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Opening Day celebration

2019/2020 Cruise Highlights

posted Mar 14, 2015, 9:43 PM by   [ updated Sep 12, 2020, 10:04 AM by Kristi Rimkus ]

Sept 4-7, 2020 Labor Day weekend at Oak Harbor Marina


Hello Milltown members- Many thanks to Margo Hayden and Sue Marsden for once again hosting the annual Labor Day Weekend Milltown Cruise to Oak Harbor, with 15 boats in attendance and others coming by car.   Although the Music Fest was cancelled because of Covid, Margo and Sue made sure we had lots of good music with the theme of Jimmy Buffett.  Every year they come up with fun and creative activities to keep us entertained and this year was no different.  We had a scavenger hunt which got us off our boats and out exploring the local beach.  We had Jimmy Buffett Crossword and Trivia contests which were a real challenge except for one member who confessed that he was a "parrot head" way back in the '70s.  We played Pin the Tail on the Parrot and Bowling with Coconuts, which highlighted the fact that we really do lose balance and hand-eye coordination as we get older, but still a lot of fun!!  The final activity was the Watermelon Carving Contest which showed that some of us can do fantastic artwork with a watermelon and a dull steak knife.  If you look at the Milltown Facebook page you will see the entries.  Hopefully this will be an annual event.  

The prizes were great and the breakfast muffins and mimosas much appreciated.  Monday morning brought predicted winds (15-25 knots) which gave us a fast and wild ride home.  

Everyone did a good job following the Covid guidelines of social distancing and wearing masks when not being distanced.  It was wonderful to be with our sailing friends again.  We look forward to the next cruise which will be to Kingston, Oct 9-11th.  Our next email will give you information about how to sign-up for that cruise.

Happy Cruising,

Grant and Linda Albert
Cruising Fleet Captains

July 11-26, 2020 Progressive Cruise Through the San Juan Islands 


Hello Milltown Members-  What a fabulous 2 weeks we had in the San Juan Islands!  A total of 18 Milltown boats joined the cruise at various points along the way with 8 boats completing the full 2 week itinerary.  The weather was perfect and the winds were moderate, except for crossing the Straight of Juan de Fuca which brought us 15-25 knot winds with heavy seas.  But we all made it and had plenty of stories to share.

We had lots of opportunities to practice boating and sailing techniques, including anchoring, tying up to a bouy, reading charts, planning for currents, reefing sails, etc.  We've heard from other travelers that the San Juan Islands are the most beautiful place around, and we have to agree.   We saw lots of marine life including seals sunning themselves on the rocks, eagles and herons fishing, etc. Some of us took a detour to look for whales off Turn Point but no sightings so we'll have to wait for next time.  But perhaps the biggest thrill was that most of us got the see the comet!  

Here's a list of each of the destinations;


    Hope Island and Cornet Bay (only day of rain)

    Rosario Resort (very comfortable with lots of nice walking trails, history of the islands)

    Stuart Island, Reed Harbor (most of us tied up to the linear tie, lots of good hiking trails, treated by a visit with a baby seal and eels, calm and peaceful)

    Friday Harbor (re-provision and enjoy ice cream in town -- so good to have Margo Hayden join us for a couple days!)

    Spencer Spit (good crabbing and beachcombing)

    Sucia Island, Echo Bay (very crowded Saturday night with over 200 boats!, lots of good hikes, watched the sunset over Shallow Bay)

    Roche Harbor (very busy with boaters and tourists, lots of history about the San Juans -- The store was sold out of many items including ice!)

    Lopez Island, Watmough Bay (practice anchoring with lots of wind, beautiful bay with high rock walls, good hiking trail)

    Port Townsend, Point Hudson Marina (relaxing time)

    Mystery Bay (practice following chart & tides, quiet and peaceful, treated by a "Mystery Guest"- the new owners of Family Affair joined us                for a night)

Throughout the cruise we tried to follow the guidelines of Covid 19.  Even with social distancing and wearing masks we were able to enjoy the camaraderie of our club members.  Some of us even made new friends with other boaters.  As usual some of us had minor problems with our boats which gave opportunities for people to share knowledge and help fix problems.  Someone described some of the situations as "dynamic challenges that were eventually met".  

Leaving Mystery Bay early Sunday morning was very special.  The eagles and herons were fishing, the seals on the beach were just waking up.  The Olympics were out to the west and Mount Rainier greeted us as we went under the Port Townsend Canal Bridge  When we turned the corner at Possession Point to head north to Everett there was Mount Baker.  What a beautiful place we live in!

