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Hood Canal – Alderbrook

This morning we left Pleasant Harbor and headed further south into Hood Canal to explore a bit. Sunrise light was pretty this morning:


We really wanted to stop for an oyster lunch on the beach at Hama Hama Oyster Bar, but we couldn't figure out a way to get there by boat. In front of Hama Hama it's super shallow and covered in oyster beds and stuff, and on either side of the shallow parts it looked like private property. Unsure about the anchorage and after a bunch of research, nothing really gave us that "go" feeling. Plus, motoring the dinghy over oyster beds might not be cool, and when I called to find out their hours and told them we were trying to come visit by boat, they said they had no facilities for that…so, bummer. It was pretty choppy out today too, so if we'd found a place we thought we could anchor…there was the super-chop to contend with. Maybe we'll work out a plan for when we're heading back past on the way north. And maybe it will be calm. Here's a link to the entry from our previous Airstream trip to Hood River, and the Hama Hama Oyster Co.

There it is, calling to us:


We decided to stop in Hoodsport at the public dock and see if there was a good spot to grab lunch, but the public dock left a bit to be desired. As I mentioned, it was a bit choppy, and the dock felt, um, a little rickety. The wind was blowing us into the dock and the waves were keeping us tight against it (smushing the fenders pretty good). We tied onto a metal cleat with the bow line, a metal cleat with the stern line, and one of the wooden rail/cleats with the midship line, but every time the boat surged with the waves, the wooden rail/cleat pulled up away from the dock, along with the plank it was bolted to. I decided I'd walk up to the IGA (supermarket) while Kevin stayed with the boat. Maybe they had oysters in the market. 


Turns out, as far as seafood was concerned, the market was a bust. Oh well. I grabbed a few things we needed, so not all was lost. (As famous as the oysters from this area are though, you'd think there would be a couple more places to get some!)



Getting away from the dock was a little tricky, but we managed it, and not like noobs, either. 🙂

It started out cloudy, but cleared up nicely by the afternoon:


We checked out the Potlatch State Marine Park mooring buoys, but there's really nothing at Potlatch State Park except for a small grassy park alongside the highway, so we continued on. (Plus, the marinas were sounding pretty good…we could really use a fresh water wash down after all this salty spray!)

Next up: Hood Canal Marina (seemed fine, but it didn't look like there was much to do there either) so we ended up at the Alderbrook Resort. They've got a gigantic guest dock out front, some hiking trails, a really good restaurant, and like Rosario Resort on Orcas Island, your mooring fee lets you use the facilities, which include an indoor saltwater pool and hot tub. (Their water was turned off, but after we paid our moorage fee and asked about it, the harbormaster came out and turned it on for us. Also, the gals at the front desk fumbled charmingly around for quite a while trying to figure out how to process a payment for dock moorage. I think no one has boated themselves here since last summer!)

Here we are, behind the schooner Pleiades (available for charter):


Looking back at the resort from Airship:


It's a beautiful place, nicely landscaped, with lots to do (and probably WAY more to do in the summer months). However, we DID see one guy on a Jet Ski come screaming around the point west of the resort earlier…in a wet suit.


We made a dinner reservation for early evening, and after some more work and a shower, headed up to (finally) have some (more) local oysters. The oysters are harvested from the beach out in front. We had 6 kumamotos and 6 Pacifics (and a couple Manhattans):


Every single thing at dinner was fabulous. First courses: Grand Marnier prawns, a caesar salad. Main courses: seared sea scallops, and crab cakes. We couldn't tell you what we liked the best. This is definitely a great destination spot, and I think we may stay two nights. 

View from dinner:


As it got dark, from our table we watched a guy in a cart loading a bunch of firewood into a giant fire pit, lined with 6 Adirondack chairs along the shore. Nice! We went to check it out on our way back to the boat. Toasty warm (with dock lights in the background):


Also on the way back to the boat, we stopped and talked to a guy on the beach who was harvesting oysters by headlamp. It was low tide (a minus 1.2 foot tide or something) and it looked like he was being VERY productive. (Hey! Lunch tomorrow!)

Obviously an extremely low light photo, with my iPhone, of oyster guy with a PILE of oysters:


The sky is clear and dark here, and filled with stars and planets. It's nice to be away from the lights of the city again!

Today's route (26.6 nautical miles, 4 hours 20 minutes cruise time):



  1. Jeanne Jeanne

    Those oysters look fantastic. Sourcing your own shellfish is such a hoot. Reminds me of a time when I lived in Maryland and we would go crabbing.

    For great tips on frying oil selection, check out this article:

  2. Kevin McLaughlin Kevin McLaughlin

    Wonder if it makes any difference whether the oysters are floured first, and then into the egg wash, or vice versa? I am a flour first guy, as it seemingly helps the egg cling better having the flour coat. Then again, I usually am dealing with fish filets. Must make my own fried oysters soon, that plate looks killer!

    • Dunno. The recipes I looked at did the egg/flour/egg/panko sequence, and Kevin’s mom does the same kind of sequence with her made-in-Texas chicken fried steak, so it seems to be a proven method. They were great!

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