Saturday, December 17, 2011

Barrancas de Cobre: Copper Canyon

Painting of Tarahumara Indian in the Hotel del Mirador (Viewpoint Hotel into the canyon!)
Home of the Tarahumara Indians, a fleet-footed tribe that lives in and famously run along the canyons. Women wear traditional colorful dresses and augment their subsistence living by sale of their beautiful crafts - baskets, jewelry, clothing. This is also the area where the Menonites settled in 1922, and they sell their cheese locally.
Chepe Train ride was pleasant, long and safe. The tracks through the mountains give your heart pause.
We enjoyed several days here staying at Cabinas Senor Diaz, and touring with his son, Jose, to see the area. Horseback riding highlighted our final morning before the 9 hour train ride back to "Topo".

Topolobampo - gateway to Copper Canyon

Shrimpers abound as you enter the long and shallow harbor into this small village. The shrimp boats are tracked closely by pelicans hoping for a treat, and head out early in the AM for their catch. We scored 1/2 kilo of fresh prawns for dinner!
Any place with 5 vowels like my home town Oconomowoc, well, I just had to visit.
We spent a couple of nice days here before heading to Copper Canyon, first cleaning the boat (it's the first thing we do after sailing, esp across the choppy Sea of Cortez where Mike was soaked by a rogue wave), then reprovisioning, showering and trying to stay warm. It's "cold" here in Sinaloa, and even colder as we headed to 7,000 ft in Chihuahua.
Simple services, friendly staff and I am sitting at a plastic Coca-Cola table outside the marina office for internet. The staff are all excited about today's Christmas party, which they invited us to. They will have 2 pinatas (a huge Christmas thing) and as the cute office girl told me "y cantamos Karoake" - sing, and no doubt eat great food. Sorry to miss it! Karaoke machine being installed by 3 guys and the requisite dog (they are everywhere!)
We head today at noon for 48 est. hours to Mazatlan.

Home of Zorro: Posada del Hidalgo in El Fuerte, Sinaloa

Zorro was born in El Fuerte - who knew? His home is now heralded in the Posada del Hidalgo, and we really enjoyed our days here. El Fuerte was 2 bus rides from Topolobampo, on the way to the Copper Canyon. Spent 2 days in El Fuerte, celebrated the national holiday of Virgen de Guadalupe, then 6-7 hours by Chepe (Chihuahua Pacifico) train up into beautiful mountains and copper-colored canyons filled with desert foliage and incredible vistas!

Bill, captain of Tahnoo, jesting with Zorro, who appeared during happy hour!

Check out our Picasa photos of this very cool hotel, where we bargained for 1/2 price rooms - the power of booking 3 rooms. We traveled with new friends from Canada - from the Baja Haha we met in La Paz: sailing vessels Tahnoo and Borboleta, both hailing from Vancouver. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Discovering BCS (Baja California Sur, MX)

Greetings from La Paz: truly the city of peace and beautiful destination (although when the winds howl at us at 30 knots like the Northerlies hitting us right now, it's darn windy here...).

As we moor in cozy Marina Costa Baja in La Paz, away from the big winds and in a deluxe moorage (with the exchange rate, it's inexpensive for us cruisers), we are enjoying a dinner of radish greens (really, good - just purchased today at Farmer's Market), with the last of our "stock of goodies" - bratwurst from San Diego and chocolate from Trader Joe's. Vestiges of US life.

I know we have been remiss in updating our blog, however we are living and learning at 120 MPH. Life is fast, rich and full - "muy rico". Catching on to local customs, language, VHF communications (the "net"), shopping (50 stories right there!!!), moorage and marina life and so much more takes a lot of time, energy and concentration. My Spanish improves daily - I now have taxi drivers helping my Spanish grammar... And it's truly as Steve Martin said when in France: "it's like they have a different word for everything".

The weather controls our lives now so you deal with whatever comes. Travel changes to meet the demands of the sea, winds and tides.
Nov 4: safe arrival in Cabo San Lucas!! What a venture south.

Spent 4 nights on the hook (at anchor in the bay outside the city) and finally scored a slip in the marina for a few days to wash the boat, wash ourselves, take on water in our tank, have electricity (!) to charge toothebrushes and have more lights, and walk the docks. When we anchor out, we "dinghy in" for land excursions.

We moved north into Sea of Cortez from Cabo (which has changed drastically since our last dive trip there in '03!):
- Bahia los Frailes (Bay of the Monks) 4 days, many stories
- Ensenada de lost Muertos (Cove of the Dead) - 2 nights, many stories
- Caleta Lobos - outside of San Lorenzo Harbor - 1 night
- Marina de La Paz - 7 nights
- Isla Espiritu Santo (with Teresa and Dan from Portland) - 3 nights
- Marina Costa Baja - back in La Paz
One of the pools at Marina Costa Baja - hot tub in the background. Great place to catch a margarita and the sunset!

