Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Extended

We had kind of a drawn out Christmas this year.  First, Deborah and I decided to start early. I paid for her sewing lessons for the year and bought her a thread caddy with 100+ rolls of thread; She bought me a La Crosse wireless weather station and a new exhaust system for the truck.  Romantic, huh?  The truck sounds 1000% better and I suspect we'll get better mileage too.  That will be nice when it comes to towing the boat.

Christmas Eve was busy with the girls, most of the grandkids, Brandy and Al with Chloe, and Doug and Linda here.  Fun times.  On Christmas day I had a gift certificate to her favorite spa for her and she had an egg poacher for me. We've used it twice already!  

Yesterday (28th) James, Zach & Krista came over to celebrate a late Christmas with us.   James brought some awesome orange-molasses cookies and Zach & Krista gave me a cool pair of kitchy lamps for the family room.  

Then we headed to Portland to pick up Jessy and Homero from the airport.  They'd been in Mexico visiting his family.  This morning (Sunday) April, Gaby, Jose and Gaby's friend Anna came for waffles then we had Christmas with Jessy. 

All in all a nice Christmas.  Next stop New Year's Day and our 14th anniversary.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sailing friends and snow in the Valley

It's been a while since my last post.  Hasn't exactly been sailing weather around here though, so I guess I can forgive myself. :)

Several years ago Deborah and I decided to get away from the Thanksgiving insanity and head north to Victoria, Canada, for the holiday weekend.  We thought it was time to go north again this year so I emailed Bill and Sue (Capri 22 "Windsong"), who cruised the San Juans with us this summer, and asked if they wanted to meet us in Vancouver.  They asked if we wanted to visit them in Kamloops instead.  So we did!

Kamloops is a long drive so we left on Tuesday afternoon.  Our timing was impeccable and we hit Seattle at rush hour.  We did have a nice view of the ball fields and skyline while we sat in traffic.

We spent the night in a motel in Burlington then drove the rest of the way on Wednesday morning.  Tales of the infamous Coquahalla Highway had me prepared for feet of snow, treacherous driving and semi's sliding everywhere.  Ummm.  Nope.  

Bill & Sue have a beautiful home on a bluff at the south end of Kamloops.  The new Garmin GPS led us right to their house without any hiccups.  We spent 3 relaxing days, eating, visiting, and getting the grand tour of the area.  It's high desert and reminds me of Bend and the Gorge, only with steeper hills.
We checked out Snow Peaks ski area, had turkey with all the trimmings for (our) Thanksgiving (theirs was in October), and spent Black Friday fighting traffic and people to go shopping.  We also got to play a cool Canadian game called Crokinole; Sue and I whipped Bill and Deborah, but who's keeping score?  :)

We headed home on Saturday 10 long hours on the road, after a great visit.  Bill and Sue really are great hosts and wonderful friends.

The last week at home has been really interesting.  The forecasters were projecting an inch or so of snow in the valley.  I woke up about 4:30 AM on Friday and there was about 1/4 inch of snow on the ground.  By the time I got up it was over two inches,

 and by the time I decided to drive in to work for a 9:00 phone call there was 3 inches!  Wow.  Corvallis had even more snow, so after about 90 minutes, with the snow coming down like a blizzard, I grabbed my laptop and drove on home.  

The University closed at noon and didn't open again until today (Tuesday) at 9 AM.  By the time it was done snowing on Friday evening we had 6 inches at our house.

Jessy came over and made a snowman, which wasn't easy with the powder snow.  We managed with a shovel and bucket though.

Saturday we entertained Jessy and Jose, first with a trip to get 3 of us haircuts, then with some sledding in the back yard.

Now, what's all this snow got to do with the boat?  Not much, right?  Well, true, but Deborah did buy me an early Christmas present.  A La Crosse weather station with anemometer, rain gauge and indoor/outdoor temperature/humidity measurements.  Plus an online interface.  Awesome!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Year end meeting

The county had a year end meeting with the moorage holders yesterday.  Looks like they did some maintenance that should make next year nicer.  They really are trying hard.

There's a new online registration system too.  It looks good and should make things easy when its time to renew.

Now all we need is rain in March.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Boat BBQ saves the dinner!

First try at a post from my phone...

