Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Solstice!

Capaz dressed in white
This year, the Capaz crew saw the Winter Solstice from a rather snowy perspective. It has been snowing on and off here in Seattle for the better part of a week with a pretty good dump on Saturday night. The bright side is that for the first time, here at home, our winter solstice has been . . . . well . . . . . wintry! It is much easier to take with a grain of salt after Skyping the crew of Totem in Mazatlan and hearing of the 80* water that we should be enjoying next Christmas. My new mantra/visualization consists of three things to do on Christmas Day 2009: drink margarita, wear bathing suit, sing Feliz Navidad while dancing on the beach!!!!
With the masts still out, we don't think that we have to worry so much about the weight of the snow on the boat. But, I was still worrying. I have been going down memory lane with some friends the last couple of weeks and I remember the boathouses collapsing and boats sinking the last time we had a big snow like this. Anyway, I went to the boat and kicked most of the snow off the deck and swept off the dodger as best as I could, just to be on the safe side. (There is more snow in the forecast for the next couple of days.) Austin made the coolest snowman on our dock. It's really the first snow we have seen that has been packable enough to make one - it has just been too cold and dry for good snowman making. And for those of you wondering, YES, we still plan to move onto the boat after the holidays!
Austin says "Look very closely for the eyes!"


The Crew of Capaz
Brad, PJ, Bryce and Austin

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Power Boat Owners

M/V Capaz

At this juncture, we basically own a powerboat. Both rigs were pulled today at the Seaview East yard in Ballard. Most of the day went pretty much as planned with only one injury. Our mast pulling operations foreman, Harris, got whacked in the forehead by a turnbuckle as the main mast was being lowered onto the cart. He promised me that he was OK and was able to deliver a boat through locks later on so, I will have to trust his diagnosis.
So, Capaz is now a funny looking mastless sailboat (some would call it a powerboat). With the help our friend, Andy Schwenk, owner of Northwest Rigging in Anacortes, Capaz will have all new standing rigging. Both masts were inspected (something that one should do every 3 or 4 years) twice (by Andy and then another friend, who happens to a surveyor, stopped by and put his eyes on them also). Brad, Andy and I spent a couple of hours undressing the masts. I learned a lot about masts today. Some of it very reassuring and some of it a little scary. Most of our rigging is pretty oversized (much stronger stuff than it needs to be) - that's the good news. On the other side of the coin, I learned that the rigging is attached at the spreaders to the mast with very thin wire - granted several wraps of said thin wire, but still, I expected much beefier attachment methods. I have been assured that it is all very standard and safe. I also learned how to pull out codder pins using something Andy calls, "Le Tool" and how to coil big cables.

How it happened:

We weren't sure if we could get the boat back through the locks and be home in time for Austin's return from school on the bus, so we altered our plans a little. I ran home, grabbed dinner makings, picked Austin up at school and met Brad at Shilshole to drop a car off there. Then we proceeded back to the boat yard and finished cleaning up our tools before heading for the locks. Austin is going to make a great boat kid as he did his math homework this afternoon as were waiting for the small lock's green light. Back at Shilshole, we had a quick dinner and covered the holes in the boat so that rain won't get inside. Even if some does, we started up our new dehumidifier - our live-abroad neighbors swear by them for winters in Seattle. (Did you know that the hurricanes in Texas caused a dehumidifier shortage here in the NW? The people at Home Depot were so excited to get a shipment because they haven't been able to since last summer!!! Who knew?) Brad hopes to be able to put the rigs back into the boat next week!
We will be back to being sailboat owners!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

No Booms

That's right! Capaz is boomless. We took off the main and mizzen sails yesterday and then off came both booms. We are preparing the boat for having both spars pulled for inspection and new standing rigging. Capaz may be capable, but having good reliable rigging is super important on the safety front. So, basically, we will be turning into powerboaters for awhile until the work is done. The rigs will pulled out later this week at the boatyard. I will try to get some pictures of the boat without masts. Today, in between rain showers, the boys helped Brad get the rigging marked for when it all gets re-attached after the work is completed.
We moved a bunch more stuff onto the boat and even set up a little Christmas tree.
We spent the night and did a little acclimatization with kitties. Tasha does not enjoy the 12 minute car trip down to the boat, but once there, she seems fine with her new environment. She did not like the wind storm that blew through last night, but she remembers how to snuggle in with mom and dad. The boys slept through the whole thing.
Now, Sammy, she is a whole other story. She despises her carrier, the car ride and spent the entire time on the boat (with the exception of visits to the litter box) curled up in a corner in the shower. Know anyone who would like to have a very cute, sort of ferral cat? We aren't holding our collective breathes for her to come around on the adjustment front and so we are starting to look for a new home for her.

Austin marking the turnbuckles

Brad shows Bryce how to take the pins out the turnbuckles

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas