May 2016 Vacation – South Sound

May 5-12, 2016

Well, here we are once again. It’s our 3rd vacation on Samadhi and our log book has nothing in it regarding this trip. It turns out when things don’t exactly go as planned it’s hard to be inspired to write about it. Looking back at the calendar and date stamps on the pictures we might be able to fill in some holes in our memories as it’s been a year. As usual we headed to Tyee Marina after Dan got off work Thursday night with the cat and dog. This vacation we’re going to hang out in the south sound because heading up the San Juans takes a full day there and a full day back. We can get to the south sound in a couple hours and it looks like there might be a lot to do. Friday morning we took off to our first stop Cutts Island. Yes, we’ve been there many times before but it is pretty great. It was a nice sunny day with some wind so we pulled out the sails. As we rounded the Fox Island and headed northwest we got hit with some really good wind that had Samadhi heeling over to 20 degrees. We got some fast sailing in before we had to put away the sails so we could anchor. Somewhat across from Cutts Island is Penrose Point. There is a dock there and quite a few mooring buoys but we decided to just take the dinghy over and explore. As we came into the Cove we spied a beautiful bald eagle atop the trees and down on the beach. It was low tide and is pretty shallow so we’re happy we came in the dinghy. We were hoping to get an ice cream treat at the dock store but nothing was open. The beach was covered in sand dollars which was very cool, they were everywhere, but with the minus tide is was pretty stinky and mucky. We also made it to McMicken Island which is tiny but very neat with a little hiking trail. I think we did the loop three times in a row, taking turns being the trail running leader. There is a drying bar which connects McMicken Island to Harstene and we were able to see it as it’s own island as well as “connected” to Harstene because of the extreme low tide. We had hoped to go to Jarrell Cove but once again the minus tide foiled our plans. I believe the charts show the approach between 8-10 feet but with a negative tide we aren’t going to chance getting Samadhi stuck in the mud. She draws 7’2” so just can’t go into really shallow water. We ended up at a little anchorage outside of Grapeview where someone had built a cool driftwood fort on the beach. The kids played with it for hours. Fair Harbor marina was a quick dinghy ride and we tried, once again, to find some ice cream but to no avail. We also got ourselves locked out of the docks but thankfully their gate was high enough we could send Victoria under it. Well, we think we’ve had enough of the south Sound. We’re thinking we might try out Gig Harbor on our way back.  The tide was going out and carried us through the narrows just fine. Did I mention minus tides and that the tide was going out? The charts say the approach to Gig Harbor is 7.9’ we draw 7’2”, we got almost to the breakwater and chickened out. The water was murky and we couldn’t see the bottom even when the depth sounder was reading less than 10’. Getting stuck in the mud for 6 hours would be pretty bad, getting stuck for 6 hours and blocking a harbor entrance would be miserable. Now where? How about everyone’s favorite island in Seattle? Blake Island here we come. We invited our friend Craig to join us there, he drove to West Seattle and Dan picked him up in the dinghy. The next day we explored Blake Island (which we’ve done a thousand times but we still enjoy it), did some kayaking over the kelp forest during the lowest tide and saw lots of sea life. We took Samadhi over to West Seattle and launched the dinghy to get Craig back to his car as there wasn’t a place to bring Samadhi to a dock. From there we traveled back down to Tacoma. We did our usual spend the night at the dock and clean up the next morning. What we’ve discovered is that when things don’t go exactly as we’ve planned we tend to journal less and take fewer pictures so once again it’s pretty minimal.

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