Pelicano 18 – Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival

On Wednesday, September 8th my wife Jody and I launched “Rachel” (Pelicano 19) on a public boat launch in Olympia, Washington. We had a 115 mile journey ahead of us to get to the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival. It was overcast, and the water was flat and smooth.

Over the last 25 years, Jody and I have made over 20 trips to the San Juan and Gulf Islands, including a trip up the inland passage to Alaska. However, this was our very first time in the lower Puget Sound, and I must say it is just as beautiful. Plus, we saw very few boats; it was like we had the whole lower sound to ourselves.

That first day, our journey started around 11 am. Our goal was to make it to Port Madison at the north end of Bainbridge Island. “Rachel” was averaging 15-16 knots and burning around 2 gallons per hour. We needed to fuel up for the next day’s journey to Port Townsend so finding a fueling station was a priority. We had a South Sound Gunk holing book on-board so Jody started researching. She found the town of Poulsbo just to the west of Port Madison on the north end of Liberty Bay. Wow! What a beauty of a place! We got to the fuel dock right at 3:50pm and took 11 gallons. The fuel dock closed at 4pm; we were just in time. We got a 20 foot slip for the night at a cost of 18 bucks, got “Rachel” secured and made way to the Loft for happy hour. We each had a great salad and shared a burger and fries. We took a look around the waterfront….very cool place! When we boarded our boat for the evening I decided to use the shower facilities. The showers were big and clean. They had the 25 cent a minute and a half machines, so 2 quarters later I was sparkling clean. Our first night in “Rachel’s” little Cuddy Cabin was great. I had 3″ high density foam cushion made to fit her. Very comfy and made for a great night sleep!

The following morning we made way to Port Townsend and landed there at 11 am, got our slip assignment and secured our little boat. The next 4 days were great – a wooden boater’s heaven. There were over 300 wooden boats of all types, ages and sizes. It was fantastic – live music every night, great food booths, workshops and more. If it’s about wooden boats it was there!

“Rachel” got all kinds of attention. In her little cuddy cabin that is approx. 6+ feet by 7+ feet, I built a little galley that we cooked our coffee and breakfast in every morning. It’s nice to be able to do that. Jody and I truly had a wonderful time at the festival.

Sunday, September 12 at around 1 pm we started our journey back to Olympia. We made way to the south end of Port Townsend Bay where we were hit with 35 knot winds and a 3 1/2 foot chop. I had to slow down to 8+ knots because we were taking the wind and chop right in the kisser. We made Liberty Bay just after 4 pm. We were a little tired. At no time did we feel unsafe going though all that wind and chop. She is a seaworthy little vessel.

The following morning we made way in flat calm seas to Gig Harbor to visit a friend. We landed at her dock around 10 am, tied up and had a great evening with Dianne and her sweet daughter, Amelia.

The next morning was overcast and calm. We made the Tacoma Narrow at 10:30 am just before high slack and landed at the ramp in Olympia around noon.

All in all I would say the trip was about an 11 1/2 on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest 🙂

If you have any questions about “Rachel” or our trip please email, and I would be more than happy to reply,


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