Weekend Harbor Hopping

This past weekend found Melissa in Kirkland helping her mother as she recovers from knee surgery. Of course that meant that I, a man unencumbered by wifely restraints, would be free to sit around the house in my underpants, drinking beer. It is a long, honorable tradition that I have solemnly sworn to uphold.

But then I thought, “Hey! I could take Galapagos out for the weekend and sit around in my underpants in new, exotic locations!”

And so it was that on Friday I hurried down to the marina after work, slipped the lines and had a lovely sail to Quartermaster Harbor, located between Vashon and Maury Islands.


Quartermaster Harbor is a nicely protected anchorage with a surrounded by homes on Vashon and Maury Island. There is a large, flat area of in the center with fifteen foot anchoring depths. A perfect location for quiet night.

I enjoy taking the boat out by myself for daysails but I have never spent the weekend at anchor alone on Galapagos.  I was excited to try out our freshly galvanized chain and reinstalled windlass. Setting the anchor by myself really forces you to think through all the steps that Melissa and I would usually do together. Fortunately I had the anchorage pretty much to myself and the wind was light.

After a quiet evening and a leisurely breakfast, I raised anchor and motored over to Gig Harbor.  We used to take Moonrise, our Cal 34 over to Gig Harbor fairly often but I had never taken our much bigger Galapagos through the narrow entrance.  Of course I knew that much larger boats go to Gig Harbor every day but I do admit to being a little nervous.  It can be a busy harbor and it was a beautiful day so I expected lots of traffic.

As usual, my anxiety was for naught.  Once inside the harbor I  found a spot amongst the mooring balls and more or less permanently anchored boats and dropped the hook.

Not too often you see a gondolier rowing through your mooring field.

Not too often you see a gondolier rowing through your mooring field.

I rowed over to the Tides tavern for lunch and walked up to West Marine to visit with an old slip mate. In short, I enjoyed a day doing pretty much nothing at all.

Two Border Collies on a paddle board. Just a normal day in the Pacific Northwest.

Two Border Collies on a paddle board. Just a normal day in the Pacific Northwest.

Sunday morning I raised anchor and headed back to Tacoma.  One little chore that I wanted to take care of was to top off our fuel tanks before the cool weather sets in.  Empty fuel tanks allow excess moisture to collect in the diesel which promotes microbial growth and can clog fuel filters.  Also, diesel is really cheap right now so once at the fuel dock at Foss Harbor Marina I put in 110 gallons. That should keep Galapagos ready for a fast getaway.

Even though Fall is well and truly upon us, I think Melissa and I will be enjoying a few more weekend getaways to nearby harbors.  We love our marina but it can be so noisy. A half dozen railroad tracks run nearby and we are very near the very industrial Tacoma tideflats.  Why hang out there when we can be rocking at anchor in a quiet harbor?

6 thoughts on “Weekend Harbor Hopping

    • I hope we do see you out there. Gig Harbor in the winter would be a great weekend retreat. It has an interesting water front, restaurants within easy rowing and walking distance and I was pleased with the amount of room for anchoring.

  1. I Saw that Galapagos was gone last weekend… I am a bit jealous as it will be a few weeks before I am able to go out for the weekend. Unless I go out during the week, which I am looking into…. you GO man!

  2. “Sitting around in your underpants” – that cracked me up! I can’t believe there was actually a gondola. If I saw that rowing through a mooring field here I’d have a panic attack that I’d accidentally invented a teleportation machine and had ended up in Venice. Then, once I got over my panic, I’d go have a nice pasta dinner.

    • It was quite amusing to watch couples all cuddled up while the the gondolier serenaded them through the mooring field. I asked a local that was moored nearby about it and he said that the young man charges $85 an hour and is doing well enough that he is going to hire another person.

      Here is a link to their website: http://gigharborgondola.com/

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