Sunday, August 7, 2011

Day 25 - Kingston to Olympia

Sunday, August 7, 2011.
We left Kingston at 0600 to ensure that we would take advantage of the flood going down through the Sound and through the Tacoma Narrows.  My plan was that we would make it all the way to the entrance at Budd Inlet by Olympia before we would face an ebb current.  I like going "downhill" whenever I can. 

Sunrise at Kingston
Skies are clear but there's a threat of fog, but it never fully materialized on our trip.  When you looked up the sound towards Admiralty Inlet you could see fog.  The cruise down the central portion of Puget Sound was uneventful.  Past President Point, past Restoration Point, and Blake Island all under calm seas and with a flood current.  When I entered Colvos Passage I aimed for the east side of Colvos Passage to take advantage of the continuous back eddy current that goes south down Colvos Passage.  The trick is to stay as close as you can to the Vashon Island shore.  So I turn on the depth sounder and cruise along the 40' depth contour.  Going this route might be a bit longer but you can hit speeds of 7+ knots while if you are in the center part of Colvos Passage you're doing about 5 knots.  Only at the #5 daymark just northeast of Pt. Richmond do I abandon following the Vashon Island shore.  We spotted a very large sailboat race just south of Pt. Richmond.  There must have been about 50-60 sailboats all out with their spinnakers.  Unfortunately for them there wasn't any wind so they weren't going anywhere fast.

We made the Tacoma Narrows at 1100 and continued to ride the flood into South Sound.  As we motored farther and farther into South Sound the weather changed from sunny to cloudy and cooler.  At about Gibson Point, friends in their boat hailed me on the VHF radio as they too were heading home from an extended cruise from Vancouver, BC.  We chatted for about 3-4 minutes and wished them well on their way as they passed me going much, much faster.  We motored through Balch Passage, then down Drayton Passage and to Devils Head on the lower end of the Longbranch Peninsula.  The clouds burned off as we came around Devils Head, so we moved up to cruising on the flying bridge and enjoying the last bit of our cruise in the sun.  Around Johnson Point, past Itsami Shoal, down Dana Passage and finally around Dofflemeyer Point where we got our first glimpse of our home destination - Olympia.  Just as I had planned we also hit slack then and only going down Budd Inlet would we face the start of an ebb current.  We got into the Olympia harbor at 1500 and were tied up in our home slip at 1520.  Thanks be to God for a safe and happy trip.

We traveled 609.5 nm including our Zipper excursion to Brem Bay in Toba Inlet.  Otherwise, we traveled 589.7 nm in 99.42 hours which calculates to an average speed of 5.92 knots.

An interesting note, is that we never had spray from waves hit our windows on this trip which tells that we had calm waters for the entire trip.  I doubt that will ever happen again.

Stats: 56.6 nm, average speed 6.1 knots, 9:17 hours motoring, ending engine hours 6196.0.

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