Be sure to say hello to other Milltown members when you see them at the marina and ask them where they have been enjoying their boating this summer. 

Happy cruising to all,

Grant and Linda Albert

MSA Cruising Fleet Captains

June 12th - 14th, 2020 Port Ludlow Back Bay


Hello Milltown Members-  The annual Cruise to the Back Bay at Port Ludlow proved to have many firsts.  It was probably the wettest cruise we've ever had!  It rained hard off and on both Friday and Saturday and only slowed down for a short but spectacular sun break when Mark from S/V Else put up his rain cover for the boat cockpit.  All the participants were able to do a real time check to see where their boats leaked from new and unexpected places before heading out for more extended cruising.  But the best first was the Wagon Wheel raft on a Milltown cruise that allowed 11 boats to be anchored/tied together.  The sterns of all the boats faced the middle which gave everyone an opportunity to see and talk with each other and still maintain the social distancing required for Covid-19.  It was so good to see everyone!  It's been months since we've been able to socialize at the regular Milltown activities.  

Many thanks to Chip and Marianne on S/V Endless for hosting.  They made sure to keep some of the traditions of this cruise but with some modifications.  Rather than the Blind Dinghy Race we had a Decorated Dinghy Parade.  There are truly some creative thinkers in our club!  Chip and Marianne even made sure we all got to sit around the floating campfire after dinner by attaching the propane fire pit to their dinghy and pulled it out to the middle of the wagon wheel.  Another stand out event was when Tom from S/V Hula Girl climbed the 75' mast and took photos of the boats on the wagon wheel.  Check out the photos to be added soon on the Milltown web site and Facebook page.

Sunday the sun came out and the wind was good for a splendid sail home.  

Attending boats where;

Endless -- Our Gracious Host Boat




Cielo Sin Fin

Hula Girl


Mei Li

Sir Pending

Star Jetter

Sweet Sue II

and Hina Anchored out in the big deeper part of Port Ludlow and took the Dinghy in to visit. 

Looking forward to the long cruise and some modified racing coming up soon. 

Happy Sailing,

Grant and Linda Albert

MSA Cruising Fleet Captains

Mar 13th to Mar 15th, 2020 Port Ludlow Marina 


Good Evening Milltown Cruisers-  The annual Saint Patrick's Day Cruise to Port Ludlow last weekend was a windy and cold one!  But our cruise hosts, Valerie and James Stein, are used to challenges and did a wonderful job of adapting the fun activities to the new norm of "social distancing".  Valerie gave such a nice write up on Facebook we asked her if it would be OK to use it for our email, so here it is;

We were very grateful to join our Milltown friends at Port Ludlow for a little distanced companionship on the first cruise of the season. We gathered on the beautiful new deck out side the main office to shelter a bit from the wind, then enjoyed a little more time together around a very windy fire.

Cheers for the 4 brave boats who battled wind and waves (plus racers who didn't stop - there was at least one drive by!). They were joined by two cars, so though we didn't have the thirty folks we'd expected, we 11 appreciated sharing some much-needed time together, even without hugs and handshakes.

We learned some Irish Gaelic phrases, unscrambled some amusing limericks, then shared our own - including an ode to our beloved Bruce (along with a toast around the fire).  Thanks to everyone who joined us. We tried our best to be good hosts while keeping everyone safe.

Much love to our Milltown Family

Many thanks to Valerie and James for giving us a fun time to gather together and be with our friends.  
As you all know, new recommendations are coming out every few days about the Corona Virus and recommendations for group activities.  With that in mind we will be keeping you posted about what to expect for future cruises.  

Linda and Grant Albert
Milltown Cruising Captains

Cruise to the 2020 Seattle Boat Show

A great time was had by all at this year's Milltown cruise to the Seattle Boat Show. 

Nov 29-Dec 1 2019 Port of South Whidbey at Langley


What a wonderful time we had at the Port of South Whidbey Marina at Langley last weekend.  8 boats braved the frigid temperatures to come over and join us at the dock and start the celebration of the holiday season.  Friday night we enjoyed the warmth of good company on the dock with bowls of hot soup, the propane fire (thanks Chip and Marianne) and the club's pop-up tent.  

Saturday morning the sun came out to energize us for the long hike up the hill for food and shopping in the friendly town of Langley.  The shops are decorated for Christmas and had lots of treasures to explore.  Eventually we all gathered at the town plaza for the annual community Christmas Carols sing-along.  Finally Grant  heard a familiar sound and directed all of us to look up the hill.  Sure enough, Here Comes Santa Claus and his faithful companion Harley!! (rumor has it it was really the Mayor on his Harley Davidson).

