Wow, the end of our shakedown cruise in the PNW was emotional.
We had grown to love LaConner during the three weeks we spent there prior to taking delivery of the boat, while living in our Airstream at the LaConner Marina Campground. So while we did have reason to celebrate our return to the little town, we were very sorry that our excellent cruise on our new boat was drawing to a close. Continue reading Back to LaConner – Cruise Over
As we hauled up our anchor after a pleasant layover at McMiken Island State Park in South Puget Sound, we could smell the end of our Pacific Northwest cruise, and the finale to our shakedown of Esmeralde. In order to deliver the boat back to the factory in time for them to hit our punch list and prepare the boat for her truck-ride across the country, we had to think about getting her back to LaConner. We figured we had two more nights. Continue reading Shakedown – Part 10 – The Last Hurrah
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
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. Things 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
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
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
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?