Aotea is the name of our Pacific Seacraft Dana 24. Aotea is Maori for “White Cloud” and was the name of one of the first canoes the Maori people used to sail to, and settle, New Zealand.
Our journey with Aotea begins. Above is a photo of Aotea being hauled for the survey. We replaced zincs on the prop hub and the rudder gudgeon but nothing else turned up.
We had to deliver her from Lake Union in the heart of Seattle to Tyee Marina in Tacoma. To do this we needed to pass under the Fremont and Ballard Bridges, lock through the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard, and then pass under the railroad bridge before heading out to the Sound. We had to request that the Fremont and Ballard Bridges be opened for us to allow for our mast height. We made it through the locks with no mishaps. Due to the extreme low tide we were able to make it under the railroad bridge without it being opened. Although it was a little tense at first . . .
We motored to Shilshole Marina just north of Seattle where we tied up for the night. This was our very first “landfall” and the first time we slept on the boat. We celebrated surviving the Locks with drinks and appetizers at Ray’s Boathouse, a short walk from Shilshole. While checking in at the marina a couple of guys joked with us about still being married after negotiating the locks. It can be stressful.
We left Ray’s just in time to watch the Lady Washington sail by, heading for the Locks and Lake Union. Being that the following day would be the opening day of boating season in Seattle, the Lady Washington was clearly to be part of the festivities.
Above is a photo of Aotea off of Vashon Island, South Puget Sound, as we motored her home from Seattle.
Sailing Commencement Bay, Washington State, October, 2012: