Archive For The “South Puget Sound” Category

Another Alaska Destination? (Unseasonable South Sound Snow)

Another Alaska Destination? (Unseasonable South Sound Snow)

Nope–these pictures were taken in the south Puget Sound earlier today. We’re out on a Thanksgiving cruise, and were anchored last night in the cove behind Raft Island (map of area). Temperatures were slightly above freezing yesterday, with a light snowfall. This morning we woke to a layer of snow on deck and a temperature…

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Shakedown cruise: Hammersley Inlet

Shakedown cruise: Hammersley Inlet

We spent the final two nights of our mid-March shakedown cruise in Hammersley Inlet. Shelton and the Oakland Bay Marina are at the elbow of Hammersley Inlet, where it bends into Oakland Bay. We’ve anchored in the area many nights, and spent hours exploring the area by dinghy and on foot. We enjoy the industry:…

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Shakedown cruise: Nisqually Flats

Shakedown cruise: Nisqually Flats

From Eagle Island, we made a short trip to another favorite anchorage at Nisqually Flats. The anchorage is a bit unusual, but we love the mountain views in both directions. Conditions generally are calm unless the winds pick up from the north, so even on overcast days, its a good anchorage. Mount Rainier wasn’t quite…

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Shakedown cruise: Eagle Island

Shakedown cruise: Eagle Island

Friday afternoon we cruised south from Bell Harbor Marina for a week-long shakedown cruise in the South (Puget) Sound. We visit there frequently–it’s easily accessible from Seattle and has excellent anchorages, many with views to Mount Rainier and the Olympic Mountains. Relatively few boaters visit however, compared to the cruising grounds to the north, such…

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Unusual Puget Sound Anchorages: Nisqually Flats

Unusual Puget Sound Anchorages: Nisqually Flats

Nisqually Flats is an Unusual Puget Sound Anchorage along the south shore of Nisqually Reach, halfway between Tolmie Marine State Park and Nisqually Head (map of area). We first stopped there on a clear, calm spring day because we couldn’t decide which mountain view we preferred, Mount Rainier or the Olympics, and this anchorage gave…

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Tacoma Freedom Fair

Tacoma Freedom Fair

We spent July 4th this year at the Tacoma Freedom Fair. This was the first time we’d attended–it was a huge affair. The fair extended over two miles along the waterfront adjacent to Ruston Way with all kinds of booths and exhibits along the way. We landed the dinghy and climbed ashore at the Fantasy…

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Unusual Puget Sound Anchorages: Priest Point

Unusual Puget Sound Anchorages: Priest Point

We’ve anchored overnight about a thousand times over the past decade. We love the privacy and independence of anchoring out, and enjoy the ever-changing view as the boat drifts around the anchor and the tide rises and falls. Key ingredients for a restful night are not worrying about our anchor dragging, or another boat swinging…

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Eagle Island Marine State Park

Eagle Island Marine State Park

Eagle Island Marine State Park has long been one of our South Sound favorites. The park has everything we look for in a destination—solitude, wildlife, interesting dinghy territory, and dramatic views. The island—tucked between McNeil and Anderson islands in Balch Passage off the southeast tip of Key Peninsula—is accessible only by boat and is day-use…

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Close Quarters

Close Quarters

The vast majority of time, close quarters maneuvering at low speed is fine. But strong current or big wind gusts can greatly reduce the margin for error. We recently saw an example of exactly that at Eagle Island, where strong currents wrap around the island. A particularly large exchange that weekend made for especially swift…

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Tacoma Tall Ship Parade of Sail

Tacoma Tall Ship Parade of Sail

While heading south through Colvos Passage on July 3rd, we heard on the radio that Quartermaster Harbor was closed to all boats until 6pm that day due to the Tall Ship Parade of Sail. We arrived in the area just as the last one, the CGC Eagle, was leaving Quartermaster Harbor. An impressive number of…

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Andrew Anderson Marine Park

Andrew Anderson Marine Park

Andrew Anderson Marine Park, operated by the Anderson Island Parks and Recreation District, is a lovely park on the southwest side of Anderson Island in the south Puget Sound (map of area). The nature preserve, sometimes called Andy’s Marine Park, provides the only public saltwater shore access on the island and is part of the…

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Thanksgiving in the South Sound

Thanksgiving in the South Sound

This year we spent Thanksgiving aboard in the South Puget Sound (the area between Olympia and Tacoma Narrows). With extreme high tides above 15 feet, we were able to explore the drying heads of several inlets: Henderson, Hammersley, and Eld. The weather for the most part was excellent—bright blue skies and little wind. Temperatures were…

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Aircraft Collision Over Commencment Bay

Earlier today as we sailed out of Henderson Inlet, just north of Olympia, we heard the Coast Guard asking for assistance for a downed aircraft in Commencement Bay.  At around 12:40 the vessel Grand Madison reported that it had rescued two people from the water, one an elderly lady slightly hypothermic.  At 12:50 the Coast…

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