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Loading Kismet

A Little Apprehension Loading Kismet for Her First Cross-Country Trek

Heading Back to Des Moines Where We Will Be Loading Kismet Onto its Trailer for the First Time. Apprehension is defined in Websters Dictionary as "anxiety or fear that something bad or unpleasant will happen.” As our time in the Pacific Northwest was coming to an end, I was beginning to feel a little uneasy about trailering our new boat cross-country. The new Ranger Tug R29S is two feet longer and one and one-half feet wider, a little taller and a couple thousand pounds heavier than our previous R27. I've been known to worry a lot when faced with something new to me. Trailering an "oversize load" through city traffic, construction zones and steep grades in the mountains was not something to take lightly. After loading Kismet onto the trailer in Des Moines, our plan was to tow her cross-country to Ohio, where my mother lives. We would visit with her a few days after Kismet was stowed in her berth, a…

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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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San Juan Islands Sucia Island

Island in the Sun – Sucia Island, San Juan Islands, Washington

Sucia Island Marina State Park – As long-distance cruisers we are routinely motivated by an appetite to explore the unknown. We push ourselves to seek out that which we have not yet seen, filling in with returns to some of our favorite finds. Sucia Island is one of those "return" places for us – this being our third visit to this horseshoe-shaped island refuge. We still remember the first time we set foot on this island paradise with its natural sandstone caves. The park includes 564 acres of parkland with over 77,000 feet of shoreline Spanish explorers, circa 1781, called the island “sucia” or “foul.” A nautical term describing navigational obstacles such as the rocks around the island. Previously we've moored in Shallow Bay and another time anchored in Fox Cove, but this time we opted to tie Kismet up at the southern dock in Fossil Bay. Sucia Island is roughly two-and-a-half miles long and one-half mile wide. The island…

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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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Cruise To Margaritaville

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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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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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

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

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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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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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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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

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

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

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 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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