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Lovers Key

Lovers Key – Party Central During the Day, Quiet and Peaceful at Night

Lovers Key, at New Pass Inlet, South of Fort Myers Beach, is a Wonderful Anchorage Surrounded by Two State Parks – This is a place we “LOVE” to return to. After a brief stay at Salty Sams, in Fort Myers Beach, we followed Matanzas Pass south, past Ostego Bay. We then crossed Big Carlos Pass on our way to this anchorage between Lovers Key State Park and Pelican Landings Beach Park. We anchored in six feet of water, with the Dog Park (part of the Lovers Key State Park) to our north. The beach park was west of us and the opening to the Gulf, New Pass Inlet was between the two. It was Saturday, by the time we arrived the place was full of weekend activity. Dogs were running and playing in the dog park. Many boats beached on shore. Ferry boats hauled people back and forth to the parks all day long. Plenty of boating activity all around…

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Roosevelt Channel

Valentine’s Day in Roosevelt Channel with My Sweetie– Captiva Island, Florida

First Stop After the Flotilla to Cayo Costa is Roosevelt Channel – One of the fun parts of cruising, and anchoring, is discovering new places to throw the hook. Kismet is beginning the slow process of heading down to the Keys. On this morning, we left Cayo Costa State Park, after anchoring with the flotilla of tugs for two nights in Pelican Bay. Our destination is Roosevelt Channel, off Captiva Island, next to the Buck Key Preserve and Patterson Island Preserve. We were buddy boating on this day with the crew of Liberty, another Ranger Tugs R29S, heading to Roosevelt Channel off Captiva Island. We also had company (below) join us on the boat during lunchtime, think it was the tuna salad he was interested in, more than a boat ride.   Look who we bumped into at the head of the channel, Miss Norma, as in Driving Miss Norma fame, Norma's son, Tim and his wife, Ramie are taking a page…

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Cayo Costa State Park

Post Rendezvous Flotilla to Cayo Costa State Park

Cayo Costa State Park Flotilla Many of the Ranger Tugs / Cutwater Boats rendezvous held around the United States include a flotilla to a nearby anchorage after the event. About ten boats departed Burnt Store Marina in Punta Gorda the morning after the 2018 Southwest Florida Ranger Tugs/Cutwater Boats Rendezvous, in Punta Gorda, forming a Cayo Costa State Park Flotilla, approximately 14 miles miles from Punta Gorda. Flotillas are always fun! We just had several days to get to know some of the other attendees of the rendezvous and the party actually continued a few more days with the Cayo Costa State Park Flotilla. For us, it started with a dinghy ride around the anchorage with a few friends to visit the other Ranger Tugs and Cutwater Boats in attendance. Our dinghy excursion ended on the beach with other boats from the rendezvous to watch the sun set over the park.   Our friends on Tug O' My Heart and Snapshot anchored…

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2018 SWFL Rendezvous

2018 Southwest Florida Ranger Tugs/Cutwater Boats Rendezvous

Do You Own a Ranger Tug or Cutwater Boat? The 2018 Southwest Florida Ranger Tugs/Cutwater Boats Rendezvous was held at Burnt Store Marina this year for the first time. If you own a Ranger Tug or Cutwater Boat, you might be interested in attending one of these owner driven rendezvous. Always a fun time meeting other tug and Cutwater owners, we all have so much in common. Mike and Jess Rizzo, on Illusions (above) are the event hosts and coordinators of this rendezvous.   Can you spot Kismet, sitting pretty at Burnt Store Marina? That red hull sure stands out! Look who we found at the rendezvous! Ivan, one of our favorite Customer Service Reps from Ranger Tugs. Always a pleasure to meet up with him and a special surprise and treat to see him so far from his home in Seattle. Most of these rendezvous, held around the country on the water, feature a representative from Ranger Tugs who…