After Santa arrived we all gathered together at Sue and Dena's home for more good company and delicious potluck.  They even had a craft room set us for us to make tree ornaments!  Several people drove over so Dena and Sue had a houseful.  Many thanks to them for being so gracious and welcoming us into their warm and beautiful home.  As someone kindly said, "we sure have the cream of the crop in our club"!

Sunday morning it was time to go home and start thinking about holiday plans with our other family and friends.  The weather was calm and warmer so there was time for reflection about the past year and plans for the coming year.  We want everyone to know that we are very grateful for the experiences the club gives us; opportunities to be on the water to enjoy our beautiful Pacific Northwest and friends to share these experiences with.  Thank you!

Your Cruising Captains,

Linda and Grant Albert

Oct 11-13 2019 Kingston


What a great time we had at the Kingston Marina last weekend!  Our hosts, Frau Pam and Frau Sue, did a fabulous job of welcoming us with the theme of  "Fun, Friends and Food" for the annual Milltown Oktoberfest celebration.  9 boats were at the dock plus several people came by car to join the festivities.  The party started with a continental breakfast of Mimosas  and Pastries.  Afterwards some of us spent time enjoying the town of Kingston &/or spending relaxing time at the dock.  Happy Hour on Saturday started with soft pretzels with cheese beer dip and the games followed.  What fun games they were!!  Hammerschlaggen has gotten to be quite competitive, along with the Bucket Viener Toss.  By the time we got to the Potato Poop Bucket Drop everyone was out to win.  We were having so much fun that even people on the dock who are not from Milltown joined in on the fun!  Frau Pam and Frau Sue treated us to home-made stew, and while it was heating up we did the Chicken Dance and Oktoberfest Trivia.  Prizes were awarded and a delicious potluck meal was finally set up.  Thank you so much to Pam and Sue for keeping us well fed and giving us such fun and laughter.  It is good to be reminded that it's fun to play!

A special thank you to Chip and Marianne for bringing the propane fire pit for evening gathering on the dock.  Even though the weather was warm and sunny during the day, the fall chill crept in so the fire pit was very much appreciated.  

A pursuit race was a part of this cruise but the winds were light so only 2 boats competed on Saturday.  We heard that Hula Girl got to have lots of practice putting up and taking down the spinnaker.  Isola was treated to seeing a Humpback whale and several pods of Orca's during their patient day of light wind sailing.

Some of us early risers got to see a spectacular sunrise on Saturday with the Cascades, Mount Rainer and the Kingston ferry bathed in the most beautiful colors you can imagine.  What a wonderful gift to live in the Pacific Northwest!

Your Cruising Captains,

Linda and Grant Albert

Sept 20-22 2019 Shilshole Bay Marina 


We had another fabulous cruise last weekend, this time to the friendly Shilshole Bay Marina in Seattle.  Kristi and Mike Rimkus (S/V Windsong aka S/V Hooligan) were our hosts and they treated us to a relaxing weekend because they did most of the cooking!!  They started us off with a wonderful breakfast buffet complete with hot oatmeal and all the fixings, eggs, bacon and English muffins.  Then they fed us a delicious spaghetti dinner complete with salad and bread.  The rest of us filled in the gaps with more salads and a large assortment of yummy desserts.  Mike made us use our thinking skills with his very challenging "Washington State Trivia Game".  Who knew there are 450 islands in the San Juans?  I thought for sure the honey bee was the Washington State insect.  Ironically the game was won by our Milltown friends Alicia and Slavek, who just happen to be from Poland!   After dinner Tom and Sandy Buus took a big group of us out on their boat, Hula Girl, for a night-time cruise along the Seattle waterfront.  What a beautiful city, especially from the water!  

Many thanks to Kristi and Mike for hosting and treating us like royalty!  And a special thank-you to Sandy and Tom for taking us on tour of Seattle that most of us would never be able to do on our own.

Your Cruising Captains,

Linda and Grant Albert

Aug 30-Sep 2 2019 Oak Harbor


Hello Milltown Members-  What a wonderful end to our summer cruising events here at Milltown Sailing Association!

We had a record setting 21 boats at the Oak Harbor Marina, plus several people joined us by car.  Margo and Sue hosted the 3-day event and kept us well entertained with fun and mind stretching games. Also great potlucks to help celebrate the Oak Harbor Music Festival.  Many thanks to Margo and Sue for giving us lots of laughs and challenges as some of us tried to remember what we learned in middle school music class along with the music we grew up with.  The Good Morning Muffins and Mimosas were an additional treat.  

