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Thread: Adventures in South Sound on a Scamp and a Wherry

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Olympia, WA USA
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    6

    Default Adventures in South Sound on a Scamp and a Wherry

    We were up for an adventure, and that’s what we got.

    My husband and I left our home on Henderson Inlet, outside Olympia, on an overcast Saturday morning. The wind was from the south, and stayed that way for the entire week’s vacation. I was in my Scamp, a beautiful 12-foot boat—this one made by Gig Harbor Boat Works. My husband was in in his Steve Wilce 20-foot open wherry. We had a wonderful sail that first day and camped out that night at Penrose Point. Since it was rainy and September, we essentially had the campground to ourselves. Our boats are beachable, and we spent the night in a nice, warm, dry tent.

    On Monday, we continued north. The wind was again from the south and was gusty, with intermittent showers. We sailed across Carr Inlet, and under the Fox Island bridge. As we were zooming along (which means about four knots) suddenly Dave’s rudder gave way. All four stainless steel screws pulled out, and he was just able to grab the bracket that held the rudder on before it disappeared. We were trying to figure out what to do, when our Good Samaritan, a man named Doug, came over in his motorboat. He had watched us from his living room window, and realized we needed help. He towed Dave’s boat to the dock, and we all went up to his shop, where he had all the necessary parts to put the rudder back together—not just MacGyver it, but really fix it. He and his shop were wonderful! The whole experience reinvigorated my faith in humanity.

    Once back on the water, we sailed down Hale Passage, and turned into the Narrows. Since our boats are small, and not very fast, we did not get all the way to Gig Harbor before the tide turned, so we used the small back eddy to make slow, gentle progress north. The wind continued from the south, and we went about 1.5 knots an hour north by sailing VERY close to the west shore—we were about five feet off shore, in very shallow water, dodging some rocks, getting a close-up view of all the things that live in that part of the sound and the shore. It was magical, sailing along very gently. We had full oilers, so the drizzle wasn’t a problem. We made it to Gig Harbor, and anchored one boat out, while the other stayed at the town doc. We spent the night at a hotel across the street. The hot shower and comfy sheets felt great.


    The next day, we had a very fast sail across to Quarter Master Harbor. The wind was behind us, and it was a sleigh ride. We got to Dockton, went for a walk, ate some lunch, and talked to some other sailors. We spent that night on the boats. I have a bivy sack and was warm and dry in my sleeping bag in the cockpit of the Scamp. Dave has a tarp tent, which isn’t quite as dry but he did okay as the drizzle was minimal.

    As the week progressed, the wind remained from the south, and the tides were not favorable for heading south, as the flood was late afternoon or middle of the night. I had to be back at work on Monday, so after such a great time heading north, we had to turn around for the return trip. This proved to be a bit more challenging. Both boats can be rowed—although rowing the Scamp is not easy, as it has very little glide, being a short round kind of boat. Dave’s wherry rows much more smoothly.

    We headed west and south on Wednesday, and again sailed past Doug’s house on Hale Passage. This time, all the hardware stayed in place and we whistled and waved to him. We then had a big rain downpour. Full oilers kept us dry, and there wasn’t too much wind with the torrential rain. It only lasted about five minutes, and afterwards we had a double rainbow.

    We made it that night to Horsehead Bay, which gave us plenty of protection from the south, but has houses “cheek by jowl.” We anchored just as darkness fell, and spent another night on the boats. There were a great many seals in that little bay. No one spoke to us, even the seals, and we pulled up anchors and left by 7:30 the next morning.

    We sailed just a bit farther to Kopachuck State Park, and beached the boats. We went for a little walk, met women with a bunch of dogs, then headed off for Penrose Point. This turned out to be quite difficult, as there was a lot of wind from the south. Our boats got separated from each other, and it took a long time to make progress heading south. The wind and chop made this an unpleasant passage. Dave double reefed as his boat is quite tender, and was also faster than the Scamp. After slamming around out there for a few hours, it was wonderful to get into Penrose Point, where we could relax, walk around, and eat a hot meal. We have a little propane cooking stove, which is great for coffee in the morning and other necessities, like a hot meal now and then.

