Port Townsend


We have spent the winter in Port Townsend, hard to believe the past few months have gone by so quickly. Today the sun was out, we had lunch in the cockpit and readied for tomorrow’s departure.

Our plan was to spend the winter based in Port Townsend and sail the San Juan Islands. Instead we had several projects pop up that kept us in town working through the winter. The trade off is we are ready to head north tomorrow and feel good about the work we’ve done over the past few months. We’ve had a chance to inspect and repair/replace or do maintenance on all the systems. We’ve replaced some systems that were not up to grade and improved many that were original to the boat.

We had a high point of something like 243 “projects” - including everything from inspecting our chain plates to replacing light bulbs, suffice to say it was an interesting winter. We had a great time getting to understand the systems on Tumbleweed much better, and to have the time to go over all the major systems. But, we are ready to be done with all that for a while and get sailing. The north calls and we are glad to be moving.

Port Townsend has been a welcoming place, the people have been really friendly, the landscape has been stunning. We’ve had a great beach to walk along and open bays for kayaking. Wildlife has included a family of River Otters at the dock, a couple of bald eagles that circle the nearby beach and occasionally swoop into the marina for a meal, flocks of gulls, cormorants, a heron that is usually perched at the end of the breakwater - poised in ruffling feathers staring into the water for long periods waiting to snap up a snack.

The landscape has been sublime. From Point Hudson we watch the sun rise over the Cascade mountains and set behind the Olympics. Each range roaming north and south with foothills in the foreground, grading the light in bands of various shades of grey up to the peaks in the range. With the low morning or evening light this winter the landscape often looks like it has been painted into place with watercolors - soft, diffuse color, either warm with oranges and yellows, or bands of cool tones - pale blues blending with darker blues becoming purple. Admiralty Inlet was a constantly changing body of water - at times flat calm, at other times covered with white caps. From our various vantage points - the bluff of Fort Worden, or the beach at Point Hudson, it was hypnotizing.

Tomorrow we head north across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We’ll spend a few days in the San Juan Islands and then cross over to Canada for some time in the Gulf Islands and a slow sail to the north of Vancouver Island. We have a handful of good recommendations for islands to visit and are in no hurry.