On August 28th, I, my dog and SKYE left Olympia to journey to the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival. Here are some photos and comments from the trip…

GhostingPastAndersonIsSailing along, slowly but steadily, past Anderson Island on day two.

SKYE’s new nylon drifter from Port Townsend Sails. I doubt I would have been able to get to Port Townsend in only five and a half (sailing) days without this sail.

About to sail under the Tacoma Narrows bridges, old and new. Although the current was against me by this time of the day, there was a nice Westerly breeze that allowed progress against the tide.

After stops at Gig Harbor (got Ice, and stayed two nights due to a day with much rain and no wind), Blake Island (shower, munchies), Kingston (food, more ice) and Port Ludlow (chased in there by thunderstorms and high winds from the North, as was the Lady Washington, it appeared.)  After leaving Port Ludlow, I was soon being pursued by the Lady Washington (above) up along Marrowstone Island in a wonderful five hour sail to Port Townsend in a surprisingly consistent South to Southeast breeze. The 2-3 knot tidal current helped a bit.

Port Townsend coming into view off Marrowstone Point.

I spent the night at anchor off Port Townsend’s waterfront, and the next day all the festival boats were called, guided, pushed and pulled into Point Hudson harbor by the festival harbormaster and a crew of folks manning small boats. Quite an achievement. Only took about seven hours.

Here’s SKYE, packed in elbow to elbow (or bulwark to stanchion) with seven other boats, in a space normally occupied by two vessels. [Editorial comment: Talking to some other boat owners and some of the folks who visited SKYE, I didn’t encounter anyone who thought packing so many boats into the harbor – which made many boats only accessible by climbing across one or two other vessels’ decks – was all that great an idea. Seems to me that limiting the number of festival boats to the number that would actually fit next to the available docks would not only result in happier participants (who paid a fee to be part of the WBF), but make it much easier for the people attending the festival to board boats they wanted to see. End editorial.]

There certainly were some impressive boats at the festival, though. This is Pacific Swift.

I got to meet a bunch of wonderful people during the show, including other Lyle Hess design owners and builders and admirers, plus the highlight for me was spending some time with William and Elaine Eppick, who built SKYE. After meeting them, it was easy to see why SKYE is such a well built and beautiful boat.

After the festival, I stayed in the Point Hudson marina another few days (partly due to the weather, which was not ideal for heading back South), then on the day the weather was ideal to start back to Olympia, a small thought appeared in my alleged brain… why not find a berth for SKYE up here somewhere and thus be five or six days closer to the areas I hope to sail to in the future. I searched around a bit and although the marina in Port Townsend had a waiting list for a slip, the nearby marina in Port Hadlock had one available that would fit SKYE. So down to Port Hadlock I sailed, and that’s where SKYE is now docked (photo above).