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Winterizing Kismet for Storage in Portland, OR

Time to Think About Winterizing Kismet! All good things must come to an end… well temporarily anyways as we think about winterizing Kismet. As the colder, wetter months arrived in Portland, we started to turn our thoughts to flying home for the holidays. Jim found a secure storage lot for our boat near Salpare Marina. As the time approached, we prepared a few to do lists – a list of things to pack to take home, a list of errands to do before we left, and the most important list of all, Winterizing Kismet, just in case. Although the temps are fairly moderate in the Pacific Northwest, it rarely snows and the winter temps don’t get below freezing very often or for very long when they do. Most people leave their boats in the water all year. With that said we felt it was still important to take Kismet out of the water, winterize and store it on land for the…

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Port of Cascade Locks on the Columbia River

Port of Cascade Locks – Our cruising destination this week lies in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge. Port of Cascade Locks is one of the oldest towns on the Columbia River. In their journals, Lewis and Clark described this section of the River – the Cascade Rapids – as the “great rapids of the Cascades.” This stretch of raging water was formed by a huge landslide long ago and is more than two miles long. In 1880, because of the hazard vessels faced navigating the rapids, the US Government started to build locks to provide safe passage around the rapids. The older locks were completed in 1896, and the Cascade Locks was born. The completion of the newer Bonneville Lock and Dam in 1938 turned the river fronting Cascade Locks into a magnificent lake known for lively currents. Sometimes we feel as though we are modern day explorers of the many divergent waterways in America and Canada. It is daunting to think back on all the places we’ve cruised.…

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Friends, Jim Favors And Tom Conrad

A Simple Sailor Man

Tribute to a Friend – Tom Conrad We lost a good friend. Tom Conrad passed away recently and the boating community lost one of its best. We met Tom and Patsy Conrad many years ago through AGLCA (America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association). If the Great Loop boating adventure did not exist, we probably would never have met – with the Conrads living in Florida's Panhandle and us living in northern Michigan. What a loss that would have been for us. Because we shared a passion for boating and this adventure they call a "Loop," our paths crossed and our wakes overlapped. Loopers, ourselves included, often say that one of best parts about doing the Great Loop boat trip is all the wonderful people we meet during our tours around the eastern United States waterways. Many of those relationships go on to become life-long friendships. Tom Conrad was a sailer, a captain, a boater's boater, a true friend to any human being, a person that would help you out without ever expecting anything in…

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Group Shot, Ranger Tugs North Channel Rendezvous

2014 Ranger Tugs/Cutwater North Channel Rendezvous – Many Thanks to All…

We Want to Thank Everyone Who Attended the First 2014 Ranger Tugs/Cutwater North Channel Rendezvous We look forward to meeting up with many of the participants on the water in the future. Boats in attendance ranged from far away as Alberta, Fort Lauderdale, Rhode Island and Texas. This was the first time cruising the North Channel for 9 of the 15 boats. Although we could not have had a successful rendezvous without those in attendance, there is lot that goes on behind the scenes well before the event starts and during the rendezvous. Thanks to Debby Turner at Little Currents Turner’s for suppling the Manitoulin Island/North Channel maps for our ditty bags. We also had donations for our ditty bags from Prism Polish, GMC Flint Assembly Plant and the UAW (including the bags), Ranger Tug hats and key fobs. Thanks to Reid Taylor for making arrangements for our dockage at Little Current Town Docks and use of the Pavillion, everything was delivered as…

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Favors, View, Covered Portage Cove

Have a Ranger Tug or Cutwater?

Join Us in the North Channel for the 2014 Ranger Tug North Channel Rendezvous! The More the Merrier!   We’ve been given a one week extension, until June 27th, to guarantee dock space for the rendezvous, so if you’re thinking of attending make sure you get your registration form and payment to me by then. We look forward to seeing everyone soon. Click on the link below to access the registration form and please email me with any questions that you may have. With spring in the air the much anticipated boating season in Canada’s North Channel is just around the corner. With that in mind it’s time to start the official registration process for the 2014 Ranger Tug North Channel Rendezvous. The Rendezvous takes place at the Little Current Downtown Docks on Manitoulin Island in Little Current, Ontario; the marina is centrally located in the heart of the North Channel. The dates for the Rendezvous are August 7, 8…

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Downtown Seattle

Seattle – Miss You Already!

