We parked the car by the boat launch. Our usual starting point for a Fort Flagler soiree. A perfect late summer, early autumn afternoon wrapped us in its folds . Crisp. The space surrounding us within a couple mile radius was crystal clear. From Point Wilson to Partridge Point on the other side of Admiralty Inlet lurked an impenetrable mantle of fog. The Strait of Juan De Fuca was nowhere to be seen. We were incognito.
A cool breeze was wafting around us. As it meandered over the 56 degree water rushing through Admiralty inlet it had taken on an edge of cool. It provided an impetus to add a layer of fleece and hats. Summer has ambled off the stage. No fanfare. Autumn has wandered onto its center, wrapped in his reds and browns, taken a bow and has been blithely whispering the change of guard to anyone who will listen.
We put on our day hike packs, leashed Leo to his chagrin, wandered down to the beach, walked down it past the campground, and entered the maze of trails that eventually lead up to The Bluff Trail.
After walking on The Bluff Trail for a half mile or so… we turned South and entered one of the forest trails. Maple, Red Alder, Western Red Cedar, and bush leaves were strewn about the forest floor. The melodious amalgam of different saps from the trees and bush, plant terpenes, other volatiles, and the gentle vapors associated with the primary stages of decay permeated the air.
What a cordial invitation… and experience… To breath the breath of an Autumn Pacific Northwest forest.
Last Saturday, 9/24/22, we started a short Puget Sound cruise. Our intentions were to treat it as 21st century rendition of a 17th century Hudson’s Bay Company approach… and its application to cruising about on a motor yacht. Pick a destination that challenges navigation, weather windows, commercial traffic, and the boats mechanisms… peppered with anchorages of sublime beauty or at least tainted by the presence of something of interest. Do that to uncover issues before taking off for the whoop whoops. Our plan, indeed.
With a new battery bank, battery monitoring system, new bow thruster batteries, new refrigerator / freezer having been installed over the summer, it was time for a shakedown. Our plan: Visit a few local places we’d not visited yet, test everything and include some reasonable stress tests, take notes, and add to the repair / maintenance lists.
Our first day departing Port Ludlow, took us past the mouth of Hood Canal, then past Foul Weather Bluff, Point No Point, Apple Cove Point, and many other land and seascapes noble enough to warrant a codified destination on a chart. Passing Wing Point and maneuvering past the reef and shallows that extend well off the point, we made Eagle Harbor, Bainbridge Island and anchored in an open spot. How pleased we were with ourselves and the boat. She passed the rudimentary challenges of being a boat: Get the humans safely to their destination. She passed with flying colors.
In the morning we discovered that our location wasn’t included in the section of the harbor designated for transient yacht anchorage. Not wanting to raise the ire of the Winslowians, not that they have much ire being islanders, we moved into the correct zone. Best to honor the requirements of the local Cabal. We stayed in Eagle for two days. Explored a bit. Walked the waterfront trail. Shopped at the Town and Country for fresh veggies and some wine.
Departing Eagle, we cruised further South, passing Blakely Harbor, Blakely Rock, Blake Island, Colvos Passage, Point Dalco, Tahlequah, Neill Point, transited Quartermaster Harbor, ending up at the Dockton anchorage, Vashon Island. An epic hike in the Dockton Forest was enjoyed by all that afternoon.
Just an afternoon and evening at Dockton, close to where Les and I lived for a bit, then it was back North Via Colvos up to Port Madison, Bainbridge Island. We spent a quiet night there and departed for Port Ludlow in the morning.
During our mini-voyage, all systems tested nominal and WAD. With upgrades to ships stores, a bit more fuel, we are ready for more cruising.
Following are a few snaps from our 5 day adventure, and some others taken over the summer and early fall.
The remnants of our ancient refrigerator / freezer tossed on the dock after the Madman of Ludlow cut it to pieces with his new sawzall…
The Madman at large in the galley brandishing his new tool…
So here we are. 10/1/22. Soon we will be in climes further Northern. Or not. Ludlow is a lovely location in the fall… and now we know its summer persona. Lovely…