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A bounding puppy equals pure joy on the beach of Spencer Spit!

A bounding puppy equals pure joy on the beach of Spencer Spit!

After the 120 nautical mile run up to the San Juan Islands, I thought our puppy deserved a break where he could run on the beach freely, so we stopped at Spencer Spit State Park (Lopez Island). We arrived to find no boats on any of the park’s buoys, so snagged one along the south side of the spit. Usually the park is a bit too busy for my taste, but we were early and the dog had behaved so well on our long trip up, that I thought it was worth stopping.

Yes Please on a parks buoy at Spencer Spit State Park.

Yes Please on a parks buoy at Spencer Spit State Park.

We dropped the dinghy in the water and ferried Yankee ashore. I don’t think I have ever seen such a happy puppy in my entire life. He was racing up and down the beach along the spit, retrieving sticks and bounding into the water with pure joy. Definitely the right spot to take a puppy full of energy. It did my heart good to see such a happy dog.

Eventually, we brought the dirty, wet dog back to the boat and he collapsed on a towel, drifting off to sleep. He’d ingested a bit of salt water, so we made sure he drank lots of fresh water. I could tell it wasn’t bothering him as any time either Sherri or I stood up and moved aft, Yankee would race past us and jump into the dinghy. There was no need to ask him if it was time to go “potty”.

Stick? Stick? Stick?!

Stick? Stick? Stick?!

In the evening, a large family of otters came by, while we watched the deer along the beach. As the wind died down, the stench from the marsh in the middle of the spit would waft our way. It’s a bit stinky (rotten egg smell), but it was worth it for such a happy dog.

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Yankee digs the real grass dog potty out on the breakwater at Oak Harbor Marina

Yankee digs the real grass dog potty out on the breakwater at Oak Harbor Marina

Oak Harbor Marina, on Whidbey Island, really goes out of their way to help visiting boaters. We stopped by on our long run up to the San Juan Islands and it was like hitting the proverbial “Easy Button”, the second we arrived.

The price of diesel at the fuel dock was about as inexpensive as it gets and they offer a $0.20 per gallon discount if you are mooring overnight! Marina staff checked on reciprocal moorage for us, then took care everything to get us checked in to guest moorage out on the inside of the breakwater.

It’s a long walk from guest moorage to shore, so Oak Harbor Marina has placed a floating restroom out on the breakwater as well as real grass for dogs to potty on. That’s what I call excellent service and we will definitely be back on our next trip north.

Yes Please tied up at Oak Harbor Marina.

Yes Please tied up at Oak Harbor Marina.

We’d run the 130 mile trip from Olympia to Oak Harbor in about 5 hours, which included a quick touch and go potty stop for the dog at Manchester. It was windy and very shallow when we arrived, but there is plenty of water and navigation into the marina is pretty straight forward.

The walk to town is just less than a mile, but feels good after a long day and there are plenty of food and shopping choices.

Anchor Rollers were disassembled, cleaned and greased.

Anchor Rollers were disassembled, cleaned and greased.

I spent most of the weekend prepping the boat for multi-week trips to the San Juan’s and Gulf Islands this summer. I changed the oil and filters in the main engines, then removed both of the Anchor Rollers so I could clean up and grease the shafts. The aft roller was squeaking and the forward roller was frozen. After a little elbow grease followed by some real grease, they are rolling smooth as silk and silently.

Marking the Anchor Chain for depth.

Marking the Anchor Chain for depth.

Once the rollers were working, I flaked most of the anchor chain out onto the deck to inspect and mark it for length/depth. We have always used Red, White and Blue paint and chain markers every 50′. It’s very easy to remember the red, white and blue color scheme. I also found some old yellow paint every 25′, so have intermediate lengths marked as well.

I replaced the start battery for the generator, even though it appeared to be functioning perfectly. The date code indicates that the battery is 11 years old (as are the house and start batteries) and I wanted to be sure we were able to start the generator in case we needed to charge the other batteries. The generator battery was the hardest one to get to, requiring a painful crawl forward and around the outside of the port engine, all the way aft to where the battery is hidden away next to the tail shaft. The positive terminal stud was very loose and was growing green corrosion, indicating it had been a long, long time since the battery had been serviced.

Replacing the Generator Start Battery.  Notice the date code from 2005!

