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Roche Harbor, Washington

A Big Welcome to Roche Harbor

Succcess! After two nights on anchor in Garrison Bay we called Roche Harbor Marina early Sunday morning and were put on the waiting list. We only waited a half hour or so before they called us in. The busy harbor was in stark contrast to our previous night's surroundings. With the holiday weekend in full swing we were pretty quick to pick up on the electric, party atmosphere. As were were coming down the fairway, we spotted another Ranger Tug just a few slips down from where we soon docked. We had noticed their dinghy tied to the back of their boat (you really couldn't miss it since it was bright orange, most are grey, not a usual color for a dinghy but when you think about it very practical for safety reasons since it would be much easier to spot than a grey one). Since we are dinghy-less at the moment we have been looking at all the different…

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Roche Harbor Marina Customer Appreciation Party

Customer Appreciation Party

On our way to the Roche Harbor Customer Appreciation festivities. Apparently, if you are in Roche Harbor on this special day you are invited to this amazing party. Your choice of many fine wines, tasty seafood sandwiches and live band were the highlights of this party, all put on to thank the community, mostly boaters, for visiting Roche Harbor. We were only minutes tied up at dock before marina personnel came to out boat to make sure we knew about the party. What a way to get in the party mood and join all the other boaters who had already been in this mode all weekend.

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Garrison Bay, San Juan Islands, Washington

Peaceful Nights – Garrison Bay, San Juan Island

We left Friday Harbor this morning after a quick walk through town. We wanted to get into Roche Harbor today but knew it would be full for the Labor Day holiday weekend, so Jim looked up anchorages in this area on Active Captain and came up with Garrison Bay as a good choice since it is just around the corner from Roche Harbor – we could hang out here for a day or two and try to secure a slip at the marina on Sunday or Monday when the holiday traffic slows down a bit. Just minutes after anchoring, way back up into the ba,y this C-Dory comes to check out our boat. He had lots of questions about the boat – we're are starting to notice there's a lot of curiosity about the Ranger Tugs. A peaceful anchorage, a visit from a jellyfish, cocktails and a game of Liverpool on the back deck – for us it just doesn't get…

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Friday Harbor, San Juan Islands, Washington

Friday… in Friday Harbor

On our way into the San Juan Islands, we cruised by Olga, on Orca Island. So many people had recommended this little village as a great place to stop. If we have time we might return here and stay a night, but right now we're headed to one of our favorite ports in the San Juan's, Friday Harbor. Last time we were here, three years ago, it was winter but as I remember not much colder than it was today. We arrived here just before the Labor Day weekend and we find a much busier harbor with only a few slips empty. The town is filled with residents and tourists celebrating the sunny day. We visited the hardware store, the seafood shop, the grocery store and walked through a craft fair. We found this tiny little tug boat, it's not much bigger than dinghy size and this beautiful Nordic Tug. Isn't this a great idea. When we visited the hardware…

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To Anacortes, Washington

Return to Anacortes, Three Years Later…

Smooth sailing today on the Sound and LaConner Pass. Returning to Cap Sante Marina for one night before we head over to the San Juan Islands. As we were approaching our slip we happened to see Herb and Willie on Willie's Tug, (above-left) we already feel like we know them because we've been corresponding with them on the Tug Nuts forum. They are also new owners of an R27 with a gorgeous yellow hull. Just after we tied up to the dock, we helped Jo into her slip next to us. She had just come from the Gulf Islands today, we can tell she's the right person to ask about anchorages in the San Juans. Our son Skyler, who builds bikes from from old parts, will enjoy this this unique design.

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Map Of Puget Sound Washington State

The Biggest Sound Around

Puget Sound is the second-largest estuary in the country. It was formed around 15,000 years ago by a massive glacier moving south across the area. This glacier was over 3,412 feet thick. As it moved south, it shaped the land like a giant bulldozer, carving out the basins that make up Puget Sound. Over fresh waters of 10,000 rivers and streams of the Seattle area flow into the Puget Sound creating the estuarine habitat that's so valuable for wildlife in the sound. Our first stop is Gig Harbor, a very unique boating destination. We'll be attending the PNW MTOA Rendezvous at Arrabella Marina, right downtown. Then, we'll head north towards the San Juan Islands (stops TBD). After a week or so in the San Juan's we'll head to Bremerton for the Ranger Tug Rendezvous followed, we hope, by a stop in downtown Seattle.  

