While Brad headed off to work Friday morning, Bryce practiced a little "boat school" . . . . . . . . . . . .
We made the absolute right decision to keep the kids out of school on Friday and enjoy an absolutely gorgeous day on the water. It involved lots of kayaking and even a little dinghy sailing. Bryce got to take a spin in our friend, Eric's El Toro. Though it looks an awful lot like an Opti, it is much more tender. Luckily, Eric spent many years teaching sailing and Bryce came back dry for the most part. Then, there were several trips by kayak to Marsh Island to explore what Austin termed, "the Amazon wilderness".
After some cajoling by our neighbors (yes, I must admit they were using the margaritas as encouragement), we headed to SYC for an afternoon dock party. There we ran into G-pa and G-ma and got them to come back out to the boat with us. We were able to drop them off in the "pick-up" spot for Saturday morning which lowered everyone's anxiety level (we all love a good plan!!).
Opening Day started very early for me as the wind kicked up around 5:30 am. I went out to check lines and stuff (Brad had a pretty late night that included a few rum and cokes and was not willing to get out our nice warm bunk). My neighbor, Dave, was also out checking Sliante's lines and we decided that it sounded much worse from a bunk than conditions actually were on deck and we both headed back to our respective bunks and bunkmates. It was hard to know exactly how many people would end up on CAPAZ for the day, but we had solid commitments from my parents and Tiff and Brogan. For different reasons, both groups were going to have to cut it close on getting out to the boat before the Cut closed to boat traffic in preparation for the crew races.
When all was said and done the timing was perfect and we all settled in on CAPAZ's roomy aft deck for the crew races. Tiff and I took a little walk down memory lane as we met each on the first day of crew practice at UW over twenty years ago. By the way, our girls (and boys) made us alumns very proud sweeping every race!!! We battled the drizzle that started with what else, but a traditional Seattle blue tarp stretched over the mizzen mast. If there are blue tarp campers, I guess we are blue tarp cruisers.
Brogan wasn't so sure about the whole thing until he had eaten a little something and the boat parade started with all sorts of boats tooting at him like a train! All was then well. There were lots of cowboy hats in the parade as the theme was "The Wild West". We nixed barbecuing on the aft deck because it would have disturbed our blue tarp set-up, so we opted for the griddle on the galley stove which "grilled" up the brauts just fine.
As cocktail hour approached the skies cleared and we had a nice social hour on Sliante. Kids were out exploring: 5 girls in a little dinghy and two boys in a kayak. There was a message over the radio saying there was a problem but that the situation was under control. A few minutes later, my boys come paddling up to the boat, towing the dinghy full of girls who flooded their outboard's motor. I guess they did have it all well in hand.
Those who had to skedaddle saw the big gray cloud approaching and high-tailed it to dry land. The rest of us moved out little party into the main salon of CAPAZ for the adults and the aft cabin for the kids. We feasted on the leftovers of the day. I do believe that everyone slept well after our full day opening boating season.
Sunday dawned beautiful (of couse) and we were graced with a quick trip (less than 2 hours) back to Shilshole. Our 4 nights and 5 days on anchor was a great little shake-down. Batteries, genset, holding tanks and such all worked well while we out. We got back so early that Brad even had plenty of time to change out a duck valve in our grey water system and change out an almost completely disinigrated elbow in our diesel heater!