Sunday, August 30, 2009

So Long . . . Farewell . . . .

. . . . . .Auf weidersehen, Adieu. To you, and you, and you and you and you. That's what was going through my head as I battled for hours on end yesterday afternoon to replace a couple of hatch gaskets. Believe me, that is an ear worm that I would not wish upon even an enemy. You gotta think it was going through my head because we are leaving tomorrow and there are alot of "so longs" happening right now.
Yesterday morning, I said "hasta la vista" (my preferred term for "so long" as it indicates return at some point) to Greenlake. Yes, I talked to a body of water and I haven't even stood a long lonely watch on this adventure yet. Actually, it was very nice. My friend, Amy, picked me up and we had one last walk around Greenlake together . . . . . for awhile. I remember doing this with another friend before she moved away to another hemisphere. We didn't succeed in solving all of the world's problems or even all of our own, but maybe the normalness of our conversation was what made it so great to me.
This is a short entry because between about NOW and 5:00 this afternoon, according to E-vite, a little over 100 of our friends and family will be wandering down F-Dock for one last visit before we cut our last line tomorrow around 4:00pm. Wish us luck and comment often

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Single Digits

Well, yesterday we did it. We have now entered single digits in our countdown.
The last week has been full of boat projects. Many involved multiple trips to Fisheries and some just giving up and ordering new components rather than banging the head against the wall trying to make the old parts work. After a week of frustration, we are hoping that there will be alot of very exciting, successful project completions in the upcoming week. We could really use one of those red "EASY buttons" from Staples.
The boys spent the week over on Marrowstone Island with their grandparents. They had a great time. We hear that a significant amount of visit was spent building two humongous lego pirate ships. Nana, Poppy, the boys and Aunt Carrie too met us at Port Ludlow on Friday night where we had brought CAPAZ up for the Perry Owners Rendez-Vous.
The Rendez-Vous is a weekend where anyone who owns a boat designed by Robert Perry can sign-up and then meet up. His boat designs include: Norsemans, Nordics, Valiants, Tayanas, Tashibas, Pandas, and of course, the radical Custom Perry 48 Pilothouse (that would the one and only, CAPAZ) just to name a few. The event included a bonfire, a talk given by a couple who cruises the Caribbean, a blind folded dinghy race (Brad and I placed second!!), a potluck dinner, lots of checking out other people's boats, and best of all dancing to tunes provided by Mr. Perry's fabulous band. We all had a great time.
Thankfully, another boy about 8 years old showed up and Bryce, Austin and Makai commenced to be inseparable until the boat departed the docks.
We are looking forward to a week of catching one last evening with several friends and family starting tonight with dinner at Port Madison hosting former owners of CAPAZ, the Hurlow family. I think I may get off without having to cook another dinner til we leave, as our dance card seems to be full. The culmination will be our "Open Boat" and then we will be cutting our lines Monday afternoon and setting sail (or motoring) toward San Francisco!

PS The Hurlow's arrived bearing gifts and DINNER! Chalk up another night of not having to cook! What a fun evening of stories about their adventures on our boat.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Downward Slide

We have heard those who have gone before us describe this last blinding flurry of activity that leads up to leaving the dock, but it is quite another matter to find oneself in the middle of such a period.
This week has been FULL week or so to say the least. I am still consulting a bit for Swiftsure Yachts, trying to be available for any questions until I am not really available.
Brad has been tirelessly working on boat projects trying to move us from “temporarily no choice but tied to the dock” back to “ready to leave tomorrow”. The engine was undergoing its penultimate tune-up procedure and the pedestal to which our steering wheel is attached was out being painted and rehabbed. When it is completely back together, we will have a new chain in our steering system and the cockpit instruments will be “talking to” the nav station instruments. The cockpit floor is no longer hazardous to one’s health when wet (a condition that sometimes happens on sailboats).
Tuesday, we attended a barbecue at Golden Gardens to celebrate our friends’ and fellow leaving soon cruisers’ wedding which went off without a hitch the next evening also at the park. It was a great break in the middle of the week.
Thursday was spent putting things back together so that we could attend the final race in the Elliott Bay Series. Unfortunately, since it was the last one, we invited some friends who are non-sailors and don’t understand that racing is a rain or shine composition. Just when it began to look very promising that the boat would be functional in plenty of time, the skies opened up and it began to rain – HARD! We headed for Elliott Bay to meet up with the hardy souls, also coincidentally real sailors who went around the course with us one last time under dry skies and light breeze! Those of little faith missed a very nice evening.
Then, it was on to the next project: Friday morning it all started with a trip to Costco for the Welcome Back/Bon Voyage party at work. Grammy-Sue made it into town and took some pressure off of us by becoming a second vehicle driver capable of getting the kids to and from work without having to be dragged along on all of Mom and Dad’s errands. The party was a great success and we got to see a lot of people in a short amount of time.
Now we are sitting in a ferry line taking the kids over to Port Townsend to spend a week with their grandparents. Brad and I will be making a final list of the last things that we must achieve before we leave – hopefully it won’t be toooooooo long!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Pirate Night

When you come to Pirate Night aboard Capaz and it's blowing 30 knots, if you are not a sailor, you become one or else walk the plank.
This was the situation at this week's Thursday Night Race. We usually have a few "sailors" aboard, but we ended up with Captain Brad and his trusty First Mate me. Since we are racing our house, we decided not to fly the spinnaker or start with the mizzen. Of course, with only the main and the genoa flying, Brad wanted to maximize the performance of those two sails which is how I ended up driving alot. Driving is something that I have some experience at doing; professional main and genoa trimming-not so much. One would think that after all the racing I have done I would know all the ins and outs of it all. Nope. Still learning - and I am guessing that on our next little adventure - there will be plenty of opportunity to expand my knowledge in my weaker areas!!! There are reasons for my deficiencies. I have been super lucky to race with very talented sailors and I like to be on the winning team. Since sail trim is very important to winning, I pretty much deferred those jobs to the very talented sailors around me and therefore concentrated on whatever job they needed me to do, though I do draw the line at galley slave. As a result, I am a mean start timer, I can work the "pit" (that's raise and lower sails using the halyards) and I can trim the spinnaker for hours (for some reason, many people find this sail trimming job less than exciting especially in light air and are more than happy to give little old me a chance to learn it - that and 12 days straight of spinnaker trimming on the way to Maui beefed up this column of experience on my sailing resume).

Anyway, we had an exciting sail down the first leg with Sean following Brad's instructions for trimming the main. Brad maximizing the genoa and me driving. The wind started to die halfway to the second mark and Brad Mc became an expert at furling and unfurling the genoa. He may have also picked up a few trimming tips along the way. We finally raised the mizzen (still a very new sail to me) and Kelly took on trimming it - Tim would have been very proud of her. We ended up motoring to the wind and then just plain motorsailing most of the last leg. Tiff and Brogan even took a quick turn at the wheel.
At the party the kids entered the pirate costume contest and Bryce won a chest full of pirate booty! These nights are such a fun way for us to get together with friends and enjoy a night of sailing. We are hoping that we can have our engine back on-line quickly so that we don't miss the last two races, but that is in the capable hands of Pat and his team a Pat's Marine Engine. Keep your fingers crossed for us!