Downtown Seattle is within close proximity to everything we could possibly need during our stay. As we approached the final weeks of our PNW cruising adventure, I asked Lisa if there was one place she wanted to visit before our trip came to a close. Unsurprisingly she said, “Downtown Seattle of course.” That's why we positioned ourselves at the Bainbridge Island anchorage. We stayed for two nights there waiting for an available slip at Bell Harbor Marina, before we made the short 8-mile trip across Puget Sound into Elliott Bay and finally to the Port of Seattle's Bell Harbor Marina. The reason we like docking in downtown Seattle is that everything we could possible need is with 10 blocks or so of the marina. This proximity provides us with an endless amount of activities. Our favorite is the Pike Place Market.. of course. While waiting for our slip to open up at the marina, we cruised around the harbor and happened upon two-year old Serene,…

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Torpedo Town USA – Keyport, WA

Torpedo Town USA – Naval Undersea Museum is located at the a small U.S. Navy depot, Torpedo Research and Testing Facility After doing some research of the Liberty Bay area, for our planned stop in Poulsbo, I stumbled across information on the little town of Keyport, WA., nicknamed "Torpedo Town USA. Its major tourist facility, the Naval Undersea Museum is located at the a small U.S. Navy depot, Torpedo Research and Testing Facility, tasked with ranging and repairing torpedoes for the U.S. Navy and allies. The museum features exhibits and displays on undersea technology, including the Trieste II, which descended to 20,000 ft (6,100 m). After pulling anchor in Poulsbo, we arrived at Keyport's free town dock, in a matter of minutes, for a tour of the Museum. We happened to be there the same day as a Naval ceremony took place inside the museum, so we got to see a lot of service men, all dressed up in their…

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A Taste of Scandinavia in Poulsbo, WA

Little Norway on the Fjord – Poulsbo, WA Poulsbo, sitting at the edge of Liberty Bay, is a delightful, highly Scandinavian influenced, community. This quaint, picturesque, little town has a strong Norwegian heritage. Its founders came from Norway via Michigan and Minnesota to settle in a landscape that was similar to their own snow peaked mountains and fjords. Other Scandinavian immigrants soon followed. On a prior visit to Poulsbo, we had docked at the city marina, so this time we decided to anchor out in the protective confines of the bay and dinghy into town for a our on shore leave. We arrived late afternoon, so we hung out on the boat and enjoyed a nice sunset and a peaceful night at anchor. The next morning we dinghied over to the city marina to tie up so we could have lunch and shop. We were surprised to see Teddy Bear (above) docked at the marina. We first encountered this interesting yacht…

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Ranger Tug Kismet Docked, Anacortes, Washington

2013 Ranger Tugs / Cutwater Rendezvous – Anacortes, WA

, One of the ancillary benefits of boating are the many social opportunities present. Everywhere we anchor or dock we'll either run into old friends or we'll end up meeting some very interesting people. We can’t think of a better place to do this than at the 2013 Ranger Tugs / Cutwater Rendezvous. The even was held this year at Cap Santé Marina in Anacortes, Washington. Because we’d been cruising in British Columbia for an extended period of time, our calendar allowed us to arrive a few days early. We would use the time to catch up on the usual boat chores. These chores included a thorough cleaning of the boat, inside and out, washing clothes and picking up a batch of mail. In the midst of our getting settled and organized, Ranger Tug owners, and residents of Anacortes, Bob and Nita (below), on Nellie Too, approached us and said they were trying to put together a group to head up to Anthony’s…

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Roche Harbor – A Boating Mecca

Timing our arrival in Roche Harbor Marina to coincide with the Customer Appreciation Party! In 1845, the quaint waterside marine village of Roche Harbor, on San Juan Island, started out as a trading post for the Hudson Bay Company. By 1857 both the United States and Britain were claiming the San Juan Islands as their territories, based on a dispute over the western border of the islands. The dispute was settled in 1872 when an arbitration was rendered in favor of the United States. In 1881 the Scurr brothers bought Roche Harbor and started mining the rich limestone deposits, turning the harbor area into a mining town of 800 people. By 1956 the limestone mining business came to a close and Roche Harbor changed hands again – this is when the area started to transform into a small resort town and boating mecca. We timed our arrival to the marina on Saturday, to coincide with their annual Labor Day Customer…

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Hiking on Sucia Island – Caves, Rock Formations and Beautiful Pacific Madrona Trees

First Time Mooring at Sucia Island Leaving Friday Harbor behind us we cruised to Sucia Island, a Washington State Park sitting in the San Juan Islands at the base of Strait of Georgia, only 3.5 miles from the Canadian border. Our 16-mile ride, from Friday Harbor, was short and uneventful, however during the last few miles we had no leeward protection from the southeast and the open waters of Rosario Strait, so it was a little lumpy. Taking it slow and steady we made it into the well-protected cove of Shallow Bay, where we happily found a mooring ball available; our plan was to spend a couple of nights in the cove. We left Friday Harbor rather late in the morning and we took our time going the distance, so after settling into the cove we just sat back and enjoyed the late afternoon’s stormy looking skies as they glided over us as the wind finally started to settle down a…

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Into the Light… Jedediah Island

Thankful for the Shelter and Beauty of Jedediah Island! The closer we got to Jedediah Island the calmer the waters and our nerves became. As we sliced through the channel, with the powerful push of following seas behind us, we traveled between Jedediah and Bull Islands (both islands are protected by two larger islands, Texada and Lasqueti), making our way to the leeward side of all the turbulence in the straits. Almost magically the wave activity became a non-issue. We immediately found a pint sized, well-protected, cove suitable to drop anchor, a boat was just leaving so we hovered out a bit until they were off and the anchorage was clear. It took some time but we finally got the boat secure, still fighting residual wind (but in calm water), Jim was able to tie the port and starboard stern off to either side of the narrow cove by using the dinghy to take the line ashore, one to port…

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Kismet Cruising To Powell River, Canada

The Storm in Malaspina Straight

The waves we encountered in Malaspina Straight were steadily increasing in height and uncomfortableness. Leaving the calm of Pender Harbour behind us, we headed out toward the Malaspina Straight, pointed southwest towards the Gulf Islands. We were aware of the storm that was to arrive later in the day and, based on the weather reports, we thought if we left early enough in the morning we’d miss the high winds, as it’s only about 36 miles across to Nanaimo, on Vancouver island, our planned, end of the day, destination. No such luck! Not long after we left the calmness of the protected harbor, the waves we encountered were steadily increasing in height and uncomfortableness. You know things get rough when Lisa is not taking photos, but instead is holding on in anticipation of each roller coaster ride type wave. In turn, Lisa really knows we’re in trouble when the captain looks worried, it hasn’t happened often, this was really only…

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Boat Entering Malibu Rapids, Jervis Inlet, Canada

Dinghy Ride to Malibu Club for Ice Cream

Craving a Refreshing Cold Confection at Malibu Club One of the things we had come to enjoy while cruising in the Pacific Northwest this year was our time exploring away from the boat by dinghy. We would try to get as much information about where to beach our dinghy so that could do a nice hike and maybe encounter a freshwater lake or woodsy waterfall. On our last full day at Chatterbox Falls we decided to spend the day taking a dinghy ride from the dock at the falls all the way back to Malibu Rapids (5 miles) to visit the Malibu Club, a summer camp for high school students. First off though, we needed to clean up somewhere and we’d heard about a waterfall that might be just the ticket. Off we went, scouting out the shoreline for signs of a possible waterfall and preferably a small pool of water to splash around in. Thirty minutes later we came…

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Danger Sign, Chatterbox Falls, Canada

Walking and Exploring Around Chatterbox Falls

Lisa and I hiked up the path from the docks so se could spend some time exploring around Chatterbox Falls – close enough to be sprayed by the relentless down pouring of water. Peeking through the lush vegetation at the viewing spot, we were mesmerized yet again, not only by the beauty but the power and force of Mother Nature. We walked a few of the trails and noted the danger signs frequently posted around the park, we tried a few of those trails but decided they were a little too gnarly for us. We certainly kept our distance from the top of the falls as the sign pretty much spelled out what could happen. It was a drizzling kind of wet our first day at the falls, but the visuals of the fog and mist made up for our soggy clothing. We made the hike to the falls several times during our stay, but never felt like we were able to get…

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Ranger Tug Kismet Docked, Chatterbox Falls, Canada

Chatterbox Falls… Hear it Roar!

