What it’s like Traveling with Miranda

Cruising with Miranda: Summer 2019

Published November 6, 2019

Editor’s note: If you’ve been following the adventures of Miranda, you’ll know that she tours the seas aboard PaNNTOA members’ boats. Her adventures have been chronicled in a lovely album, updated for member’s enjoyment for each annual rendezvous. This year, we’re posting Miranda’s story on the web site for all to enjoy. Miranda recently returned to port following a 2-month journey north this year with Doug and Lindsey Ford. Here’s Lindsey’s report:

Wind and seas were calm nearly every day, and Miranda claims she’s never slept so well. The days were particularly relaxing thanks to the extensive reading library we brought along. Miranda took advantage of it throughout the trip.

There were also new adventures on the way north. We saw more wildlife this summer than before. We encountered Orcas feeding and after crossing Cape Caution and observed a pair of loons doing their mating dance one early AM in a remote cove. Miranda didn’t say much, and we didn’t discuss details with her, but she seemed to think the birds looked a bit silly.

Late in June, we hiked to a lovely beach that felt like we were in the tropics. Miranda wanted to spend more time sunning herself than we were inclined to do, but she’d been such a good guest we indulged her for a couple of hours.

In search of fresh water, and curious to see the abandoned village, we eventually motored north to Ocean Falls (our northern-most destination). Disinterested in abandoned places, Miranda declined a tour ashore but agreed to pose with Ocean Falls behind her as we turned south.

On the return trip south, we crossed routes with Dave and Jeri Starrett and had a good dinner aboard in Sointula. Miranda was a delightful dinner guest, although a bit less talkative than usual.

And the next day, as we entered Johnstone Strait, we were accompanied by dolphins who swam at our bow for 20 minutes...simply magical! Miranda wanted to join them, but we were concerned she might not want to get back on the boat, so we talked her out of it.

Miranda was an easy guest to have aboard and she’s hoping to get back out on the water soon.

Lindsey

PS We loved our time with Miranda, but in fairness to her future hosts, we can’t recommend her as an extra hand on deck. It’s not her fault, and while we didn’t want to pry, it seems she’s unable to move her arms. It created an awkward situation when she volunteered to help with the lines at John Henry’s in Pender Harbor. Just wanted to let you know in advance….

 

For more photos of Miranda on the go, check out this scrapbook.

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Nordic Tug Owners Support Marine Trade Training at Skagit Valley College

Nordic Tug Owners Support Marine Trade Training at Skagit Valley College

Published November 4, 2019

Capping off our annual rendezvous in May, PaNNTOA members held a charitable auction to benefit students in the Marine Maintenance Technology program at Skagit Valley College (SVC) Generous participants raised nearly $5000 to help fund scholarship and tuition assistance for students preparing for careers in marine trades.

A natural choice for PaNNTOA members

Choosing the SVC program was a natural choice for our auction proceeds. What better way to support the Nordic Tug community than help train the next generation of experts to help us maintain our beloved boats? The Northwest’s strong marine maintenance, repair, and manufacturing industries fuel a high demand for skilled marine technicians. The SVC Marine Maintenance Technology program prepares students for employment in marine propulsion, vessel systems, and marine composites.

The Skagit Valley program has close partnerships with marine manufacturers and service companies. Students train with a faculty of experienced industry experts, led by Department Chair Mike Beemer, pictured here accepting PaNNTOA’s gift check from Commodore Gary White. Students work and learn in the well-equipped lab of the Marine Technology Center – a modern, purpose-built facility near Fidalgo Bay in Anacortes. They can work toward a one-year certificate, a two-year AAS degree, and credentials from American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC), National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA), and American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA).

At this summer’s rendezvous, 85 members enjoyed not only the charity auction and lots of fun and camaraderie, but also exceptional boating-related information and training presentations, first mate training, excellent meals (provided by Gere-a-Deli in Anacortes), and onboard consultations with Nordic Tug factory representatives and LaConner Maritime technicians.

The broader maritime community joined in the giving. In addition to the Nordic Tug owners, many generous maritime businesses contributed to the success of the PaNNTOA auction and rendezvous: Nordic Tugs, which builds their vessels in Burlington; Cap Sante Marina (host of PaNNTOA’s rendezvous); Gateway Yachts; LaConner Maritime; Alt Insurance Group; Garmin; Rainman Watermaker; SeaKeeper; Yacht Controller; Marine Detail Specialists; Fisheries Supply; and over a dozen Salish Sea marinas stretching from Arabella’s in Gig Harbor and Dock Street in Tacoma all the way north to Heriot Bay, Blind Channel, and Dent Island.