Replacing the Generator Start Battery. Notice the date code from 2005!

I understand why, recalling that Matt (surveyor) had been unable to physically get to the battery or the Fireboy extinguisher during the survey. Fortunately, I’m shorter than he is so managed to worm my way back and get er done!

Boats rafted up at McMicken Island State Park

Boats rafted up at McMicken Island State Park

McMicken Island is a Marine State Park that is popular with boaters in Southern Puget Sound. On three day weekends, the anchorage fills up with large rafts of boats that party hard into the night. The rest of the year, the 11.5 acre park is quiet and peaceful, a great place to take the family. There is a sand bar that appears at low tides which connects McMicken to Harstine Island.

On Memorial Day weekend, we decided the join the crowds and headed up to McMicken to catch up with old friends. We weren’t disappointed, arriving midday, we discovered nine boats full of our closest friends rafted up. We tied up next to Serenity and Sea Ya so that Lauren could visit with Chloe and it didn’t take long before the two of them were off exploring the sand bar in the kayaks.

Sea Ya, Serenity and Yes Please rafted together

Sea Ya, Serenity and Yes Please rafted together

Meanwhile, after catching up with several families we hadn’t seen since last summer in the San Juan Islands, Captain Boyd took the dog ashore for his very first potty stop via the dinghy! Yankee wasn’t quite sure what was going on, but figured it out very quickly and by evening would hop in the dinghy as soon as we put his life jacket on him. Now we know that he is good to go for multi-week trips this summer.

Mike and Glen slow cooked a big slab of Halibut on the grille which melted in your mouth and made for an excellent dinner. The wind kicked up and swung to the north, which makes this anchorage very uncomfortable (no protection) and forced the large raft of boats to untie and reset anchors. Fortunately, it calmed down at dusk and everyone slept like babies after a great day on the water.

The girls love exploring in the kayaks

The girls love exploring in the kayaks

I normally steer clear of crowded anchorages, but had a blast at McMicken Island and may make Memorial Day an annual even there, like so many of my friends do.

Freshly varnished name boards looking sharp!

Freshly varnished name boards looking sharp!

Life has been keeping us pretty busy lately, but I still find time to run down to the boat during my lunch hour and get a little work done. Those short breaks were perfect for sanding down the old name boards and putting on several fresh coats of varnish. Each coat takes 24 hours to dry, so after about a week and seven coats, I was finally able to put the new Vinyl on the name boards.

Fusion BB-100 control

Fusion BB-100 control

Another, bigger project was to install a new Fusion BB-100 (black box) stereo system in the Stateroom. I installed the “black box” under one of the steps, then mounted the small controller/blue tooth transmitter in the side of the port drawers. Full range speakers were hung and the stereo sounds magnificent. It is easily controlled via Bluetooth and the FusionLink Iphone app, so we don’t even have to get out of bed at night to enjoy our music.

Another, easier project was to replace the Raymarine Depth Sounder Module (DSM-300). As mentioned in a previous post, the old one dropped out and alarmed constantly, which made it useless and extremely annoying. The refurbished unit dropped right into place and works like a champ, as seen in the screen shot below showing Yes Please passing over a wrecked concrete sailboat.

Sonar is now working thanks to a new DSM.

Sonar is now working thanks to a new DSM.

New full range speakers sound awesome!

New full range speakers sound awesome!

Our Goldendoodle Puppy loves being on the boat.

Our Goldendoodle Puppy loves being on the boat.

Over the last month, we have taken our eight month old puppy out on the boat, overnight, nine times. We are training him to be a good boat dog, in anticipation of multi-week trips this summer, and I am amazed at how easily he has adapted to life on the water. From his first day aboard, he has never given us any trouble and seems to be a magnet for making new friends on the docks wherever we go.

Yankee's first time in the Dinghy.  Can you tell he's petrified?

Yankee’s first time in the Dinghy. Can you tell he’s petrified?

He sleeps through the night without any fuss and will even sleep with Yes Please cruising at 16+ knots, while rocking and rolling to the waves. He has only fallen in the water one time, on his very first day, but quickly learned to be a little more careful and now routinely boards and disembarks with sure-footed grace.

This weekend, while docked at Island Home, all the boaters on our dock kept asking if Yankee could come out and play.

