Port Orchard Docking School a Success!

13-15 April, 2018


Dave & Mary Weale

Duane & Gina Rubash

Ray & Debra Valpey

John & Kerstin Hilton

Chuck Ising & Lee Jelinek (arrived by car on Saturday)

Brian & Mary Scott (arrived by car on Saturday)

Friday afternoon’s weather was wet and windy.  Ray and Debra had the good fortune to sail much of the way from Des Moines to Oak Harbor.

Upon check-in at the marina office some HAPS members were delighted to discover they could use Yacht Club reciprocal privileges for a discount on moorage.  It doesn’t hurt to ask.

We celebrated Ray’s 70thbirthday with a potluck inside the Port Orchard Marina’s activity shelter.  With the BBQ grilling and the propane heater going it was actually pretty cozy.  We followed up the potluck by having home-made (boat-made) birthday cake aboard Sloe Tango.  The cake Debra made was a sight to behold; frosting, candles, and even a solar powered flamingo on top.  The heat from the candles proved to be too much for the flamingo, who spontaneously combusted, and forced Ray to blow out the candles (and the flamingo) before we even finished happy birthday.  It was a memorable evening to say the least.

We awakened Saturday morning to a break in the weather.  John and Kerstin Hilton prepared baked bell peppers filled with eggs and ham on the grill.  After a leisurely breakfast we began our docking maneuvers.  Some of the techniques from the Duncan Wells book were favorites.  A brief video is posted on Facebook showing the Bow First arrival, stern bridle method (page 63).  Lassoing a cleat with a long bridal eliminates the need to step off the boat to secure a cleat.  Debra and Ray demonstrated the slipped bow bridle method (page 46) for backing out of a slip.

John and Kerstin practiced the Pivot Turn (page 19 of Grant Headifen’s book) which uses prop walk and alternating bursts of forward and reverse to turn the boat clockwise on her keel.  Very useful when a turn is needed in a tight space.

By lunch time the rain was back and coming down in buckets.  The group adjourned to the picnic table inside the activity shelter.  We fired up the propane heater and spent a quiet afternoon snacking, playing cards and other games.  A few souls braved the rain, and ventured into Port Orchard for some shopping.   They returned with treasures, and reported the town was bustling.

Saturday night’s dinner featured pizza from Seabeck Pizza of Port Orchard, tossed salad and brownies. We hung out after dinner playing Jenga, and trying to solve wooden puzzles.  It was really pleasant being in the activity shelter looking out at the rain.

Sunday morning was dry, and even a bit of sun.  We had the standard continental breakfast of coffee, English muffins, and yogurt.  It was a relaxed morning with no one in a hurry to leave.  The wind picked up a bit, and a few departing Hapsters raised their sails once outside the marina.

John and Kerstin Hilton stayed on at the marina Sunday, as New Shoes was getting hauled for bottom paint Monday morning.  It was sad to see our friends depart.

Can’t wait for our next gathering!