Wind Dancer just came back from Port Orchard / Bremerton this weekend. We really enjoyed it all: a big Port Orchard parade, a little aerobatic airshow, music in the bandstand, and fireworks from the bridge, plus the ride to and from Bremerton on the foot ferry. The Bremerton marina was packed, but Port Orchard was maybe half full. We had a quiet night’s sleep.
We left Shilshole late Saturday morning in the sun, and sailed for an hour in very light air heading for Agate Pass. Then we motored down the West side of Bainbridge to Port Orchard. The ships in the Navy yard are impressive up close. The marina at Port Orchard is good, with a breakwater float around it. Some gentle rocking occurs when the ferry comes in from Seattle. Port Orchard has nice marina restrooms and showers. Downtown is a block away, and there is a pleasant a mile of paved shore side walking path going toward the East.
After a walk along the promenade, and a BBQ onboard the boat, we walked up to see the parade through downtown Port Orchard. I was impressed with the number of sports cars and vintage cars in the parade. I bet there was every version of the Corvair ever built.
Right next to the marina is the foot ferry to Bremerton that runs every 30 minutes for $2 a person. This takes you to downtown Bremerton right beside the still new looking Bremerton marina. We rode over during the airshow put on by three aerobatic airplanes. Their favorite maneuver was to dive down to the water, and then climb back up vertically, till they tumbled and dove down again. We walked in the narrow park beside the Naval facility. It has a series of fountains that look like submarine conning towers.
Thanks to Jenny and Tim’s scouting last year, we watched the fireworks from a small park along the shore just in front of the Turner Joy Navy museum ship. I wanted to see how they took advantage of the bridge for launching fireworks. What became evident was that the wide base meant they could launch multiple rockets across the expanse of the bridge – so a much broader section of the sky was lit up than when they are launched from a barge. During the climax, a waterfall of fire rained down from the center span of the bridge to the water. The fireworks could be seen from Port orchard, but for the waterfall effect you need to be in Bremerton.
On a previous cruise Jennifer and I toured the destroyer: Turner Joy moored at the Bremerton marina. I recall that the ship was in very good condition, and many parts of the ship were open for visiting. In our case a docent escorted us to some bowels of the ship that were more strenuous to access. The ship is a good way to get your fix of Navy flavored history.
After breakfast Sunday we motored out from Port Orchard in the warm sunshine, through Rich Passage, around the South end of Bainbridge, past Blake Island, and up the Sound to Shilshole. We had a very pleasant weekend, with a circumnavigation of Bainbridge Island included. Thanks to Jenny and Tim from “Those Guys” for scouting the Bremerton Bridge Blast last year. I recommend this weekend event for a change to our popular 3rd of July Fireworks in Poulsbo – that is coming right up this week!