Forts, Mystery, and a shipwreck

The big sail across Juan De Fuca Strait along with the ass kicking from the wind is a thing of the past. We made it across the strait and were still alive, so all was good. And that about sums up the bar of success on a sailboat, and even the veterans agree – if you arrive without killing someone or crashing, then it was a successful sail. So, success!

Since we had a week before our reservations in Port Townsend we chose to motor across the Port Townsend Bay and into Kilisut Harbor. Kilisut is a long, thin, leg of water between two long, skinny islands (one of which is a military base). There is actually somewhat of a maze through sand bars and a spit to enter the area, making it protected from all four sides.

Just inside the castle gates (so to speak) of sand bars is Fort Flagler Historical State Park, where we have been before in the van – literally the very week last year before we started boat shopping. I see the blog post and images and remember that it was the last time that the thoughts in my mind were not about sailing or sail boats… ah, those days. We took up a mooring ball at Fort Flagler. With a nice strong current running in and out of the harbor Meriwether was always being pulled off the ball, which makes it a lot less “thumpy” at night. On shore is bathrooms, showers, and even a small store complete with not-so-great hamburgers and such. The showers and a hot fast-food-quality meal was exactly what we needed after the long day crossing the strait. Three days passed with us staying put on the mooring ball. Kerri worked each day while I got more projects done on the boat, and Moose got to roam around the nearby shore a few times each day.

Things are getting normalized enough that I am running into and meeting other boaters. The case here was a gentleman named Dave who had worked for twenty years restoring his 1950-something 40+ foot wooden sail boat (Port Towsend across the water is a wooden boat haven) and started sailing/living on it full time only just back in November of 2018. I regret not getting a photo of it as it had all sorts of cool lines and quirks, which is how the initial conversation started. I just wanted to know more about this classic beauty. I returned to Dave later that evening with a hand full of beers and we talked even more while Kerri had a peaceful evening to herself.

Mid week we had reached our 3-day limit on the mooring ball, and thanks to Kerri’s map questing we moved just a couple miles further down the harbor waters to Mystery Bay State Park. It’s barely a state park, consisting of only a parking lot, boat ramp, dock, and a half dozen mooring balls. No trails or on land camping. Nothing… yet it was a beautiful place to stay nonetheless. Foggy mornings, good neighbors, easy land access for Moose, a free pump-out for our black tank, and even a small store a short dinghy ride away. Mystery Bay had it all, even a ship wreck (see video below).

I can definitely see returning to Flagler and Mystery in future seasons. Protected and peaceful places away from the larger crowds of the more well known places up in the San Juan Islands, what more can one ask for?

2 comments on “Forts, Mystery, and a shipwreck”

    1. Yea, it was easy with just a mile or two between parks on a calm morning. We didn’t even raise a sail during either move.

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