Winter Cruise to Gig Harbor

Winter Cruise to Gig Harbor

Last time we had been away from the dock was Thanksgiving of last year.  And that was for a quick Christmas Ships cruise.  Alison and I were itching to head out somewhere for a weekend.  We decided to head to Gig Harbor Saturday morning and spend the night, returning Sunday afternoon.

Alison is trying out one of our Christmas gift hats!  Looking sharp!

After a quick dash to the grocery store, we donned our headsets, tossed off the lines and headed out!  It was a spectacular cruise south.  Breeze was near calm, seas were just a ripple.  From the pilothouse, you wouldn’t imagine that it was 35 degrees outside.

Where is her jacket?  Brrrr!

Our plan was to dock at Tides Tavern for lunch and then tie up at the public dock (it now has power, 30 amp) for the night.  We wanted to confirm that there was space as well as depth for us at the dock.  As the dock was half full, we changed our minds – let’s get our spot at the public dock now and walk down to Tides.  Unfortunately, as we were poking in to where we would need to be, we realized that there would not be enough water for us at low tide (minus 2.5 feet).  Plan B.  Dock at Tides and then anchor out for the night, drop the dinghy down to take Zoe in for the needed walks.

Tides Tavern, since 1973
Red Rover at the Tides.
Dinner with a view!

So it was an easy docking at the Tides and enjoyed our meal – great spot, always good food.  We left the restaurant and Red Rover was the only vessel anchored out.  We uncovered the dinghy and found its battery dead.  Completely dead.  I had left the battery switch on (duh!) and a dash switch was toggled on – this over the course of the last 3 months completely killed it.  Well….  we decided that we’d go back to Tides for breakfast!  We pulled the fake grass potty mat that came with the boat to see if Zoe would try it.  She decided to wait until we arrived back at the dock for some real grass.  Something that we are going to work on with her!

A battery is a battery in any language.

After breakfast, we headed home on an equally beautiful day with a trip to Fisheries Supply planned after arrival.  Good opportunity to replace the spring hinge on the seat that holds the battery.

Um, broken but now replace!  Also, we need some semblance of Spring (the season) so that we can scrub her up!

After fisheries and the grocery store, we were home in time for sunset.  All we could ask for is 75 degrees.  Waiting for summer…









Sea Trial for Red Rover

Sea Trial for Red Rover

Last week we scheduled a sea trial for this Tuesday to check some things out.  The autopilot needed some adjustments and the electronic throttle/transmission control was acting up.  With the throttle/trans control, when put in to gear, it wouldn’t always engage until “throttle” was added.  I felt something was off with this particular unit vs the black box.  We switched the one in the pilothouse (the one with the issue) with the one in the stern.  And underway, we could see if the issue followed the unit or ?

Later in the evening, we had constant 30 kt winds and 35 kt+ gusts!

So I arrive to Red Rover at 1pm Tuesday to 25 kt winds.  Where did this come from?  Forecast was for 12 kts….  um…  Scott with Emerald Harbor Marine was just finishing the swap of the throttle control unit when I arrived.  We postponed the sea trial for a few days!  We did have a chance to review some other of my questions, so not a wasted afternoon.

Spectacular winter morning overlooking the Olympics.

Thursday morning was stunning with the moon setting over the Olympics.  The electronics were up and I had the Lugger running as Scott stepped aboard.  I went to the wing engine to test the controls.  No thrusters.  Ugh.  Thrusters worked everywhere else!  So we swapped the wing unit with the stern unit and had success!  Well, mostly success – another boat part to buy…

A burn mark was visible on the face – shorted out.  Spendy little items!

Ok, ready to go!  We tossed off the lines and backed out.  As we drifted towards our neighbors boat, I tried to thruster away…  only we kept getting closer faster!  I realized the thruster control was wired for an aft facing operator and direction was reversed.  So I was able to avoid an early morning “meeting” with our neighbors.

What are those crazy Nordhavn people doing?

Finally out of the marina and we headed out to a quite area to do some testing and adjustments.  As we have two complete sets of autopilots, it did take the morning to get both dialed in.  As you can see, there is a lot of maneuvers needed to get to where you want the settings to be.

Scott reviewing the manual on his trusty mobile device!

Once complete, we were able to test the stern throttle/transmission control.  Good or bad, we did not find an issue with it.  We think that there was a loose connection and the switching of the two tightened things up.  We will try the stern station over the next few months to confirm.


Zoe, our trusty co-pilot.

Scott offered to make the thruster rewire change before we docked.  I waived him off thinking that I would be able to dock with controls reversed.  When we dock, we don’t need a lot of thruster action…  just a gentle nudge here and there.  So this shouldn’t have been a problem.  Problem was, even with full mental notes that the controls were reversed, it was the muscle memory that took over.  It took me 4 tries to get in to our slip!  On a beautifully calm day…  I don’t think I have ever needed 4 tries to dock before!  So good lesson – habits are hard to break. I am glad our neighbors were not home as I almost kissed their boat a couple of times (sorry Darren and Lisa!).  Once tied up, Scott made the adjustment to the wire harness and triple checked the operation of the thrusters.  All good!

Alison and I are ready for a weekend outing… it has been over 7 weeks since we have been out and we are missing it.  Just one more day of work…