Saturday, July 28, 2012

Oro Bay

We gave our friend Chris two choices for last night's destination -- Oro Bay, or Gig Harbor.

We had been told that crabbing can be good in Oro Bay, but we would  not get as far 'down the road', making Saturday a longer day -- we would have to get up early to hit the Narrows before the flood started running against us.

Chris chose to try crabbing, so Oro Bay it was!

The Hopeful Hunters set out!

Since we wanted to be underway by 7:30 AM at the latest, we did not want to let the pots soak overnight.  They had a good 5 hours, but still only yielded one small Dungeness.  No crab dinner this time.  Good thing the boys had snacked on the oysters purchased at Boston Harbor before we departed.  They steamed up the clams (also purchased) and rounded out the meal with the hamburger hotdish I had made (I don't care for seafood.)

I had fun watching seals again!  This mama and baby were more curious than most, and even came towards the boat while the boys were talking on the back, and the camera was handy.  

We did set an alarm, and were up and underway by 7:30.  We passed below the Narrows Bridge and officially left the South Sound,  BUT, we will be back in about a month for a haul-out.

Friday, July 27, 2012

More Seals...

We returned to the boat yesterday, bringing friend Chris along for the weekend.

While preparing dinner, we noticed the mama and baby seal alongside Viking Star.  We imagined there was swimming/hunting lessons going on, and baby needed to return to the surface for frequent breaths.

Later, they were resting on the breakwater again.

Baby kisses!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Boston Harbor Seals

On Saturday, we pulled in to Boston Harbor Marina.  No, we are not on the east coast!  We are on the Northeast entrance to Budd Inlet, north of Olympia.  Viking Star gets to stay and enjoy the view, but we are off to Portland for a few days.  Al has WORK to do!

There is a small breakwater just off the stern of Viking Star, and I see a seal checking us out:

A closer looks shows us two for the price of one!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Curing Boredom

We departed Olympia on Monday unsure of where we would end up.  We had had some discussion about a destination, but no decision had been made.  Totten and Eld Inlets had both been unexplored by us on our South Sound travels, so at least it was narrowed to one or the other.  Al finally declared "Sunset Beach, Eld Inlet -- that's where I want to go."

There were big, beautiful homes on the shore closest to Olympia, and smaller, more modest homes on the northern shore.  There were a few waterski boats motoring around, but it was otherwise a peaceful anchorage.  We decided to stay for all of Tuesday also.  But on Wednesday, we declared we were bored, and we wanted to move.  Again, debate on where to go -- Hope Island?  McMicken? Joemma State Park?

Then via facebook, we had an invitation to go to Jarrell Cove, help fellow Cascadians Tami and Sully take the outboard off their new boat, and go to their house for dinner.

Good friends, good food, and a beautiful view are a good cure for boredom!

BUT -- we got a double dose!  Over a month ago we had been to Pam and Cliff's house, and were loaned books, and we wanted to return them before our planned departure from the South Sound.  They have a convenient mooring buoy in front of their house, which had been newly inspected the day before, so Thursday afternoon, we headed across Case Inlet.

We grabbed the buoy with no problem, sounded our little orange dinghy horn, and departed for shore.  I should have learned last weekend that, though flip flops are kind of nice to jump from the dinghy and wade through the water, they are NOT the best footwear for carrying said dinghy across barnacle-crusted rocks and broken mussel shells.  I DO have 'water shoes' -- perhaps I will dig them out for our next excursion, since Pam graciously doctored my shell-stabbed foot.

It is a beautiful sunny afternoon with shared beverages and shared conversation, and Pam and Cliff share dinner with us also.

The table is set, and Viking Star is comfortable, floating off shore

After dinner, the borrowed books are returned, but -- surprise! -- five more are back in the bag.  Never fear.  If we cannot get them back when we return for a fall haul out, we can always mail them home.

We are back at the boat when we hear Pam calling across the water -- Kristi, you left your coat!  I have always said that leaving something behind is an unconscious desire to return.  But I didn't have to wait long to get my coat back -- Al took the dinghy in and retrieved it.

Once again on the boat, we settle in for the last bit of sunlight and reading a few pages from our books on the back deck.  It is a spectacular sunset!  (We hear they have been enhanced lately by smoke from Russian wildfires.)

Even Viking Star cannot resist turning towards the glory!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Crab Feast!

We were hoping to see or at least hear eagles, especially since Richard said he had never seen an eagle in the wild, so we were sorry that no eagles made an appearance in these three days.

BUT, we did find crab!  And the season was open for the weekend!  And since, neither Casey or I like it, and you can see Madalyn's reaction below, there was plenty.  We even sent leftovers home with Richard.

Waiting for the water to boil.  There is another hiding below these two.  Three was a perfect number -- they filled the pot, AND yielded leftovers.

Into the pot!

IF you like crab, what could be better than on the back of a boat on a sunny afternoon?

Madalyn could not be convinced to try it...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Miramontes Family Visit

Please indulge while we share the great time when daughter Casey, her husband Richard, and the kids Madalyn, Evan, and Milo came up for a long weekend.

I got lots of great pictures, and here are some of my favorites.......

It was nearly a three-hour drive for them to meet us in Olympia, so the first step was to take the kids to the playground and let them run off some energy before we start an hour and a half boat trip!  Here's Milo on the slide.

