While we are at Morrison's fuel dock, we see really black smoke toward the Fremont bridge, and fear one of the cute little Lake Union houseboats is on fire.
Now we hear sirens, and a police boat dashes past us at a very high rate of speed.
Still tied to the fuel dock, we get one of the largest wakes ever, and wonder if the rub rail will crack. One of the young ladies who works here says a customer drove up and told her she had seen that it was a woods fire. We are glad to see there is no more smoke, suggesting the fire has been put out, and also glad it was not someone's home.
A closer look shows two police boats heading back.
Now a third police boat drifts by and throws a red buoy into the water. I see his red flag with white stripe, indicating a diver in the water. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fire.
As we leave Morrison's and pass by the police boat, we can see a few trees that have lost leaves, suggesting there was not a large burn area. Hats off to the fire trucks for controlling the situation very quickly!
Before we get to the lock where we go from fresh water to salt, Herb gives me a refresher course on how to handle the lines, depending on whether we are directed to go into the large lock or the small, and whether we go against the wall or raft to a larger vessel.
As we approach, we see about six boats ahead of us in line. One larger boat, a pretty blue color, is off to the side and Herb waves her to go in front of us. The large boats tie to the bollard on the wall, and Willie's Tug, and other smaller ones raft to them. The lock attendant tells me to loop the stern cleat of the blue boat, then figure 8 around my stern cleat. He says not to lock it, because if I put enough 8s, it will hold and I can relax and not have to tend the line.
Once the lock is closed and we begin to go down, we have a chance to visit with the captain of the blue boat. He tells us her name is Blue Leader, and he is enroute to do a construction project in Hood Canal. He says the boat is a 'Home Built,' which took his father thirteen years to build. They used to fish, but now she is a workboat. The cubes shown in the photo will become a dock. I hope to see if before summer is over.
Shown is the water line -- dry above, and yukky green below.
The last vessel to enter the lock with us is a real tugboat.
Blue Leader has two persons aboard, and the lock attendant asks Herb to step aboard in case the lady needs assistance in handling her line at the bow. He stands on the port bow just in case. Also visible at the left side of the photo are the lines of the boat forward hanging down from the bollard on the wall. The bollard is no longer seen as we go down.
Herb smiles as he tells me the lady did not need help.
As soon as the water level goes down to the level of Puget Sound, Willie's Tug is soon out into bigger water and the bouncy waves from all the vessels traveling in the shipping lanes. Tracking us, Bruce texts, "Welcome to the salt," and Ray texts, "Great feeling, isn't it?"
Yes, I had forgotten what it is like. Herb pilots across the Sound, watching for some small boats about, and some very larger ones, including a ferry, of which we go astern for safety.
Checking our surroundings again for safety, I am so delighted to see Mt. Rainier in one direction and Mt. Baker in the other. The glorious sunlight catches the waves, which sparkle like diamonds.
I thought I remembered Blake Island State Marine Park as having a small marina, but when we get there, I am amazed at how many finger piers there are. We choose a starboard tie and anticipate being joined tomorrow by Bruce and Vicki on MoonShadow.
Herb displays his annual state parks pass in the dockside window, and goes up to the Ranger Station to pay the $6 per day electricity fee.
All the comforts of home.
Find Willie's Tug....
Wille of Willie's Tug,
and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
Monday, June 5, 2017