Circumnavigating Bainbridge island

For this weekends outing several options were discussed and we finally closed on the following; depart Friday afternoon singlehanded from Stimson with Eagle Harbor as my destination, there I would secure mooring for myself and Hayden Bay which were to arrive around dinnertime. then the following day my wife and daughter would arrive by ferry and depart with me, travelling south  past Restoration Point and up through Rich Passage and past Manzanita Bay and through Agate Passage for our final destination that day, Port Madison. our final leg would be Sunday AM from Port Madison back to Eagle Harbor.

Friday afternoon arrives and I head for Stimson with a short stop over at Trader Joe’s in Ballard for some provisions. once on the boat I store everything and get her ready, slightly overcast but by and large not a bad day and the wind is light. I back out of B43 and turn towards the Ballard locks, there I am “greeted” by a large commercial tug heading out so I ready myself for the large lock. I am 3rd inline and directed to raft portside on a large sailboat. once at level with the sound and the gate opens I am instructed to leave the lock first and I comply.

While in the lock I lay a course for Eagle Harbor and once in the Sound I ensure visually and monitoring VST channel on my VHF that I am clear before crossing the “traffic lanes”.Approaching Eagle Harbor I am mindful of the area south of Wing Point with very low water and aim for the red buoy at the entrance. meanwhile I am closely monitoring the Washing State ferry Wenatchee  on my chart plotter (through my AIS) as she is making he way out of the harbor, making sure I give her a wide berth. Once in the harbor I locate the public dock and tie up Current Obsession. A few hours later I am hailed by Hayden Bay informing me they are entering the harbor, Marcus docks the 65.000lbs 40 foot Nordhavn with seemingly ease, I am so happy that my “little” tug is a mere 7000 lbs and 27 feet long. Once secure we turn our attention to food and drinks.


Marcus and Jorge have been to Winslow many times and they guide me to the place where the “locals” hang out, after a short wait we are seated and before long food is on the table and glasses filled, at the tail end of the meal I am getting a little parched and decide to go for some iced tea and suggest that maybe adding some kind of alcohol, I end up with a Long Island Ice Tea, not knowing there is absolutely no ice tea in that but all booze. Marcus and Jorge are nice enough to guide me back to the boats where we finish off the evening with one final drink and some Belgian truffles that I keep referring to as Belgian waffles. I clearly had way to much to drink, but alas I get a great night sleep.

The next morning we wake up and after brunch and exploration of Winslow, visiting the farmers market, the local bookstore where I get the current version of Waggoner Cruising Guide its time to start preparing to leave. Kelley and Sofie made it onto the island by ferry and after unloading the car and parking we are ready to head out. We leave Eagle Harbor and since Hayden Bay takes the lead there is no need to plot a course, i just follow a few hundred yards behind her. We choose the long scenic way around to reach Port Madison in part because we wanted my wife’s first cruise in the sound to be scenic and protected from much swell, the trip up is no disappointment and we reach Agate Passage at slack so traversing that is non eventful.

Once in Port Madison Marcus picks a nice spot to drop the Rocna and he guides me in to raft on his port side once secure we turn of the engines and the silence is so calming, we start planning dinner and to pass a little time I rig a fishing pole for Sofie, to test it out i cast and within one minute I have a fish biting, i call Sofie and she is so excited. we pull in something I have never seen before which is a spotted Ratfish, apparently very common, Jorge identifies the fish from several diving trips, apparently it not worth eating and also mildly poisonous through a spine on its dorsal fin, its released back in to the bay.  we retreat to have dinner which consists of salad, pasta with a seafood medley and cherry pie. during dinner my wife asks where I got the seafood and I tell he I bought it at Trader Joe’s initially intended as bait because my local bait shop ran out of squid (so i figured some frozen calamari would do the trick) she almost spat out her food, saying “You are serving me bait” after many years of marriage I think she has realized there is never a dull moment with me. After dinner Sofie decides to fish some more and catch what seems like the same ratfish, we decide he is to dumb and release him a second time, by now its bedtime and we turn in.

Next morning we have an early start by Marcus and Jorge standards, they need to pick up Marcus’s mum in Edmonds for a day on the sound, while Kelley and Sofie are still tugged in we tie off Current Obsession so Hayden Bay can prepare for departure and we head towards Eagle Harbor for some brunch and sightseeing in Winslow with the girls. We make it there and secure the boat at the public dock again, unload the girls luggage and head into town for some coffee and brunch, afterwards we part ways, Kelley and Sofie doing some shopping and I take Current Obsession back towards Stimson. Back in the sound I crank my Volvo to exercise her a bit, as much as I like cruising 6-7 knots its also nice to be able to open it up a bit and cruise at 16-18 knots. coming back Sunday afternoon can have some traffic at the locks and I arrive just as the green light goes on for the large lock, I raft up again and the whole thing is eventless, back in the lake I guide Current Obsession to C43 and wash her down.

This was another great boating experience and I am already looking forward to my next time on the water.

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