Gearing Up!

June 23 is fast approaching. In case you are wondering why that day is important, aside from it being Mike’s birthday,  it’s the day by which if Moonrise doesn’t sell we will be sailing her back to her home port in Tacoma and getting her outfitted for an actual adventure. I’m holding my breath. In a recent post I threw down the proverbial gauntlet and challenged the Universe. Either sell our boat, or give us a good vacation this year. It’s just entirely possible we will get our vacation. So it’s hard to be sorry that the boat hasn’t sold yet. The vacation cannot come fast enough for me.

I want this. I want it now.

I want this. I want it now.

I remember the last time we headed up to Barkley Sound and how much planning we did for the trip. We bought a Spot Locator so family could keep track of us, only to realize when we failed to push the magic locator button at the end of the day, they got worried. Oy. That was a mistake. We dithered and bought things and laid on supplies like we were going to the far reaches of civilization. Imagine our dismay when we realized just how many boats there were up there in the wilds of Vancouver Island. And they actually have grocery stores there, too! Imagine that!

This time we are preparing in a different way. With all of our ‘stuff’ off of the boat, we have the opportunity to be choosy about what goes back onto her for the trip. Only things we know we will use will find their places below. Of course, that includes my hammock. I will need that desperately. And reading material of all kinds. I like to have a small library to choose from as the spirit moves me. Mike has bought another anchor off Craigslist to replace the one we lost last year in the ‘sailboat hard on the rocks‘ debacle, so that will go on the boat. This year we both have new cameras, one of them waterproof. And I have a fancy new Asus notebook computer with some fabulous navigation software that we’ll be reviewing. We can’t wait to try it out.

But that’s not the only new toy we’ll be having on this trip.

Looks like Mike had an early birthday this year! Is that a halo?

It may seem counter intuitive to some, but we bought an auto pilot for the boat. Yes, the boat will be for sale again when we get back, unless we find a buyer while we’re up there. But the way we look at it, if the boat doesn’t sell and we keep it awhile longer, we’ll enjoy having one. Going to Barkley Sound without one would still be fun, but it would mean taking turns being wheel slaves constantly as it’s likely there will be a lot of motoring time unless we get lucky. This will be a long trip and if we did something else for a vacation, that money would be spent anyhow. So we’ll get to use it for the trip, and as long as we have the boat. And it will make Moonrise that much more desirable to someone else in the future. See how happy Mike looks? That’s because we are going to learn so much about installing this thing and making it work and all that learning will benefit us the second time around.

While we’re waiting for next weekend, we’re busy reading some classic sailing books by Tristan Jones. I’ll be taking some of his books aboard for the trip. I’d never heard of him before, but noticed an entire shelf devoted to his considerable works at my local used book store. He tells a good yarn and did things most sane people wouldn’t even consider, such as taking his trimaran, S/V Outward Leg, across the rivers of Europe during the height of the cold war. Oh, and when he did this, he had only one leg, the other one being a wooden model allegedly carved for him by none other than Larry Pardey. I have not checked this out with Mr. Pardey, so I’ll just take Tristan’s word for it. His books are page turners and we found we couldn’t wait to see what kind of wild thing he did next. He must have been some kind of character. Pick up one of his books and see if you can read just one. By the time we come back, maybe I will have read them all.



12 thoughts on “Gearing Up!

  1. Exciting! You sound like you could do with a holiday, and if Moonrise isn’t selling you may as well be enjoying her. Love love love that hammock, I so want to be there right now!

    • My hammock is the envy of boaters everywhere! We are considering buying another portable one so Mike can swing with the waves, too.

  2. Good on ya for actually enjoying your boat! I am actually kind of shocked she hasn’t sold yet, based on the number of younger folks I see on the forums looking for a smaller, go anywhere boat but I suppose its a matter of location. Seems everyone wants to buy in Florida. Ok, so be it. Worst case scenario you’ll get some lovely shots of Moonrise n beautiful anchorages for her for sale page.
    I wish we could get more use out of our Auto Pilot around here- too much commercial traffic and shallow water to leave the helm. Guess it means we need to get the heck out of here….

    • We are completely shocked she hasn’t sold. We just don’t understand it. So the only way to make sense of it is to figure there is some larger reason why she needs to be ours for a bit longer and we just don’t know what it is yet. We are looking forward to playing with the autopilot as there will be long stretches of deep water where, unless we have wind, it will be motor boat ride. I plan to be the bow rider if the weather is good. This will be good practice. Yep, it sounds to me like you guys need to get the heck out of there where you can do the same!

    • If you already have the hammock, then you are good to go! You can use it at the dock, before Nirvana ever leaves. It will give your whole body the feeling of being on vacation. Give it a try!

  3. Maybe you should dock her at more different spots, like have her spend time in Anacortes with a big for sale sign after your trip. I know lots of Seattle folks get moorage there to be able to make weekend trips to the San Juans’ reasonable. Rick’s sister & BIL kept their cabin cruiser boat up there for a couple of years to save on gas & time motoring back and forth to Bellevue…

    • That’s a good point, Sue. Many times I’ve thought of getting moorage in Bellingham where Andrew has his boat because we’d be close to the San Juans that way, but then we’d not have the use of the boat except on weekends. Still, I wonder if it would be fun to have it up there sometimes. I’d be willing to make the drive to get a weekend in the islands more regularly. We’re going to keep a ‘for sale by owner’ sign on her during the trip.

  4. I am right with you guys… We don’t get a lot of nice days around here, so you should be on your boat! I spent my first full weekend on mine last weekend. Did my first Solo sail too. I used my Autopilot both when under sail and under power. It takes a little getting used to… I still didn’t want to go too far from the tiller… didn’t trust her (I named the Autopilot “Audrey”) but she did a decent job! it was really cool that I could focus on adjusting the sails, go down below for a few seconds if i needed to and so on.

    When you get around to installing the Autopilot on yours, Let me know if you would like an extra hand. I am pretty handy… Do you plan to berth her in the same place?

  5. Thanks for that offer, John. We will certainly keep it in mind. Also we do still want to see your boat. We will be on the same dock, different slip. Our good slip got taken before we even left. Don’t know how long she will be there, but we have the slip until the end of July at this point. I’ve been thinking of names for the autopilot. I’m sure Mike has something in mind.

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