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Cayo Costa

Drone Practice at Cayo Costa State Park, Florida

All Serious Boaters in the Gulf Coast Area Know About Cayo Costa State Park – After a month in Fort Myers, Florida, we are finally pushing away from the dock. The next few days we will be headed to Punta Gorda for the 2018 Southwest Florida Ranger Tugs / Cutwater Boats Rendezvous. But first, we headed to Cayo Costa State Park, a beautiful barrier island featuring a nice anchorage with room for all. In addition, boaters can dinghy to to dock of the park to hike or take a short shuttle ride to the beach on the Gulf Coast. A gorgeous beach awaits those that visit, also providing boaters a chance to get off their boats to exercise and stretch their legs a little. If you go early in the morning, you may have a better chance of finding some nice shells on the beach. If you don't have your own boat, there are several ferry boats out of Punta Gorda,…

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Bell Harbor

Saving the Best for Last… Bell Harbor Marina – Seattle, Washington

PNW Operation Completed at Bell Harbor Marina – Seattle, Washington – Having concluded our mission to first… take possession of our new Ranger Tug R29S, spend a week cruising with our grandson onboard, attend a fabulous Ranger Tug Rendezvous in Roche Harbor and explore South Puget Sound. All this along with returning to a few favorites in the sound and the San Juan Islands, we are winding down our end of summer and early fall, cruising time in the Pacific Northwest, with a last stop at Bell Harbor Marina in downtown Seattle, Washington. Without a doubt, we would have to say the week with our grandson onboard was the best boating experience to date. To be more specific – the best in all of our thirty years of cruising. However, there is something quite special about docking in downtown Seattle, so we saved it for last. Not hard to savor this cruising destination for the city lights, cultural diversity, visit…

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Lunch With Huang Family

Fishermens Terminal – Food and Fun with the Huang Family

Fishermens Terminal – Not Our Usual Marina Experience! – We had a real treat today, shortly after we arrived and docked at Fishermen's Terminal. Our good friends, Hsu-Yu, his beautiful wife, Yu-Yen, their son, their daughter and husband and a few grandkids, picked us up to take us for a real Chinese lunch, family style, at Din Tai Fung – University District, Seattle, WA. We first met the Huang family at a B&B in Seattle when we spent a winter in there in 2006/2007 while waiting for our Fathom 40 to be built. Hsu-Yu and Yu-Yen's daughter, Chien was living there with her mom while Chien attended university. Hsu-Yu commuted from Taiwan. Although there was a little bit of a language barrier in the beginning, our friendship flourished by the joy we felt getting to know each other. We always try to get-together when we are in the Pacific Northwest. One day, in his retirement, Hsu-Yu and You-Yen will visit…

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Lake Washington

Going Inland – Lake Union & Lake Washington

Something Old – Lake Union, Something New – Lake Washington –  In our ongoing quest to explore new boating destinations, we scheduled a two-day stop at an anchorage in Lake Washington for our inland lakes diversion trip. We left Puget Sound for a few days before finally ending our Pacific Northwest cruising season with a stay in downtown Seattle. With this is mind we left Puget Sound and entered the Ballard Locks – time to brush up on our locking skills. Then we transited through Fremont Cut for a quick lunch break in Lake Union. Making our way to the center of the lake, we cut the power to our Volvo Penta engine and free floated for around an hour. With the backdrop of Seattle to the south of us, we enjoyed a colorful salad as we were entertained by float planes taking off and landing. Lake Union is a busy waterway, we were surrounded by many kayakers, wakeboarders and…

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Eagle Harbor

Romance in the Air on Kismet – Eagle Harbor, Bainbridge Island, WA

Eagle Harbor Was the Perfect Backdrop for Celebrating 25 Years of Marriage! – Kismet is still hanging out in Puget Sound, across from Seattle. On this day we specifically choose Eagle Harbor for a romantic anniversary dinner and night swinging on the hook. Ever since our 2016 trip to Desolation Sound and the Broughton Islands, Jim has been promising me a romantic slow dance on the back of our boat. One night, during that trip in 2016, while anchored in Laura Cove (Desolation Sound), we observed a very romantic evening unfolding on a small sailboat off our starboard side. Long, deep conversations and laughter took place on the bow of that boat all afternoon over wine and relaxing music. It was followed by a very romantic slow dance in the cockpit under the moon and twinkling stars. we were mesmerized and it became another thing to add to our ever growing bucket list. With the lights of Seattle looming in the…

