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

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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Waiting For Slack Tide Event At Deception Pass? Try 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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A Gem Of An Anchorage – Port Madison, WA

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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Taking Silas Out Of The Wild And Into City Life – Tacoma, WA

Taking Silas Out of the Wild and Into City Life – Tacoma, WA

Lots to do with Silas in Tacoma! – By Thursday, knowing that Silas would be ready to burn up some pent up energy, we headed to Dock Street Marina in Tacoma. Just cruising into the busy port gave Silas some maritime visual stimulation. He asked lots of questions about his surroundings at the busy marina – all day long. After docking, we gathered up the accumulated garbage bags to dispose of, and walked a short distance into town. One nice thing about Dock Street Marina is its close proximity to a fairly vibrant harbor town. We wanted to take Silas to Tacoma Children’s Museum, where he could hang out with kids his own age.           Silas had fun at the museum, which was more of an inside play ground chock-full of activities.         We had all really worked up an appetite by that time, so next we headed over to The Spaghetti Factory for…

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Silas Onboard Kismet – Penrose Point State Park And Filucy Bay

Silas Onboard Kismet – Penrose Point State Park and Filucy Bay

We've Waited a Long Time to Have Silas Onboard for a Weeklong Adventure! – Monday afternoon, Lisa, Silas and I waved goodbye from shore to Ross and Hadley and headed back to the boat. To see the wonderment in Silas’ eyes, as we departed Gig Harbor, brought back memories of when I was a child spending time on the water in a boat. From Gig Harbor we cruised through the Narrows into Hale Passage en-route to Penrose Point State Park, off Carr Inlet. We have never cruised much in South Sound, except for one trip to Gig Harbor in 2011, when we took possession of our Ranger Tugs R27. The day was sunny warm and clear, the water very calm, so we decided to anchor out for our first night. What a delight to have Silas onboard with us. We wondered what Silas would think about sleeping on the boat, which he has done many times, but always at a…

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Silas First Boating Adventure – Gig Harbor

Silas First Boating Adventure – Gig Harbor

Our First Guests on Our New Ranger Tug, Kismet! – It is often said that people are a “product of their environment.” We had our grandson, Silas, on his first boat ride, in 2013, before he was a week old. Since that day, we’ve had a few boat rides with him, his parents and recently minted sister, Hadley. As he is now almost four years old, we thought it was time to immerse him into our boating lifestyle. So we invited him to join us for – Silas first boating adventure – a week-long cruise in South Puget Sound, Washington. There was no hesitation in his reply. "When do we go?" he said. We chose South Sound for its close proximity to Portland, where Silas, his sister, and parents live. After our Ranger Tugs orientation in Des Moines Marina, we spent several days commissioning the boat with many shopping expeditions to stock and equip the boat. We left there Saturday…

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Saying Goodbye Is Hard To Do!

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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Ranger Tugs Gives Orientation On Volvo Penta D4-300

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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How Do You Say Thank You?

How Do You Say Thank You?

If you are Fluid Motion, parent company of Ranger Tugs and Cutwater Boats, you hold the largest “Thank You Rendezvous” the boating community has ever seen! – We attended our first Ranger Tugs Rendezvous in August of 2011, just after taking delivery of our 2012 Ranger R27. At that time it was organized by the owners and supported by the Factory. It was held in Bremerton Washington that year and attended by approximately 68 boats and over a hundred owners. It was a fun event, “Parrotville Party” was the theme that year, very similar to this years theme, “Cruise to Margaritaville.” These tuggers sure like their margaritas. One has to ask why has this event gotten so big, five times the size of the one we attended in 2011? We finally decided it’s not just one thing. But it does revolve around one central fact. Fluid Motion takes care of their customers and the yearly rendezvous is a way of continuing…

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2017 Ranger Tugs Cutwater Boats Factory Rendezvous

2017 Ranger Tugs Cutwater Boats Factory Rendezvous

Taking delivery of our new Ranger Tug R29S a few weeks ago also meant we’d be in the Pacific Northwest to attend another noteworthy 2017 Ranger Tugs Cutwater Boats Factory Rendezvous – THE WORLD'S LARGEST BOAT RENDEZVOUS! With 190 boats, and approximately 400 people, in attendance, this is quite an accomplishment. Seems like we were just in Roche Harbor for the 2016 rendezvous, while we had our boat in the PNW for 12 months. At the time, we didn’t have a clue that we’d be here again so soon. Just shows... a lot can happen in a year. We had so much fun in 2016, we couldn’t wait to cruise up to the San Juan Islands from Des Moines, where we took possession of our new boat mid-August. We made so many friendships last year, we couldn’t wait to catch up with them and their boating adventures. In addition we looked forward to creating many new connections within this friendly…

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Boaterhoming Cascade Locks On The Columbia River With Silas

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, Oregon

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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Phenomenal Factory Rendezvous Turnout!

