Pacific Northwest Summer Boating Adventure


By Linda Kissam “Food, Wine & Shopping Diva”


ON BIG BLEND RADIO: Travel writer Linda Kissam discusses her boating adventures in the Pacific Northwest. Listen here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean.


Sailing for us this summer meant staying fairly close to where our 50’ Ocean Alexander boat is moored in Elliott Bay Marina in Seattle, Washington. The cost of diesel fuel was very high this year and we just spent last summer on a five-month Alaskan trip, so this year we spent our sailing time within four hours of the marina.

There’s nothing like the feeling you get when the engines first roar to life, signaling a new adventure is about to begin. My husband is the one who charts our journeys and handles the lines and such. My job is to act as the F&B (Food and Beverage Manager).

Our trips this year started with stock-up visits to Pike Place Market which is just 20 minutes from the marina. We have a freezer on the boat that allows me to fill it up with our favorite items such as empanadas, ribs, clam chowder, steak, tri-tip, and fish. So much fabulous produce is available but keeps for just a week or two in the two refrigerators on board.  Fishing for salmon and shrimp was not available to us this year. Everything is so regulated that you have to be in the right place at the right time with the right licenses to participate. That eluded us this year. Last year in Alaska we were the fishing champions netting tons of shrimp, salmon, cod, and halibut.

As the boat pulls out from the dock you can find me stepping out on the stern (back of the boat). The wind embraces me like an old friend promising a now familiar sense of freedom, not available from any other mode of transportation. I will do this a total of three times.

Our first trip was to the fabulous Scandinavian town of Poulsbo which is about 3 hours from our dock. It has some of the best bakeries, coffee, and shopping. I always do some serious damage to my credit card during our visits. We take the skiff to the town which is about a five-minute trip. It’s quite a sight to see my husband, our Scottie, and me getting out of the boat onto the dock and then back in.

Our second trip was to Port Ludlow. The sailing time is four hours. This is my Scottie’s favorite place. No shops to distract her owners, just a fun beach for the dog to run on and retrieve sticks from the water. Once again, we take the skiff in each day. Each day I pray I don’t end up rolling around on the dock or slipping into the water. My husband and I generally use quiet time aboard the boat to work on various projects. We like to hook up with other boaters for onboard sunset dinners, wine tasting, and making beautiful memories.

Our third trip took us to Blakely Harbor. Blakely Harbor is an inlet on the east shore of Bainbridge Island. It has a 12-foot varying tide, so we always have to be careful to anchor in a very deep spot (42 feet or more) and mindfully judge when to head off to the shore and park. If you misjudge the tide, you can find your skiff floating all by itself in the middle of the inlet heading out to seas unknown. We tie up the skiff on the beach and head off for a challenging stroll along a very rocky beach. My husband and I both wear sturdy high-water rubber boats. Once past the beach, we enjoy walking the rustic park paths where we can hike along a forested lagoon out to a clearing on Puget Sound. Blakely Harbor is where we take our visiting friends for a day trip. Located just about 1.5 hours from our dock, we can give our guests a glimpse into the summer life we live.

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Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva’ is a professional travel, food, and wine writer who specializes in easy, breezy destination stories sharing her favorite things about the places she visits. Visit

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