Happy Birthday America…and Dad!

July 4th is my Dad’s birthday. We usually spend the week on Cape Cod but this year we changed it up a bit. My parents came out for a visit this past April and we took Conundrum to Gig Harbor for a few days. Happy Birthday Dad! We miss you guys!

This year without our usual east coast trip scheduled, Conundrum joined friends B Knotty, Epic, and L’Attitude up in Friday Harbor for a good ol’ 4th of July celebration! We embarked on our trip Thursday morning, 6/30, for an overnight stay in Port Townsend, WA. Port Townsend is an amazing little town with great shopping, food, and of course…coffee! B Knotty arrived a few hours behind us after trying their luck crabbing and we had a nice quiet evening before venturing across the Straight of Juan de Fuca.

We were greeted Friday morning with fog. Visibility was less than 1/4 mile and the sailing vessel that was clearly visible just outside Point Hudson Marina the day before was all but invisible from Conundrum. We left a few hours later than anticipated but confident in our instruments. Thank you RADAR and AIS! 20170630_174306873_iOS

As we hit the fog we were hailed by the USCG. A submarine was in the area and we were asked to stay away. A little zig-zagging about and we were back on course to Friday Harbor! Seas were a bit larger than predicted and we did have to do some tacking back an forth to keep to head or following seas to limit the rolling in the NNW seas and winds. Our friends in L’Attitude were meeting us along the way and were able to meet us right about the buoy in the TLS area in the middle of the straight.

Great job by Captain John! The fog lifted as we made our way into San Juan channel and by the time we tied up at Friday Harbor it was a beautiful, sunny, PNW day!

Friday Harbor was simply amazing. It was our first time visiting and we now know what the fuss is all about! Great town, good food, music, and very friendly. We took several dinghy rides around the harbor and around Brown Island. We thought we were about to come up on porpoises or even a whale in the marine preserve but they turned out to be two deer taking an afternoon swim! The fireworks on the night of the 4th were amazing although Brit, our boat dog, was not amused. After Friday Harbor’s show concluded we turned to the south and were treated with a second show over at Lopez Island.

Wednesday we left Friday Harbor nice and early to hit slack and the flood tides back to Seattle. We ended up taking a nice trip back to Elliott Bay Marina, made very good time, and were treated with sighting several orcas off Shilshole as we made our way south!



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Tyee YC visits the “French Riviera”

Conundrum joined Tyee YC’s June sunset cruise down to Des Moines, WA. Getting underway about 3p Friday, we had head winds and an ebb tide that slowed us a bit but we made it along with passing a couple of friends on the way. Kokanee and the Journey were steaming along at about 8-10 kt and we figured we’d get in ahead of them and help them in. Friday night was docktails and then dinner up in town. 11 of us feasted on chinese and had a wonderful time talking about what else… boating and cruising in the PNW!

Saturday was breakfast on the Ocean Dream. Kevin and Bonnie laid out a spread of croissants and all the fixins along with some fabulous french press coffee. It was a lazy day on Conundrum and we got some reading in, tinkered on the boat, and took a walk up into town for some quick shopping. There was also a nice little farmer’s market set up right by the marina. Everyone strolled through and found some nice gifts, fresh produce, or just grabbed lunch on the go at the amazing food trucks that were present. By Saturday evening all boats were in and we had 6 rafted and stern tied up to the dock! Dinner was a pot luck with a french theme. Everyone brought their favorite recipes and there was even a french wine tasting, again courtesy of our fleet captain Kevin!

Sunday people we on their own for the most part given it was Father’s day. A small crew that stuck around the dock gathered on Conundrum for coffee and breakfast. By noon everyone began preparations for departure. A 1pm departure ensured we had a following sea and a nice light wind pushing us on our short trip back to Seattle. Thank you Tyee YC for a great weekend on the “French Riviera” down in Des Moines. We are looking forward to the next cruise!

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Pleasant Harbor was…pleasant!

Conundrum set out Friday with our EBM friends “Be Knotty” headed up to Pleasant Harbor inside the Hood Canal. It’s a trip both of us have been wanting to take for a while. 3.5 hours later we entered PH. It was a nice surprise! The harbor and marina are very quiet and secluded. It offered a wonderful place to wind down from the hectic work week but also good food (especially the pizza!) at the Galley and Pub and we even got to enjoy some live music on Saturday night provided by Howly Slim!

Saturday morning we took the dinghys north and then later on were joined by L’Attitude from Edmonds and that night we enjoyed Copper River Sockeye and prawns on the grill!

Sunday we took off from PH about 11:15a and had great weather back down to Seattle. Fishing must have been good in the Hood Canal because we saw several groups of porpoises feeding and even got a glimpse of a couple larger whales!  Thank you to the staff at the Pleasant Harbor Marina and the Galley. They made us feel very welcome. We will be back!


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Killer Whales off Vashon Island

On our way back to Elliot Bay Marina from Gig Harbor we ran into a pod of Killer Whales! It was an amazing site as they followed us close off starboard for 15-20 minutes. But not too close (stay at least 200 yds away)!  It was our first whale sighting and it was great to experience them with my parents who were in visiting from Boston!


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