Phenomenal Factory Rendezvous Turnout!

The Largest Boat Rendezvous in the World – Jeff Messmer When we made plans last fall to bring Kismet out to the Pacific Northwest for a full year, we knew we wanted our itinerary to include Fluid Motion’s (parent company of both Ranger Tugs and Cutwater boats) 2016 Ranger Tugs & Cutwater Boats Factory Rendezvous. This year the event was held at Roche Harbor, Washington the first week in September. 150 Ranger Tugs and Cutwater Boats Attending the 2016 Rendezvous in Roche Harbor, Washington We’ve now been to three rendezvous in Washington state. Our first was in 2011, when we took possession of our Ranger Tug R27, it was held in Bremerton, WA. The second was in 2013 when we trailered our boat out for the summer season – mainly to join the Desolation Sound Cruise (a group cruise put on by the factory to help new owners get out on the water). The 2013 rendezvous was held in Anacortes, WA. With each event attended, we encountered a growing and cohesive boating…

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Fox Cove Anchorage – Sucia Island In The San Juan Islands

Fox Cove Anchorage – Sucia Island in the San Juan Islands

We Anchored in Fox Cove for a Peaceful Night on the Hook – Our much anticipated return to Sucia Island did not disappoint. This time we anchored in Fox Cove cove near the beach to the campground, across a small stretch of land from Fossil Bay and the boat docks. When we arrived, one lone sailboat sat anchored between the mooring balls. Another small sailboat arrived near the end of the day. We decided to spend two nights in this spot.      We found out that this woman's (photo - below) husband built this boat from scratch. We think he used plans from Devlin Designing Boat Builders. A Black Crown 30. It's a beauty!

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2016 Summer Cruising Season In British Columbia, Canada

2016 Summer Cruising Season in British Columbia, Canada

Our Summer Cruising Season Will Take Us to the Broughton Islands –  Have you ever been somewhere before that you’ve loved so much you cannot wait to return? Have you ever wondered why it took you so long to discover it? In our early summer cruising adventures we never dreamed territory such as the Pacific Northwest, San Juan and Gulf Islands, Princess Louisa Inlet, Chatterbox Falls and Desolation Sound existed. We’ve returned this year to cruise some of our favorite summer cruising stops from 2013, then we’ll continue further north to explore the Broughton Islands, a territory rich wth wildlife and natural wonders. Our trip will start in Anacortes, Washington where we’ll provision and prepare for our three-month long adventure north to British Columbia. We’ll spend two weeks in Canada’s Gulf Islands exploring places we have not been to before. First stop will be Sucia Island in the San Juan Islands as we stage to cross over to Canada to Poets Cove for the Ranger Tugs/Cutwater…

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Dinner Date With Bob & Nita On Nellie Too

Dinner Date with Bob & Nita on Nellie Too

Bob & Nita Welcome Us to Anacortes –  One thing we love about trailering our boating all over the United States and Canada is all the great people we get to meet, people we may not otherwise have the opportunity to get to know. During our many trips to boat in the Pacific Northwest we have bumped into Ranger Tug owners, Bob & Nita, on Nellie Too, several times. The first time we met them was at the Ranger Tug Rendezvous in Bremerton. It was our first experience with the Ranger Tug community. Bob and Nita bring their commercial-size margarita blender to all the rendezvous and happily serve everyone their delicious margaritas. They made a big impression on us then and we come to love connecting with them when boating in this part of the U.S. When Bob & Nita found out we were coming to Anacortes for a week, before we departed for our month-long stay in Victoria, they tried to anticipate our…

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BUMS Did A Great Bottom Job!

BUMS Did A Great Bottom Job!

BUMS Did a Professional, Efficient and Seamless Bottom Job on Kismet –  Lisa asked that I write a post about my bottom. I looked at her with amazement that she wanted me to write about such a personal thing. But here goes! It had been over three years since I prepped Kismet’s bottom and applied two coats of non-ablative bottom paint. It was starting to show. During that three-plus year period, I did touch up the water line and bow area twice when the boat was on its trailer. That area was in good shape but the hull was truly in need of a bottom paint job. My goal was to have a complete sanding of the hull and have two coats of bottom paint applied before our Pacific Northwest summer cruising season started. We left Victoria, BC the first of March for Port Townsend, Washington. We had met the owner, Joe VonVolkli, of BUMS (Bottoms Up Marine Service) at the…

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Port Of Port Townsend – The Big Boy Boat Yard