Next destination 12/8 (my mom's  BD): we head north across the Sea of Cortez to Topolobampo with new found friends from Canada (they did the Baja Haha with us but only recently met). We plan to explore the famous Copper Canyon inland via train and bus for a few days.

Then we proceed south along the mainland coast to Mazatlan which we understand is rich in history.
Colorful marzipan candies and all things Christmas on an open cart along the city streets of La Paz.
Then, we cruise for 2 more days to Puerto Vallarta where we will spend Christmas (!) with Lisa and John from Orcinius, new friends we met in Vancouver in June (thanks to Ilene)

Links:
https://picasaweb.google.com/100074699878222670561
https://picasaweb.google.com/100074699878222670561/TodosSantos?authuser=0&feat=directlink

I am not able to just provide a photo link for our google web albums on picasa. Irritating. So, if you go to this album, then select home you will see all of the albums we've uploaded. Lots more photos, not enough time to upload yet.

Boat Notes: Pura Vida Specifications

For those who may be interested in the details of our boat and her many features, we've compiled an overview of her specifications:

Vessel description: Islander Freeport 41
Configuration:
V-berth forward stateroom with adjoining head.
Next aft is the salon with settee and navigation station to starboard and galley to port.
4 steps lead to the center cockpit with canvas dodger.
Captain’s stateroom is aft with adjoining head and shower.

Hull: Fiberglass
LOA (length overall): 41'
Beam: 13'
Draft: 6’
Tonnage: 30 tons gross

Engine: 65 hp Perkins 4154
Cruising speed: 6 knots

Tankage:
Fuel: Diesel ~88 gallons
Water: ~88 gallons
Waste: 28 gallons with macerator

Ground Tackle:
Anchors: Mason 50 lb with 280 feet HT 3/8” chain
40 lb CQR, 280 feet of rope
22 lb Fortress auxiliary stern anchor with rode and chain
Windlass: 12 vdc

Rigging:
Mast: aluminum
Rig type: ketch
Rigging: 1x19 stainless steel with machine swage heavy-duty fittings and Amsteel running backstays
Furling gear: Pro Furlers for jib and staysail
Winches: Lewmar 2 speed self-tailing and 2 additional winches

Sails:
Headsail with whisker pole
Staysail
Main
Mizzen

Systems:
2 135 watt Kyocera Solar Panels
Batteries: 12 vdc system
Inverter/charger: 2 inverters with 85 amp, high-output alternator
Potable water: holding tank and 12 vdc pressure system
6 gallon water heater
Sanitation: Raritan electric and manual heads

Electrical: 110 VAC; 12 VDC

Electronics / Navigation:
Auto pilot: Raymarine SmartPilot
RayMarine Wind Indicator
JRC Radar
GPS Systems:
Lowrance Color Chart Plotter with Radar LMS-527 CDFGPS
Zenstar GPS
ProGin GPS
Garmin GPS 12 handheld
Nobeltec Navigation Software
Fugawi Navigation Software
Compass: E.S. Ritchie & Sons
VHF Radios: Standard Horizon GX2150 with AIS/RAM; ICOM handheld
SSB (Single Side Band HF Radio): ICOM M700 Pro

Galley:
Range / oven: Force Ten marine 3-burner Propane with broiler
2 galley refrigeration systems : Vitifrigo refrigerator/freezer; top access freezer
Microwave: Magic Chef 110VAC

Safety:
Given Buoy Liferaft, 6 person
Ditch bag with EPIRB, ICOM handheld VHF radio

Transportation / Sports:
AquaPro RIB 10’ Dinghy with 9.8 Tohatsu 2-stroke outboard and backup 5 Tohatsu outboard
2 Equinox 10.4 sea kayaks
2 Schwinn Montague folding bikes
2 SCUBA tanks and full gear

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sailed into Cabo – burned but otherwise unscathed!

We are safely ensconced in Cabo San Lucas after an amazing journey along the entire Baja California coast, stopping at two ports before arriving in Cabo with what remained of the flotilla. The original group was 171 boats, of which somewhere around 130 made it. We are proud to be part of the fleet that made it! Winds permitting, we sailed about 40% of the journey of 750 miles.

We have such an incredible sense of accomplishment for having traversed the many, many miles from Seattle to Cabo. The entire west coast of the US and Mexico, with a side trip to Canada and plenty of adventures along the way.

As usual, internet is such a luxury/ In fact, we had to buy margaritas at the Tiki Lounge just to get online. Seriously, though, it’s a good thing I am not counting the number of hours wasted trying to get internet access.

We sailed into the beautiful (but heavily built up and commercialized) bay on 3 November. We celebrated with various Baja Ha-Ha participants patting ourselves on the back to relish in our accomplishment. At the closing ceremony on 5 Nov, all received awards, and we were 3rd in the “Frijole Division” comprised of about 10 similar size/style sailboats.

