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Our Journey on Scolamanzi II
Our Journey on Scolamanzi II

The last few days in Puget Sound – Hood Canal:

With a few days spare between guests we have decided to do a bit more of the northern Puget Sound area and departed for Port Ludlow. The weather was starting to change to “normal” Seattle weather of overcast and light rain at times. We had a good run of exceptional weather for the last 4 weeks and could not complain. In fact, Johann is always happy if we get some rain while cruising – to wash the boat with fresh water! Unfortunately, the first few drops are usually dirty water and did not help much… but the forecast promised 5 days of rain … an opportunity to get use to the cold, wind and rain that might await us up north!

Port Ludlow:

A lovely protected bay with the small but nice marina on the one side and some impressive waterfront properties all along the edge. With only one boat at anchor, it seems to be the perfect place to do our 50H gearbox oil change of the main engine. After having a bit of a struggle, the pump just would not have a bar of this job in such a lovely area. Johann reminds me again of the saying: Boating is all about fixing boats in exotic places… not too far off the mark if I think back of our previous sailing experiences! We left it to be fixed when we get back to Elliot bay in 3 days’ time.  It suit me to rather spend time with two wonderful friends, Karlien and Jeremy that joined us for a sleepover! Boerewors and Seafood Chowder and good wine with them framed a perfect day!

In light rain and light winds we headed for Pleasant Harbour.

Pleasant Harbour:

The name is so appropriate – a perfect description of this small, well protected stunning little place! It has so much character! Two small marinas with good facilities and dock facilities for visiting boats. Massive pine trees surrounded the lovely bay. We anchored in a tight spot but fortunately the wind blows only up or down this ravine. The weather allowed us to put the tender in the water for a quick exploration around the area. On entry we have noticed a small fishing boat at the entrance with about 5 people vehemently trying to catch some salmon … with the amount of salmon jumping everywhere we thought they will be loaded in no time – they were still there 5 hours later!… which made me think that it probably is trickier than what we think!

Port Gamble:

 

We weather has started to turn foul as predicted, with winds increasing to 20-35 knots. The route to Port Gamble meant that we had to pass The U.S. Navy’s Naval Base Kitsap, Bangor – home port for a fleet of nuclear submarines! There were two subs alongside and what appeared to be missiles being loaded. If you use your binoculars you will see a large notice that “The Navy is authorised to use “deadly force” to protect it!” The 3 gunboats were situated in two strategic positions and followed our moves very closely, staying parallel with Scolamanzi until we were well passed the submarines. I was stunned at how many beautiful mansions were on the cliff right next to the naval base … not a good spot to be for many a reasons!

Arriving at Port Gamble the wind has picked up considerably! We measured winds of 45 knots inside the harbour and at least 60 knots outside the harbour! I had difficulty keeping my foot on the anchor control with a wind that threatened to blow me overboard! One hand to the rail and one holding on to my weather jacket’s cap did not make for enough stability at all!!

We were entertained with the procedures of a wedding happening ashore (where they were more protected against the wind than us)! Talking about appropriate names! Port Gamble would not be the place I would like to get married in! … and not in gale force winds either!!

We were the only boat anchored in that large bay and with our 110kg Rocna anchor and half inch chain we were not going anywhere.

We have tried the anchor snubber …..  with little success … something we will need to fine tune and perhaps not in big winds until we get the hang of it). The anchor on its own did a marvellous job. Although I am in pain every time the anchor gets pulled up with mud caked on the chain and anchor (again…what a great Idea to have a super potent anchor-wash!) – These muddy bottoms makes for excellent holding

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