Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Fun Cruise to Friday Harbor -- 3/31/2014

The wicked winds die down after the week end and we take Willie's Tug for a pleasant cruise to Friday Harbor, casting off at 7:50A in flat calm waters.  Winds are 10 knots and skipper throttles back for economy at 4; we get a push due to 2-3 knot current.  A few fishing boats also go out, including our neighbors Dave and Chris with their crab traps.

The Guemes Ferry leaves the Fidalgo dock, and we turn to port to give her plenty of room to cross in front.

We see the Washington State Ferry, Kaleetan, come from Lopez Point heading south.

As we get closer to Friday Harbor we see the Hyak and Chelan 'like ships passing in the night.'

Nearing Friday Harbor, we call the Harbormaster for a space to visit for a few hours and are told we are in luck and can tie up at our favorite place on Breakwater B, behind the Customs Dock.  From here you can see all the boats coming and going.

To get this photo of Willie's Tug, I walk the long dock toward land, then east to the guest docks for a good view.

Find Willie's Tug....

The Ranger Tugs are such a different look, and even when one is far in the distance, I seem to recognize her right away.  I watch as she gets closer to see if I know who she is.  Finally I see Dauntless!  We speak, but are not close enough to have a good conversation.  Nevertheless, it is good to see friends.

As I continue to walk about, I look toward W-Dock, at the slip where Wild Blue was last Summer.  I cannot believe there is a blue hull C-Dory there.  NOT Wild Blue, so I take some photos and send to Jim and Joan to say I think of them.  I look forward to the Summer when we are all back here together.

Wild Blue, where are you?

NOT Wild blue

After lunch we head back to Cap Sante to pack our luggage for the flight back to Port Isabel tomorrow.  We see two favorite things -- another ferry and the beautiful snow-capped mountain range with Mt. Baker.

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Monday, March 31, 2014

A 24 lb. Chinook Wins -- 3/29 - 3/30, 2014

There is always something fun going on in Anacortes, and especially at Cap Sante Marina.  This weekend it's the Anacortes Salmon Derby, the proceeds of which go toward scholarships for students pursuing careers in fishery management and related fields.  They fish for Chinook only.

I would say the wind is not our friend today, as Willie's Tug declines an invitation to cruise to a nearby island in the San Juans, and we see quite a big of chop in the marina.  But here they go -- I hear Lopez Sound is good fishing grounds.

Sailboats take advantage of the breezes.

The leader board posts the cash prizes, with first prize of $15,000.  Motivation!

Each fish is weighed, inspected for wild caught and tagged.

Some hopefuls are placed on ice.

The tournament goes through Sunday noon and the last fisherman who thinks he has a winner runs down the dock for the weigh-in.  The fish is in his right hand, almost hidden from the camera.

The winner caught a 24 pounder.

Now the processing begins, and the eating will be soon!

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Saturday and Sunday, March 29 and 30, 2014

Ranger Tugs Together Again -- 3/28/2014

If it's Friday night, it's the Brown Lantern Restaurant in Anacortes.

But first, it's Happy Hour on Willie's Tug!  

The cockpit lends itself to hosting friends, but the wonderful sunshine sends us inside the cabin, since we don't have our sunscreens yet.  

But wait, there's more!

Ray, Bob, Nita, Willie and Jocelyn
Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Friday, March 28, 2014

Mr. Wonderful -- 3/27/2014

Today we go exploring and hope to meet some neighbors along B-Dock.  No one is home.  Some of the vessels appear not to have moved for years.  All add character to B-Dock and we wish we knew their stories.

Where have they fished?  How was the weather?  Who was the crew?

Why are they not moving now?

I love this boat!  Note the Batman emblem.

Wonderful at one time???

She could tell some fish stories.

Note the reel of netting and colorful floats.

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Thursday, March 7, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Yes, We Have No Crabs! -- 3/26/2014

Willie's Tug will enjoy B -Dock.

How lucky can we get!

