After a couple of early starts the flotilla took advantage of our first lay day, catching up on sleep and breakfasting in charming downtown Port Townsend. At midday, our immensely knowledgeable (and only-slightly-salty) Captain Ryan Downs arranged for a private tour of the Northwest Maritime Center. The Center is an expansive repository of knowledge for all things nautical. In addition to workshops teaching traditional boat building and rigging, the center offers youth programs promoting the maritime trades, recreational boating courses, and a bridge simulator for commercial mariners. The center hosts the second-largest wooden boat festival in the world, as well as human-powered (row, paddle, sail) races around the Puget Sound, and even an annual 750 NM race to Ketchikan, Alaska! The center was an outstanding opportunity for our crews to learn about the local maritime legends and history we’ll be sailing through as we venture further into the Western Puget Sound.
The afternoon was spent venturing around town. Once expected to be the capitol of Washington territory, the hill above downtown features a fine sandstone customs house – built in the Romanesque style – with excellent views of the harbor and delightful neighborhoods full of colorful Victorian homes. With well maintained trails connecting the beaches, city parks, and state historical sites the area is easy to explore on foot, or by bike.
The easy pace of the day gave us the perfect opportunity to play host for our flotilla’s first cocktail hour on board the beautiful 49-foot Dream Catcher. After so many hours talking on bridge to bridge it was nice to have a bona fide in-person chat, swapping sea stories and talking shop with fellow mariners! We wrapped up with a nautically themed movie night, and turned into our racks ready for another day of cruising ahead.
P.S. Missed this year’s Princess Louisa Flotilla? Not to worry, there’s always next year! Send us an email to reserve your spot on our 2022 Princess Louisa Flotilla.