I got home from work Friday evening and Deborah and Jessy were preparing shishkebab.  Deborah had lit the grill but it ran out of gas before I could start cooking.  What to do?   Grab the boat BBQ!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

San Juan Islands 2013 - Days 6 & 7 & headed home.

Thursday, August 1st found us along side the dock in Roche Harbor.  Bill had mentioned wanting bacon for breakfast so we went to the restaurant at the head of the dock.  The lines out the door were a hint that we'd chosen the right place.  Awesome bacon and the pancakes were really good too. 

After breakfast Scott S left, headed for Cypress Island and eventually back to Bellingham; he checked in via radio later as he was entering Pole Pass.  We followed Bill & Sue out of the marina, then led the way to Speiden Channel.  Scott Reed left sometime after we did(!) 

The wind was blowing nicely so we raised the main and motor sailed down the channel.  The closer we got to San Juan Channel the stronger the wind and the larger the waves, even with the reef in we were getting pounded.  We were beating directly into the wind after we made the turn toward Friday Harbor so we dropped the main and just motored our way there.  The wind was still howling but at least there was less fetch so the waves were smaller.

We got to Friday Harbor in the early afternoon; Lou and Rochelle met us outside the entrance to the marina, then went off to anchor.   Our slips were ready so we went to tie up.  We had a bit of an issue getting tied off, as the girl on the dock wasn't able to catch the (tangled) bow line and we nearly ended up running into Windsong who docked at the same time.  No harm no foul, though so it was all good.

Deborah and I went into town to get lunch and ice.  We saw Bill and Sue headed out for a geocache while we were eating at Blue Water Bar & Grill.  After lunch we walked up the hill and Deborah bought some supplies at the lavender shop, then we went to the grocery store to get ice and supplies.

Scott Reed came in a while after we got back.  Things were just getting started for Happy Hour on Windsong when Lou and Rochelle portaged their dinghy across the dock and joined us.  7 people in a Capri cockpit is tight but do-able. 

I wanted to go see Captain Jim while we were in Friday Harbor so I walked over and hailed Wild Blue.  I've been talking to him on the Trailer Sailor bbs for a couple years.  He and Joan come up from Texas and work for one of the whale watch operations during the summer.  They already had a guest, the managing editor of the Waggoner Guide who'd just finished a circumnavigation of Vancouver Island in a C Dory 22 (I thought a Catalina 22 at the time).  After visiting for a bit I returned to Windsong for more snacks & visiting.

Friday, August 2nd.  Cloudy with a forecast of 10-20 knots, 1-3 foot seas and rain.  Not really what I was hoping for with a long run from Friday Harbor to Anacortes.  Worst case, we could sit out the weather at Spencer Spit if Rosario Strait was too bad.

We got an early-ish start, leaving Friday Harbor between 8:30 and 9:00 am.  That put us on target for relatively light currents through Upright Channel and hopefully across Rosario Strait.  This time it was Bill & Sue, Scott Reed and us.  About 15 minutes out Scott's motor conked out but he quickly figured out that he'd been running on the internal tank.  Whew.

There was a bit of wind so we motor sailed through Upright Channel with a bit of push from the current. 

Then it started raining . . .

Once we got around Upright Head we dropped the main; the wind was going light and I wanted it down in case the 20 knots materialized in the Strait. We managed to avoid the ferries going through Thatcher Pass and motored into Rosario Strait.  Nothing else going on there, though, except the rain and Navy fighters flying just above the clouds.  Noisy!  No wind and maybe a knot of current pushing us north.  Super!

The run across the Strait was pretty uneventful.  The current was really running through Guemes Channel and we hit over 7 knots on 1/2 throttle!   We went around the point and I called Cap Sante for our slip assignments.  That was when the fun started. 

The radio was busy with 3 or 4 boats arriving at the same time we did.  First, they couldn't find Bill & Sue and Scott's reservations.  Since I made them all together it shouldn't have been hard.  We had a slip, though, so I said I'd dock and walk up to the marina office to work it out.  Except there was a boat in my slip. Just like several other folks had reported.  Luckily Jim Lee had let me know that the Left Coast Dart was out of town and his slip was available.  We docked in his slip and I headed to the office.  Scott found his reservation and let me know what his number was.

