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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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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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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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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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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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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

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

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

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

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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Change, Jim And Lisa Favors Kismet

“Change is the Only Constant in Life” – Heraclitus

Change is Good! The phrase, "Change is the only constant in life,” was written by a Greek philosopher named Heraclitus of Ephesos (around 500 BC). I’m sure when he wrote these now famous words he was not thinking about the cruising travel plans of Kismet (a Turkish word that stands for "fate" or "meant to be"). Lisa and I have have made a complete overhaul of our 2015/2016 fall and winter cruising plans, it must be "kismet." Our original plans, of cruising the Rideua Canal this fall, then heading to Florida for the winter, have changed dramatically. We’ve decided to trailer Kismet west, across country. We want to spend time with our grandson and family in Portland Oregon. Our tug will be moored in Portland, on the Columbia River. After the new year we’ll trailer Kismet further north to the Puget Sound area for some wintertime cruising in Washington State's San Juan Islands and British Columbia’s Vancouver Island, we've already reserved a slip in Victoria for one month. It…

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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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Ranger Tug Kismet Anchored, Bainbridge Island

Eagle Harbor Anchorage – Bainbridge Island, WA

Bainbridge Island sits north and west of downtown Seattle – the Eagle Harbor anchorage was our choice for one night on the hook. On a clear day, you can plainly see Seattle’s skyline from the Eagle Harbor Anchorage, eight miles to the east across Puget Sound. City of Bainbridge Island is home to Eagle Harbor, which can be a little confusing. Kind of like New York, New York but in this case it’s Bainbridge Island, Bainbridge Island! Eagle Harbor juts in from the east shore of Bainbridge Island opposite Elliott Bay. It is two miles long and affords excellent anchorage in 30 to 39 feet, muddy bottom. After finding a suitable spot to anchor, we dinghied to the city dock so we could explore town, this being our first visit by boat. We were fortunate in that just a few months before our arrival the brand new Bainbridge Island Museum of Art opened its doors. We were able to tour the museum’s, well put…

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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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