Sunday, September 28, 2008

Little Beach at Shilshole

Little Beach is kinda little

Brad is out of town and I had a little project that I need to re-measure down on the boat. So I promised the boys that if we went down to the boat to do my measuring. we could blow up the kayaks and go on a little adventure. I figured that we could leave them inflated so that we would have to mess around with re-inflating them next weekend when we are off on a little weekend with the Harangs. It turns out, this was my first time, that getting the inflatable kayaks inflated is really no big deal. I have to figure out how to install the skegs so that we can go straighter. We didn't deflate them anyway, but back to the adventue.
On the west side of the breakwater at Shilshole, at very low tides, there is a small sand beach. The signs say "No Trespassing on the Breakwater", but I am pretty sure that the beach does not count. Once we got the kayaks launched. We headed down the fairway between E and F Docks towards the breakwater and out the south end of the marina. As we rounded the corner, out into Puget Sound, we could almost see our reflection it was so calm. A perfect day for our maiden voyage outside the protection of the breakwater.
The Mighty Kayaker

We got going a little later than I had planned and by the time we made it up-current to "Little Beach" it was very little (about 3 feet wide and 8 feet long). Austin was worried about touching the breakwater and in effect trespassing, so Bryce beached his kayak and we took some pictures. It was a nice trip to the north end of the marina. Bryce even paddled part way back to the dock before he tied on to Austin and I for a tow. We went nice and slow close to the rocks, both boys noticing the huge variety of critters that live in and amongst those rocks.
When we got back to the boat, I did my measuring and the boys went on one short little voyage to retrieve a piece of paper that they have been noticing for about a week on the bulkhead near our dock's ramp. It turned out to be a notice from the marina management that had been laminated which explained why it had not disintegrated submerged in that water. All in all, the kayaking was successful and Capaz now has a flap that we can use instead of hatchboards as the weather gets cooler.

Off to solve the mystery of the piece of submerged paper

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Boat Show Done!

Where have we been? Well, we have been Boat Showing: one of the greatest "perks" of the marine industry. At least twice per year, we "get" to participate in the boat shows. The Seattle Boats Afloat Show was last week. We spent the week before that prepping for the show and getting the kids off to their first week of school. Then, we have spent the last week decompressing and cleaning up from the boat show. If you are feeling like this post is laced with sarcasm, you would be correct. Boat Shows are not my favorite thing.
Anyway, we are making progress on Capaz. Brad has almost completed the first new head installation. Beyond that, I have been working on little projects on the boat and at the house trying to prepare for the transition to living on the boat hopefully, around the first of the year. We are not sure what is happening with our live-aboard status as we seem to be moving the wrong way on the waiting list. On August 22, we were #8, then last week we seemed to have moved back to #11 and now as of Friday, we are at #12. It just makes you wonder a little bit about exactly how the Port of Seattle's priority system is set up.
So we hope to make some more progress and spend a little more time on the boat now that the Boat Show is over.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Gig Harbor

Capaz at Anchor in Gig Harbor
August 30 - September 1
So, you have been out in the ocean on a sailboat for 7 days and you are about to fly home and see your family who you miss and your husband says, “Do you want to go out on the boat this weekend?” If you are me, you say, “Sure.” That’s how it is with us. I get off the plane from Oakland, get dinner, stop by the boat to see what we need and drop off my gear. We all got a good night’s sleep at the house and then, packed up and headed off to Gig Harbor. The weather is iffy – a little shower coming down Colvos Passage on the west side of Vashon Island. When we arrived, not only did we see s/v Mentor, but also that the SYC outstation has been full-up of powerboats for the last two days. What were we thinking? Oh, did I mention that Bryce drove most of the way from Seattle while Brad did whatever it was he was doing with a soldering iron and the windlass motor? Also, Austin and I pumped up all of our fenders!!! I am happy to report that after dropping the anchor with a non-functional windlass, we have repositioned ourselves using the now-working windlass. Nothing like the prospect of raising a big, heavy anchor and 120 feet of also big, heavy chain by hand to motivate one into fixing something. Not only that folks, but we also ate our dinner of hotdogs cooked on our now-functional barbecue!!! We are really making great strides here. The boys built “the color fleet” which are a series of lego ships where each one is built using a certain color of lego pieces. The evening was capped off with a glass (or 2) of wine with Cindy and Dick aboard their friends, Jim and Ann’s powerboat.

The color-coded lego fleet

Sunday was kind of a mixed weather day. Partly cloudy with a shower here and there, but when the sun was out it was nice and warm. There was even one lightening strike mid-afternoon as a particularly dark cloud went over. I went on a bike ride in search of the grocery store to find something to go with the coffee that Lydia was going to pick up at Starbucks and bring out to the boat. Plans changed though as Lydia had hurt her back and getting in and out of the dinghy didn’t sound like much fun. So, we had coffee on land and she unsuccessfully chauffeured me around on a domestic errand. We ended up back at her house where we enjoyed lunch. Back at the boat, Brad worked on lots of little jobs and the huge task of emptying the “garage” which is a cavernous storage locker in the stern of the boat. We needed to get to bottom of it, so that we could figure out what there was, if we wanted to keep that same stuff back and just generally organized it. The boys watched “Jimangi” and later went to the beach at the SYC outstation where they built a rock and seaweed island which they tried to keep above the level of the incoming tide. Bryce and I also played a game of Scrabble in which we used every last tile!!1 Back at the boat, we had dinner and I taught Bryce to play Solitaire and then we played Double-Solitaire.

Sunday morning comics

Austin partway up the mast

Monday’s weather capped off a truly mediocre summer. It wasn’t really warm or sunny but we did have wind most of the way home and sailed from Gig Harbor to West Point up Colvos Passage. With the option of the autopilot back on the table, it was a leisurely trip back to Seattle. We even flew the spinnaker for a couple of hours. Before we used the windlass (that part is very exciting) to raise the anchor, Bryce and Austin had their maiden voyages up the mast in the bosuns chair. Bryce made it all the way to the top on his second hoist and took some pictures. Austin wasn’t so sure about the whole thing, but smiled for a picture. We were also boarded by one of the Gig Harbor water officers. Luckily, he is an old friend of Brad’s and was just saying hi. On the way home, we spotted Ann and Jim who we shared drinks with on Saturday night by their bright green kayaks on the bow and were hailed by Wendy Hinman on Vallela. As we got stuff together on the boat to off-load and head back to the house, Austin asked what was going on. I told him that we were getting ready to go home to which he replied that the boat really felt like “home”!

Looking down at Mom and Dad
Looking South ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Views of Gig Harbor from the top of Capaz's mast ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Looking West