After our slow cruise through the magnificent granite-walled gorge, we could finally make out Chatterbox Falls roaring at the head of Princess Louisa Inlet. The fall is part of the Loquilts River, which empties into the inlet. It had been raining for several days before our arrival to Princess Louisa Inlet and although Chatterbox Falls flows all of the time (along with 60 or so others during the spring season due to the sun melting the snow-pack high on top of the mountains) the rain produced many smaller waterfalls. They looked like shiny ribbons on the gorge walls. The smaller falls were exceptionally prolific when we first arrived due to the recent heavy rainfall. In fact many of the smaller falls we saw upon our arrival had pretty much dried up before our departure, three days later. As we approached the dock, located just to the right of the falls, we were happy to see there was still space at the…

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Fishing Boats, Lund, Canada

Leaving Desolation Sound for the Village of Lund, British Columbia

 Headed to Lund – Entering the Sunshine Coast... After two glorious weeks of picture perfect boating weather and sensory overload during our exploration of Canada’s Desolation Sound, the time had come to start working our way south/southeast. We had a calm but overcast day to exit Desolation sound from our anchorage in Roscoe Bay. Up next, was Jervis and Princess Louisa Inlets and the much talked about Chatterbox Falls, but first we had to explore a few of the little fishing villages along British Columbia's "Sunshine Coast." Our first stop was Lund (below), a busy, picturesque, seaside village, 120km north of Vancover, only eight miles south of Desolation Sound. The village has only about three-hundred year-round residents, but is host to a lot more during the warm weather season. Not only is it close to Desolation Sound Provincial Marine Park but also the Copeland Islands, Okeover Inlet and tropical Savary Island. During our brief stay in Lund, we learned a lot…

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Kayaks, Rosco Bay, Desolation Sound

Seeking Crystal Clear Water of Black Lake

As Our Cruise in Desolation winds close to the end, Black Lake Was a Real Treat! One of the activities we came to enjoy while cruising Desolation Sound was hiking to the many inland fresh water lakes. Black Lake was one such lake located not far from our anchorage in Roscoe Cove. After a short dinghy ride it was easily accessed by hiking a fairly short woodsy remnant of a logging trail. The trail continued along the lake for awhile before heading up a big hill. Lush vegetation and huge ferns surrounded us as we explored the trail further up the hill. With the big trees and lush vegetation we felt like we had been plopped down in the middle of a Jurasic Park movie set. On two separate occasions, we landed our dinghy at the base of the trail and hiked up to the lake to cool off and freshen up. There are no beaches at the edge of the lake…

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Kismet Anchored, Pendrell Sound, Desolation Sound

Swimmingly Warm in Pendrell Sound – Desolation Sound, British Columbia

We left our anchorage at Octopus Islands late morning, during slack tide, to head to Pendrell Sound. Just as most days during this trip, we had sunny skies and calm waters for our day's cruise. "How was the swimming at Pendrell Sound?" We often get asked this question in regards to how a cruising territory meets some fairly typical cruisers desired water activities. The reason I bring this up in this post has to do with our stop in Pendrell Sound. British Columbia's Desolation Sound is located within close proximity to the 50th parallel. As a reference the only place above this parallel, in the United States, is Alaska. With that said you'd think the water would be too frigid to go swimming. Not so! If you look at a map you'll notice Queen Charlotte and Johnstone Straits are situated north of Desolation Sound, while the Strait of Georgia is to the south. In the middle sits Desolation Sound where the meeting of…

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Boats Anchored, Grace Harbour, Desolation Sound

Our First Night Out In Desolation Sound – Anchored in Grace Harbour

First stop, Grace Harbour. Striking out on our own to explore Desolation Sound. We left Gorge Harbour mid-morning to find yet another perfect boating day awaiting us. History states that Captain George Vancouver first sailed the waters of the Sound in 1792, thinking the landscape remote and forbidding, he named it Desolation Sound. We think he must have had a run of bad weather to have taken such a gloomy stance on such a diverse and stunningly beautiful area, but we'd have to admit that the name has a certain draw to it. With Cortes Island behind us we headed for Desolation Sound Marina Park, a large dedicated group of islands, along with a bit of mainland BC, set aside as a marine park in 1973 for the benefit of recreational boaters, campers and hikers. Our goal for the first day out was to head to an anchorage in Grace Harbour, a well protected cove a large sheltered bay located in…

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