Sunday, February 27, 2011

Frozen Weather...

Ginny and headed up to the boat on Friday to tackle the shower drain pump. What we found was one frozen marina, the docks were covered with ice crusted snow. We fired up the forced air heater and hunkered down below for the night. On Saturday the temperature was 25 degrees and the wind was blowing 15 - 20 knots... which made the thought of opening the companionway and engine compartment not very appealing.

Ginny and I cut our losses and headed home. Instead of our normal route we decided to head south through Whidbey Island, this way we'd cross Deception Pass, the Tacoma Narrows and take the ferry to Port Townsend.

We arrived at the ferry terminal just in time to watch one leave. Not wanting to spend the time idle, we back tracked to Fort Casey Historical State Park. It was cool. At the turn of the century (1890 - 1950) Fort Casey was one of three defensive sites defending access to the Puget Sound from the Pacific Ocean.

Fort Casey Historical State Park information.

Deception Pass Bridge

We couldn't pass on the pictorial

Ginny & the 10 inch gun

From the Guard Tower

Sadie's first ferry ride

Arriving at Port Townsend

A new throne, engine maintenance, great weather & engine problems, and back on the water by Monday...

It was a crazy weekend!!! I had a four day weekend, Ginny's brother Lou is in town and the head is broken (Ginny did it - that's my story and I'm sticking to it). So the plan was for Sadie and I to head up on Friday and stop by Seattle's Marine Sanitation store and Fisheries Supply store (one of my new favorites). Do some maintenance on Saturday, take Lou sailing on Sunday and head home on Monday. Easy and the weather forecast had promise.

First task was long overdue - changing the oil. I can't remember the last time I've changed the oil in anything, I pretty sure the last attempt I made was on my first car, The Brown Bomber (1980 Datsun 210). Imagine my surprise when I learned that the oil had to be pumped out since there was no drain plug in the oil pan. It went so well that I even changed the fuel filter and fuel water separator filter. Next Sadie and I set off to replace the shower drain pump but quickly ran into a snag since I couldn't reach the screw head and nut at the same time, so that project went on hold.

Then I tackled the head. Little did Ginny know but I had no intention of fixing our Headmate head since neither of us can stand it. I had every intention of surprising her with an electric head (bring on the push button flush!!).... But then I learned how much a push button flush really cost, especially when you figure in the requirement for pressurized water which meant a water pump dedicated for the toilet ($150).... So I made the command decision that we are okay with pump flushing. At least for now, but I did upgrade our commode after I learned how much the Headmate replacement parts were. The folks at Marine Sanitation were great and new throne is awesome, it's a Raritan PH-II with a lever type handle that simultaneously pulls water in and discharges waste with every pump. Sweet!

 Sunday the weather was shaping up to be great!! Sunny with 10-15 knots of wind - prefect for Lou's first sail. Ginny and Lou arrived early and after breakfast at Calico Bakery we set after our pre departure task list. Ginny took the dogs out for some business while I fired up the engine and started disconnecting the shore power line. Five minutes later the engine sputtered out and died, that was at 10:00 am. It didn't start again until 7:45 pm. I can't even begin to list the number of lessons we learned that day, it would take a few pages for sure, everything from don't crank the engine more than 10 times with the raw water intake open to air in the fuel line is bad... even a little bit. It was one hell of a frustrating day as we watched sailboats come and go all day to take part in the prefect weather while we were stranded in the marina.

Anacortes and Cap Sante Marina
Thanks to the engine manual onboard, Google and various blogs we were able to figure everything out and get the engine running again. We were so confident that on Monday we headed for open water with Lou. In true Pacific Northwest fashion... it rained... and snowed a little, but we had a good 8 mile sail in Fidalgo Bay and Lou even drove for a while.

BJ after a long walk... the mechanics had to take a break... a long one

Sadie up past her bed time

Captain Ginny giving some... 

advice to the new helmsman

Lou at the helm

Sunday, February 13, 2011


It was time for a weekend on the boat... I had just finished 12 days in the field followed by a not so great week of work; and Ginny spent 3 weeks in Japan followed by a not so great week at work.  Friday night finally arrived and we were off to the boat with the dogs for a quiet, mind clearing weekend.

Once there we experienced, first hand, the Anacortes winter winds....  After rocking and rolling all Friday night we battened down the hatches, rigged the chart plotter up so we could watch the wind speed from inside and switched to travel mugs for coffee.  I was able to catch a picture of the chart plotter with a wind speed 39.8 kts (45.8 mph).  The forecast called for the winds to continue well into Saturday night, so I took advantage of the empty slip next to us and added some dock lines to help keep Cold Feet from being blown into the dock.  

45.8 mph winds!!
Since we were sequestered in the cabin I knocked out some work to hopefully ease the load this week (dad, notice the Apple sticker on my Dell).  Ginny tackled some cleaning and we both messed with our iPads.  Unfortunately we were only able to live vicariously through the dogs who napped, Sadie in our sleeping bag... so we had to mess around with her (plus it's her birthday - she's 8!),

We were going to head out on Sunday with a break in the weather but never quite made it out of the slip.  I did leave the extra lines since the forecast calls for gale winds again on Monday... Sorry Cap Sante Marina, hopefully no one will move in next door.

Have a great week.

-Kevin and Ginny

It's time to get up Sadie... Happy B-Day!
We got the dogs out during
break in the winds... I wonder
where Ginny is...?
Work on a Saturday
Go away... I'm napping... I might bite you...

What you think this is your sleeping bag?

Prepared for the next round of wind