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Thread: An Overnight to Mystery Bay

  1. #1
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    Default An Overnight to Mystery Bay

    Mystery Bay is a small bight in Kilisut Harbor, which is a long body of water between Marrowstone and Indian Islands. The islands join at the sound end of Kilisut with a narrow spit. There is a new bridge crossing from one island to the other. The north end of Kilisut is shallow, and spits and sand bars almost close it off. Fort Flagler State Park is at the north end of Marrowstone. Mystery Bay State Park is a small day use park about half way down the island.

    I got to Everett and headed out on Saturday morning, not early, but that was dictated by the tides. There was not much wind early and the mountains were out. I rounded the south end of Whidbey Island and headed north. Mount Baker was out and would be all day. I always marvel at being on the salt water in the view of snow-covered mountains in August.
    DSCN3988 (2).jpg

    The wind kicked up from the north. Great for the sailboats heading south
    DSCN3990 (2).jpg

    I ducked into Oak Bay and went through the Port Townsend Canal. The tide turns there sooner than out in Admiralty Inlet. No photos; I had my hands full barreling along at 10 knots over the ground in the canal. I swung by the Naval Base on Indian Island, where ships offload and take on munitions.

    DSCN3991.jpg

    There was a race as I headed into the inlet for Kilisut Harbor. The schooner Martha doused her gollywobbler as I closed up on her. Her crew then hardened up on a new tack

    DSCN3994 (2).jpg

    More later
    What's not on a boat costs nothing, weighs nothing, and can't break

  2. #2
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    Default Re: An Overnight to Mystery Bay

    The entrance to Kilisut Harbor winds around behind some sandbars and you have to watch the markers unless you want to be in the mud. I did that last year and lesson learned: don’t try to leave on a minus 2 tide. Sitting in the mud teaches you patience and reminds you to look at the tide table.

    Mystery Bay State Park is a few miles down the harbor, with a fine dock. There was room for me to tie.

    PXL_20220807_025215442 (2).jpg

    Lots of people on the beach and in the water. Lots of boats moored in the bay. I went rowing to examine the bay and its boats. One dock had a Tahiti ketch and a converted troller, both for sale

    PXL_20220807_025208939 (2).jpg

    That evening was still and moon was out before the sun set. The Olympic Mountains poked out above Indian Island.

    PXL_20220807_030114313.jpg

    PXL_20220807_030705771.MP.jpg
    What's not on a boat costs nothing, weighs nothing, and can't break

  3. #3
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    Default Re: An Overnight to Mystery Bay

    Looks like a great getaway! We were in Mystery Bay for one night a couple of years ago. We came in at the end of a long day coming from Stuart Island and across the Strait. We got to Kilisut right at dusk. I hadn’t been in there since I was a kid on my parents’ boat so I was glad we had some light for the tricky entrance. On the way out we followed a sailboat until they missed the last buoy and started plowing a furrow. We asked if they needed a tow off of the sand bank but they just gunned it and got back to deep water…

    Any photos of the converted troller?
    - Chris

    Any single boat project will always expand to encompass the set of all possible boat projects.

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: An Overnight to Mystery Bay

    No photos, but she was on craigslist earlier this week, gone now
    What's not on a boat costs nothing, weighs nothing, and can't break

  5. #5
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    Default Re: An Overnight to Mystery Bay

    Continued

    The night remained still and once the moon went down, the stars and the Milky Way were bright overhead. The stillness lasted until after dawn and the boats sat on top of their reflections:

    DSCN4010.jpg

    DSCN4008.jpg

    As the tide came in and I knew there was enough water to get out through the shallow, I started the engine and untied. Almost an hour later, I was outside heading east along the north shore of Marrowstone Island, which is the home of Fort Flagler, one of three forts that guarded the entrance to Puget Sound in the days before airplanes. The forts, Flager, Casey, and Worden, all had disappearing guns that would rise up and fire and then drop back down to safety for reloading.
    I made the turn at Marrowstone Point, off the lighthouse, and headed south with a nice lift from the flood tide. The Olympic Mountains were just visible over Marrowstone Island

    DSCN4012.jpg
    What's not on a boat costs nothing, weighs nothing, and can't break

  6. #6
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    Default Re: An Overnight to Mystery Bay

    I met some unusual vessels on my trip south, which was speedy from the tide. First there was one warship:

    DSCN4014.jpg

    Then I saw a Washington State Ferry clearly going where there was no ferry route, As I got close, I saw a tug pushing the ferry. I am not sure why the ferry was not under her own power; she was heading away from any shipyards. I wonder if it’s cheaper to hire a tug than pay a full crew to move the boat.

    DSCN4024.jpg

    Then two more warships passed me:

    DSCN4026 (2).jpg

    I made the turn into Possession Sound, headed east at Mukilteo and was soon back home in the Snohomish River. I passed by the Schooner Adventuress and headed to the slip:

    DSCN4042.jpg
    What's not on a boat costs nothing, weighs nothing, and can't break

  7. #7
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    Default Re: An Overnight to Mystery Bay

    Nice report, thanks! I enjoy the scenery that's so different from my area.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: An Overnight to Mystery Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    Looks like a great getaway! We were in Mystery Bay for one night a couple of years ago. We came in at the end of a long day coming from Stuart Island and across the Strait. We got to Kilisut right at dusk. I hadn’t been in there since I was a kid on my parents’ boat so I was glad we had some light for the tricky entrance. On the way out we followed a sailboat until they missed the last buoy and started plowing a furrow. We asked if they needed a tow off of the sand bank but they just gunned it and got back to deep water…

    Any photos of the converted troller?
    She just showed up on CL:

    https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/b...533190309.html
    What's not on a boat costs nothing, weighs nothing, and can't break

  9. #9
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    Default Re: An Overnight to Mystery Bay

    Ah - now that’s a nice looking boat. She seems like a better deal than Molle B, with a diesel engine and and a half-decent interior setup. Price seems flexible too…. Tempting, but I’m holding out for a small cruising sailboat as the next addition to the fleet.
    - Chris

    Any single boat project will always expand to encompass the set of all possible boat projects.

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: An Overnight to Mystery Bay

    I was impressed by her in person, but I certainly don't need another cruising boat.
    What's not on a boat costs nothing, weighs nothing, and can't break

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