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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 and…

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“Change Is The Only Constant In Life” – Heraclitus

“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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Seattle – Miss You Already!

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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Eagle Harbor Anchorage – Bainbridge Island, WA

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 – 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

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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Port Townsend Recommendation

Port Townsend Recommendation

Port Townsend – Washington’s Victorian Seaport & Arts Community Over the years people have highly recommended a visit to Port Townsend, WA, but, for whatever reason, we have never made the stop. During our trip out west this year, we put Port Townsend on our planned route as we headed south from the San Juans toward Puget Sound. Port Townsend, one of the coolest small town in America, sits at the northeast point of the Olympic peninsula where Strait of Juan De Fuca and Admiralty Inlet meet. In the late 1800s Port Townsend was intended to become the main city in the Puget Sound area, so a great deal of new buildings and Victorian houses were built. However, the rail system the founders counted on to make this happen, only made it to Tacoma. So Port Townsend never became the big city mecca they hoped for. The good news is that today Port Townsend, with it's rich maritime history, has…

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Transiting Deception Pass In A Pocket Of Fog

Transiting Deception Pass in a Pocket of Fog

Heading for Deception Pass After spending a pleasant night on the hook at Hope Island, we woke to a blanket of fog so thick, we could hardly see more then 150 feet in any direction. We waited and waited until finally, close to our planned departure time, the fog began to lift a little. We pulled anchor, turned on our radar and headed towards Deception Pass. A safe trip through Deception Pass needs to done at slack tide. We needed to be positioned at the pass for the optimal tidal event. We ended up following a barge through Deception Pass while holding our breaths. The fog continued to lift as we made our way to the pass, however, we were surprised when we arrived to see a wall of fog completely covering the cut. We idled in a circular pattern, along with a couple of other boats, waiting as long as we could for the possibility of the fog lifting but it…

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Catching A Mooring Ball At Hope Island

Catching a Mooring Ball at Hope Island

Positioning ourselves at Hope Island to transit through Deception Pass in the Morning. Leaving the dock at Cap Sante Marina in Anacortes, I saw our fuel gage flashing a bright red “low fuel” light, setting my mind into a bit of a panic. Idling to the fuel dock, I was hoping we’d make it before running completely out, how embarrassing would that have been. I haven't run out of fuel since I was in High School. The good news is we made it to the fuel dock without conking out in the harbor. Confidently fueled up, we headed through LaConner and up into Skagit Bay, where we caught a mooring ball off Hope Island. We were positioning ourselves to transit through Deception Pass the next morning. The plan was to cruise down the open waters of Rosario Strait to Port Townsend – our first ever visit by boat.  Dinner on board Kismet came together without a hitch after we got settled…

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2013 Ranger Tugs / Cutwater Rendezvous – Anacortes, WA

2013 Ranger Tugs / Cutwater Rendezvous – Anacortes, WA

One of the ancillary benefits of boating are the many social opportunities present. Everywhere we anchor or dock we'll either run into old friends or we'll end up meeting some very interesting people. We can’t think of a better place to do this than at the 2013 Ranger Tugs / Cutwater Rendezvous, held this year at Cap Santé Marina in Anacortes, Washington. Because we’d been cruising in British Columbia for an extended period of time, we decided to arrive a few days early so we could get caught up on the usual boat chores, which included a thorough cleaning of the boat, inside and out, washing clothes and picking up a batch of mail. In the midst of our getting settled and organized, Ranger Tug owners, and residents of Anacortes, Bob and Nita (below), on Nellie Too, approached us and said they were trying to put together a group to head up to Anthony’s for the early bird special. So, with…

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Reunion In Friday Harbor With Willy’s Tug And Circle T

Reunion in Friday Harbor with Willy’s Tug and Circle T

Friday Harbor, the Hub of the San Juan Islands! Friday Harbor is a picturesque town and the largest small town in the San Juan Islands; you could say it's the hub of commerce for the islands. This was our third time staying in the harbor. It has been said that the boating community is a small world, our slip just happened to be right next to Herb and Willy from Willy’s Tug, Tim and June, on Circle T, from California were also docked nearby. Both are Ranger Tug owners we know from our cruising time in the PNW – most recently when we all joined the Ranger Tugs 2013 Desolation Sound Cruise. Because of meeting up with these boaters, we got to experience a couple of things while in Friday Harbor we wouldn't have, had it not been for Tim’s “Local Knowledge.” Perched on the bluff above the marina sits a Lions Club – with Tim’s membership all six of us…

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Cap Sante Marina – The Anacortes Connection

Cap Sante Marina – The Anacortes Connection

There were several Ranger Tug owners we wanted to connect with while we were at Cap Sante Marina. We'd been to Anacortes, Washington, the gateway to the San Juans Islands, several times in the past 15 years so it felt a little like a home away from home for us. After launching the boat and stowing the trailer and truck it was time to get organized for some serious PNW cruising. We needed to stock up and collect our thoughts a little. Guess the week we spent on the road took it's toll. Lisa kept saying maybe we need another day to get organized so we'd not feel so rushed, plus there were several Ranger Tug owners we wanted to connect with while we were at Cap Sante Marina. We spent a couple of days provisioning at the local Safeway, setting the dinghy up, unloading the truck and correcting a hydro lock I created in my 4-stroke outboard. Apparently I did…

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Preparing, Packing And Planning For Our Trip West

Preparing, Packing and Planning for Our Trip West

Planning for the trip west! After spending this past winter holed up at home in northern Michigan remodeling our kitchen, we feel we're more than ready for some new cruising adventure. We are preparing, planning and packing to head west soon to begin another fun boating season. First we'll visit the Flaming Gorge Reservoir on the Green River in Northeast Utah/Southern Wyoming. Then we'll continue on to Puget Sound in Washington State, there we'll put in at Anacortes and cruise north into Canada's Gulf Islands, Desolation Sound and more. Check back often, the fun is soon to start.

