2023 Pocket Yacht Crooza – A Don’t Miss Event

July 29 – Aug 1, 2023 – Two Night Cruise

Port Townsend to Mystery Bay to Mats Mats (PLUS special “insider” tour of Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding at Port Hadlock)

Ready for a cozy evening.

The 2023 Pocket Yacht Crooza is a small craft micro-adventure departing the Northwest Maritime Center on Sunday morning, July 30th the day following the Pocket Yacht Palooza, Boaters will cruise together over two days/nights covering 30-35 miles, returning to Port Townsend the afternoon/evening of Tuesday, August.

The Highlights? Mystery Bay is a beautiful, protected harbor with restroom facilities, water, a picnic, outdoor shelter and dock for 10-15 boats…and good practice navigating in/out of Kilisut Harbor. Monday its off to the secluded Mats Mats back bay. (The Crooza will stop in at Port Hadlock for the Wooden Boat School tour either enroute to Mats Mats on Monday, or during the return to Port Townsend the following day.)

The plan for the Crooza is take advantage of tidal action to (a must with small cruising craft) departing Point Hudson/NWMC and/or Boat Haven Marina around 9:00 AM on Sunday, July 30 and row, paddle, sail or motor our way past Fort Flagler State Park, riding the flood tide into Kilisut Harbor and Mystery Bay for the evening. Sleeping ashore may be reserved at Fort Flagler but is not available at Mystery Bay, only at anchor, moored to the dock or by pulling your boat ashore and sleeping aboard (watch the tide).

On Monday morning we’ll depart Mystery Bay enroute to Mats Mats at 6:00 AM with the ebb tide to help us exit Kilisut Harbor. Then it’s off to Mats Mats and its back Bay for the second overnight. There is no camping ashore at Mats Mats…though if anyone has contacts there it would be wonderful to arrange.

Note: We’ll visit NWSWB in Port Hadlock either enroute to Mats Mats or when returning to Port Townsend (TBD). Port Hadlock a short wail north of the Canal, is the home of the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding. Founded in 1981, this fully accredited institution has taught wooden boatbuilding and marine systems curriculum to more than 1700 students from around the world. Our tour will provide a very special experience.

With an early Tuesday morning departure from Mats Mats (again 6:00 AM) we’ll make our way north through the Port Townsend Canal with the ebb tide and return to Port Townsend (or Port Hadlock stopover).

Lunch Tuesday may be afloat or on the Port Hadlock beach or while sailing back to PT. Also possible to stay on the hook at Port Hadlock overnight, returning to PT the following morning.

More detailed information including tide and current conditions for each leg of the Crooza will be provided at the Saturday Skippers meeting and Palooza Potluck about 5 PM.

Pocket Yacht Crooza Registration

To register please email Lee Bjorklund at with all of your boat details, your name, and phone number.

Experience Level
You are responsible for the safe operation of your own vessel, the route you are taking, and for potential weather and water conditions you may encounter. It is best if you have some intercoastal overnight cruising experience. If you don’t, let us know and we can advise you on preparation. On this route you should be prepared for up to 20 mph winds, have the ability to reef your sail on the water and to take it down on the water. We may experience strong currents and steep standing waves in tidal zones and in situations with wind against current, so your boat should have buoyancy in case of capsize, and you should have a capsize recovery plan. You should be able to maintain three knots of boat speed with your auxiliary power.

Recommended Safety Gear

Finally, and importantly, if you plan to take part in the Palooza Crooza, we recommend that you have the following items aboard your boat:

  • PFDs – One Coast Guard approved life jacket for each person aboard, plus one throwable if your boat is longer than 16 feet.
  • VHF Radio – If handheld (ideally waterproof), bring extra battery. Monitor Ch. 68 during all active hours of the Palooza Crooza
  • Fire Extinguisher – Required if your boat has an inboard engine; is longer than 26 feet, or has closed compartments for storage of fuel or other flammable materials.
  • Sound-Signaling Device – Some means of making an efficient sound signal (whistle, typically).
  • Navigation Lights – Boats under 23 feet in length, if not equipped with sidelights and a stern light, must have ready at hand a flashlight or lantern showing a white light that must be displayed in sufficient time to avoid a collision… according to CG regulations.
  • Visual Signaling – For boats under 16 feet, distress signals (red flares, flashlights) are required for distress signals between sunset and sunrise. For boats over 16 feet, requirements are for one orange distress flag and one electric distress light, or three handheld or floating orange smoke signals and one electric distress light, or three combination day-night red flares, handheld, meteor or parachute type.
  • Anchor and Rode – Anchor, chain and/or line appropriate for the boat. (We recommend but do not require two anchors, with suitable rode, for the Crooza.)
  • Reboarding Device – A ladder, other device or plan for getting skipper/crew back in the boat in open water.
  • Compass – Magnetic or electronic compass.
  • Bilge Pump, Bailer, Buckets – Some way to bail out the boat.
  • Charts – Covering the area of the Palooza Crooza, paper or electronic.
  • First Aid – A basic or more-than-basic kit
  • Lines – Enough for mooring and towing… or being towed.
  • Boat Fenders (at least two)
  • Knife
  • Foulweather gear, extra clothing for everyone aboard.
  • Water, food and cooking equipment for four days. (Don’t plan on restaurant meals…. they don’t exist on our route.)
  • Dry bags to protect extra clothing and electronic gear.
  • Camping gear, including tarp(s), for those tent-camping ashore.
  • Other Items – Recommended but not required: Handheld GPS, depth-sounding line and lead; flashlight, timepiece, cellphone and camera to capture all of the memorable scenes.