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Thread: Sailing from Anacortes to Pt Townsend & Back

  1. #1
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    Default Sailing from Anacortes to Pt Townsend & Back

    I know several of you have posted a bunch of great pictures of the 2009 Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival already, so here's a little trip diary of our adventures getting various and sundry boats to Port Townsend and back again. This was a fun show for me since no less than four boats that I'd built were at the festival:


    Rumo, the brand new Candlefish 16 launched just a month or so ago,


    Angyapik
    , the 19' skin-on-frame umiak now owned by Michael Beckman


    my beloved Rowan


    and the new 9' ship-to-shore pram dinghy I built this spring.
    Last edited by James McMullen; 09-28-2009 at 01:59 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Sailing from Anacortes to Pt Townsend & Back

    My business partner Andy and I had been hatching plans for a long time to combine a trip to the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Show with some more cruising, leaving a week before the show and stopping at the Deer Harbor Rendezvous on Orcas Island as well as meeting with some clients on the relatively inaccessable Waldron Island along the way. Emerald Marine's "company yacht" is a 36' Winslow yawl named Windsong launched in 1962, a boat that Andy had owned 25 years ago--and which had been sold from friends to friends to friends before finally coming back into our hands.


    Our original plan was to sail with Windsong and Rowan in company for the whole week, sleeping aboard the yawl and using Rowan for ship-to-shore service when necessary--but that plan fell through when our friend Jeff got waylaid by work constraints, leaving Andy without enough skilled crew available for the whole trip, so we hatched a new plan where we would sail Windsong out into the San Juans, towing my new pram for a tender, and would then swing by Bowman Bay (Anacortes area) to pick up Rowan and Jeff for the leg down to Port Townsend. We had someone else able to deliver Rumo to the show on her trailer, so we didn't have to worry about her at all.

    When it came to the day to leave, the weather was pretty squally, with rain showers and winds gusting over thirty knots. . . . but when it all finally shook out, Andy and I had somehow convinced our wives to come out with us for the first night out from the docks. "C'mon," we said, "it'll be so fun for you girls to come out for at least one night, and we'll drop you ashore in Friday Harbor where you can walk aboard the ferry to get home." Of course, we weren't intending to delay our trip by a day or two just because it was kinda stormy. . .though the ladies weren't quite so sure they still wanted to come. . .

    Rail down, making hullspeed under jib and jigger alone, seriously hauling ass, with the odd following wave filling the cockpit ankle deep with swirling water just adding a little zest. . .some of us love this kind of sailing!


    . . . .however, Cristin and Katie aren't part of that group. Still, they were very good sports about it--once they realized that they didn't have to anything but hide behind the dodger and watch us do all the work.



    Of course the wind died down once we got into the thick of the islands, and we spent the night on the hook in Fisherman's Bay before dropping them off at Friday Harbor the next morning. Our friend Pete arrived on the next ferry to join our crew for the next leg and off we sailed.

    Prevost Harbor on Stuart Island that night, then off to mysterious Waldron Island--anchored Windsong and rowed the dinghy ashore to meet with client--and then down President Channel to Deer Harbor to meet with a bunch of other Wooden Boat folks. Of course the wind, of which we had had more than enough the last few days, was now very light and fickle, but that meant I could row out in the dinghy to get some shots of Windsong flying her glorious, vintage spinnaker. It was pretty glassy, but she was just serenely gliding along.

    Last edited by James McMullen; 06-22-2010 at 12:51 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Sailing from Anacortes to Pt Townsend & Back

    The tuesday Deer Harbor Wooden Boat Rendezvous is sort of a pre-festival festival for many of the Port Townsend regulars. We saw a whole bunch of very pretty boats there, including a slew of schooners, had a great group salmon feed for dinner and made plans to rendezvous again in Watmough Bay for Wednesday night.

    Wednesday morning, and Windsong headed south from Deer Harbor, though Cattle Pass and around the bottom of Lopez to make our way to Bowman Bay. The wind was up again, and we were prudently sailing along under working jib, mizzen and single-reefed main when this lovely 1934 Alden cutter, Iris came out and made us shake out all our reefs and start tweaking lines again.



    The wind died off again that afternoon, and we motored across to Bowman Bay to pick up Jeff and my favorite boat. We had to hurry a little so that I could jump in Rowan and get back across Rosario Strait before dark fell. I almost made it. . . . . .though there was hardly any wind and I had to row almost the entire six miles across. But just as the sun was setting behind the island, a gentle breeze came up and I was able to ghost the last couple of miles into the bay as dusk fell into night. The boys in Windsong were waiting at anchor with dinner already cooked--good lads!

    Waking up in the morning, I could see that Watmough Bay was just filled with familiar faces.


    Especially Joshua, the saltiest damn thing in the entire ocean, ain't she?

    Last edited by James McMullen; 06-22-2010 at 12:53 AM.

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    Default Re: Sailing from Anacortes to Pt Townsend & Back

    Watmough Bay, on the southeast tip of Lopez Island, is a common jumping off point for boats intending to cross the Straits of Juan de Fuca, and it has become an unofficial tradition for many of the boats going to the Port Townsend show from the north to gather there on the Wednesday night before the show. It is about a 20 mile, open water crossing that can be awfully rough at times. I had never done such an ambitious solo crossing in my little open boat before, but this was a golden opportunity to do it in company with a whole bunch of other boats all headed the same way. In order to hit the most favorable currents with my small, engineless boat, I was planning to leave earlier than most to get as far south as I could before the tide changed again. I was planning to get going at 10:00 in the morning, and then,
    Some fog rolled in. . . .



    But it was high enough I thought I would risk getting underway, as the fog looked like it would burn right off. . .



    . . .and so it did, as this view of the whole procession of gorgeous wooden boats all headed to Port Townsend shows. All these guys were much bigger and faster than me, except for Sean in his similar sized, beautiful, traditional Norwegian double-ender.
    We formed a Small Boat Mutual Aid and Appreciation Society on the spot and sailed in company the whole way across until we got to Partridge Point here, where Sean headed up and reached straight across to Point Wilson, while I tried to get clever with the currents and ride the flow up the middle of Admiralty Inlet further. Ah, well, he beat me to Port Townsend by a goodly bit--currents is unruly and untrustworthy companions sometimes.



    I was pretty exhilarated to have made it so far with so few problems, I must say. The wind was very favorable--Full sail, one tack, varying from a broad reach to a close reach for twenty miles, sheer delight! The best part of it all? I beat Windsong here! They waited until later in the tide cycle to leave and didn't get nearly as favorable a push, so I had to go sail around back and forth through the hordes of visiting anchored boats until my bedroom sailed in--but I was so jazzed I didn't want to stop anyways!

    Last edited by James McMullen; 06-22-2010 at 12:54 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Sailing from Anacortes to Pt Townsend & Back

    The boatshow itself? Well, you've all seen those pictures, even if you've never been able to attend yourself. The boat show is a truly delightful experience, and I hope all of you get the chance to come visit one some day. For one thing, you'll see sights you don't see every day. . .




    Ho, hum. Just another gorgeously breathtaking schooner.

    The weather for this show was super nice. Other highlights from this Festival for me include:

    The wooden bicycles made by Renovo.

    The bluegrass band Deadwood Revival playing Saturday night.

    Watching my nephew Finnegan's expression when a band of genuine, no-foolin' Pirates came rowing into the harbor singing sea chanteys and shooting off their swivel gun and flintlock pistols--no four year old has ever seen anything more exciting in his life!

    Getting to take the helm of Adventuress (102' schooner built in 1913)for a while on a Friday afternoon sail



    Seeing them setting lug tops'ls on the longboat Townsend



    And the geoduck clam costume--I want one!


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Sailing from Anacortes to Pt Townsend & Back

    My dad, brother Chad and nephew Finnegan were crew sailing Windsong back to Anacortes. (I left Rowan tied up at Point Hudson overnight). We left before dawn to catch the tide, and had a cold and often foggy trip back to Anacortes. My dad got to pose with his hand on the throttle, driving a steam locomotive earlier this summer, so I think this picture is a nice companion piece.



    Whereas Finnegan knows the best place to be on a foggy morning is down below next to the stove!



    The next morning, we hitched up the trailer, drove to Keystone on Whidby Island, walked aboard the ferry, Chad and Finnegan to their car and home, and my dad and me to sail Rowan back across to the Keystone boat ramp. Alas, here the wind failed us almost entirely, and what would have been about a four mile sail turned into about a six mile row with the set of those fierce currents in Admiralty inlet. The good thing about it was sighting dozens of porpoises who were playing the eddylines in the tide rips.


    Home again. A good show. Hope to see you there next year, mateys.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Sailing from Anacortes to Pt Townsend & Back

    Wonderful James. next year can we give a try to sail in? i mean all the small boats

    I figure after a winter and summer of sailing here on the river Erica and i will be ready for some fun with the fleet.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Sailing from Anacortes to Pt Townsend & Back

    Very nice, great writeup!
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

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    Thumbs up Sailing from Anacortes to Pt Townsend & Back

    Excellent! This is the stuff we need more of!

    Looks like you had a great time as well!
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
    -William A. Ward



  10. #10
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    Default Re: Sailing from Anacortes to Pt Townsend & Back

    Nice, James!
    Good pics. Cool that you got to drive Adventuress! I've only ever gotten to gawk at her, but did so many times - from the dock or my dinghy.

    What design is your pram?
    Sorry I couldn't be there for the show. Hope you are enjoying the last of the season!
    Dave
    Last edited by DGentry; 09-28-2009 at 09:34 AM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Sailing from Anacortes to Pt Townsend & Back

    Howdy Dave. I too had seen Adventuress from the outside sailing around for years and years without ever going aboard myself. 135' sparred length!



    That pram is sorta my own design--heavily influenced by the CLC Eastport Pram I built several years ago, though.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Sailing from Anacortes to Pt Townsend & Back

    So glad you posted these pictures - especially of Rumo and Rowan. You folks do good work!
    “Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will acquire the skill to do difficult things easily" Johann Von Schiller

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Sailing from Anacortes to Pt Townsend & Back

    Great fun. 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)

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Sailing from Anacortes to Pt Townsend & Back

    Well this made my day. Not as good as being there but almost.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Sailing from Anacortes to Pt Townsend & Back

    A small boat on a single 20 mile tack ... that sounds nice.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Sailing from Anacortes to Pt Townsend & Back

    Great photos as usual! Really enjoyed this post!
    G. Rowe (Bayman)

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Sailing from Anacortes to Pt Townsend & Back

    Thanks James, that was great stuff...again. So good to see you guys at Port Townsend!
    Fly Fishing Washington's Olympic Peninsula
    http://olympicpeninsulaflyfishing.blogspot.com

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Sailing from Anacortes to Pt Townsend & Back

    thnx for thepost.

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