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Back To The Factory To Pick Up Boat And Trailer

Back to the Factory to Pick Up Boat and Trailer

After a few minor fixes and upgrades we prepared to depart from the Ranger Tugs factory in Kent, WA. Kenny (below-left) helped us get on our way by checking tire pressure and helping with hitching the boat to our truck for the first time. We'll be heading to Portland, Oregon today (a two-day trip for us) to visit our son, Ross.

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Blake Island Jogged A Memory

Blake Island Jogged a Memory

We didn't linger too long in Bremerton after the Ranger Tugs Rendezvous because we had a really interesting cruise planned for today. We said our goodbyes to new boating friends and shoved off the dock late morning. Just around the corner from Bremerton sits Blake Island, a 476-acre Washington State Park which lies in Puget Sound approximately eight miles from downtown Seattle. This Island, with its five miles of beach shoreline and magnificent views of the Olympic Mountains and Seattle skyline, is only accessible by boat.  The island was an ancestral camping ground of the Suquamish Indian tribe. Later, it was logged and eventually sold to William Trimble and his family. After a family tragedy and years of neglect, the property became a marine state park in 1959. Tillicum Village was built on 5 acres of the 475-acre state park and opened in 1962. Today, the Island has thousands of visitors who come to Tillicum for the world famous salmon…

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2011 Ranger Tug Rendezvous

2011 Ranger Tug Rendezvous

The People... "We Love Our Tugs!" We arrived in Bremerton on Wednesday so that we could take care of some chores before the festivities began – we were the third boat to arrive in the harbor. Over the late afternoon and early evening, and the whole next day, the tugs slowly arrived in the harbor. After we tied up to the dock I took off to do laundry while Jim cleaned the boat, then we treated ourselves to a dinner at Anthony's – great choice. We've been anchoring out a lot and, with no dinghy to get to shore, cooking on the boat a lot. This is the third annual Ranger Tug Rendezvous, and obviously our first, so we weren't quite sure what to expect but we know from past experience – whenever you get a group of boaters together you are bound to have a rip-roaring time. We have to say that we were not disapointed. The Tugnuts (Ranger…

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2011 Ranger Tug Rendezvous

2011 Ranger Tug Rendezvous

The Boats... They're Everywhere! Sixty-eight Ranger Tugs and Cutwaters in one place, at one time. They were many sizes, from 21 to 29 feet. If set end to end they would have measured 1,768 feet or one-third of a mile long. A rainbow of colors were represented from yellow, dark red, fire engine red, blue, green, tan and white with owners from as far away as Maine and New York, on the east coast, Michigan, Texas, California, Montana, Colorado and Oregon. Most were from the Washington State, many hailed from British Columbia, Canada. With 68 boats present, Lisa and I had an opportunity to witness first hand how these Tugnuts (Ranger Tug owners) equip their boats with dinghies, cockpit tables and chairs interior and exterior storage containers, anchors and so on. With only two weeks of ownership behind us these are all things that are of interest to us, being new Ranger Tug owners, so we were more than anxious…

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Return To Anacortes, Three Years Later…

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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The Biggest Sound Around

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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Gig Harbor Encounters – Washington State

Gig Harbor Encounters – Washington State

Our son, Ross, who lives in Portland, OR, joined us for a few days. We explored Gig Harbor together, he helped us get to the store to stock up on groceries and we played a few games of Liverpool. Kismet, sitting pretty in Gig Harbor Captain Ross! Christopher, (above-left) brother to Sarah, our soon to be daughter-in-law (fiancé to son Skyler), lives nearby, just south of Seattle so he made a special trip to Gig Harbor to have lunch with us on Sunday. It was really nice to spend some time with Christopher and get to know him a little better before the wedding next summer. We also had an opportunity to meet the Vince and Mary Ann on Sweet Spot and Cindy and Gerry on C-Gnome, during our last day at Arrabelle Marina.

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Ranger Tugs Factory In Kent, Washington

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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The PNW Chapter Of MTOA Puts On A Mean Rendezvous.

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 (also given by Debora, below). Mike…

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Sea Trial Fun – Kent, Washington

Sea Trial Fun – Kent, Washington

The big day finally arrived, the day we saw the results of our long planned transition into becoming owners of a Ranger Tugs R27 trailerable trawler. We were so excited to see our new boat, we arrived an hour earlier than scheduled to start our new boat orientation and sea trial with Andrew. Andrew Custis, Ranger Tugs Customer Service Manager, is responsible for our new boat training and introduction. The better part of a day was spent on Lake Washington with Andrew going through the boat systems and answering our questions, the session finished after a sea trial – Andrew wanted to make sure we had a good grasp the inner workings of our new boat. As if we were not impressed enough with our new boat, Andrew gave a top notch owners orientation... the best we’ve ever had with a new product purchase. More fun tomorrow – we load and stock the boat.

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