When we left Eagle Harbor on Saturday morning, a fresh 15-knot southerly was kicking up on Puget Sound and the sun was trying to burst through low cloud cover. We didn’t have very far to sail, as our destination was Blake Island, so we were happy to tack the short distance south.
Blake Island is one of our favorite Central Sound cruising spots and when our friend Dana, the Sloop Tavern Yacht Club’s (STYC) cruising director, invited us to join the group for their late January get-together and Moscow Mule Party at the state park, we were happy to oblige.
A few boats had come the night before, but we ended up being one of the first to arrive that morning. As the breeze stayed up throughout the day, boats from Shilshole and Elliott Bay Marina trickled in to join the festivities and by mid-afternoon the small marina was packed with sailboats.
Not exclusively for STYC members, the “Cruise and Snoozes” are designed to get people out using their boats during the fall and winter — simple as that. Other destinations have included Bremerton, Poulsbo and Kingston. The program is typically to show up on Friday or Saturday, hang out as a group on Saturday evening and then sail home on Sunday. The Moscow Mule Party on Blake Island was housed in one of the park’s sheltered fire pits, and participants were encouraged to bring food to share, ice, mixers and firewood, and Dana would take care of the rest. She did. And everyone had a great time.
Of course, the Moscow Mules (ginger beer and vodka in copper mugs) were the “theme”, but it was the food that stole the show. With the lights of Seattle lighting up the sky across the Sound, one sailor made a pot roast in a cast iron dutch oven nestled in coals near the fire and another made delicious rueben sandwiches on a skillet with meat that had been slow cooking all day. Ribs were also warmed up fireside and a plethora of appetizers and desserts rounded out the fare. Yum.
Sunday dawned cool and sunny and the crew of Yahtzee decided to take the long loop hike around the island. This is one of our favorite hikes in the area and is not to be missed if you make it to Blake Island. When we returned to the marina, boats were trickling out into the 10 to 15-knot southerly breeze and we were excited to get out for a downwind run of our own. From Blake, we ran downwind wing-and-wing and made it to Elliott Bay Marina in no time. It was the perfect way to end a fun weekend with friends new and old.
The last STYC Cruise and Snooze of the winter will be a Mardi Gras Party in Port Orchard on February 13. Find out more here.