Saturday, August 7, 2010

#61 Port Shelton

We lingered in Olympia enjoying the environment until Swantown moorage checkout time of 1pm. Our next port is Shelton, the furthest point west in the South Sound. It lies at the west end of Hammersley Inlet. The 8 mile long inlet is obstructed by numerous shoals and has a minimum depth of 8 feet in the channel. The narrow channel is unmarked, and winds its way through the inlet, which means we will need to pay close attention to the depth sounder.

Hammersley Inlet runs east to west in deep southern Puget Sound.

The Inlet is wide but the channel within it is unmarked and narrow. This was our route through the eastern portion. Depth readings are in feet and the Wild Blue draws almost 6 feet.

It was an easy motor from Olympia at the base of Budd Inlet, north to Squaxin Passage. Once through the Passage and around Hope Island, we turned west into Hammersley Inlet. With Marvin carefully watching the charted depths, Pat's eyes glued to the forward looking sonar, and Marianne reading the depth gauge, we slowly entered what we hoped was the channel running along the north shore. The flood current was pushing us which is good if we grounded: the idea being that once aground the rising water level would float us free. The current was slow in the shallow bars and faster in the less shallow water, but pushed us sideways in the turns. It took paying attention to the charts and sounder along with careful steering for 70 minutes until we reached the deeper water near Port Shelton.

Port Shelton is a small mill town at the foot of the Inlet and provides the Oakland Bay Marina for small craft. We moored in the center of the Marina at their 50-foot guest dock. We were the biggest boat in the moorage. The dock fees were by far the least expensive of this year's cruise at $9 per night plus $3 for power. This compares to $135 per night in downtown Vancouver! We decided we should spend some bucks here and started hiking to town. After a 20-minute walk along we arrived "downtown" but all was pretty quiet. Luckily the Dairy Queen was open to satisfy our spending needs.

Beautiful homes with grassy lawns line both sides of Hammersley Inlet.

An historic steam locomotive is Port Shelton's centerpiece.

A running stream runs through the town and under this office complex.

At least one resident thinks the County Assessor asks for too much tax.

We enjoyed dinner aboard and planned our departure for tomorrow's high tide when we exit Hammersley Inlet.

No comments:

Post a Comment