Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Visit from Oz

No, Dorothy and Toto did not land on the aft deck of CAPAZ after a freak tornado at Shilshole. Rather we were visited by the Harang Family from the other land of Oz: Downunder otherwise known as Australia.
Kathryn and Erik have been in the states for almost a month and Mark arrived on Friday. He braved jet lag to venture out on the boat with us for the weekend. After checking tides and charts, we decided to head south and just see how it went then decide to go to either Bremerton or down to Gig Harbor. Colvos Passage was beautiful and the wind looked like it might fill (which it did - enough to get the spinnaker flying), so we decided on the latter.
The folks already tied up at the outstation dock made room for us in deep enough water and then commenced a Green Box Party. Erik, Bryce and Austin played on the beach until it was gone. We fed them some pizza and the adults enjoyed a late snack of salad and pizza on the aft deck at dusk.
Kathryn and Mark tried out our new main salon bunk. Hopefully, it was truly comfortable and they weren't just humoring us. We all awoke to a beautiful morning - Kathryn got a run in and I went kayaking. We motored all the way home, but the weather was great and the kids were engaged, so who could ask for more.
Just before reaching Shilshole, we swung the compass. Brad is very happy that all of our instruments seem to be talking to each other, however there seems to be a very particular order in which they must be turned on.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Table Week

There were two table projects left on the TO DO List and then there were none.
The first table project was to make extra sleeping area on our boat by devising a way to drop our main salon table to the height of the other cushions making a nice big bunk for guests or crew. We knew there were ways for this to work and picked up a cushion that would fit in the area with a very small amount of alteration. The dropping mechanism was the tricky part until we found out how easy it was. We couldn't have a telescoping table pedestal due to the fact that there is no room space under the floor for extra post to disappear under the floor (water tanks right underneath). The easy answer was the company that made the existing post makes one that ends up being pretty much the perfect height. Another discovery that we have made upon our test of the new short post is that we now have a great space for watching movies in our main salon.
The other table project was focused on our cockpit table. Capaz came with a cockpit table that flipped up from the steering pedestal. We were informed by world cruisers that we would never be able to play Scrabble or other board games on our small table. Tables with leaves are available for a huge price in my opinion. I told this story to a friend of mine who had just finished refacing all her kitchen cabinets with the wood working tools that her husband had gotten for her. Kristin decided that making the leaves for our table would be a fun project. I got the wood for her (could afford teak, so we used ipae) and she made beautiful leave to be attached to the existing table. My brother, John, helped out with the routing of spots where the hinges would go. Then, there was the varnishing - that's where I came in. Two coats of conditioner and nine coats of varnish later, Brad was able to install the table last night and we ate our dinner on it! Thank you to all those who helped get this project to completion.
Both projects are now checked off the list this week!

Friday, July 24, 2009

PJ Night at Duck Dodge

Tuesday was "PJ" night in a couple of different ways. First off, the theme for the Duck Dodge race on Lake Union was Pajama Night. The second way it was PJ Night was that because of my relationship with the McNamara's, we were extended a much sought after invitation for "Dinner on the Raft"
The raft is a float that is fully registered with the State of Washington as a legal "boat". It even has a motor (a small electric -very quiet- fishing motor). The name of the raft is "Chip Off the Dock" and Tiff puts a table and chairs on board where she then serves dinner to guests as Brad "drives" around Lake Union.
It was great fun to be an obstacle out in the middle of the crazy Duck Dodge race and see all the racers in their pajamas. We went along with theme also. Tiff donned her flannels, Brad had on his bathrobe and since it was a really warm evening, I put on a sexy negligee over my bathing suit (I wore a robe over the whole thing until a defrosted ice cream bar exploded all over me). Brad and the boys went swimming after we had all enjoyed a dinner of gourmet burgers and salad.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Finally, It’s Official!

My brother, John and Vennessa are married!!! I have a new sister-in-law and great new extended family.

On Saturday morning, we voyaged on Capaz all the way into Portage Bay between Lake Washington and Lake Union for the big wedding at the Seattle Yacht Club. The evening before, my parents had put on a Ukrainian/Guamanian dinner in their backyard. We had all sufficiently recovered from those festivities in time to be ready for family pictures and the big event.

The Polynesian theme was just beautiful and both bride and groom were glowing and their outfits were great too!! John’s childhood friend, Dave, officiated at the ceremony and I got to be a witness and sign the marriage license. While we ate a scrumptious buffet dinner, we were entertained by traditional Polynesian dancers. They even got the some of the crowd into the fun with a quick hula lesson.

The evening continued with toasts, dancing, and dessert. After many songs unrecognizable to me and those around me who were my age, our demands for some good old music cleared the dance floor. I think the DJ must have known this would be the effect and that is why he held us off for so long.