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Ranger Tug Kismet

Ranger Tugs Factory in Kent, Washington

We saw the pictures, talked with the Ranger Tugs personnel, took tours at boat shows and visited owners forums, however there really isn’t anything like meeting the folks that make it all happen. In our case I’m referring to everyone at the Ranger Tugs assembly facility in Kent, Washington where our Ranger Tug R27 was built. After our orientation day we spent the next day at the plant loading and provisioning our boat for our initial solo launch, at Port Defiance, later that day. While at the Kent facility, Andrew (above) continued to educate us on the inner workings of our new boat. He also made sure we had plenty of water to drink (it was an extremely hot and humid day) and food because in the excitement of organizing the boat, we sort of lost track of time. Once we felt we were somewhat organized we were able take some time to tour the plant, take photo’s of the…

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MTOA Rendezvous, Gig Harbor, Washington

The PNW Chapter of MTOA Puts On a Mean Rendezvous.

Can't think of a better location than Gig Harbor, Washington for PNW MTOA group of boaters to come together to laugh, share and learn. We never felt the "odd man out" (being from out of state) with this group of boaters, we got a big, warm welcome, right away, from everyone we met and the group is just small enough that it really was possible to spend time with almost everyone to hear boating stories and/or tips. We had so much fun, we think we'll have to come back in two years. Bill Stults hosted the rendezvous and worked hard at making things run smoothly.     One of the highlights of the MTOA event, for us at least, was the chowder cook off. Debora (below-left) won with her pot of chowder (above-left).         There was a happy hour, pot-luck, blind dinghy race and a VERY entertaining and impromptu demonstration on how to clean a gooey duck…

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Gig Harbor

Off We Go…

Thursday afternoon, after we provisioned the boat, Andrew drove us down to the boat launch in Point Defiance, waved goodbye and said to call him when we got back. We left the truck and trailer at the factory this time out. So, long story short, we're off on our own and FINALLY back on the water on a new Kismet. Gig Harbor, here we come.  

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Glacier National Park

A Few Stops On the Way

We arrived at Glacier National Park early Saturday, with plenty of time to drive around the park and take a hike before we settled in our little mountain cabin at Rising Sun Motor Inn. We spent Sunday on a Red Bus Tour, a thrilling ride up the Going to the Sun Road. A perfect day spent with a bus load of people and a very knowledgeable "Jammer" bus driver. We learned about the glaciers and how they will soon cease to exist (estimated to disappear by 2030), hard to believe. We learned that it will be the fifth time the glaciers disappeared and reappeared in the history of earth, only this time the process seems to have been speeded up by earth's inhabitants. The iconic Red Bus Tours gave us the time to see the vista’s of the park through the open roof of the bus. While driving through the Going to the Sun Road we could rubber neck while…

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Mississippi Divide

Road Trip

Where did the summer go? It seemed to fly by for us as we quickly organized and packed up all our boating paraphernalia, clothes and a multitude of personal luxury items. The boat is finished now and recently passed the sea trial and as the Ranger Tugs Custom Service Manager said in his recent email message to us, "It floated!" So, on Tuesday, we hit the road running with our thoughts focused forward to the new adventure ahead of us. We'll take possession of the boat in Kent, Washington, get situated and familiar with her before we head to the MTOA Rendezvous in Gig Harbor, WA. New boat, new places, new people – here we come. Kind of felt more like we were in Tennessee than Munising, Michigan for lunch on the first day out. A fun restaurant and good food.

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Ranger Tugs R27 Kismet

Final Touches

As you can see from the photos, Kismet is nearing completion. There are some interesting features on this boat that we'll be talking about in the near future. One of my personal favorites, and the most innovative I believe, is the iPod docking station. You don't want to store a lot of CDs on a smaller boat – this way we'll have our whole collection of music at the ready without it taking up a lot of valuable storage space. Something we'll need to be more aware of while boating on a trailerable boat.

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