Spring Cruise to Poulsbo

It’s starting to feel like boating season again. The temperatures are increasing, the days are getting much longer, and the rain and wind are less onerous. We had especially nice weather for the four day trip with our yacht club to Poulsbo.

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You can barely see the Seattle skyline in the distance as we head west to Poulsbo.
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Cathleen at the helm.
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Our route took us under the Agate Pass Bridge on the west side of Bainbridge Island. The bridge connects Bainbridge with the Kitsap Peninsula.
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Passing under the Agate Pass bridge.

The Poulsbo marina’s largest slips are 40′ and Fiddler is nearly 52′ overall. Many of our groups’ boats (42 total) are longer than 40′ too. In order for the marina to accommodate us, they allowed the longer boats to stick out into the fairways. They actually put Fiddler in two 30′ slips to accommodate its 15′ beam, which gave us plenty of room, but our bow stuck out pretty far beyond the end of the slips.

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Many of us were in slips that were too small.  Fiddler is about 22′ too long for its slip, but at least it was a double wide slip.
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Fiddler docked in Poulsbo.

We arrived at low tide and it wasn’t just a low tide, it was a minus 1.5 tide. The US navigation charts measure the depth of the water using the average of the lower low tide. There are two high tides and two low tides every day here. One of the low tides is lower than the other and the charts use the average of the lower low tide for depth soundings.  A minus 1.5 tide means that the depth on this day was 1.5 feet lower than the minimum depths shown on the chart. Poulsbo marina’s depths are shallow anyway, but today they were more shallow. As we approached our assigned slip, the depth sounder at the helm read ZERO feet! I must have a little wiggle room, but we were very close to touching the bottom.  One boater wasn’t so lucky.

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Liberty Bay/Poulsbo has shallow depths, especially during a minus tide.
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This boater ran aground just outside the marina. He waited three hours for the incoming tide to refloat him off the bottom.

The weekend’s activities included happy hours, breakfast waffles, kayaking, seal watching, afternoon ice cream, and a pizza and ramen party. The party was a back to college theme where we wore clothes with our college name or colors. There was supposed to also be a toga party and a showing of Animal House, but those were scratched from the agenda at the last minute. We don’t know why. Nevertheless, we met many new boater friends and enjoyed the weekend getaway.

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The first use of the kayaks this year.
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We had blue skies, calm waters, and a beautiful view of Mt. Rainier on the way home.

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