    The next day, we knew we had to make it through Pitt Passage, and wanted to do so while the tide was favorable, but we would either have had to leave while it was still dark, or wait until late in the afternoon. The wind was still from the south, but was minimal. We had a nice sail to the north end of Pitt Passage, but then had to row. And row. And row. We made it past the little island, and inched our way south. I thought we had it made, and gave a whoop of triumph—only to get caught in a strong current again just as we crossed over a sandbar. As I felt the boat get pulled back into Pitt Passage, I saw that my boat was in very little water, as the sandbar was under the boat. I went to step out of the boat, got my leg caught in a reefing line, and fell into the water. Thankfully, Dave had gotten through ahead of me and beached his boat. He grabbed me and my scamp, Kerfuffle. (The boat is aptly named.) No blood, no foul. I was wet but unhurt, and soon we were all on the beach safe and sound.

    We rowed and sailed to Devil’s Head, then headed across to Johnson Point. This entailed a lot of rowing. I got blisters on my blisters. By the time we hit the mainland shore, I was exhausted. We were just north of Zittel’s, and Dave knew there was a little pond behind the marina. We ducked in there, out of the wind, and had a lovely small anchorage for the night. We went aground in the middle of the night, as the pond is shallow and small, but these boats do just fine sitting in the mud. By the next morning, the boats were afloat. We had a little breakfast, and headed for home. We rowed and sailed in the drizzle down Henderson Inlet, and made it home by lunchtime. We were greeted by our dogs, and our dog sitter made Snickerdoodle cookies for us. I was very tired and very happy to be home, but I knew that the week of adventures in the South Sound had done me a world of good.

    Samantha

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    St. Helens, Oregon
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    1,283

    Default Re: Adventures in South Sound on a Scamp and a Wherry

    Sounds like a great trip! Thanks for the write-up That's an area I have yet to explore.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    2,953

    Default Re: Adventures in South Sound on a Scamp and a Wherry

    Sounds like a perfect vacation in paradise to me. Nice!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 1999
    Location
    north queensland
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    2,658

    Default Re: Adventures in South Sound on a Scamp and a Wherry

    so much fun and adventure. thanks for the story.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    PNW, an island west of Seattle
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    1,809

    Default Re: Adventures in South Sound on a Scamp and a Wherry

    After reading, I'm excited and exhausted. Thanks for the adventure!

    Jeff

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Olympia, WA, USA
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    2,251

    Default Re: Adventures in South Sound on a Scamp and a Wherry

    Excellent! I may have Bucephalus out over your same route this week/weekend. I'll think of you.

    Alex

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    UK. Cornwall, Suffolk.
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    4,523

    Default Re: Adventures in South Sound on a Scamp and a Wherry

    Sounds like excellent life affirming fun... jealousy is for little people.. but still. Awesome, please post some pics?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,187

    Default

    Thanks for telling us about the trip. Just proves you don’t have to go far from home to find adventure


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Alex

    "“He was unfamiliar with the sea and did not like it much: it was a place that made you cold and wet and sick” " Nevil Shute, Trustee From the Toolroom

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
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    15,396

    Default Re: Adventures in South Sound on a Scamp and a Wherry

    Thanks for taking us along.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    51,258

    Default Re: Adventures in South Sound on a Scamp and a Wherry

    Sweet! Thanks for sharing.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Aquitaine
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    875

    Default Re: Adventures in South Sound on a Scamp and a Wherry

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    Thanks for taking us along.
    What a good phrase! Me Too

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Adventures in South Sound on a Scamp and a Wherry

    Hi Samantha. Our crew was floating around out there at about the same time as you. Next time, it would be nice to meet. Check out the other thread here.
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    East Quogue,NY
    Posts
    16,268

    Default Re: Adventures in South Sound on a Scamp and a Wherry

    Thanks for sharing your trip. Wonderful.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Olympia, WA USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Adventures in South Sound on a Scamp and a Wherry

    I have enjoyed reading about your trip! We have the same taste in small boat adventures. I particularly like Hope Island and Eagle Island.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Cummington
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    5,443

    Default Re: Adventures in South Sound on a Scamp and a Wherry

    Likewise, and I'm with Jeff.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Olympia, WA, USA
    Posts
    2,251

    Default Re: Adventures in South Sound on a Scamp and a Wherry

    Just got back from a couple days (mostly becalmed) at McMicken Island aboard Bucephalus. Thought of you folks.

    Eagle I. is currently overrun by seals. My neighbors at McMicken reported counting over seventy on one beach.

    Alex

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