Saturday, August 29, 2015

Port Angeles - August 27 - 30

We left Seattle after breakfast on Wednesday under sunny skies with no wind.  We motored peacefully along with the tide until we reached the area with names such as “Foulweather Bluff”, “Mutiny Bay”  “Point no Point” – obviously an area of bad memories  for 18th century mariners!  For us, it was only a tide change, but we battled 3 knots as we headed into Oak Bay with the idea of transiting the Port Townsend Canal instead of returning through Admiralty Inlet.  The only worry was the bridge that crossed the canal.  It has a clearance of 58 feet at high tide and Ka’sala is 54 feet – what’s four feet?  As it turned out, even though the canal is narrow,  a camera hangs down from the centre of the bridge and a 3 knot tide was pulling us through at over 7 knots, we swished through without a problem.  We continued on to the Port Townsend waterfront and dropped our anchor in front of Siren’s.

Under the bridge - you can just see the camera hanging down
Thankfully it was a quiet evening, the wind stayed benign, and we enjoyed a lovely dinner in the cockpit before an early bed.   We were up at 2am to ride the tide to Port Angeles and entered the Boat Haven at 7:30am.  We had a fairly good wind chop against us but flew along in the strong tide.  If we had waited until a more sensible hour it would have taken us at least 2 hours longer to get here.

We filled Ka’sala with diesel and headed to our berth on the commercial side of the marina where we are surrounded by fishing boats, power boats and sailboats – most of which appeared to be stored here as we have seen little activity around.   We have a row of boathouses behind us.  On the other side of the boat haven is the usual place for transients and where we have stayed several times in the past.  It seems full of gigantic yachts getting ready to head out to sea – likely being positioned in southern waters so their owners can enjoy favourable conditions all year round.  So far we haven’t identified any other sailboat cruisers making the same trip as us.

We have cleaned up the boat inside and out, and filled the water tanks.  I completed a full provisioning at the local Safeway.  Doug is doing many last minute chores around the boat – checking all the systems.  We are ready for the passage – now it is up to the weather.  We are presently in a south easterly flow – our barometer dropped to 992 but is now starting to rise.  We are looking for a north westerly flow to make the passage so currently, it is the opposite of what we need.  Nonetheless, we will leave Port Angeles tomorrow morning with the tide and arrive at Neah Bay in the late afternoon.  Based on what we have seen through NOAA and Passage Weather we could be sitting there until at least Wednesday while the system goes through.   We want to be ready to jump as soon as the conditions are right.

Last night we had dinner with our cruising friends Tom and Carolyn.  We first met them when we lived in Hong Kong and they were circumnavigating aboard their Tayana 37 Moonshadow.  We have been able to connect with them over the years and they continue to be one of our greatest inspirations for the cruising lifestyle. 

The first day we were here we had to do laundry and discovered the laundrymat  was 2 miles away. Now was the time to see if the bicycles would work for larger, bulkier loads.  We divided the wash between two bags and rigged them on the back of the bicycles – no problem.  The whole operation went smoothly.  Afterwards, we decided to investigate a paved path that ran along the waterfront and discovered the Olympic Discovery Trail ( We followed it for about 10 miles before turning around.  If we had continued, it would eventually lead us to the Port Townsend Peninsula.  We plan to do the whole route someday.  Afterwards, Doug cleaned up the bicycles and packed them away in the quarter berth.  Will it be San Francisco before we ride them again?

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