The office was mayhem.  They were finally able to locate the reservations for Bill and Scott and I relayed the info.  Ha.  I'd barely made it 30 yards from the office than Scott radioed that both of their slips had boats in them.  Back to the office.  End result was that we stayed in Jim's slip on J dock, Bill & Sue were sent to C or D dock, and Scott got to share a slip with a power boat on G dock.  Apparently they had 4 boats that were supposed to leave that had mechanical failures and were unable to do so.  Later on Bill & Sue moved to the end of J so we were at least close.

After everyone was settled in their overnight locations Bill and I helped Scott lower his mast for an early-morning departure.  Then we walked down to Pier 61 where Bill & Scott treated us to a very nice farewell dinner.    

Saturday, August 3rd, we started prepping the boats for retrieval.  We got things organized then motored over to the "loading zone" by the lift.  I went and got  the truck (it wasn't blocked in!) while Deborah started putting boxes on the dock.  We got everything off that we could, then I shoved the main, still on the boom, into the cabin.  Bill and Sue pulled Windsong while we were ferrying stuff to the truck.  They got the boat settled then met us at the small boat hoist and helped drop the mast. 

Dropping the mast turned out to be more of an adventure than I expected.  First we couldn't find our way there - there was a covered slip hiding the dock.  Then we put the 50 pound ball and cable from the crane on the wrong side of the mast.  My windex may never recover from the thrashing it got.  In the end we were able to get things sorted out and the mast came right down.  Way safer than the ginpole.  I think.  :)

Once the mast was down we motored back to the lift and practically right onto the sling.  I went to hook up the trailer while the attendant got Verboten ready to lift.  After a 1 inch adjustment she was exactly where we wanted her.  We strapped everything down, said bye to Bill and Sue, and were ready to go in about an hour. Record time to get road-ready.

The drive home was much better than the drive up.  Not nearly as much traffic, though there were a couple bottlenecks.  About 7 hours total with stops.

San Juan Islands 2013 - Day 4 & 5

Tuesday, July 30th dawned sunny and the wind had blown out to something more moderate.  Scott Reed beat us out of the bay again, headed for Stuart Island.  We'd decided to run down the west side of Waldron Island instead of back down President Channel.  The wind was good so we sailed much of the way from Patos Island crossing the international boundary and fighting fairly strong currents.

At one point the wind really began to build.  There was a lot of slack in the lowers so I decided we should reef.  In the process I managed to get the outhaul stuck so we did the rest of the trip with a reef in.  Need to pull the boom apart and figure out what I did.

Off of South Pender Island Deborah noticed that the chart plotter had turned off.  She was unable to get it working again.  While we hove to for lunch I tried to get it working again.  No luck.  Scott Seaman took the lead, heading for John's Pass between Stuart Island and Johns Island.  We ran into Lou and Rochelle just as we were getting there.  It's a narrow winding passage but there was plenty of water below the keel.

We motored around to Reid Harbor and ended up tying up on the Linear Mooring.  Scott Reed was in Prevost Harbor on the other side of the island.  Lou and Rochelle tied up behind us, Bill & Sue and Scott S on the other side.  We tied up so our cockpits were all facing each other and had a nice visit.  Reid Harbor has the steepest ramp I've ever seen for getting ashore.  Not sure why they didn't put in stairs.

Lou loaned me a multimeter, sent my way via his dinghy on a line and I was able to locate the issue with the chart plotter.  Turns out one of my newly crimped connections came loose, which blew a fuse.  Luckily I had the crimping tool along and a spare fuse.

We were treated to another great sunset.

 Even the seagulls were well behaved.

Wednesday, July 31st.  Just a short trip today, across Speiden Channel to Roche Harbor.  Bill and Sue went ashore to do some exploring, then we headed for Roche. 

The trip started out with a stop at Cemetery Island for Bill & Sue to find a geocache.  The original plan was to tie Windsong alongside Verboten, but Deborah suggested that I just transfer to their boat instead.  Much easier so that's what we did.  Deborah and I motored the boats around for about 10 minutes, while they got the cache, then I transferred back onto Verboten.  We motored across to Roche Harbor, keeping an eye on the fog in the strait.

 The Coast Guard was in a hurry to get somewhere.

 We got settled in at the marina. . . .

 Then went exploring.

 Sculpture park

The Mausoleum

Lime Kiln
 There are some huge, expensive, yachts in Roche Harbor (but the men's restroom reeked!)

 We had happy hour on Verboten and then watched another terrific sunset!