The fishing derby turned out to be quite a hoot. Not for fishing of course. In the past 3 years I have not caught a single keeper fish in more than 5 derby’s. I’m thinking I’m the luck equivalent of bannana’s to fishing.
First of al, the weather was tough all weekend. We ended up only fishing one official day and had a pretty darn good go at it. We were getting fantastic fish marks over off humphrey head, but could not get any good bites. Oh well, next time. One day we took a gander when most folks were staying in harbor. We got out into Guemes channel and there were 4 footers rolling past the Guemes ferry dock at which point we decided to sit the day out. Steve’s 24 Bay is actually a fantastic boat to fish out of. Everything is set up well, its well kept, and Steve knows how to make everything work jsut right. A good sea boat it is not though. The boat has less than 1/2 inch freeboard though its self draining cockpit and literally is kept afloat by a pair of ping pong ball checkvalves. Scares the bajeezes out of me but I have to admit that we have fished the heck out of that boat and it just keeps on delivering. I’m actually kind of fond of it, but given the ping pong flotation system, I’m just as glad to have sat this one out.
Fishing or not though, this was an exciting weekend, which lasted until Tuesday for me as I waited two extra days for storms to pass. Crazy Mary showed up on Friday and proceeded to get kicked out of the Village Pizza/Wheelhouse for life. In the spirit of “what happens in Vegas”, I won’t publish the full details but here’s a few sprinkling of teasers. Mary gets kicked out by the owner while sitting at my table by the owner, who is a good fishing buddy of my brother in law, who’s also sitting at my table. While Mary is generally though of as a republican, her antics landed her in the good graces of a well known long time democrat congressman from our state who wound up admonishing the proprieter on her behalf. I tell you, you can’t buy entertainment like this. They don’t call her Crazy Mary for nothing.
In addition to Steve Monrad, I met up with Cara and the finch’s and of course CM. We had our own little mini Tolly get together amongst the derby!
Sunday night found me downloading a new wind meter application for the iphone. While the harbor was spared the worst of the storm, gusts would occasionally whip up some excitement. Standing on the bow I measured 22 knots but I think this storm was packing quite a bit more wind speeds outside the harbor.
The marina gave me a GREAT deal on moorage, even for the extra storm days as part of being in the derby. For once I really have to sing the praises of the Cap Sante Marina for really trying to do the right thing. Great Job guys.
Headed up from Everett to the Anacortes fishing derby. My brother in law Steve and I will be staying on the 48 and fishing from his 24 Bayliner “In Search Of”. My hour logs show it was about a little over 7 hour trip up to Anacortes. Weather is not looking to be the best. Upon arrival I had a little cross wind docking singlehanded. Had to make a 2nd pass but had some great help from a couple bystanders. At which point I checked my reservation and realized I had pulled into the wrong slip. About this time my buddy Steve Monrad from Anacortes came smiling up the dock and we both had a good laugh. Took the boat around to the opposite side of the dock and put her into the correct slip.
It’s time to leave Gig Harbor. Unfortunately, the weather for the next couple days looks to deteriorate so I have made the decision to head back north. Instead of making it a one day cruise, seven plus hours at that, I thought maybe I’d make a stop along the way. Candidates were Blake, Eagle harbor, Bell Harbor or Kingston. I ran up Colvos passage and had a nice run of it. Thinking that I had never been into Eagle Harbor, I decided to check it out and headed for the public dock. There was a bit of action as a couple sailboats behind me were getting the 5 blasts from the ferry and I turned and noted that these two crazies were running smack in the middle of the route and not even trying to get out of the way. Then they turned and were going gangbusters for the public dock. I was laying a boatlength off of it and singlehanding was busy putting out fenders and lines. There was quite a bit of room on the dock and I shouted to one of the sailboats that I was going to grab a spot, but he should go ahead and get tied up and not wait for me. He thanked me and went and tied up. The other boat then cuts between me and the dock and takes the other spot. I’d like to say this kind of behavior with sailboats was rare, but its not. Thankfully the passengers on the 2nd sailboat had a mini mutiny with the captain, ahem…skipper, and then pulled him back to raft alongside the 1st boat and I was able to moor.
Being all tied up, I took a short stroll around town. There are a few pubs and a small marine store. A quaint little harbor. As I turned back toward the boat, the wind started blowing. The weather I had hoped would hold off for another day looked to be making an early showing. I got back to the boat and decided I’d rather go ahead and head toward home than spend a bouncy night at the public dock.
My single handed exit went smoothly and before taking final leave from Eagle Harbor I did a short tour around the bay. A few of the water rat boats I recognized from articles I have followed, but somehow in person it was just different than what had lived in my imagination. Too bad Dave Berry is no longer around. You can read more about the plight of the water rates in the below link.
The remaining trip was uneventful, though I did find myself navigating out of the harbor via iphone as the GPS took its sweet time aquring a signal. Note on the chart above that it looks like I took a straight shot out of the bay.
Years ago I thought I knew the Central to South Sound pretty well. I’ve made many many dives in that area during the time that Captain Paul was running the Genie Aye as a dive charter. There are so many great great spots Sound, Zee’s Reef, Sunrise, KVI, Blake Island (pixie sticks my favorite), Tacoma Narrows bridge, Maplewood and ton of others I’m forgetting. I’ve spent a lot of time in that area. So when the tollyclub mini in Gig Harbor rolled around this year, I admit to being pretty excited about it. The fact is that all my experience in central and south sound were on other peoples boats. In all the time I’ve owned my own boat, I’ve never ventured further south than Seattle in my own boat! Lets face it, trips that far south can be a bit of a haul and until going on sabatical this year I just have not had the time.
So with no small degree of excitement I got underway out of Everett by 10:35. I can’t believe how nice the weather is. I had planned on making a stop about half way down to Gig, maybe at Blake or take a tour of the water rats down at Eagle Harbor (check out http://www.donberry.com/harbor2/harbor2.html). I’ve been intrigued to check out Eagle Harbor first hand since first reading Don Berry’s accounts many years ago when he was alive and living in Eagle Harbor as one of the water rats. I credit Don Berry for getting me through some late nights on some tough projects. Thanks Dave.
But I digress. It may be March but the weather was amazing. I ran on the flybridge the whole way down. As soon as I made Vashon island, the junk in the water went from occasional to thick as peanut butter. It’s been a long while since I’ve seen tide rips so chock full of logs that the only way through is to charge at them, then throw everything into neutral and let your momentum carry you through, hopefully pushing everything out of the way as you go.
I hit a pretty big log, well lets call it a tree, about 40 foot or so back in December so I’m a little gunshy about picking up new dings on the prop, but I made it down to Gig just fine. I plan to pull the boat out sometime before spring ends and the rush of boats getting into yards gets too out of hand.
I’m a day early for the Gig Tollyclub mini. I can see Bob’s 26 sitting at the dock, but she’s all closed up. I decided to put the hook down in the middle of Gig Harbor for some peace and quiet. It was fantastic. I used my high power wifi bridge to pull in a signal from somewhere on shore. It was not a fast connection, but it was fast enough to watch some movies on Netflix.