Shakedown – Part 9 – Gig Harbor to McMicken Island

When we woke up in Gig Harbor, the skies appeared to be clearing.  As I sipped my coffee in my PJs and slippers in the salon, an apparition appeared as I gazed out towards the harbor entrance: seeming to float above the clouds to the east, in the distance, a hazy but massive rugged snow-covered mountain peak loomed.  I learned later that this was Mt. Rainier, and that it is a special sight.  Indeed.  A good start to the day, a good omen.   Continue reading Shakedown – Part 9 – Gig Harbor to McMicken Island

Shakedown – Part 8 – Seattle to Gig Harbor

As we went through our normal pre-departure routine before leaving Seattle, I flipped on the instruments, engine panel and VHF.  While I waited for Bruce to finish up the engine room check, I became a ware of a lot of activity on the radio.  Coast Guard chatter back and forth.  IMG_3107Things like “Vessel is evading!” “Subject heading north, 35 knots!” “Giving chase!” and “Come to a full dead stop NOW!” got my attention.  I told Bruce something was up.  When I heard coordinates, a looked at our chart plotter: whatever was happening was just outside Elliott Bay, a few miles from our berth at Bell Harbor Marina.  This would be interesting. Continue reading Shakedown – Part 8 – Seattle to Gig Harbor

Shakedown – Part 7 – Seattle

We left Port Townsend after a short but pleasant visit.  The forecast for heading south into Puget Sound was perfect.  Glassy calm and partly cloudy.  We were eager to continue on, and our destination was a big one: Seattle.  Neither of us had ever been to the city before and we thought it would be fun to see it by boat. Continue reading Shakedown – Part 7 – Seattle

Shakedown – Part 6 – Roche to Port Townsend

After our quick escape to Roche Harbor from Ganges, we pondered our options.  We could have spent more time — a lot more time — exploring the San Juans, which are beautiful.  Shakedown issues, and a bit of icky weather and our lack of a dinghy had prevented us from exploring them properly.  However, the clock was ticking and we were anxious to cover some new territory. Continue reading Shakedown – Part 6 – Roche to Port Townsend

Shakedown – Part 5 – Can We Go Cruising, Finally?

Almost, but not quite, cruising.

After successfully but not entirely sorting out the generator, dinghy and electronics, we were ready to roll out of Bellingham.  Two items remained:  calibrating our new electronics bits, and picking up some extensions for the dinghy mounts so the hatch to the upper deck would clear the dinghy tube. Continue reading Shakedown – Part 5 – Can We Go Cruising, Finally?

Shakedown – Part 4 – Generators, Autopilots, Dinghies and Bellingham

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Squalicom Marina, Bellingham.

We didn’t really want to spend three days in Bellingham, but we are realistic about shaking down a brand new boat and understand that a certain amount of delay and cruising interruption is normal.  This is actually our second interruption, as we already spent three days in Anacortes for the same reasons: our dinghy and our generator. Continue reading Shakedown – Part 4 – Generators, Autopilots, Dinghies and Bellingham

Shakedown – Part 3 – Feisty Weather

After our excellent evening in Friday Harbor on Tuesday and the freshest salmon we have ever enjoyed, we had to get to Bellingham on Wednesday.  Our new dinghy, which would replace our dearly-departed 10-year-old dinghy, would be delivered on Thursday and all the associated bits-and-pieces would be installed.  More on that later.  For now, we had to get the boat the thirty miles or so in some snotty weather.  A good opportunity to see how she handled.  Shakedown, Part 3. Continue reading Shakedown – Part 3 – Feisty Weather