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Blake Island

Blake Island Overlooks Seattle, Washington

Blake Island is a Marine State Park in Puget Sound, Southwest from Seattle Before we leave the Pacific Northwest to put an end to our fall boating cruise in the new Ranger Tug, we had to fit in a stop in downtown Seattle. But first we wanted to linger and enjoy a few of our favorites in Puget Sound – Blake Island and Eagle Harbor. We also wanted to spend a few days in Lake Union and Lake Washington with a short stop at Fishermen's Terminal, on the way to Bell Harbor in Seattle, to visit with friends. Blake Island located north of Vashon Island, south of Bainbridge Island, and east of Manchester, is always on our to do list. Imagine being so close to Seattle you never loose sight of it from the laid-back mostly wooded island, except for a thick fog that is.   There are more ways to get to Blake Island other than your own boat.…

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Saying Goodbye is Hard to Do!

Reality of Life Does Not Stop When You Board a Boat and Take Off for Ports Unknown – The real world will eventually catch up and find us. Such is what happened during our 2017 Puget Sound cruise. My brother, Ken Targal passed away after a long battle with cancer – too soon. We took a time out and flew back to Michigan to be with family for a few days. Ken was a boater, he loved to be on the water as much as Jim and I do. We were raised on summer visits to a family cottage on Lake Huron where our family had at least five boats of varying sizes. Ken lived in the water during the summer and loved the sunfish and hydroplane in our menagerie of boats. He later moved on to speed boats. He was in his element when he was with his family out on the water, boating. He was an amazing, loving…

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La Conner

Docking at La Conner, Washington

La Conner – Home to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival (every April) – After leaving the San Juan Islands we made a quick trip back to Anacortes to visit an old friend. Judy met us at the marina for lunch on the boat and a "catch up on our lives" afternoon. We always make sure to connect with Judy when cruising in the Pacific Northwest. To maximize our quick stop, I caught up on several big loads of laundry during our visit. In all our time cruising in the Pacific Northwest we have never docked at La Conner. We've stayed at the marina north of downtown in our Fathom 40, many years ago, but it was a short stay and we never made it into the picturesque town. Located along the Swinomish Channel near the San Juan Islands, with Mount Baker in the distance, La Conner is a romantic waterfront community with a fishing village atmosphere and in my own words...…

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Stuart Island

Lover’s Leap with My Lover – Stuart Island, Washington

Stunning Views from Lover's Leap on Stuart Island!  – Just when we think we've seen most of the amazing spots in the San Juan Islands, along comes this stop at Stuart Island. Located in the northern sector of the San Juan Islands, Stuart Island sports two harbors, Prevost and Reid. Prevost Harbor has seven offshore buoys and 256 feet of dock space. Reid Harbor offers fifteen offshore buoys and 572 feet of dock space on three different docks, two of which are offshore. Stuart Island has 18 primitive campsites, potable water is available most of the year, as are composting and pit toilets. For boaters, a handy barge sits in Reid Harbor for manual pumpouts. A big plus in our world of boating. Otherwise, you must pack out what you bring onto the island. There are two communities on the island, but it is a very remote setting without access to stores or facilities of any kind etc. We anchored in…

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Hope Island

Waiting for Slack Tide Event at Deception Pass? Try Hope Island!

Dropping the Hook at Hope Island – Need a good spot to anchor while waiting to catch slack tide at Deception Pass (Skagit Bay)? Hope Island is our favorite place to throw the hook to do just that. The anchorage, located between La Conner and Whidbey Island on Skagit Bay, is off Hope Island State Park which consists of 200-acre marine park with four primitive campsites within old-growth forests and saltwater marshes, meadows and a trail across the island. The island provides boaters with four or five mooring balls. We usually just drop the hook. The island was named by Commander Charles Wilkes, who's job it was to chart Puget Sound, in 1841, The usual park rules are in effect on the island. No open fires are permitted, and no water is available, but two vault toilets are provided. Although we did not venture off the boat that night, we could have dinghied ashore to take advantage of the trails and…