Madalyn on the swing.  She CAN pump a big-girl swing by herself, but  this time she's swinging next to her  littlest brother.

Evan's 'crocs' match the climbing structure!  Too bad his glasses are lost -- they would coordinate well, too.

Madalyn was very interested in the chart plotter and steering the boat!  She did a very good job of holding a course, and watching for 'bad water' on the chart.

Our first stop was at Hope Island.  It is a beautiful sunny afternoon, so we head to shore.  We are so many, it takes two trips in the dinghy.  Here Casey waves 'bye' to her boys, while Al ferries the girls.

The family is united again....

Learning about Hope Island.  Papa is pointing out the buoy where we left 'the big boat'.

Madalyn and Evan debate which way to go, while Milo just forges ahead!


The 'dinosaur' in the water

Throwing rocks is the favorite beach activity


Milo fell into the water and got soaked, and wanted a break from the beach.

A warm hug from Grammie

Amazing!  Madalyn balanced the big rock, and Evan was able to add the little one without upsetting it!

Our sunny afternoon turns quite stormy, with heavy rain and lightening and thunder.  


Tooting Papa's horn

Milo got a trim, and now we can see those brown eyes!

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Day With Hira

We met at Dougal Point on Harstine Island.  Shatoosh is a zippy little boat!

We motored up to Allyn Washington and docked.  We walked to the Post Office to mail a package for Christine's birthday this weekend.  Then we got burgers at Bubba's.  They were doing a BOOMING business!

Then Hira and I grabbed cameras from the boats and headed back to the chainsaw carving school for pictures!

Hira especially wanted a shot of this group!

DOUBLE eagle shot!

So, the dock seemed a bit rickety, and there was no water, and the pump-out does not work.  There were teenagers gathering for diving and swimming.  And the tide was falling.  So we decided to move on down the inlet to McMicken Island.  BUT there were two buoys open at Stretch Island.

We got a ride in Pashmina 2!

Hira rows us to shore.
Al notes that he and I have different beachcombing techniques.  We do have quite contrasting piles to show for it...

Actually, Al was the first to find a sand dollar...he got the 'baby' one, and added it to 'my' pile.

Hira also got to observe us talking to a few of the grandkids.  Madalyn, Evan, and Milo are so excited about the family trip planned to come visit Grammie and Papa on their boat next weekend!  We are excited too!

Sunday, July 8, 2012


We attended church this morning at St.David's in Shelton.  It's a wonderful church with a great ministry to the homeless, providing a dinner, every night, in their parish hall.

We enjoyed the town of Shelton and our time there, but decided to head on down the Hammersley Inlet at a fine clip on the ebbing tide.

Al called out, 'Look at this!' And I ran for the camera.

Not QUITE the same, but it DID bring to mind the military cargo planes buzzing us IN the Snake River Canyon.

Out the inlet, and up Pickering Passage, and we are ensconced at Jarrell Cove State Park.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Narrow Passages

We've taken a couple of days off from blogging (for the holiday? Yeah, that's a good excuse), so let's get caught up!

We spent the Fourth of July at Penrose Point State Park.  Fireworks in Washington are good ANYwhere you are.  There was a cannon going off.  There were lots of colorful bursts on all shores.  We could even see the professional show at Purdy above the trees.  One good thing this year?  We weren't close enough to have to breathe much of that smoke!  AND we weren't woken through the night by MORE fireworks.

The next day we set out for Olympia.  We decided to go through Pitt Passage, just to say we did. (and at a -3' tide as well!)   Yes, it's narrow, but pay attention to your charts and you are fine.

That little bit of shiny blue water between the two sand banks is where we are going, then turning right.

Pitt Island has grown in the ebb tide.

Looking north on Case Inlet, we see boats out enjoying a beautiful day below the Olympics.

Sunset at Percival Landing in Olympia

After docking for the night at Percival Landing, we filled the water tank, had Thai food, visited the hardware store and TWO coffee shops.  Time to get out of town!  We pick up a buoy on the NW corner of Hope Island, intending to stay here a couple of days.  BUT, wait, we talked about going to Shelton sometime!  It would be a good time to do that, before our plan to be in Allyn on the 9th and 10th. (we need to plan around the neap tides to make sure we have depth at the Allyn docks)

Study the chart and the guidebook -- we hear that a lot of people don't like to go to Shelton;  many are intimidated by the narrowness, which can spur the currents.  Yes, it takes attention, but we are confident!  

It IS about a 3 knot current, and there are small 'waterfalls' on the surface.

Here you can kinda get a feel of how it winds.  Sometimes you can't see the next bend.

I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but where there is salt water, there is a very sharp line of defoliation at the high tide line.

Proof we made it!

Shelton is a cute town.  We met James on El Mistico when he came to grab a line.  The marina is a little tight, but we are assured that the boats next to us 'never go out'.  James has owned his boat since last fall, but it was built in the '20's.  It's beautiful!  We will see if he will pose with it later.

We walked in to town, visited the hardware store, the Farmers Market, and the Dairy Queen.  It is a very warm day, and we had hoped for better air conditioning at the DQ.  Back at the boat, we are sipping ice water.  We have the sun shade in the window, and the fan was on for a bit.  It has cooled down a bit now, from nearly 90 degrees earlier.  Supposed to be warmer tomorrow!  We intend to go to church in the morning.  Then we will decide if we will stay another night.