Port of Port Townsend – The Big Boy Boat Yard

A Boat Yard with Muscle! Port of Port Townsend Boat Haven is a massive boat yard with 475 commercial and recreational vessels and more than sixty marine trades businesses located on the property. You can get anything from a complete boat restoration to bottom painting, major or minor repairs. Not only that but, you can have coffee, lunch, dinner or grab a beer and buy fish all at different establishments right in the yard, it’s that big. With a Laundromat, a couple of restaurants and a brewery located on the grounds, you don't need to go far to take care of the necessities and to top it off there is a full-sized grocery store right across the street. We stayed at the marina for a night before we were scheduled to be lifted out of the water for  our bottom paint job. Work was done by BUMS. So the next day Kismet joined the huge fishing boats, trawlers and yachts on jack stands in…

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Clearing Customs – A Link To A Childhood Friend

Clearing Customs – a Link to a Childhood Friend

We Had a Little Surprise as We Were Clearing Customs After a uneventful cruise across Strait of Juan De Fuca to Port Townsend from Victoria, we pulled up to the Custom's dock at Port of Port Townsend Boat Haven Marina. Earlier in the morning Jim had called the Customs Office near Port Townsend, this is the protocol for checking back into the United States for clearing customs, specifically Port Townsend, after being in Canada. We don't normally call ahead of time before we arrive, however Port Townsend does not have an office right there, so we had to call to give a heads up to the Customs Officer so that he could plan to meet us there later. The surprise came shortly after we made the arrival phone call. We didn't have to wait very long before the officer parked near the dock and walked down to our boat. As I came out of the boat to greet him, I happened to notice his hame…

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Seattle Boat Show In Full Swing – 2016

Seattle Boat Show in Full Swing – 2016

Lots to see at the 2016 Seattle Boat Show! As luck would have it, we would still be in Washington State during the beginning of the Seattle Boat Show. Anacortes is about 80 miles from Seattle, so it was a nice road trip for the day. Ranger Tugs/Cutwater had a huge presence at the show and a very nice display of all their Ranger Tugs and Cutwater lines. We haven't been to a boat show in quite awhile. The last one we were at in Seattle was in 2008, when we spent the winter in town waiting and watching our Fathom 40 be built. We feel going to a boat show can be a little dangerous as you never know what you might leave with after seeing all those shiny, innovative boats and yachts. We were lucky this time, we left with only a couple of bags full of giveaway stuff. We still love our Ranger Tugs R27, it's the perfect boat…

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Winter Cruising Begins In Anacortes, WA

Winter Cruising Begins in Anacortes, WA

Have You Ever Tried Winter Cruising? After spending two months at home for the holidays, we returned to Portland, OR for a week to visit with family before hooking Kismet and trailer up to the truck for the first time this year. Our immediate plan for Winter Cruising is to drive to Anacortes, Washington, on Fidalgo Island, and stay at Skyline Marina until the end of the month of January. We have reservations at the Coast Hotel and Marina in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada for the whole month of February. Fellow Ranger Tugs owner and friend, Bob, on Nellie Too, met us when we arrived in Anacortes to help us with launching the boat at the Washington Park boat launch and storing our trailer. Bob also helped us secure dockage at Skyline Marina for our stay in Anacortes. Although we usually manage the launch by ourselves, it sure is quicker and easier when we have another person to ferry back and forth our truck…

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Winterizing Kismet For Storage In Portland, OR

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 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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Willamette River Cruise To Downtown Portland – Day Trip

Willamette River Cruise to Downtown Portland – Day Trip

Cruise from Columbia River to Willamette River In an effort to get several cruises in before the weather turns on us, we planned a cruise from the Columbia River to the Willamette River. We left the marina with our son, Ross and grandson, Silas, to Portland within ten days of our arrival. This will be Silas' third boat trip on Kismet. His first trip was when he was just four days old. The second was in Traverse City last summer. We think he is starting to be old enough to appreciate what our tug can do on the water.   There are nine bridges in downtown Portland. In all, we passed under eleven bridges on our Willamette River cruise. The Bridges of Portland, Oregon "Who's driving the boat papa?" "Oh, now I am!"     Things really got exciting for Silas when papa gave him the wheel. Look at that expression. Silas is on his way to being a boater.  …

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Government Island – Friends On Board In Portland, Oregon

Government Island – Friends On Board in Portland, Oregon

Government Island is Just a Short Cruise from Salpare Marina. Having just arrived at Salpare Marina, in Portland, Oregon, at the begining of October, we didn't want to waste any time getting out on the water while the weather was still good. A good day presented itself and we called our friends, Patti and Eric to come down to the boat for a cruise out to Government Island. It really was a great day, with blue skies, calm water and a sunny warmth shining down on us. (Glad we did because there were not many days like that during our six week stay). Government Island is not far from the marina, so it was a quick trip there. We packed plenty of food for the afternoon excursion and we were satisfied to just cruise the short way to anchor. Time just flew by as we caught up on the time since we had all last been together. Patti and Eric always make us feel so welcome…

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