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Port Madison

A Gem of an Anchorage – Port Madison, WA

Port Madison is One of Our Favorite Anchorages in the Puget Sound Area! – Still getting to know our new Kismet. Our first get-a-way after we dropped our grandson Silas off to his parents was to return to Port Madison, Washington. Located east of the Olympic Peninsula, at Bainbridge Island, We first visited this anchorage in 2012 soon after we took possession of our then Ranger Tugs R27. So we thought it would be appropriate to make a return visit with the new and improved R29. We are headed north of Puget Sound now, anchoring out as we make our way to Anacortes and then the San Juan Islands. We remembered how peaceful and beautiful it is there and after a week with our active grandson, Silas on board, we were ready for something quiet and restorative. There are a couple yacht clubs in this long narrow inlet, we passed them to go further back, seeking the quietest spot we could…

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Ranger Tugs R29S Kismet Orientation

Ranger Tugs Gives Orientation on Volvo Penta D4-300

Kenny Marrs met us at the boat in the morning of day two of our orientation. He would be covering the Volvo Penta D4-300 engine operations, Garmin electronics, dinghy deployment and retrieval and much more. We’ve known Kenny from the beginning of our Ranger Tugs association, a nicer young man you will never meet. We have seen Kenny in action, the dedication to his customers needs is intuitive and honest. Thanks again, Kenny!  

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Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars – A Planned Detour before Heading West

We spent part of three days with my brother, Ken. Heading West Again to Pick Up a New Ranger Tug Trailerable Trawler –  Once again we were on our way across country, west to Des Moines, Washington. This is where we would take possession of our new Ranger Tug R29S. We’ve done this jaunt many times before, starting with a trip to Seattle to take delivery of a Fathom 40 trawler in 2007. We spent the winter there watching it be built before we cruised some in Puget Sound – then we had it trucked back to the Great Lakes that spring. In 2011 we drove out to meet our first Ranger Tug in Kent, Washington and we’ve taken that boat back and forth, across country – four times south to Florida and two more times to explore Puget Sound and British Columbia. A boaters paradise by any experienced cruisers standards. How to Maximize the Trailerable Trawler Lifestyle We weren’t…

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Kismet On Sea Magazine

Nice Article on Crew of Kismet – Sea Magazine – August 2017

TRAILER BLAZING! Sea Magazine just did a fantastic article about the crew of Kismet in their August 2017 issue. Find out more about this amazing lifestyle choice. Go where you want to boat with less restrictions, less weather restraints and more affordability. Use your boat as an RV when traveling to distant cruising grounds. For the best fun of all, get out on the water and meet up with other Ranger Tug owners, from all corners of the country, at Factory or owner held rendezvous. Become part of the community! That new VolvoPenta Engine will be taking Kismet on some big adventures, by land and by sea! Hope we see you there. #RangerTugs, #VolvoPentaNA #VPtakesme #VolvoPenta Kismet Sea Magazine

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Ranger Tug Kismet

Construction of the NEW KISMET!

UPDATE on the NEW KISMET! Having sold our Ranger Tug R27 a few months ago, we ordered a Ranger Tug R29S, we'll take delivery of our new Kismet in August 2017. So, we are spending the summer boatless! Lots to do at home while we prepare to travel west to Seattle, next month, to take possession. This tug, with a sportier look and a Volvo Penta diesel engine, will take us to some exciting cruising destinations with a quieter, more stable ride. Our new tug will be just a little bit bigger, but still trailerable. Yes, Kismet will look good again in that Hero Red hull. Looking forward to a little more room to accommodate our growing grandchildren. One of our new goals is to share our love of boating with them for many years to come. Construction photos to come soon!

