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Monthly Archives: July 2013

It has been a busy few weeks aboard the Sea Eagle. The previous weekend we had an open house for about 40 of our friends. We cleaned the boat top to bottom, loaded her with food and drink and then had a steady stream of guests until well after midnight. It was a great opportunity for friends and family to see what has been occupying so much of our time since April.

Penny doing her best Carol Merrill with the shiny new Magma Catalina BBQ that I installed on the Sea Eagle.

Penny doing her best Carol Merrill with the shiny new Magma Catalina BBQ that I installed on the Sea Eagle.

This weekend, we installed a new BBQ and plumbed it into/repaired the leaking propane system. I was pretty floored when I bought the boat and was told by the original owners that they didn’t like to BBQ? I cook on the one at home (natural gas) all year, so couldn’t imagine operating the boat without one. We also took on 500 gallons of fuel (and treated it with Stanadyne diesel performance formula) in preparation for our upcoming trip to the San Juan Islands.

I finished up my project to replace the HOT halogen light bulbs in the interior overheads and reading lamps with LED lights. The LED’s (from Marine Beam) use about 10% of the 24 volt electricity, do NOT get hot and provide a nice warm light that is in some cases brighter than the old halogens. So far I have all of the overhead fixtures in the Saloon, Galley, Pilothouse and both Staterooms done. Now I’m working on the Heads and exterior lighting.

I also had to drill out and replace the switches on the reading lamps in the Master Staterooms. The Cantalupi reading lights come with very flimsy switches that break easily. A 1/4″ bit in a drill will widen the hole in the fixture enough to install a standard switch that will last the rest of the boat’s life.

Our first night at Anchor, McMicken Island.

Our first night at Anchor, McMicken Island.

With all the work that we did in San Francisco to get Sea Eagle ready for the trip up the coast, we had never actually spent the night on the hook. A 50th birthday party for Mike and Gail at McMicken island was time to rectify that. McMicken Island is located just east of Harstine Island in Case Inlet (South Puget Sound) and is a State Park that can only be visited by boat.

We left Tacoma late in the morning and hit the turn of tide just as we rounded Pt. Defiance and began riding the Flood Tide south through the Narrows. There were hundreds of fishing boats trying their luck just north of the point, which made navigation entertaining and I try very hard to keep the speed and wake down (so no one gets swamped), but some boats are smarter about it than others….

McNeil Island State Penitentiary, now closed.

McNeil Island State Penitentiary, now closed.


South of the Narrows, we cruised by Fox Island and then McNeil, which was a Washington Sate Penitentiary which has now been abandoned (2011). The island is beautiful and is going to be a stunning location for something spectacular once they figure out what to do with it.

Balch passage, between McNeil Island and Eagle Island was running fast, so we were making well over 10 knots as we flew through, which now seems very fast compared with our normal 7. Rounding Devil’s Head, we looked up Case Inlet and could see the large rafts of boats tucked in behind McMicken Island as we motored the length of Harstine Island. The 30+ mile trip took just under 4 hours, with an average speed of well over 7 knots due to the favorable currents.

McMicken Island Birthday Party Raft Up

McMicken Island Birthday Party Raft Up

We picked a spot close to the raft up of the birthday party boats and dropped the hook. How sweet it is!

We had a bunch of visitors, dropping by in their dingy’s to see the new boat. I did a lot of tours and always love taking new visitors into the N47’s engine room. My good friend Teri Sanders was really funny as she stepped into the full-height engine room, covered her mouth in surprise and exclaimed, “Oh my gosh Scott, you have naked women on the walls of the engine room!” Yep, signed Vargas prints that came with the boat. It makes me laugh every time.

Sea Eagle anchored at McMicken Island

Sea Eagle anchored at McMicken Island


Once the tours were done, it was time to launch the dingy, which I had not really done before. Nordhavn owners will be laughing at the 15 minutes I spent looking for the switch to turn on the hydraulic pump. I couldn’t find one, so finally plugged the remote into the pedestal of the crane, pulled the trigger and up came the boom. DOH! Launching the boat for the first time went smoothly and eventually I even managed to get the 40 HP outboard running (which had been sitting unused for 6 years).

We putzed over to the party and joined the birthday bash. For the rest of the details, you’ll just have to trust me that everyone had a very good time. Apparently, what happens at McMicken Island, stays at McMicken Island! You know how it goes!

We slept well on the Sea Eagle for our first night on the hook and motored back to Tacoma early the next day to catch the favorable tides through the Tacoma Narrows.

Our good neighbors hanging out on the back of Navigator.  Parker's new KK 48.

Our good neighbors hanging out on the back of Navigator. Parker’s new KK 48.

We have a very remarkable story about some friends that bought a KK48 and brought it up the West Coast from La Paz, Mx, to Seattle. They were litterally one day ahead of us as we motored up the coast. However, to get the remarkable part, you have to go back almost two years to when we started looking for a Trawler.

We looked at a lot of boats, and settled on a KK48 as our “boat of choice”. We looked at a lot Krogens and I showed our best friends and neighbors photos of a KK48 that I made an offer on, and they said, “That looks just like the boat that Neil and Lynn Parker are buying.” It turned out that Ken’s old roomate and college buddy was in fact buying the same exact boat that we’d been shopping for. It is a very, very small world.

Anyway, the Parkers had an open house on their new boat up at Shillshole Bay Marina and we took the Sea Eagle up to see the boat and to finally meet them face to face after months of emails and phone calls comparing weather, etc. for our coastal voyage. We had a great time, the party was awesome and the staff at Shillshole Bay Marina went out of their way to accomodate our request to be berthed at the same dock as the Parkers.

Chamber of Commerce Photo of Downtown Seattle.

Chamber of Commerce Photo of Downtown Seattle.


We actually wound up next a beautiful N57 (Long Ranger) owned by Wayne and Laurel Hill. Wayne was VERY helfpul with our questions about the soot we had blown all over the back of the Sea Eagle at engine startup. He has had the boat since it was built in 1998 and it is stunning and gorgeous!

We had beautiful weather and stunning views of Seattle on the way up. One the way back to Tacoma, we were passed closely by a large Cargo Ship and you KNOW the wake is going to be HUGE when you can see it aproaching on Radar! Photos below. The white arrow points to the very back of the ship’s starboard wake.

Notice the ship's large wake on the radar.  See the white arrow.

Notice the ship’s large wake on the radar. See the white arrow.

You can just see the large cargo ship passing us in the window over the radar!

You can just see the large cargo ship passing us in the window over the radar!