We are docked next to a crabbing boat with a resident Golden Retriever named Mary.  We don't fish.  Historically, we just sit on the dock and look hungry and people give us fish!

Can't wait!

Dave and son Chris arrive at their boat promptly at 7A with Mary and the crab bait.  Ten minutes max and they back out of the slip and under way to set traps.  

They are very successful with a full barrel of crabs -- but they don't share....

Now we know why -- they sell them here for a good day's wage!  Customers now can buy fresh right off the boat!

As my friend Sam T likes to say, "These fish slept in the water last night."

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog and Willie
   Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Monday, April 28, 2014

I Cannot "Find Willie's Tug!" -- 3/25/2014

We change our minds about where Willie's Tug will live for the time we are back in Texas and for before we begin our residence in Anacortes.  So F-Dock at Cap Sante is not available to us long term; there is a loooong waiting list for 36 foot and 40 foot slips in the pleasure boat section; and we go to Plan B.

The Marina offers us B-Dock where all the large fishing boats are and we jump on it!  Willie's Tug is 31 foot and 35 overall, so we will fit nicely in the 40 foot slips there.

Once we are safely tied to the dock I go up the hill to "Find Willie's Tug."

I cannot "Find Willie's Tug."

But I know she is there.

We miss our slip mate on K-Dock, but Ray is never far away, and brings us a welcome gift from his daughter, Brenna, from her awesome garden.

It's going to be a great Summer with friends!

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Monday, March 25, 2014

Sunday, April 27, 2014

...and Capt. Linda said.... -- 3/21 - 3/23/2014

Capt. Linda Lewis of Seattle, private boating instructor, (very long and impressive CV) is a featured speaker at the three day seminar held here in Anacortes.  She takes us through southern and northern British Columbia through tidal narrows, open waterway crossings and many points of interest.  We follow her thread to Ketchikan where the group travel will end, leaving us to cruise at our own pace.

Captain Lewis and her husband have cruised to Alaska many times and have vast knowledge of what we may see on the trip and what we should know before we go.  Her slides tell the story.  She describes the many, many side trips we can take as we break off and go on our own, and it makes us want to go now!

I expect lots of 'Captains' meetings' as we find our way back south.

Among the other presenters are Mark Bunzel of Fine Edge, Michael Beemer, Amy Guilick, Lynette Brower and Capt. Dave Parker.

My thinking is that if I never get to go on the Inside Passage cruise, just attending this fabulous seminar is enough!!!

Highlights of the week end are shown below.

Mark introduces the program.

I believe I've got it, now!

Books available for attendees not on the Inside Passage tour (we have ours!)

Thinking, thinking,

Mike - all about fuel!

Lynette and the food!!!

Capt. Dave knows salmon and halibut!

...and filleting

Amy presents - and Willie says it's not an adventure without photography!


Capt. Dave also makes good coffee!

Capt. Linda shows her M/V Royal Sounder
Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Friday, March 21, 2014

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Sam Sets the Stage -- 3/20/2014

What a treat to be back in Anacortes -- on a new boat, the R-31 Willie's Tug, and coincidentally set to attend a seminar on what to expect on our scheduled tour of The Inside Passage in southeast Alaska in June.

Having been in contact with Sam Landsman of Fine Edge, publisher of the boaters' bible, the Waggoner Guide, we meet him in person today and have a fabulous visit over coffee.

Don't tell him I said this, but he is a delightful young man, very knowledgeable, very helpful and I look forward to his leading my group of eight boats on the cruise.  He has published many articles on his cruising adventures (on Retriever -- guess why she is named that).

Plans are for the flotilla to begin June 1 from Anacortes and arrive Ketchikan AK June 22.  We will then cruise to points of our choice either alone or with friends made along the way.

After one or two loooong, tall cups of coffee, we say goodbye to Sam for now and look forward to tomorrow for Day 1 of the Inside Passage seminar.

Hmmm, something is very funny....
Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Thursday, March 20, 2014