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Boaterhoming Cascade Locks

Boaterhoming Cascade Locks On the Columbia River with Silas

Boaterhoming Cascade Locks for the First Time! – Silas didn't hesitate leaving his Mom and his cozy home in Portland, Oregon to go boaterhoming Cascade Locks with his Papa and Ana. We're happy he feels comfortable enough to take off with us like that – Do you think he's inherited the adventure bug DNA? We didn't drive far, that wasn't the mission. Cascade Locks is a city in Hood River County, Oregon, about 25 miles miles from Portland. The name came from a historic set of locks built to improve navigation past the Cascades Rapids of the Columbia River. We'd cruised to Cascade Locks last fall and stayed in town at the city marina. So we were familiar with the area and knew about this small campground located in the heart of the town very close to the marina, on the river, across from the old lock. We wanted to camp with Silas and take advantage of a learning opportunity…

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Boaterhoming In Portland

Boaterhoming in Portland, Oregon

Getting a Good Night's Sleep While Boaterhoming in Portland, Oregon! – We didn't waste much time in getting back to the states after our cruising adventure in the Broughton Islands (British Columbia, Canada). Our route was a fairly fast track back to the States to boaterhoming in Portland, OR. After an amazing rendezvous of Ranger Tug owners in Roche Harbor, Washington (San Juan Islands), our sights were set on trailering Kismet south, to Portland to visit our son, Ross and his family, Sarah, Silas and Hadley. Since we wouldn't have a lot of time to spend in Portland, we decided not to put the boat in the water. Instead, we opted to park in front of Ross and Sarah's house for a few nights before we took our 3-year old grandson boaterhoming for a few days. Ross and Sarah have a limited amount of space in their cozy home, so we thought, why not just sleep in the boat while parked…

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Pig Roast

Famous Pig Roast at Pierre’s Echo Bay Lodge & Marina

It's All About the Pig Roast! – We first heard about Pierre's Echo Bay while we were researching the Broughton Islands for our 2016 summer cruise. We made a point of visiting their booth at the the Seattle Boat Show earlier that year while we were collecting information for our upcoming cruise. Owners Pierre and Tove Landry were at the booth when we stopped by to see what they were all about. Their reputation proceeded them, as we already knew about their famous feasts from other boaters. In talking to them and others at the show, we gained a little glimpse into what we could expect that summer as we explored the Broughton Islands. Our trip would not be all wilderness and wildlife, if we charted the right course, our experience would be interspersed with theme meals at unique and colorful floating marinas. Pierre's Echo Bay, being one of the standouts. Because of these little outpost communities spread out around…

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Burdwood Group

Lunch Stop – Burdwood Group – Broughton Islands, BC

Burdwood Group – A cluster of low lying islands – One of the interesting features of the Burdwood Group Islands are the white shell beaches. This grouping includes Denham Island, Walker Islet and a few other unnamed islands and islets. We stopped for lunch during our day-long exploration on our way to Shoal Harbour. The surroundings were amazing, almost dreamlike with pointy islands all around. It helped that it was an extremely calm day with glassy water below us reflecting the mounds of islands nearby. Above us, the sky was intensely blue at the height of the day, we felt saturated in warm color and dreaminess. It felt like time stood still. We were soon joined by a couple of sailboats, they coasted by as if they were gliding on half-set Jell-o. The Burdwood Group Islands are a popular spot for kayakers. We can see why. I would want to return to this group should we ever make it back to the Broughton Islands. It was that amazing! We made…

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Cruising To Viner Sound

Cruising to Cover More Territory – Broughton Islands, BC Canada

Cruising Along a Fluid Highway Around the Islands – When exploring new cruising territory, like we are right now in the Broughtons, we will often spend the whole day traveling in and out of bays, coves and sounds. We’ll skirt around islands and stick our bow into a shallow inlet to investigate the setting. Our day will be spent watching for wildlife, especially bears foraging for food along the beaches. With limited time in the Broughtons and with so much territory to cover, it just makes sense to maximize our exposure this way. We usually have a trip planned out ahead of time, one that leads to an anchorage at the end of the day. While exploring, we might stop to take in an exceptionally scenic spot and pause for lunch. We’ve been known to spend hours watching bears sunning themselves in grassy low-lands near the water. Our favorite sighting was at Brem Bay, Toba Inlet near Desolation Sound, where we got…

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