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Tag: Liberty Bay

2017 Liberty Bay July 3rd raft up

The July 3rd fireworks event in Liberty Bay is the single most looked forward to event of the year for me. Hundreds (maybe thousands) of boats descend on Liberty Bay for one of the better fireworks displays around. Boats come in groups and raft up (tie together) or singly.

This year I was excited to take Billabong over. In fact this was Billabong’s first cruise outing since I have owned her! My wife Alix had to work but another friend at our marina was coming later and offered to bring her over, so early Saturday morning I packed the dogs into the boat and we took off for Liberty Bay, Poulsbo.

Billabong motoring from Shilshole to Liberty Bay July 2017

The morning weather was a bit dreary, with no wind, but Bella and Mariah had a great time cruising over. Mariah piloted while Bella crewed and Martha dutifully followed along behind.

About 80% of the way to Agate Pass the newly rebuilt motor Harold and I had labored to rebuild sputtered and died. She had less than 5 hours on the rebuild! Luckily I had brought along my toolbox and along with my recently acquired knowledge felt confident I would figure out a resolution. When I popped open the engine hatch I found, to my horror, several inches of water in the bottom of the engine room! With no bilge pump in the engine room (to keep oil from going overboard) I was forced to manually bail the compartment.

Water filling the engine compartment, presumably from the rudder post

Unable to see any visual clue as to why the motor died I decided to bump the starter. To my surprise and delight the motor fired immediately with barely a bump of the starter. With the hatch still open I cautiously put the transmission in forward at idle. Everything seemed fine. Gave her some throttle and suddenly a fountain of water came flying up! Immediately killing the motor, I investigated. It turns out the oil absorbent pads I had placed under the motor had floated up when the compartment filled with water and wrapped themselves around the prop shaft. Once sufficiently twisted they had enough weight to cause the motor to sputter. Simple fix!!!

What about the water you may be asking? I had to manually pump out the compartment two other times. It looks to me as if the rudder post is leaking. I have yet to confirm that suspicion 100% but whenever the rudder is used hard a larger volume of water seems to come through.

Enough of the depressing stuff! After anchoring in Liberty Bay I set about rigging up Martha the Minto while Bella took a nap in the cabin.

And then….you guessed it, we went sailing in Martha!

Sailing Martha the Minto in Liberty Bay. Doesn’t Bella look thrilled?

Billabong looked good hanging in Liberty Bay.

Harold, Jessie, and Amanda arrived a couple hours later on Michief Maker, an Ericson 38. Jessie approves of Billabong.

We went into Poulsbo and of course Harold and I shared a round of brew.

The following morning Alix arrived via friend Kemp’s trawler. Alix had never been to Poulsbo so we went in and explored the town.

I did not get many pictures during the event. You can look at past Liberty Bay July 3rd events to see fireworks. I very much enjoy spending time with the people of Shilshole Bay Yacht Club. Super fun people who just love getting out on and enjoying their boats with others.

Alix and I had a great sail back to Shilshole Marina on July 4th. Alix even tried her hand at helming and was telling me how to sail before we got back! Our first docking together was flawless. Alix stepped off the boat and tied us to the dock like she had been doing it for years.

Another year and another Liberty Bay event down. I am looking forward to next year already!


Shilsole Bay Yacht Club Raft

Liberty Bay July 3 raft up


I was invited to a Shilshole Bay Yacht Club rafting event in Liberty Bay on July 3rd by Joe Bozick, an ex-commodore. Hundreds of boats gather on the 3rd and celebrate our nations independence.

I had never been to a rafting event before so I read up on how to raft, loaded extra bumpers and line from Penny onto my car, and heading down to Zippey’s marina.

My buddy Jason came along for the trip. As we loaded the goods onto Zippey some people came to the powerboat moored on the other side of the finger pier from her. They could not figure out how to get the boat to start. I helped them start it and it turns out that they had rented the boat from a website for the day. Protip: Do not EVER let someone take out your boat that you do not know and trust, let alone put it up on a boat rental site without ever meeting the people. As they pulled away from the dock they almost hit the boat next to them, then almost rammed the dock behind them, then almost hit the boat next to them, etc. I was finally able to grab ahold of the boat and push them out to point down the fairway and they made it safely out of the marina.

After that Jason and I puttered over to the fuel dock to fill up Zippey’s 4 gallon fuel tank and the two 2 gallon reserves we carried. While we were at the fuel dock I watch paramedic do chest compressions on a man for 20 minutes before he died. His dinghy fell and hit him in the head. As we pulled away from the fuel dock moments later to travel for many hours to an event were hundreds, possibly more than a thousand, boats were together in Liberty Bay it was a sober reminder that life is fleeting and precious and as fun as boating is it is an activity that needs to be done with extreme caution. Equipment needs to be checked and double checked and even then you should keep a wary eye and anticipate issue, which always arise.

The trip up Puget Sound and through Agate Pass into Libery Bay was a beautiful one. The tide was flooding and against us most of the way. Poor Zippey has an 8 HP motor that is not aligned properly. We crawled our way there at about 2 knots. The trip I planned 4 hours for took about 6 hours due to the flood current pushing hard against us.

Jason "tubing" at 2 knots

Jason “tubing” at 2 knots

We got in and found the Shilshole Bay Yacht Club boat and rafted up to Joe’s Sweden 36, Breeze. Breeze is a great boat and I have had the priviledge of crewing for Joe during races. Joe has taught me a lot about the art of sailing and racing. The people from the club are great and I look forward to future events with them.

Rafted to Joe's Sweden 36, Breeze

Rafted to Joe’s Sweden 36, Breeze

Shilsole Bay Yacht Club Raft

Shilsole Bay Yacht Club Raft

Jason and I were invited (invited ourselves really) to watch fireworks from the flybridge of Collin’s beautiful trawler. The fireworks were spectacular and the company even better.


The next morning after checking our fuel reserves (We burned most of it on the way up) Collin and his wife graciously allowed me to borrow their dinghy to fill up my gas can. Their dinghy was great and I would not mind having a similar setup. The sad part is that at a very low throttle it ran faster than Zippey had the previous day!

The current running through Agate Pass can get pretty intense. We weighed anchor at 10 am to try to run with the current through the pass and out to the Puget Sound. The current pushed us up to about 7 knots! (That is 7.7mph for you landlubbers. Pretty fast on a sailboat) The rest of the trip was a modest 3.5 knots. I know Zippey can do better. I need to realign the motor and maybe change the prop. Other boats with the same motor were flying past us.


Jason and I made it safely back to Zippey’s marina in 4 hours 24 minutes. Only 24 minutes longer than I had anticipated. Not too bad for my first “long voyage”!

I very much enjoyed my first rafting event and the people that are part of Shilsole Bay Yacht Club are great. I look forward to joining the club and am already excited about attending next year’s July 3rd rafting event!

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