Heading south

Today we set off from Seattle to do some longer-range cruising. Our goal is to cross over to Hawaii, and we’ll figure out the next step from there. Insurance restrictions discourage travel in the area between June and November, during the northern hemisphere hurricane season. May was too soon to leave, and we didn’t want leave Seattle and travel through the North Pacific in November during the winter storm season. So we’ll first be travelling to the San Francisco area to stay there temporarily for 4-6 weeks until we cross over to Hawaii in October. This also puts us 200 miles closer–Hawaii is about 2,200 miles from San Francisco and about 2,400 from the Seattle area. The prevailing winds and currents are better on this more southerly route as well.

We’ve just finished a new feature on the web site that shows a real-time plot of Dirona‘s location. A small version of the live chart is on the blog site above, and a large one is at:  http://www.mvdirona.com/maps/LocationCurrent.html.

In the image at right (click to enlarge it), the blue line is the plot of our track. Each blue square on the line shows the time and speed at that location if you put the cursor on them. And the red square with the star shows our current location. The blue paddle icons represents a log entry along the way, the red one being the most recent. Click on a paddle to see details for that entry.

Each map also has a refresh button that you can click to refresh just the map data (rather than the whole page).

As we sail south, we’re leaving one of the most beautiful cruising areas in the world and perhaps the nicest marina we’ve ever stayed at. Bell Harbor Marina, in the core of downtown Seattle, is a special place. Below are some of what we’ve seen since our cruise on the Columbia and Snake River system. You also can display these on the map view.

