Saturday September 6. Roche Harbor and Port Townsend

Written by Jack van Ommen on September 7th, 2014

First thing, Friday morning, after brewing my coffee in my once cupper espresso pot, I pulled the crab trap. See below picture. Six Dungenes crabs, 3 females and one male just under 6 1/4 inch limit. But the two remaining males made a delicious meal. DSC_0039 I hiked up to the San Juan Islands Yacht Club to check and see if my name was still on the Shaw Island Classic trophy. This is a race held every year at the end of the summer. You can choose which way to circle the island, clock or counter clock wise. The island lays just north of Friday Harbor. I tried it in 1979, the last year I sailed my Ranger 29, “Gemini”. My second wife to be Laura came along and Mike St. John Smith (who I saw last Tuesday in Vancouver) and Brian a friend of Mike. I studied the current charts the night before and decided to round the island clockwise. But it was obvious that I had not done my homework because every one, but a handful of boats, went counter clockwise. But I was too far into it to change my directions. When we finally made it back to Friday Harbor, we did not see any other boats so I figured the rest of the fleet was already done and had put their boats back in their stalls. But as it turned out they were to arrive a few hours later and I won that race. That is the only sailboat race where I have ever had a bullet. Robert Horsley was the one to bring me the news. He had won the previous year’s race in a Santa Cruz 27, the name of his boat “Poisson Soluble” is misspelled on the trophy.DSC_0048

I sailed around the north tip of San Juan Island to get to Roche Harbor. The 165 foot yacht that the Clarks work on was anchored in the bay and I anchored nearby. It is a different world. I had been on a similar yacht “The Casino Royal” in  Fort Lauderdale that Greg skippered in 2009. This yacht was built by Christensen in Vancouver, Washington. everything shines. The decor is very modern but also very warm and attractive. Gorgeous woodwork, American Black Walnut, Maple and teak floors, decks. Marlys worked for me for nine years in Gig Harbor. Afterwards we went to dinner at the old hotel in Roche Harbor to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, in the exact same location where they got married. The Decorator Carol from Portland and Christian the broker, who sold this boat to the St. Louis owners, joined us at dinner. We drank the traditional “Fluffy Duck” drinks the hotel serves. (Vodka, rum, orange juice and fresh cream. Finished with whipped cream and a cherry).

Bride Marlys left with Carol and the "Fluffy Ducks"

Bride Marlys left with Carol and the “Fluffy Ducks”

I left at 6.30 a.m. to get the benefit of the ebb on the way into the Strait of San Juan de Fuca and later was flushed on the flood through Admirality Inlet. Sailed some and motored most of the way, little wind but gorgeous hot summer weather. I anchored right off the board walk in Port Townsend. It is the annual Wooden Boat Festival. It has become a regular combination country fair, Disneyland and Maritime fest. Quite a difference from 1980 when brand new “Fleetwood (I)” was shown off here. I met up with Tom Jackson the senior editor for Wooden Boat magazine. He has worked with me on a few articles that WB published I submitted on traditional Dutch sailing vessels. I plan to attend mass here in the morning and then make another visit to the show and arrive back in Gig Harbor on Monday.DSC_0077




4 Comments so far ↓

  1. John Juliano says:


    Jennifer and I enjoyed meeting you as we rowed out to our Maxi 95 — 9.5 meters.

    If you’re still in Gig Harbor later this year, we’ll look for you when we next sail down.


  2. Looking forward to see you here. I will send an e-mail with my telephone number.

  3. Seth van Ommen says:

    Jeez Dad. It’s bad enough that I have to sit at work wishing I was sailing with you, then you go and post adventures like this!

    Glad you’re having a good sail up there. Tell Marlys & Greg hello for me. Also I really want a tour of that superyacht. =)

  4. I’m replying by e-mail.

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