Mission Aborted!

Because over a week has passed since I posted, I assume it must be winter. By this I mean that basically time passes without my recognizing it, one day blurring into another as the sun barely makes it above the horizon. Yesterday we saw this weird glow behind our neighbor’s house. The trees were glowing and the fence was smoking. We thought something was on fire. It turned out to be the sun, which apparently actually DOES exist, and the wooden fence was steaming because of it.  We were going to try to photograph it, but it was gone before we could find the camera. Such is existence in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a Buddhist state of mind. There is only the now.

On the sailing front we actually got to ride on a boat today. Here’s the back story:

In my last post I waxed politically incorrect about being a girl and being left out of the boy’s sailing trip from Bellingham Bay down to Tacoma. I had done the wife/mother thing of buying plenty of hand and foot warmers, making sure everyone had warm clothing, sleeping bags and pillows, and good, nourishing food for the journey. I had done my worrying. I had lists. I spent money. The car was loaded with supplies collected from various stores and from Moonrise.

Then, making the best of this situation, as is my way when I’m in a good mood, I made my plans for the three days I would have alone at home. I would wrap presents, I would attend a concert with a friend, I would cook Christmas cookies and prepare all the cookie plates I give to people each year. I would have the bed all to myself and sleep sprawled in the middle. I would read with the light on well into the night.  The plans involved never taking my pajamas off for the entire weekend, failing to shower, and possibly playing some video games on the Wii. Who says I don’t know how to relax?

But I was much, much too prepared. I should know better. In my life this kind of organization is never rewarded.  The trip is cancelled.  We drove up to get Andrew in Bellingham today having decided that we would put Danger Kitten in the marina up there for the bad part of winter. Turns out that ever since I got Andrew those spiffy Gill sailing bibs, he’s been spending much time on the Danger Kitten. Who knew? We really want him to use the boat, even in the winter and if he is sailing, it doesn’t make much sense to keep it in Tacoma. And the cost for storing such a small boat is not that much, so it’s worth having it in the marina during the stormy season. I predict Andrew will sleep better when he isn’t worrying about his boat, and we will, too. The bonus is that we get our son at home for an extra three days! I can bake cookies and hang out in my pajamas with him at home.

Andrew borrowed this dinghy to row out and retrieve his own dinghy and bring it ashore, leaving a float to mark the position of his anchor. He and Mike will retrieve the anchor in early January.

Andrew’s was the only boat at the guest dock. Even with the cheap winter rates. Note the sunny sky. It’s not Tacoma.

Andrew had moved his boat to the marina yesterday and put it at the guest dock. We got to ride on the boat all the way to the new slip. Hey, it’s the most we’ve been actually ON the water in over a month. I’ll take what I can get.

There’s a great marine store near this marina and we needed to get a 20 amp adapter for his electrical connection so we went inside. They had one, sure they did, for 70$. Wow! Then we looked at anchor rollers because that’s something he really needs on Danger Kitten. They had a perfect one for about 75$. Suffering a little sticker shock, we tried the awesome second hand marine store, Pacific Marine,  just down the street. It’s the kind of place that invites hours of poking around. We came out with the exact same anchor roller, new with tag, and a 20 amp adaptor for 70$ total. Gotta love those second hand stores! Also gotta love spending the money on such a small boat. Your dollar really does go farther with a small craft. Too bad I’m not even going to consider crossing an ocean on a 25 foot boat. Not a chance.

This is what happens when the wind kicks up to 40 knots and the jib lines are not stowed below. A line gets caught underneath the hatch and pulls the hinge out. This little project will be attended to in January. Watch for it. I heard Mike talking about West Systems…

And so Mike and Andrew will have the father/son time when Andrew goes back up to school. They will do a small repair to the foreword hatch. It was damaged by high winds and a line getting caught under the hatch while the boat was at anchor, and he needs to rework the electrical. The batteries are completely dead because the only way he has to charge them up is to put the boat in the marina. He’s thinking of designing a wind generator to keep them charged.

Mike and Andrew checking the batteries. They were DOA because the charge was allowed to get too low for too long. Lesson learned.

So they’ll go up on a Friday and spend a day or so doing manly boat repairs together and sleeping on the boat. At least they will be in a warm, dry boat with heat, and I’ve already stocked it with food. You can’t beat that.

They were selling this home made wind generator at the second hand store in Bellingham for about 130$.

Oh, and in case you don’t remember it, the weather forecast quoted in my last post was for a significant cold front to move into this area starting today. It was true. The temperature is now a frigid 33 degrees. And, sailors, it’s not much fun at all being in a little boat with no heat in that kind of cold. Not one bit. So it was a wise choice to forego the adventure for right now.


12 thoughts on “Mission Aborted!

  1. Ha!! I’m reading this curled up in the middle of my bed surrounded by purring fuzzballs after a relaxing week sleeping all sprawled out in the middle of *my* bed because mine has been in Texas all week…ahhhh…. so nice to have these little interludes from time to time.
    Bellingham does have better winter weather I think, as far as sunshine goes anyway. Does get colder though. We had a cold spell when we were up there when it got down to 9°. Brrr!!!!

    • Was going to add it sounds like you had a lovely day in Bellingham and I’m glad Andrew will have use of the boat this winter, too. Sounds like all around a better plan! ((And iif I ever manage to get back up there I am going to check out that used boat stuff store. It sounds like a fun place to poke around in even without a boat)

      • It’s a cool spot. There is now a used boat yard that parts out sailboats up in Bellingham. That’s another field trip when the weather gets nicer. Yes, it’s pretty cold up there. They do have different weather than we do. We like it there.

        • Yes, it is a pretty wonderful area to live in. I didn’t want to leave after living there for 2 years but the job situation can be tough. With Rick’s current job we might be able to make it work because he works from home but other opportunities can be scarce. Lots of folks taking whatever job they can find just to be able to live there. “Hi, I’m your waiter today. And, with my double masters’ degrees I’m well-qualified to help you choose your entree today. Please let me know if I can be of assistance”. (j/k, but still) 🙁

  2. You know what they say: something like need and frugality (or poverty as the case may be) is the mother of invention. Andrew has always been a good tinkerer. We’re also considering a solar panel.

      • He’s an Archaeology major, with a lifetime interest in ancient tools and weapons for hunting and warfare. He’ll find a way to combine sailing, archaeology, and probably writing or photography.

        • Interesting!
          Hmmm….writer/researcher for the History Channel/Smithsonian? Staff writer for National Geographic?

          Is he planning on grad school as well?

          (Best holiday wishes to all of you as well!)

  3. Cookies in PJ’s with cold weather outside! That is what my dreams are made of for the Holidays. Here we have 75 degree misty humidity that makes hair suck and warm clothes a joke. You know its bad when you stroll around the French Quarter looking at decorations while sweating. LOL.

    I think it’s awesome that Andrew is using the boat more!! That’s just what you wanted I imagine. It will teach him so much. Happy Holidays to you and Mike!

    • I remember those Christmases in Louisiana and Texas. We went swimming on Christmas day and wore shorts, two things I don’t even do in the height of summer up here. So to add to your dream: we now have snow. So snow, warm gingerbread, and tart home made lemon marmalade. MMM!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.