A Day In The Life: Port Madison, Bainbridge Island

WSF Kaleetan

Tis a quiet day lads and lasses. We’re at anchor in a little serpentine bay named Port Madison on Bainbridge Island. We left Port Ludlow in our wake yesterday and shouldered through the 21 miles of Puget Sound from Ludlow. to Madison. Twas a quiet passage meandering against and with the currents and eddys that seethe around the various points. Point No Point presented the usual slalom / sashay among multitudes of private fishing boats attempting to catch the illusive salmon. The Edmonds / Kingston ferry, Kaleetan, was another obstacle to negotiate, but we had a long tow tug and barge between us and the Kaleetan that performed a screen play for us so we were unimpeded by that “little” nuisance.

As with most things… there is always a history of some sort that someone has recorded for posterity. It’s always fun to delve into the stacks (or Wikipedia) as it were. Apparently, there was an expedition, The Wilkes Expedition, who spent time in the area and surveyed the bay on May 10, 1841 or thereabouts. What better thing to do than to name it after the 4th president of the U.S., James Madison. As with most well timbered and accessible ports in the area, an enterprising industrialist built what else… a lumber mill on the bay’s shore in 1854, and Port Madison became a booming mill town.

James Madison During His Presidency
Just After his Presidency…
Dinghy Ride? Preese? I won’t bark at anybody. Promise…
Panorama. Looking out the serpentine entrance to Port Madison
One of the many older stately homes on the bay.
An older tug converted to a distinctive cruiser
The view of the inner bay
Great Northern riding gently at anchor
Some of our neighbors to the South
Looking to the North…
Looking to the West, a Laser sailboat making slow headway and a Hunter 45 Center Cockpit sailboat owned by a young couple. It is a sister ship to the one we had for several years in San Diego. Her name was “Prana”.

We spent a few days lollygagging on the boat, going on dinghy rides, paddle boarding, eating and sleeping; the cruising life in summer. We also went on a little hike on a short trail through a delightful patch of woods. The trail started at a small public park on the Eastern shore between the Seattle yacht club outstation and the Port Madison Yacht Club and ended on a country lane. We met a few people and chatted with an elderly couple who were outside in the sun tending their flower garden. They had the most amazing purple hydrangeas.

Words to live by…
Just a field of summer grass…

Considering that Port Madison is just 6 miles or so from Seattle, the bay was uncrowded and restful. Fellow boaters anchored nearby were quiet and considerate. I have a feeling that we will return to Port Madison many times in the future…

3 thoughts on “A Day In The Life: Port Madison, Bainbridge Island

  1. Good post…I miss it already! Good we get to visit it on the way back.

    On Wed, Jul 29, 2020, 6:42 AM Northwest Boating Travels With Blair, Les, and Kai wrote:

    > frabl posted: ” WSF Kaleetan Tis a quiet day lads and lasses. We’re at > anchor in a little serpentine bay named Port Madison on Bainbridge Island. > We left Port Ludlow in our wake yesterday and shouldered through the 21 > miles of Puget Sound from Ludlow. to M” >

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    1. That’s where we were when Kai started his sneezing choking fit so we left. Alas , covid nixed the ice cream, but Katie the dockmaster was great!

      Like

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