Some of us took the long walk into town to enjoy the live music and street vendors, and some of us stayed at the dock and enjoyed the company of our new and familiar boating friends.  We'd like to give Tom Buus a special thank you for taking people out on his boat  Saturday, Sunday and Monday so they could see what it's like to sail on a big, fast boat!

We couldn't have asked for a better trip home, clear skies and light wind for spinnaker or Wing on Wing sailing.  It was wonderful!

Your Cruising Captains,

Linda and Grant Albert

August 9-11 2019 Poulsbo


Hello Milltown Members- We would like to give a big, "Thank You!" to our cruising hosts for the Plunder in Poulsbo cruise last weekend.  Dale and Edith from the S/V Cielo Sin Fin provided a fun filled weekend of activities that helped us learn about Scandinavian Culture plus experience the friendliness of the community.  The "Viking Trivia Contest" really challenged our thinking skills (even with the help of google).  Using the "Plunder of Poulsbo" scavenger hunt as a guide we learned that the town of Poulsbo has so much more to offer than the tourist shops (which are really very nice).  There is a wonderful Maritime Museum. The well-known Marine Second Hand store has moved and still has a great selection of used stuff that boaters always seem to need.  Plus we learned that there really is a bar in town that serves "Lutefisk Tacos" (don't think anyone actually tried them).  Dale and Edith even provided board games and a Nautical Pictionary Game to keep keep us entertained while at the dock. There was only one "Uff Da" situation that was a good reminder about the importance of wearing a life jacket while docking!

Thanks again to Dale and Edith plus all the boaters (and one driver) who came along on the cruise.  The potlucks were delicious, but best of all was the time spent getting to visit with and know our boating friends better.  Sharing boating experiences and knowledge is a huge benefit from coming along on the cruises.  If you are new to sailing/cruising and would like more information, please give us a call or email.

Your Cruising Captains,

Linda and Grant Albert

Progressive Cruise to Admiralty Inlet and Beyond July 13-21 2019


We are home after a fun and relaxing Progressive Cruise to Admiralty Inlet and Beyond.....  We spent the first night at Port Gamble, then headed down Hood Canal to the beautiful and friendly Pleasant Harbor Marina for one night.  We all agreed next time it will be 2 nights so we can fully enjoy the heated pool, hot tub and BBQ area.  Our next night was at Port Ludlow and then onto Point Hudson Marina in Port Townsend.  The winds in the straits and Admiralty Inlet were just beyond our comfort so most of us chose to skip John Wayne Marina in Sequim and stay in Port Townsend a third night.  This gave some of us an opportunity to see the movie, "Yesterday" at the quaint Rose Theater.  Very nostalgic music for us baby boomers!  Our last 2 nights were spent at Mystery Bay on Marrowstone Island.  What a fantastic place for us to relax, go for dinghy rides and gather for potlucks on the dock.  We had 8 boats start the trip but 2 boats had to leave early.  But because we had 2 "mystery guests" join us in Mystery Bay, we ended up having 8 boats finish the trip.  

Once again we were reminded how great our club is because of the people who are in it.  People came together to help with boat repairs and minor injuries.  We shared stories of adventures and wisdom from experiences.  If you have never cruised and are curious about it please consider joining us for future cruises.  If you have cruised with us we would encourage you to keep on cruising.  It's lots of fun and you get to keep learning new things!

Fair Winds and Happy Sailing,

Grant and Linda Albert
MSA Cruise Fleet Captains

Port Ludlow Back Bay June 22-23 2019


Once again our hosts Chip and Marianne on S/V Endless gave us a fun weekend celebrating the arrival of summer.  10 boats rafted together in the beautiful Back Bay which we shared with deer, herons, seagulls, a curious seal and the sweet dog, Matey, from S/V Hula Girl.  Chip and Marianne organized fun and challenging activities that encouraged us to get to know each other better and to help us improve our rowing/communication skills.  Each boat had a Passport which we had to take to each of the other boats for a special stamp.  Wonderful way to get to know people!  

The blind dinghy race was a challenge to some of us (which way is port???-Grant!!!).  For most of the dinghies it was a free-for-all at the mark, except for Brian who was blind-folded and single handing sitting on his dock chair balanced on his surf board.  His brother, who was on their boat, gave him directions through his ear piece.  Others had a bit more of a challenge but David and Melanie gave the race a valiant effort double-handing on (and below) their single seated kayak. They said the water was actually pretty warm!  

