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Posted By Robin & Jim

After we left Friday Harbor the weather was not the best to really enjoy the San Juans, and Jim's broken tooth really needed some attention.  We found a dentist in Bellingham, WA and headed there with the boat.  We're not used to the typical Washington marinas that are run by the towns - they don't take reservations, the staff isn't very helpful, and they have very little/no 50Amp power - which we really like to have so we can run our washer/dryer and electric heating systems.  But the important thing was the dentist, and it turned out that Jim only needs a crown and not an implant - whew!

In addition to the dentist, our boat is now 25 years old and our insurance company requires us to have a professional survey done - out of the water.  DeFever friends Jim and Susan recommended their favorite boat yard in Port Townsend, WA, so that was our next stop.  Actually we made the arrangements for the haul-out and survey two months ago, just to make sure everything would be done in time for the insurance renewal. 

Port Townsend is a great town, with old Victorian homes and buildings, great little shops and cafes (which we barely had time to visit), a Maritime Center, and lots of activities and classes at the decommissioned Fort Worden nearby.

port t sunrise

We didn't realize that this yard offers services for "regular" boats as well as the behemoths - large commercial fishing boats, float houses, and huge yachts.  When we were in the water our slip had a perfect view of all the activity around the 300 ton travel lift.  Our boat weighs 32 tons and we were hauled by an 80 ton lift seen here (with the operator and his wireless control in the lower left)...

adventures in lift

And compare that to the massive 300 ton lift that can pick up a big steel commercial fishing boat like the kind you see on Deadliest Catch...

300 ton lift

The tires on the big lift are about 6 feet tall, just to give you some perspective.  The yard was full of old boats, new boats, work boats, pleasure boats, steel, wood, fiberglass... and lots of real craftsmen and women who can do any kind of repair you might need.  What a cool place!

Getting hauled out is never fun - it means long hours and lots of boat yard dirt, and climbing a tall ladder to get on and off the boat. And we always hope the travel lift operator blocks our boat level so things stay "normal" inside since we stay aboard.  But we got a lot accomplished, and took the opportunity to replace our main anchor chain, among many other little jobs.  We need a longer chain out here in the west since anchorages are deeper, particularly in Alaska.

anchors and chains

The morning after we were put back in the water, a boat in the yard caught fire - about 250' from where our boat was sitting!  Luckily the wind was light and the fire department arrived quickly.  The damage was limited to just three boats, and it could have been much worse.

 
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