Bryce Sailing .. . er . . .Beach . . . .er . . . . Dock Birthday Party

The best laid plans of mice and men, otherwise known as planning events and engine repairs without looking too closely at the calendar. We were all set to get back into the Thursday Night Racing Series on Elliott Bay with a birthday celebration taking some of Bryce’s friends and their families sailing (see last year’s blog entry). With the engine repair in progress, I had come up with a flippant back-up plan of just having the party at Golden Gardens. As Thursday approached and it looked less and less likely that we would have engine power, I began to dread getting party supplies down to the park when it would be totally crowed due to the weather forecast of a gorgeous day. Finally, we came up with Plan C which would be to just keep the party on the boat and while the boat was sequestered at that the dock.

At last, a plan that looked “like a winner” as G-ma would say. The adults enjoyed cocktails in the cockpit while the kids played Legos, Legos, Legos. Bryce was in heaven getting three new Lego sets, two of which came with new Star Wars mini-figures. Eventually, the kids came outside where they fished and tried out the kayaks. We all sang Happy Birthday to Bryce so that he could officially be 11 years old and watched the sunset over the Olympics. Bryce and his buddy, Jarret, where the last to hop in the kayaks and somehow did get the memo about the area restrictions. They disappeared around the corner and did a big loop around the end of the docks and back. They were thrilled with themselves especially when they realized that everyone else had been restricted to an area within eye-sight of the boat. Despite the shaky planning of the event, it seemed like everyone had a great time!

PS The engine is put back together AND running!!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fishing for Spiderman

It all started when I got home from a very successful shopping trip (I found quite a few things that I have had my open for). On the floor in the boys' cabin was their favorite beach towel.
Spiderman - wet from sailing camp yesterday. The skies were clearing and I knew I had to get it and a few other damp items out into the sun to dry out.
But wait, there were perishables that needed to put away first. So, I flipped the 3 towels over the life lines fully intending (I know - my favorite quote comes to my mind too: the road to hell is paved with good intentions) to put food away and them properly clip the towels and other items on securely. I got the food put away and proceeded to starting clipping the 2 towels to the lines - wait weren't there 3! I realized too late that there actually was a little bit of breeze, apparently enough to blow Spiderman off the life line. How long ago had it happened? Was Spidey just floating behind the boat? Hey, it's a really low tide and maybe I can see the bottom - yep, there is the boys' favorite towel right there on the bottom between the dock and the boat.
I quickly went to grab the boat hook to see if it is actually shallow enough to hook and raise to the surface. But no, that would be too easy (where is that damn EASY button when you need it?). The boat hook is not in it's place on the cabin top. Luckily, my neighbor noticed I was peering into the water looking for something and came out to inquire what had fallen overboard. With the added problem of the missing boat hook, Jeanne grabbed hers and passed it across to me. Fully telescoped, the boat hook appeared to be about 4 feet too short.
Next try, fishing pole. This was probably a very comical process to watch as I try to know as little about fishing poles as possible (I am the cheif line untangler - but that's about it until the fish are caught, cleaned, filleted and ready to cook). I figured that I needed weights: so I put 4 on and a big hook (I know that the hooks caught easily on towels having removed a couple after casting practice): I used one of those big ones with a shiney lure so that I could see it down there. It took me two tries to get the hook in the vicinity of the towel and then drag it across Spiderman til it caught in his foot. I carefully reeled in Spidey and then rinsed him out. After showing my prize catch to Jeanne and Ed, I hung my trophy from the life lines with not 2, but 3 clothes pins.
My question is: am I a bad mom because I let Spiderman fall overboard in the first place or am I good mom because I saved him from the crabs below the boat???
Spiderman is safe at last

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Floating Fourth of July

It seems like most people with boats around here seem to spend the Fourth of July holiday on their boats. Whether it is most of my Potlatch committee celebrating at Henry Island or most of my neighbors journeying to Poulsbo for the Third of July fireworks show or my brother venturing out onto Lake Union with the hoards, everyone I know was floating for the Fourth.
While the Bakers were not on CAPAZ for the festivities, we were floating. We chose to carry on the long standing tradition of spending the holiday with my dear old friend, Tiff and her husband on their houseboat on Lake Union. We were in close proximity to the mayhem of the only show in town (Seattle's Lake Union Fireworks Display - no Fourth of Jul-Ivars this year on Elliot Bay), the houseboat community is just a little removed from it all. This tradition began many years ago with Tiff taking care of me on the Fourth while my new husband was out to sea on one of many Vic-Maui Races. Brad came with me when he wasn't racing, or road tripping or delivering CAPAZ to Seattle. As kids entered the picture, Tiff took care of the boys on the Fourth too, even though having kids on a houseboat used to terrify her. We haven't made every year, but if we are in town, we watch the fireworks together.
Our Floating Fourth Hosts: Brad and Tiff

This year was the tenth anniversary of living on a houseboat. Tiff's son, Brogan, went to visit his Grandma Ellie for the night which left the McNamara's free to play a little which we all know is difficult with a two-year old around. Tiff and her Brad and I went for a nice jaunt on the raft (basically a dock with a motor), while my Brad and my boys took the kayaks out through the masses and found Uncle John. We eventually met back at the houseboat and were joined by more friends for a barbeque, drinks and finally the big fireworks show viewed from the roof deck.
Another fabulous Fourth of July. I wonder where we will be this time next year? Will there be fireworks? Stay tuned . . . . . .