Friday, June 05, 2009

Northern Puget Sound through the Hole in the Wall

Sailed from Shilshole to Langley the first day. Some sailing, some motoring. We anchored in 18 feet off the harbor in choppy seas and got into the dingy to motor to shore. Life was good and Chance got to pee. New motor worked great but we had to row a bit to clear the surfy conditions to deeper water to start the motor. Good again.

Motored around to Langley to check out the harbor and waterfront. Sunset was upon us so we motored back to the anchored boat, now rocking quite a bit in the waves. Chance had to improvise a bit to get back in the boat since his boarding ladder was kind of messed up by the surf. All was rolling once we were back in. Mo checked the GPS and it said the depth was 4.5 feet. ! !!! Yikes! With the tide going out we'd need 8'. We must have swung over some shallows or were having a problem with the depth sounder. Blain rigged up a lead weight on a string to double check, and it was too close for comfort with a falling tide.
So on with the navigation lights and the engine, up with the anchor, and we pulled into the harbor in the dark with Mo on the spotlight up front pointing out obstacles and other boats. We found a tight spot to squeeze and tied up - and retied up - until we were happy and flopped into bed slightly before midnight. Quite an adventure for our first night.
Langley was idealic with thrift stores, a pub with a lawn overlooking the harbor, galleries and cows. We don't see many cows. So they were a treat. So were statues. And butt shots of Blain.Off in the morning to Coupeville and some famous Penn Cove mussels. We enjoyed a beach walk and skipping live sand dollars back into the sea (they probably didn't evolve to be fun little frisbees to entertain dogs) massive mussel beds and hundreds of cockles. It was killing Blain to see so much sea life and not be able to eat them.
So with an appetite established, we dropped in to the local bar and bought two pounds of Penn Cove mussels raised just off the beach. They made an awesome green curry with broccoli and brown rice later in LaConner.
Someone's excited about eating two pounds of mussels...
Crossing the bay to LaConner is up the tricky Swinhomish Channel and you follow the well marked channel through log booms and past way too close piles of rocks to the Hole in the Wall canyon-like entrance and turn hard left.

The current was ripping with us so we had a speedy ride under the Rainbow Bridge and LaConner to tie up at the public float for 50 cents/ft. Best rate we've had. And a footbridge shaped like a salmon to boot.

Thursday, June 04, 2009


We are sailing north from Seattle this afternoon. We're asking for safe passage and wanted to do a proper ceremony. So we googled it and didn't find any two that matched, so we figured we'd write our own heartfelt plea.

The cermony:
Oh , Ran - and Aegir - Goddess and God of the sea respectively (we know who really runs the show), we are requesting safe passage for our humble craft with leaky holding tank and non-functional oven, and a couple of bikes strapped on the deck, containing two souls, Monique and Blain, and one unsuspecting dog Chance, who might have a soul, but we'll leave that up to you two.

Northward we seek, to plunder dockside coffee shops for free WiFi, and into the land of the ice and snow where the blah blah go and the north wind - blow. Admittedly, what we know of Norse mythology is from that Led Zepplin song, and a childhood book on Gnomes, but still, it seems like a good idea to splash a bit of rum your way (even though it's from the Carribean, and probably out of your jurisdiction).

Please enjoy the rum. It's not the best, but had a nice lable and was reasonably priced. If we run into you up there in a pub, you can owe us one.
All the best to the deities and demi gods.

PS. We did kind of change the name of our boat to Oystercatcher. We hope it's not a problem since you're both so cool.

First big stop is Bellingham to see Blain's cousin Krista and family.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Why is there a photo of the toilet in this episode?
Well, we've been learning a lot about our newly purchased appliances and appurtenances, lately, and we thought you might want to as well. No siree, nothing like propane and sewage leaks to get the adrenaline flowing around a boat.

Blain tried to fix the oven thermostat and wound up blowing fuses and breakers. He finally took it in to a pro shop to get some advice. They caught instantly that he had tried to screw the gas line down crimping a wire. Well, that also explains the gas leak... And the electrical short.
Chance just wanted to find a comfy spot amidst the mayhem. We were heating water for tea on the BBQ for a few days.

This is where the stove was - or is supposed to be. It nearly when from here into the ocean, but there are state and federal laws that prevented this idea from going too far.

Blain is working in the sun. Oven insulation showing. Favorite t-shirt showing, too.

Our youngest sailor to date.
Avery, cute little offspring of Elin and Wes, formerly of Anchorage, kind of enjoyed a sail out and around a bit. She hated the life jacket we borrowed for her, even though it really matched her eyes. At 10 months, I guess you don't really care about these things.
We were thoroughly enjoying a dang fine day with sails flying and the boat doing great. Wes proved handy with a winch handle. Blain even almost sort of helped with a diaper change. Then a minor disaster struck. The holding tank decided to drain onto the shoes under the fore berth.

YUCK, said Mo. And a few other choice rhymes.
Over the next two days we troubleshot and cleaned, and cleaned some more. Blain found a clogged vent and we hope that might help with the situation. We hope to start heading northward on Tuesday, so cross your fingers all goes well.