Seattle – Miss You Already!

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 for two nights 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, as visiting boaters, everything we could possible need is with 10 blocks or so of the marina,…

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Eagle Harbor Anchorage – Bainbridge Island, WA

Bainbridge Island sits north and west of downtown Seattle – Eagle Harbor was our choice for one night on the hook. On a clear day, you can plainly see Seattle’s skyline eight miles to the east across Puget Sound. Eagle Harbor is home to the City of Bainbridge Island, which can be a little confusing. Kind of like New York, New York but in this case it’s Bainbridge Island, Bainbridge Island! 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…

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Torpedo Town USA – Keyport, WA

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…

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A Taste of Scandinavia in 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…

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Port Townsend Recommendation

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 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.…

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Transiting Desolation Pass in a Pocket of Fog

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. The fog continued to lift as we made our way to the pass,…

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Catching a Mooring Ball at Hope Island

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…

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2013 Ranger Tugs and 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 annual Ranger Tug/Cutwater 2013 Rendezvous, held this year at Cap Santé Marina in Anacortes, WA. Because we’d been cruising for an extended period of time, in British Columbia, 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…

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

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…

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The Anacortes Connection

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…

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Boater Homing in Fruitland, Idaho

Our last two road days included a stop in Fruitland, Idaho where we selected a shady site at an RV park for the night. Still hot but bearable with the shade of the overhead trees filtering the intense heat from the sun making it comfortable sleeping in the boat. We are excited that the road trip part of the trip is just about behind us. We can't wait to get the boat back in the water. Destination reached.  

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Preparing, Packing and Planning…

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, so 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

After a few minor fixes and upgrades we prepare to depart from the Ranger Tug 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 and meet his girlfriend, Naomi.

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Blake Island Jogged My 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…

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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…

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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 from British Columbia, Canada. With 68 boats present, Lisa and I had…

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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…

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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…

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Gig Harbor Encounters

Our son, Ross, who lives in Portland, OR joined us for a few days. We explored Gig Harbor together he helped up get groceries and played a few games of Liverpool. Kismet, sitting pretty in Gig Harbor Captain Ross! Sarah's (our son Skyler's fiancé) brother Christopher (above-left), who lives south of Seattle 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…

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Ranger Tugs Factory in Kent, WA

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…

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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…

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Sea Trial Fun

The big day finally arrived, the one when we saw the results of our planned transition into being owners of a Ranger Tug 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. Andrew Custis is Ranger Tugs Customer Service Manager and responsible for our new boat 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…

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Off We Go…

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

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