Yes Please parked in her new Boathouse.

Yes Please parked in her new Boathouse.

Yes Please moved into her new boathouse this past weekend. It was a very tight fit, with the anchor only six inches from tagging the plate glass window, but she fits like a glove.

One of the big factors in deciding to purchase the boat was the availability of boat houses in Olympia. I did not want a boat that had so much beautiful teak on the outside without the benefit of covered storage. Parking her in a house means that she will stay clean when washed and means the varnish on the teak should last about three years rather than being an annual battle.

The anchor is mere inches from tagging the glass window to the boathouse.

The anchor is mere inches from tagging the glass window to the boathouse.

Another big benefit, given the rainy weather here in the Pacific Northwest, is that the boathouse makes winter boat work possible and so much easier. It also gave us a good place to store the kayaks!

All of my trucks have always parked out in the rain, but the boat gets her own garage! I must have my priorities straight!

😉

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Yes Please and her fleet of kayaks.

Yes Please and her fleet of kayaks.

Our April Showers abated for most of Spring Break and we were able to spend five days out on Yes Please with some stellar weather. We loaded up all three kayaks and headed back to Jarrell’s Cove for some exploration and vacation! We had two days of 80° sunshine and almost no wind. Can you say heavenly?

Two additional boats showed up at the State Park Dock with friendly dogs about the same age as our puppy. We thoroughly enjoyed sitting around the fire on the docks in the evening while the three puppies wore themselves out playing with each other. I think Yankee slept better than we did!

Yes Please arrived at Island Home, just as the sun was setting.

Yes Please arrived at Island Home, just as the sun was setting.

We ran Lauren back to Olympia, then headed back out to Island Home, the Olympia Yacht Club outstation. It is a beautiful, peaceful and very relaxing marina at the South end of Pickering Passage. After spending a couple of nights at the dock with all of the amenities of home, we did NOT want to head back to civilization and work.

Yankee feels right at home in the cockpit.

Yankee feels right at home in the cockpit.

The sun came out and we decided to take our seven month old puppy out on the boat for the first time. He has gone from an eight pound fluff ball in October to a sixty six pound big boy in just five months! Fortunately, he is still very young, which makes getting him used to the boat that much easier!

Yankee was very comfortable on the boat, until the big engines rumbled to life. All the noise and vibration had him concerned for a minute, but he quickly calmed back down and enjoyed our trip from Olympia to Jarrell’s Cove State Park. He likes to sit in the cockpit and watch the water flow by the hull.

Yankee getting some love from Sherri Ernsberger in Pickering Passage.

Yankee getting some love from Sherri Ernsberger in Pickering Passage.

When we arrived at Jarrell’s Cove, there was only one boat on the dock, so we grabbed a choice spot on the end of the dock and secured the boat. The dog had a great time exploring the state park and was easy and comfortable on the boat. It’s almost like he was born to be a boat dog.

I was unsure about the water depths around the dock, since I remembered a lot of shoaling in the area at low tide. However, the park rangers have posted a very nice diagram of both docks, with depths at zero tide, which I will post below. While at the dock, I finally had time to replace the lame Raymarine Depth Sounder Module (DSM) and the re-furbished one that I installed is working like a champ.

Lauren and Yankee soaking up some sun.

Lauren and Yankee soaking up some sun.

Jarrell’s cove state park is a beautiful gem, hidden away at the very North end of Harstine Island. We will be back and so will Yankee. There is plenty of depth at the docks in all but serious minus tides (see below) and the cove is full of new mooring buoys with room for lots of boats.

The cove is also very well protected from the wind and we had friends that were taking a beating down by Hope Island, so we invited them up to enjoy the peaceful serenity at Jarrell’s Cove.

Jarrels.longdock

Jarrels..cove.tdock

AIS track of Yes Please

AIS track of Yes Please

After updating the Raymarine AIS transceiver with new firmware and modifying the information being broadcast about the boat, I wanted to verify that the unit was working correctly. When we returned from a recent trip to Hope Island, I looked up the boat’s MMSI number via Marine Traffic to see if they had picked up the new boat name.

I was pleasantly surprised that they were tracking the boat so far South in Puget Sound and that they had the new boat name registered. I’m always impressed when new technology works the way it is supposed to!