed a place for dinghy parking. Would actually be nicer to stay overnight away from the crowded marina.

Brought the chart plotter up to the flybridge and it’s actually really convenient to have up there. The iPad is great but the marine electronics have their place. Depth, radar, chart, and heading on one screen is handy. Discovered a sea-talk kit in the bilge and noticed a sea talk connector at both helms, so it should be possible to split the transducer signal to both helms at the same time. Took the Bimini down after some fighting – the trick is to leave the center pins connected and to make sure the strut collars are slid to the right location.

Stayed in the Shilshole for a while after getting back. Ordered pizza for dinner. They deliver right to the dock!

  • Start Time: Mar 22, 2014, 10:29 AM
  • End Time: Mar 22, 2014, 3:11 PM
  • Distance: 21.6 NM
  • Total time: 3H 01M
  • Average Speed: 7.1 kts
  • Max Speed: 9.9 kts

Engine hours start/finish
Port: 1716.9 / 1720.3
Stbd: 1716.8 / 1720.1


Evernote Camera Roll 20140329 100508

Shilshole to Blake Island


8-Mar – Edmonds for Lunch

Wyatt, Stacey, Quincy, Kyla and Clyde spent the night on the boat Friday night. Much warmer than it’s been with plenty of stars. Baked a frozen pizza and microwaved leftover pasta for dinner. Girls went down relatively easily. Quincy slept through the night but Kyla woke up at 3:00 am ready to play.

Up by 6:15 am. Bananas, eggs, toast, and coffee for breakfast. Minor family meltdown with soiled diapers and toddler fussiness, but we were on our way by 9:30 am.

Port engine oil level hasn’t changed. Followed Mark’s advice to get a clean reading. Still looks low, but notches on dipstick might be wrong. Will continue to monitor. Flybridge depth sounder is out again after working briefly last week. Tried different combinations of chart plotter and lower helm sounder (different frequencies and turning them off) with no luck.

Forward head tank-full light came on. Doesn’t seem like we’ve used it enough, but pumped out at start of trip. Aft head toilet took several pumps to draw in sea water. Gaskets may have been dry.

Cruised up to Edmonds for lunch. There was another sailboat race that we had to dodge. The wind was at our backs so very calm ride all the way up. Docked in Edmonds Marina. Complimentary 4 hour stay at J dock. Made a couple of attempts at docking into the wind, but eventually gave up and came in from the upwind side. We had the guest dock almost to ourselves, so there was room to make a U-turn. But, this won’t be an option during the crowded season, so we’ll need to get some docking practice in.

Had lunch at Anthony’s cafe. It was probably mediocre but the fact that we drove our boat there made it the best lunch ever. I had seafood mac and cheese, Stacey had a chicken taco and clam chowder, Quincy had spaghetti. Kyla slept. Left Clyde aboard Shifty without incident.

Had a scare when port engine wouldn’t start. Asked for advice in the marina office and called Mark Hangar who promptly said “make sure it’s in neutral”. That, of course, was exactly the problem. Noob mistake. Embarrassing. Girls went down for a nap in the marina and slept all the way home.

Southerly wind and heavy rain made for a very wet trip back. Really need to get windshield wipers so I can drive from the lower helm. Waterproof ipad case put to the test and seems to work great. But, touch screens don’t work well when wet, so there’s a good case for moving the chart plotter up top in bad weather (I’m assuming it’s reasonably waterproof but I should check the manual).

Got stuck in the same sailboat race just outside Edmonds Marina. A couple were on aggressive tacks that pushed us very close to a shoal, and there was no way to pass aft since that would have put us in the middle of the race. Instead, opened up to 2,400 RPM to get clear – probably pissed off a few boats with our wake but I didn’t like being pushed so close to the shallows. Odd that the race would be in the main channel outside the marina.

Got back just before 3:00. A big harbor seal surfaced right in front of me while turning into K. They always look like they’re smiling. Girls were still sleeping so hung wet clothes in aft shower and relaxed in main cabin. Peaceful afternoon listening to the rain while cozy, warm, and dry.

Very fun trip!

Port eng: 1714.0 / 1716.9
Stbd eng: 1713.8 / 1716.8

Finished with just under 3/4 tank on both sides.

Seattle to Edmonds:
Start Time: Mar 8, 2014, 9:32 AM
End Time: Mar 8, 2014, 11:14 AM
Distance: 8.5 NM
Total time: 1H 05M
Average Speed: 7.9 kts
Max Speed: 11.3 kts

Edmonds to Seattle:
Start Time: Mar 8, 2014, 1:32 PM
End Time: Mar 8, 2014, 2:32 PM
Distance: 8.2 NM
Total time: 0H 59M
Average Speed: 8.2 kts
Max Speed: 15.8 kts

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