Everyone  brought the most delicious entries for the best appetizer contest.  Perhaps the best of all was the enjoyable conversations with all of the Milltown boating friends.

The night ended with the annual burning of the wickerman at sunset.  We gave it our best as a welcome to summer but we still woke to cloudy skies and light drizzle.  But we are stalwart and hardy sailors  and Chip and Marianne kept us content with the delicious breakfast brunch.

The trip home was great with a light breeze eventually building which gave people an opportunity for a good sail home.  

Many thanks to Chip and Marianne for hosting a great weekend with fun activities to welcome summer.  Back Bay is truly a beautiful destination and not too far from Milltown.  

Many thanks to all for helping make the cruise a success!

Your Cruising Captains

Linda and Grant Albert, S/V Mei Li 

Port of South Whidbey at Langley May 24-27 2019


Once again we had a wonderful (and Memorial!) cruise to Langley to celebrate Memorial Day and the beginning of summertime sailing.  A great big THANK YOU to Janet and Bill (S/V My Sunshine) for hosting this 3 day weekend.  They had their hands full keeping 17 boats-full of people fed and entertained throughout the weekend.  Bill's "Signature Lasagne" was delicious and especially appreciated on the damp and chilly first night.  By Sunday morning the sun finally made an appearance which  made the made to order "freezer bag" omelets even more enjoyable on the dock.  We think everyone would agree that the "make your own beer can sailboat" race was a highlight of the cruise; very challenging for people to create a sea-worthy sailing vessel out of cans, tape, string, a rubber ducky, a fan, a kite, etc, etc.  Plus factor in the wind, current, waves, ferry, pilings, etc. etc.  So you can probably imagine it was a funny site to see.  There were so many winners (and losers!) that it is impossible to name them all; just know that it was fun for all!

Sunday afternoon the Chinese Sea General was granted permission to arrive in Langley to perform the Annual Boat Renaming Ceremony.  Two boats were renamed with lots of noise and celebration.  Welcome Isloa (now officially renamed) and Sky Rim!

As always the best part of the Milltown cruise was the time spent with our boating friends.  Visiting with people dockside during the day and sitting around the "fire pit" during the chilly evening is a wonderful opportunity to share experiences and learn from each other.  The live music and singing was wonderful!

Many thanks to all for helping make the cruise a success!

Your Cruising Captains

Linda and Grant Albert, S/V Mei Li      

   Hat Island Marina April 26-27 2019

The "Search for the Missing Mouse Treasure" to Hat Island was a success!  The flashlights were discovered as part of the treasure hunt "for a safer and simpler life" and fresh new light bulbs were awarded to the winners of the scavenger/trivia contest!!  Everyone had a fun weekend discovering the island, getting re-acquainted with old friends and making new friends. And, of course, no one went away hungry thanks to the delicious and plentiful potluck foods!

As usual the weather gave us all something to talk about.  Friday morning the sky was clear and seas were calm.  By mid-day it was obvious the marine forecast of 20-25 knots from the north was correct.  Despite the gusty winds and choppy seas by Friday evening 14 boats came bouncing across the water from Everett  to Hat Island.  All day Saturday the winds prevailed but that didn't stop 3 more boats from joining us, so we had a total of 17 boats for the cruise.  By Sunday the wind had calmed down so we were able to sit on the dock and enjoy the beach without the threat of being blown over!  Hopefully everyone had a nice cruise home.  I heard that some people were fortunate to see the gray whales.

Your Cruising Captains

Linda and Grant Albert, S/V Mei Li         

Port Ludlow Marina March 16-17 2019


We had a great start to our 2019 Cruising Season with the cruise to Port Ludlow marina last weekend.  11 boats and several people came by cars to have fun celebrating Saint Patrick's Day with food and games.  People put out their best to enter the best Irish food and best green food contest. And we had some wonderful entries for the write your own limerick contest.  Once again it became apparent that our club is full of members with talent!  Many thanks go to Valerie and James on SV Isola for hosting the weekend.  The prizes were much appreciated. Valerie served a wonderful breakfast on Sunday morning with cheese, fruit, and home made muffins.  Delicious!!

This cruise was also the first Pursuit Race which gave everyone a chance to unfurl their sails and take on the challenge of racing downwind, upwind and no wind.  At one point we were treated with a view of snow covered mountains from all directions (the Oympics, Cascades, Mount Rainier and Mount Baker).  Add in the warmth of the sunshine and we had a truly wonderful weekend  being on the water!

Your Cruising Captains

Linda and Grant Albert, S/V Mei Li         

Cruise to the Seattle Boat Show Yacht Club Challenge Winners 2019


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