To learn more about SVC’s Marine Maintenance Technology program, go to https://www.skagit.edu/academics/areas-of-study/industrial-technology-transportation/#marine-maintenance-technology-degrees-and-courses

To learn more about Nordic Tugs, go to https://www.nordictugs.com/

To learn more about PaNNTOA, go to https://panntoa.com/

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Welcome to Fall Tuggers!

Welcome to Fall, Tuggers!  [updated November 6, 2019]

Well, the summer cruising season is behind us and you know what that means. Fall cruising season begins with fewer crowds and good weather to enjoy our boats! I hope you were all able to get out this summer and have a wonderful cruising experience.

What we’re working on

Although most of your board members have been on extended cruises, they also have been busy working behind the scenes to make the PaNNTOA organization more fun and useful to its members. A major part of the effort is going toward making this web site more dynamic.

Here are some of the things we’ve done lately, and what you can expect next.

  • For starters, as you can see above, we’ve added a report on the mini-vous at Port Browning. It sounds like they had a great time and turn out. A big shout out and thanks to the Ericksons and the Easterbrooks for organizing a great event!
  • The 2019 rendezvous pictures and presentations are now posted under the Events tab.
  • The May general meeting minutes and financial report are under the Resources tab.
  • Under the Officers tab we have added biographies and pictures of board members so you can more easily recognize who you’re communicating with.
  • To make it easy to contact the current board member for each position, we’ve created standard emails and put them at the end of the board member’s bio. For example, to contact me just address your mail to commodore@panntoa.org. When someone else becomes commodore next year, you can just use the same address.

What’s next

To improve the usefulness of the website and make it fresh and relevant we’re gearing up to regularly add new articles and information. It’s simple, the site won’t be useful until people find a reason to use it. So, we’re priming the pump by sharing stories you might enjoy and info you can use.

 As you know, one of the biggest membership benefits of our organization is having a place to share our adventures and expertise. Here’s where you can help.

  • If you can, take a few minutes to report back about where you’ve gone, what you saw, and anything you learned that the rest of us can use.
  • If you find a great (or awful) anchorage (or provisioning stop, restaurant or fuel dock) just put up a quick forum post.
  • Looking for someone to cruise with? Post a note telling where you’re headed and when. Need help with a tech problem? You guessed it, ask in the forum.
  • While you’re there, see if there’s something you can help with.

People at the mini-vous in Port Browning were excited about the prospect of a revitalized site. Now let’s work together to make it happen.

This work on the web site picks up where Sam Stone left off. She did an exemplary job of past Vous director and IT web director, which took an enormous amount of work. Sam has stepped down as IT web director to focus on family and personal projects. New member Robbin Young has stepped in to manage the web site and work on the improvements described above. Learn more about Robbin in her bio.

Happy cruising!

Gary White - PaNNTOA Commodore

Port Browning Mini-Vous Summary

Our Nordic Tug “mini-vous” – fun and relaxation at Port Browning!

Port Browning Marina on Pender Island was a great place for our “small” rendezvous. Well, the idea was that it'd be small, but in the end 20 boats showed up for a casual gathering on September 6-8, hosted by Tom and Terry Easterbrook on Pilitak and Blake and Rhonda Erickson on Sea Fury.

Blake and Rhonda spent Friday preparing a gourmet seafood chowder to anchor the Friday night potluck, which also included a great selection of entrée and dessert options. Barbara and Gerry from Spree polished off the evening with plenty of chocolate ice cream.

Just in case we were still hungry on Saturday morning, Blake broke out his chef ensemble, vintage Coleman stove, and antique waffle iron and made fresh waffles for each of us. Tom worked alongside him cooking up Canadian bacon. Terry made beautiful fruit kabobs for those who wanted to feel a bit healthy.

After breakfast people casually visited one another on the dock and on their boats. It was a great way to get to know each other and share ideas for outfitting and maintaining our Nordic Tugs.

Even better, the Easterbrooks posted a question sheet on the dock, where we could help each other with boat questions. For example, one person wanted to know how to maintain their black rubber rub rails, and someone else replied, "Vaseline!".

Barb on Spree gave demos of her favorite gadgets, including a high tech device for feeding line through a mooring buoy without killing yourself  (see West Marine: Robship Hook and Moor Telescoping Boat Hook) and the Docking Stick (see Amazon), which makes it much easier to grab a cleat from your boat in challenging docking conditions.

On Saturday night we gathered at the Bistro for a relaxed, mildly boisterous dinner. The gathering broke up Sunday morning, right on cue, just as the cold and breezy weather came in.

Credit and thanks for this mini-vous account goes to Robbin Young aboard Anita Marie. Also, go to the Members Forum on the PaNNTOA website, where
Robbin and others have posted more comments on their mini-vous experience. (It’s titled “Port Browning Mini-Vous” and you’ll find it posted in the “General
Chat” category.) Please add your comments as well!

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Mini-Vous at Port Browning Marina

A casual mini-vous is being planned at Port Browning Marina for Friday/Sat Sept.6-7. No set talks or courses, just a chance to get together, laugh, mingle and swap stories.

You must make your own marina reservations, and even though you may have missed the original Aug 1 deadline, the marina will do it’s best to put the group together, just let them know you are with the PaNNTOA group. The marina was only holding 15 slips, though they will hold more if reservations warrant. Marina reservations can be made via email to: Marina@portbrowning.ca or call 250-629-3493.

Plans for the weekend include:
* A potluck dinner Friday at 6pm under the rented tent that has picnic tables.
* A waffle Breakfast Sat. AM is hosted by Blake & Rhonda Erickson in the tent.
* Dinner Saturday is by reservation as a group, or on your own. If you wish to have dinner with the group, please RSVP to the Erickson’s who will work with the restaurant.

There will be a $10 CDN charge per boat to offset the cost of tent rental.

Port Browning Marina is now part of the Mill Bay Group, and the restaurant & pub have been renovated and look fantastic! A short walk away there is a small shopping area called Driftwood Centre, with grocery & liquor stores, bakery/cafe (for breakfast & lunch), and even a dog washing station! There are scooters for rent near the Centre, or there is a bus that goes around the island if you are into exploring beyond taking your dinghy between the two islands.

Please let the Ericksons and Easterbrooks know if you will be attending ASAP!

WaterTight BoatWorks, Vancouver, BC

The Rainman Watermaker is a compact and portable solution designed to generate a fresh water supply from salt or brackish water with ease of use and low maintenance.
Flexibility – choose to install your system or run it portable, allowing you to reduce weight while not cruising or even use as a salt water pressure washer with the optional pressure gun attachment.
Reliability – using simple pumps and no electronics maximises the uptime of your water-maker.
Lower life cycle cost – not only will the initial price be lower, but ongoing maintenance cost is minimised.
High output – up to 140 litres per hour (37 gph).
Investment retention – keep your water maker when you change boats.

Video How to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_G6VjB-AdBQ

Visit us at www.watertightboatworks.ca or www.rainmandesal.com

Miranda’s Travels

Doug and Lindsey Ford are taking Miranda on a unique tour of the Broughtons and beyond. When they return,they will share her story.

2020 Rendezvous Update

The 2020 Rendezvous will be held in Sidney, BC, June 11-14, 2020. Check back – more will be shared over time.

Commodore’s Corner

Greetings Fellow Tuggers!

Another successful rendezvous is now behind us and your Board is already beginning preparations for 2020 Rendezvous to be held in Sidney, BC. We hope that those of you that could attend this year found it enjoyable, entertaining and educational. We hope to continue that theme next year as well.

We have reviewed the surveys that you provided us (we had a 38% return rate and we appreciate those who took the time to fill out the survey) and are beginning to address those issues that will enable us to build on what our predecessors have been so successful.

A big thank you to all of those who participated in the auction, both live and silent. We raised a total of $4715 for the Skagit Valley College Marine Technology Center. I delivered a check to Mike Beemer, the department chair, on Monday.  Our Communications Director, Mike Young, is working on sending articles about the Rendezvousand auction out to several magazines. There also was a short article in the Anacortes American.

Most of the board is or will be out cruising this summer.  You can expect to see more communication from us as we near fall. Until then safe and healthy cruising and spread the word about the great boats that we all have!

Gary White
Commodore PaNNTOA