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.
Getting out of Port Townsend was considerably easier and more relaxing that getting in, mostly because the wind and rain were gone. Also, we had Rody installed in the pilot house and his image is a constant laugh. He pointed the way down the sound towards Seattle.
The views were lovely. There were some other pleasure boats that popped into view every now and then, but, to our surprise, absolutely zero commercial traffic. We played with the boat and the throttle, using the calm conditions to see what she would do at different RPMs. Took some photos. Enjoyed the scenery along the shorelines. Waved to some other small boats that were out there, including the cutest little Pacific Seacraft Flicka 20 — wish I had taken a photo. Wonderful little boat.
The approach to Seattle was easy and fun. It was surprising to find the entry to one of the west coast’s busiest ports so quiet, but we were good with that. Pepper kept a careful watch in the Pilot House, with the Space Needle alongside. We identified the entrance to Bell Harbor Marina, in the heart of Seattle’s waterfront, confirmed our arrival with the marina staff, and in we went, tied up, and settled down. Easy-peasy. What a great city-spot.
After getting lots of doggie-treats from the marina office staff we took a long exploratory walk around the waterfront and a quick look at Pike’s Place market, essentially reconnoitering for more expeditions later on. Fun, vibrant, city stuff.
When the sun emerged from the clouds — a rare event in these parts — in the late afternoon, we opted for cocktail hour on the flybridge, and it was dee-lightful. The Olympic range lay to the west in the sun. Beautiful. Happy Cruising.
We stayed in Seattle for a few days. There was a lot to do and see. We wandered up to the space needle and explored the Seattle Center, which, according to Wikipedia, is “an unparalleled public gathering place, unique in the world… offers 40 acres of open space. It provides a home for over 30 cultural, educational and entertainment entities – and a stage for over 16,000 events and activities in 2016. … Seattle Center counted over 2.2 million visitors in 2016, maintaining its spot as the top tourist destination in the state.”
We also spent time exploring Pike’s Place, where we bought salmon and other delicacies, discovered the joys of cheese curds at Beechers, and enjoyed the vibrant street scene. And then there were the tulips. Ahhhhh! So beautiful, and such a cheerful addition to the boat, especially when it was raining. (Which it did. A lot.) Did I mention the French bakery Le Panier? This became our go-to for a treat on our morning walk with the pups. The best almond croissants I have had since…well, since I was last in France? So GOOD! Mattie was very distressed to learn that even though this was a French bakery, where dogs are presumably allowed to accompany their humans, she had to wait outside. Patrons found her anxiety highly entertaining. So GOOD!
Bruce also discovered the fantastic Russian pastry shop Piroshky Piroshky. We tried both sweet and savory pies. All good, and the pastry was extraordinary. I was especially fond of the savories.
By the time we had explored most everything within walking distance of Bell Harbor, we were quite fat and decided it was time to leave! We would return to Seattle once more on this trip (we would need more pastries and tulips!) but for now, onward we would go, deeper down into Puget Sound.