We are preparing the boat to leave tomorrow for the next phase of our trip - heading slowly to La Paz!! This will be a more relaxed journey with stops along the way, to finally do some warm water diving (yea!) and enjoy some of the beautiful country that we are currently calling “home”.

P.S.  the burns: Mike making coffee on the sloshy seas and he seriously burned his hand. Judy burned both hands in the girls/guys tug of war at Bahia Santa Maria beach party, injuring 8 of my 10 digits, now finally healing.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Flags of Pura Vida

As we build our library of flags that tell our story on board, we'll be adding to this folder:
https://picasaweb.google.com/100074699878222670561/TheFlagsOfPuraVida?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCIzUqc65_qHTFA&feat=directlink

There are also more photos added to other albums - with more to come as time allows. Go to My Photos to see more...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Visitors in San Diego!

We had the extreme pleasure and honor to host Kelly and Jeff, our good friends from Portland (and Jeff traveling on business from Chicago), who came to ensure that we are on the straight and narrow as we venture south! We did non-standard, alternative things during their visit, because that’s what you do on a boat.

And what a thrill to get a call / email from my cousin Pete who lives in my old stomping grounds of Wisconsin, and was in San Diego for business with his lovely wife, Jane! We had a wonderful visit and breakfast at a French cafĂ© before they came and visited our vessel at Cabrillo Isle Marina. They saw firsthand what a 41 foot boat of living space really looks like, and I believe, went gleefully to their new place in AZ with 3,000 sq ft. Ha.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Havin' sum fun in San Diego!

We are happily ensconced in San Diego and will be here for another week. We leave next Mon 24th!! Mexico here we come. We have been meeting others who are doing the Baja Ha-Ha so that's been great to meet others who will be part of the "flotilla"! There are 11 other boats on our finger alone at this marina all flying their Baja burgee (flag). Very fun pot luck yesterday on the dock to meet fellow cruisers. (this is part of B dock where we are living for 10 days - that's Pura Vida on the L with the blue kayaks and sail covers at the bow. Note all the green flags that are up on the rigging of various boats)
Last night we dinghied across the San Diego Bay to a wonderful concert with our Portland  catamaran friends (Lisa and John on Orcinius). We saw Colbie Caillat through the palm trees :-) We attended for free from on the water (think waterfront blues fest). Lovely ride back under the waning moon over the water!

Tonight we are going to a seminar on marine electronics; Wed is one on pressure cooking and Fri will be dealing with rigging issues while underway. Great opps to learn important things that will help for safe and enjoyable passage.

Today Mike is installing our new alternator, and Judy is sanding hatch covers, doing computer projects to get our electronics working together and we are making our final provisioning lists. More stuff!

And we think we've found our 3rd person to share the helm responsibilities as we begin this next MAJOR journey south.

The Plan:

 First leg, 72 hours, non stop to Turtle Bay for a party.

Second leg, we head to  Bahia Santa Maria (hard to  even find  on a chart) for special Baja Ha-Ha boats' customs clearance and no amenities (fuel, food) but there's a restaurant that opens for 1 day to handle the Baja crowd. How crazy is that?

Third leg,  on to Cabo at the southern tip of Baja California peninsula by November 5th.

 Total miles: 750.

 Words we are currently living by:

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the  trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."  - Mark Twain

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Just starting month 4 on board - so, here are "Key Learnings" to date

Judy's Top 10 "key learnings" in these first three months! They change daily, so here's today's compilation...
1. Complacency is never a good thing
2. One hand on the boat at all times
3. Panic S-L-O-W-L-Y (credit to Captain Chuck, our Canadian instructor)
4. Have a back up plan for everything you do. As our friend Steve says, "Schmitt happens" so be prepared (there are no AAA offices on the ocean)
5. Deploy the liferaft only after securing the painter (lifeline) to the boat first - go figure
6. The "3 second rule" of dropping food increases exponentially the longer you're on board
7. Laundromats are the great equalizer
8. Treat the 3 feet between your boat and the water as if it were 3,000 (credit to a young captain we met in Astoria)
9. It's good to have friends (on and off the water)!
10. The word "just" no longer applies when you live on a boat - nothing is fast

We've made it to San Diego!

We have happily made it to San Diego – via stops of various lengths at wonderful harbors of Monterey, Morro Bay, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Newport Bay, Oceanside (great plywood signage) and today, gleefully entered the beautiful harbor of San Diego! What a long, strange trip it’s been, to quote Jerry Garcia, from San Francisco and passing under the Golden Gate Bridge at 9:39PM on September 29th.
And, we are blown away to stop and ponder that we left from Seattle on that sunny Sunday, September 4th from Shilshole Bay Marina. Wow! That’s been a long journey with many experiences – mostly good and certainly full of “key learnings” as we used to say during my days at Intel. