Back to Cruising!
On May 5th, our Governor allowed for the opening of state parks and boat launches. Extremely exciting news for us as we cruise with 3 dogs who need exercise and potty breaks. The ability to dinghy ashore at a State Park allows us to get back to cruising and anchoring.
We originally had plans to attend NAPS 2020, what has become something of an annual Nordhavn Rendezvous but due to the pandemic situation, borders are closed and NAPS has been postponed to 2021. With four days of vacation planned we decided to head south in search of a State Park we could anchor near.
Our first evening we left late after work and tied up to the public boat launch dock at Point Defiance. It was great to see all the boats returning to the boat launch after a day of fishing. The dock was full of mostly crabbing and geoduck fisherman. Mike approached a couple crabber fisherman that were offloading their catch and asked if he could buy a crab from them, the fellas were more than happy to share and just gave us a large dungeonous, which we promptly cooked and added to our meal.
In order to beat the tide and current through the Narrows that can slow our boat down to 1k if we are not paying attention, we rose at the crack of dawn, made sure all the fur-babies were pottied, fired up R Lil’ Ship and headed south. Our early morning efforts paid off and we cruised smoothly through the Narrows at about 6knots. We also had the opportunity to see the flower moon, the last full supermoon of 2020.
After not cruising at all for 6 or so weeks due to the stay-at-home orders it felt amazing to be back on the water, heading to a destination and just enjoying the beautiful scenery. It is so true how we take our freedoms for granted and don’t appreciate the small things. We enjoyed the beauty of the Olympics, Cascades and Mt. Rainer.
After passing a few great anchoring spots such as Oro Bay, Eagle Island and Joemma State Park we decided to anchor at McMicken Island State Park. We found a great spot in the cove between McMicken Island and Harstine Island. McMicken Island State Park is a 222 acre marine park with over 1600 feet of salt water shoreline. We had read that you can walk across the spit from each island at low tide and that’s exactly what we did!
After setting the anchor, dropping the dinghy, kayak and paddle board we loaded up the fur-babies in the dinghy and headed to shore to stretch the legs and explore. Once on land, the dogs did not delay in getting wet by running and playing along the shore! In addition to the shoreline, there is an actual park with picnic tables and portalets which are clean, fairly odor free and well stocked. They even had hand sanitizer! From the portalets you can hike a trail that circles the small island, our guess is that its about a mile long. Easy hike and fun for the dogs. There are three or four view points along the hike that provide a look-out. At low tides we did walk across the spit several times. We saw numerous clam holes and every now and again we would get squirted as we were strolling the beach. Another good indicator there were either geoducks of butter clams. Other areas of the shoreline had sand dollars and oysters. Had we had a shovel on board we may have had clam chowder for dinner!
On Saturday we took the kayak and paddle board to shore along with all three dogs and hiked the shoreline for about 3.5 miles. The beach changes from small rocks to very large rocks to wet sinking sand to regular wet sand, we have determined that the latter is our favorite kind for a long beach walk. We witnessed 5 eagles soaring high above which was a treat but as suddenly as they come, they seem to go. By the time we returned many more boats had entered the cove and it was getting pretty crowded. One boater must not have checked the tides as he anchored too close to shore and with minus tides all weekend he ended up the “talk of the cove”.
Late afternoon on Saturday we noticed that our generator was steaming from the generator exhaust. Shortly following the temperature gauge was over 200 degrees and the generator shut down. Not good! Mike proceeded to check the the exhaust hose which was hot to the touch a classic sign that there is a raw water flow problem. The strainer had a handful of seagrass in it. Even after cleaning the strainer the generator still kept over heating. The next step was the impeller, which looked good but we replaced it anyways, still the temp readings were too high. Mike continued working the problem and noticed that we were not getting adequate water flow to the strainer so he tried to back flush the system believing we had sucked something into the through hull screen. He also discovered patina on the generator’s water pump and discovered a leak. Early Sunday morning Mike decided to dive down and see if her could see anything stuck but to no avail so we decided to head back to the dock to continue repairs.
Once back at our slip we were able to use city service for a more powerful back flush but we still have to replace the raw water pump that was leaking. For those with boats, you can understand its just a never ending battle of fixing one thing or another…
Categories: Puget Sound Boating