Sara had her Spring break last week and we decided to take a very low key sailing trip for the week. Our original plan was to sail up to the San Juan’s for the week, but the combination of inclement weather, small craft advisories during 2 of the 5 days, and other commitments had us put that plan on hold for the actual summer. Instead, we just bumped around the Puget Sound for the week. On the plus side, we had lots of wind and we able to sail for all of the trip (except for the few minutes for docking and undocking). It felt really good to be sailing given how little we did on the Alaska trip last summer.


We ended up leaving on Sunday morning after spending most of Saturday getting the boat ready - it needed a solid wash and reorganization after being put away for the last 6 months. Sunday morning though, we had a clean boat that was ready to sail. There was a small craft advisory hitting in the afternoon and lasting all day Monday so we had a small window to make it across the sound and into Eagle Harbor before things became uncomfortable.


We made great time heading across the sound. We ended up only putting up a reefed main and kept the jib put away because of some 20-25 knt gusts but despite the lack of sail area, we were doing 4-4.5 knts the whole way. Despite the wind, it was sunny and pretty warm.

Only Main

Docking was uneventful and we got in just before the wind really started picking up out in the sound. This was our first time staying overnight at the Seattle Yacht Club outstation at Eagle harbor (which is really just 6ish slips at the end of the dock at the Winslow marina). We met one other boat on the dock - a very offshore looking Bavaria 42 with a solo captain who was dressed like she just got back from a transpacific voyage. We didn’t end up finding time to chat with her, but I’m sure she was up to something incredible.

We spend the rest of the day puttering around a little, getting groceries, and then we had dinner on the boat. We picked up a new game called “King Arthur’s Court” which we proceeded to play 2-3 times per day for the whole week - with the first game usually starting at breakfast. Angela was really good at it - it took Sara and I teaming up to finally get a few wins under our belts.


The following day Sara and I went off in search of an adventure while Angela went to a massage (this was a christmas present that we finally got around to using). The highlights of the day were a chocolate waterfall at an extremely overpriced chocolate shop (the chocolate wasn’t all that good to be honest, but the chocolate-fall was cool), a pickleball museum (pickleball was started on Bainbridge), and we stopped off at a cool winery for snacks. We also had to make an epic journey up to Ace Hardware for a special type of lubricant that we needed for the raw water pump - it’s always something…

Despite the wind really howling out on the sound (20ish knt sustained with gusts up to 30), it was relatively calm in Winslow and in Eagle harbor. The end of the dock where we were got a bit more wake than we were used to, but we slept well and had a pretty comfortable day both on and off the boat. On the way back to the boat at the end of the day, one of the restaurants had out one of those huge Paella plates and was busy making up dinner for the evening. It smelled really good.



The next morning, we departed Eagle Harbor and made our way to Kingston. It was a close reach the whole way and really fun sailing. Things started to die down towards the end of the sail - so the last hour or so was a really slow ride up to port. Still we made it and it was a pretty comfortable day all around. We got into Kingston just in time to grab a fancy crepe and do a quick walk around town before turning in for the evening.


Kingston has a yacht club and it looked like it would be a pretty fun place to stop off, but unfortunately they were not yet open for the season. Sara and Angela did a walk up to the grocery store (about a 15 min walk from the docks) while I did some writing.


We had a fairly slow morning, but eventually got our act together. We took a walk up to the nearby bakery to get some breakfast and really loved it. It reminded us of a similar place in Sointula (Malcolm island) that made these home cooked frozen meals that are the perfect size for the oven on our boat. We purchased a couple of meals, but we had perishable groceries for the next couple of days so we didn’t get a chance to try them on the boat,

Kingston Bakery

We also stopped at a bookstore which had some fun local authors and events. We earmarked it for next time.

Kingston Bookshop

Our sail from Kingston to Port Madison was very comfortable, but not particularly quick. We were going about 4 knts starting off, but slowed to 3.5 and then 3 as we passed around Point Jefferson. It’s ok, we didn’t have far to go and despite it feeling like we were not moving at all for the last couple of hours, we made it into Port Madison without any trouble.


We stopped at Port Madison on our way south last summer - the last night before heading back into Seattle. It is a beautiful spot - very secluded and tranquil yet super close to the city. We grilled out in the evening and Sara made a new friend with the little girl on the Grand Banks a few slips down from us. We ended up with way more food than we needed so we traded with the Grand Banks family for some Pierogis which they had brought up for dinner.


I snapped this picture of our boat on the dock (with only the two others) right as the sun was setting.

Port Madison


We stuck it out at Port Madison for the day - Angela had some work to do and posted up at the outstation building while Sara, Oakley, and I went on an adventure. We all took a short walk to a nearby free little library, which was basically a full size library - you can’t see it in the pictures but each of the cabinets was labeled as “Annex”, “Mother-in-law unit”, etc. They clearly had fun putting this one together.

Little Library

Sara and I headed off to find a sourdough bread stand - it was about an hour walk, but most of it was pleasant. Either on wide path sidewalks or not very busy streets. The second leg was off to Eleven winery and, while shorter, it was pretty miserable walking along busy streets without much of a sidewalk. The last stretch back to Port Madison was about 45 min and it was also pleasant. Lesson learned, pick one or the other not both…

Adventures in Port Madison

Here are some pictures from our adventures. Sara was a tired little puppy when we got back (as was Oakley), but we found two new destinations that we will definitely return to on future trips.

Sara and I did a dinghy ride around Port Madison inlet, mostly just to do a shakeout of the dinghy which hadn’t been in the water in awhile. We found a dock full of seals hauled out (probably after a big snack) and found our boat twin tied up to a mooring ball out in the bay.

We grilled again and had a lovely dinner before turning in for the night.


The last day of our trip was quite the adventure. The wind was really blowing in the sound - whitecaps everywhere and 18-20 knts of sustained wind. Not many gusts fortunately, so we really got to put out the sails and go. At a full broad reach (which is usually not the fastest point of sail), we clocked 7.9 knts at one point and we were pretty consistently in the 7 knts range for the whole ride back. It was spectacular.


Despite the wind really howling, it was sunny and bright out. It was cold, but the sun makes all the difference I have found. Here were some pictures of our sail.

We got back into Elliott bay just after noon and it was gusting 15-20 knts in the marina. I thought we were in for a rough docking, but we nailed it. I came it with a lot more speed than I usually do and then just backed off pretty hard once we straightened out and that did it. Angela jumped off with the spring line and tied us in while we got the bow and stern lines attached. Flawless victory.


Until next time, says captain Angela!

At The Helm