05/17/12: Echo Bay, Sucia Island
Sucia Island is one of our long-time favorite anchorages in the San Juan Islands. A few early-season boats are here, and the beautiful tractor tug Lindsay Foss preceded us in. We suspect it is waiting for a ship to escort into Anacortes.
05/18/12: Cap Sante Boat Haven, Anacortes
At Anacortes for Trawler Fest. We’ll be presenting Saturday morning.
05/19/12: Padilla Bay
Maersk Cameron at the Anacortes refinery near our anchorage in Padilla Bay
05/21/12: Pier 57 Ferris Wheel
The Pier 57 Ferris Wheel, still under construction, viewed from our moorage at Bell Harbor.
05/25/12: Tramp Harbor
Beachcombing during low tide at Point Heyer.
05/26/12: Morning sun
Calm waters off the KVI tower.
05/27/12: Divers
Scuba divers at the fish haven off Point Heyer.
05/27/12: Murden Cove
Landslide off our anchorage at Murden Cove. Shoring that up looks like an expensive operation.
06/01/12: Celebrity Infinity
Celebrity Infinity leaving its berth at pier 66 as we leave ours.
06/08/12: Hanjin Geneva
The Hanjin Geneva en route from Seattle, viewed from our anchorage at Murden Cove.
06/15/12: Bell Street Classic Weekend
The classic wooden yacht Olympus coming alongside for the Bell Street Classic Weekend shortly before we left the marina for Murden Cove.
06/16/12: Ballard Locks
Returning out through the big lock after picking up a a load of fuel this morning at Covich-Williams. The small lock temporarily is closed. They sure pack a lot of boats in there–and this isn’t even a busy day.
06/18/12: Old engines …
… don’t like starting.
06/18/12: Norwegian Pearl
When the cruise ships leave pier 66, you can almost touch them from the Edgewater Hotel patio.
07/03/12: Hydroplane
Mini hydroplane tearing through Quartermaster Harbor.
07/06/12: Celebrity Infinity
Celebrity Infinity coming alongside at pier 66 early this morning.
07/06/12: Sunset
Sunset from Yukon Harbor.
07/08/12: Morning
Looking west from Yukon Harbor in the early morning light.
07/08/12: Boat inspection
Department of Fish and Wildlife on a boat inspection.
07/13/12: Rich Passage I
Kitsap Transit’s fast ferry Rich Passage I en route from Seattle to Bremerton.
07/13/12: Sunset
Sunset from the anchorage.
07/15/12: USCGC Stratton
The piracy threat level is probably about -2 at Bell Harbor today with the 418-foot US Coast Guard Cutter Stratton moored alongside.
07/16/12: Into the fog
The US Coast Guard Cutter Stratton heading into a foggy Puget Sound this morning.
07/16/12: Fire boat
Testing the pumping systems off Pier 66.
07/20/12: Blakely Harbor
David Baker sent us this picture he took of Dirona anchored at Blakely Harbor with the Seattle skyline in the background.
07/27/12: Silverdale
We’re anchored at the head of Dyes Inlet for Silverdale’s annual Whaling Days. The public dock is packed for the event.
07/27/12: Fireworks
Friday-night fireworks at Silverdale’s Whaling Days. The show was impressive: we were only a few hundred yards away from the barge and felt like we were right underneath.
07/28/12: The Joey James Dean Band
The Joey James Dean Band on stage Saturday night at Silverdale’s Whaling Days.
07/31/12: Nearly-full moon
A nearly-full moon rising over the Seattle skyline next to the mast of the HMCS Oriole.
08/01/12: Oriole and Halsey
HMCS Oriole in front of the destroyer USS Halsey. They’re here for Seafair weekend.
08/01/12: Bringing in the colors
Bringing in the colors on the USS Halsey.
08/05/12: On the TravelLift
Getting lifted for anti-fouling paint at Canal Boatyard.
08/12/12: Racoons
Racoons gathering breakfast at low tide off Blakely Island. At least a dozen are out there.
08/12/12: Parasailer
Parasailer just lifting above the city, viewed from the dinghy in Elliott Bay.
08/17/12: Sunrise
Sunrise over Seattle this morning.
08/23/12: And you think your salon is small …
Last night we watched the occupant of this tent stow all manner of gear in his craft, moored along the tribal docks at Bell Harbor. It looks like he’s heading of for a big trip.
08/27/12: Dawn
Seattle at dawn as we approach Bell Harbor this morning from Blakely Harbor.
08/30/12: Moonrise
Moonrise over Port Madison.
08/31/12: Dawn
Dawn as we leave Port Madison heading towards Hood Canal.
08/31/12: Fishers
Fishers packed Point No Point this morning. Even more are outside the picture frame.
08/31/12: Sea monster
This driftwood sea monster has been on Pt. Hannon as long as we’ve been visiting Hood Canal.
08/31/12: Hood Canal Bridge
Heading under the Hood Canal bridge. The clearance is 30′, but we had about 5′ to spare on a 7′ tide.
08/31/12: Bangor
Fog lifting over the Ballistic submarine sevice hanger at Bangor.
08/31/12: Wild ride
Enjoying the warm weather and calm seas off Sunset Beach.
08/31/12: Nightfall
The head of Hood Canal is a much cozier-feeling anchorage than the chart implies–we quite like it. We were here two years ago for July 4th and had a great time. A few small boats buzz about during the day, but nobody else is anchored–the place is calm and silent at night. And this time we had a visitor: Rachel, who co-owns one of the nearby houses, paddled out with a bottle of wine to introduce herself, and came on board for an enjoyable visit.
09/02/12: Sunrise
Sunrise from Lilliwaup Bay.
09/02/12: Whitney Point
We’re tucked against the shore in a small cove off the Whitney Point spit. The anchorage is a little deep and tight for swing room close to shore, but its such a pretty spot that we had to make it work.

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2 comments on “Heading south
  1. Jennifer Hamilton says:

    Thanks Keith! We’re pretty excited ourselves. We hit some weather earlier, but are now cruising under a clear blue sky and light swell a few hours out of San Francisco.


  2. Keith Short says:

    Bon Voyage, you two! This is exciting, we’ll be tracking your progress. Be safe.

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