Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Cruising

A month’s gone past since the day we almost caught the boat on fire. I figure it’s time for an update on the blog with all we went through to get the boat back to functional, and everything we’ve been up to since getting settled back into cruising.

So, yes, first of all, we ARE back to cruising. Thankfully! I haven’t added everything up yet (but I will, and details will be on my upcoming August finance report – sign up for that here!) for an official total, but I’m pretty sure we were north of $4000 in repairs and ended up spending an extra 10 nights at Swantown Marina because of it for a total of $420.

Beautiful Sunset in Olympia's Swantown Marina

These guys were our neighbors in Swantown and we actually bumped into them again in Gig Harbor when they anchored near us for a night. I believe they’re headed north to Canada! “Umiak”

Looking at the Bright Side

I just keep telling myself to keep my chin up and look at all the improvements we made to our boat in fixing things damaged with our electrical mishap.

For a quick recap, we had a wiring mistake a month ago today in which we completely shorted out our battery bank and nearly caught the boat on fire. Thankfully, despite the battery switch melting due to the current flowing through the system, it still functioned when Brenden dove for it to kill all power when we saw smoke billowing out from the engine bay and out from under the nav station seat where our starter battery, battery charger, and battery switch are housed.

I do not even want to think about the consequences had that thing not worked to turn off the power when we needed it to…

So, I look at the bright side. Improvements to the boat:

  • We’ve now replaced and improved pretty much all of the heavy gauge wiring in the DC system aboard Mosaic
  • We have a new (better) battery charger
  • We have a new battery switch
  • We have a new house battery bank, wired in with fuses at the batteries to avoid this disaster being able to repeat itself!

A little bit of a downer though: despite having the alternator completely rebuilt (the whole reason we were taking things apart and had the wiring mix up in the first place!), and having installed a brand new regulator, our alternator STILL isn’t working. So that’s pretty frustrating. We’ve got a brand new wiring harness to swap out in there as a last ditch effort to get that functional, but if that doesn’t work we’re just out of ideas on what could even be wrong with the stupid thing. Got any ideas for us here? Would love to hear them!

Getting Back in the Saddle, so to Speak

So, thankfully, thanks to hours and hours of hard work, we had all that repair-work done and the boat back to operational by the morning of August 10th and we cast off and headed back out to cruising on the cheap.

We knew we wanted to get headed northward toward the San Juans by mid- to late-August, so that gave us a pretty limited timeframe remaining to explore the south sound as we had planned.

On Saturday the 10th, we headed up to Hope Island to the NW of Olympia to get an eye on that but the mooring balls were all full so we decided to swing on over to McMicken Island, another island which we’d heard was really cool. We found that spot to be all full as well, moorings all taken and quite a few boats anchored, so we made the call to just continue on north and go check out Jarrell Cove since that was another spot that we’d been told we really should check out. (We saw DOLPHINS on our way up Case Inlet toward Jarrell Cove!!! Did you see the pictures and video on our Facebook page!?)

We did get a mooring ball there and stayed at Jarrell Cove overnight. It was a pretty nice state park and one of the few that has docks with power available. We enjoyed exploring ashore the next day but we couldn’t stay as we had very poor cell signal there and needed to move on to somewhere workable for the work week starting Monday.

So, Sunday afternoon, we left Jarrell Cove, wandered up to Stretch Point just to do a drive-by and see what that park was like, and then backtracked down to Joemma State Park. Checking our cell signal, we were happy to see we would be able to work at Joemma so we took a spot at the otherwise empty dock there.

Joemma State Park was a really nice place to hang out and work for a few days with daily afternoon trips ashore for exploration and fun. We stayed there for 3 nights, planning to get together with our friends on SV Muse and SV Captain Musick the coming weekend back at Penrose Point.

SV Mosaic at Joemma State Park - August 2019

Sunset our first night at Joemma. Stunning!

(Did you see the story of Liz the Lizard on our Facebook page? If not, lol, seriously visit our page here and find the post from August 13, 2019. Like and follow our page for frequent updates!)

So, on Wednesday (the 14th), we left Joemma with a plan to pick up a mooring ball somewhere for that night before heading to Penrose Park on Thursday to meet up with our friends. We tried to get a ball at Eagle Island but, again, all their moorings were full. We headed on up to Cutt’s Island, another spot we’d wanted to check out before going north, and were able to get a mooring ball there for a beautiful sunset on Wednesday night.

Thursday afternoon, we headed down to Penrose Point and we were able to pick up an open mooring ball there. Our friends aboard Muse arrived in the early afternoon and we had fun hanging out with them all afternoon and evening. They had a new anchor (and new dinghy) and were happy to anchor in Mayo Cove at Penrose to test their new ground tackle.

On Friday, our friends aboard Captain Musick joined us all and anchored nearby and we all had a great couple days hanging out.

Sailing North

On Sunday the 18th, we all dispersed. Captain Musick headed on back down south to their home slip in Olympia and we, and Muse, opted to get in some light-wind sailing on our way back north. Muse, of course, was headed back to their home slip in Tacoma and we were heading back northward to Gig Harbor for a few days.

On Monday the 19th, my mom and stepdad brought their trailer and stayed at the Gig Harbor RV Park while we were anchored out in Gig Harbor. We enjoyed a couple days full of family time in Gig Harbor. It was fun to show them around the town we’d come to know earlier in the summer. They stayed until Wednesday morning before heading home. We planned to leave Wednesday as well, but a nasty, rainy storm came through and we stayed one extra night on anchor in Gig Harbor before leaving then on Thursday and heading on up to Blake Island.

We were not expecting to be able to get a coveted spot at the Blake Island docks on a Thursday evening, but we lucked out and did get tucked in for a night of shore power and battery charging. Surprisingly, I don’t think we saw a single raccoon while there! Much different from our previous visit in June. Some said the eagles had been preying on them, keeping them away. We didn’t see any eagles though, either, so I just don’t know. Nevertheless, we enjoyed a night at Blake Island before heading onward to Illahee State Park on Friday night.

Blake Island Marine State Park August 2019

We got a spot at the nearly-empty dock at Illahee State Park Friday and hiked the steep trail up to see the big military gun replicas at the park and get some exercise. On Saturday morning, I made sourdough pancakes and we ate them with fresh blackberry syrup which my mom had given me during her visit. YUM!

Saturday morning, we moved onward to Poulsbo. We stayed that night at the Port of Poulsbo Marina and had a really fun weekend, both Saturday and Sunday, visiting with Brenden’s parents who’d come up for a visit. We even got out for a sail (again, pretty light wind) on Sunday with them.

Family Sailing - Cruising the Puget Sound

Sunday afternoon, after our sail, we dropped anchor out in Liberty Bay at Poulsbo, had dinner together at one of the restaurants on the waterfront and then said our goodbyes. We’ve been sitting at anchor since Sunday afternoon, working the workweek (GREAT cell service here) and yesterday got to play and explore the sea life at the aquarium. They had some pretty cool stuff and a great touch tank full of neat sea creatures! The kids loved it!

This coming weekend, we’re planning to continue onward to Port Townsend and start prepping for a week of vacation time and crossing the Strait of Juan de Fuca over to explore the San Juan Islands. I’m SO excited for this, for a chance to possibly see some orcas, and also, hopefully, a chance to meet up with our Portland friends on SV Dharma Girl before they leave the PNW and head south toward Mexico on their cruising adventure.

Thanks so much for reading. Hope you’ve enjoyed this post! Cheers!  ~Rachel

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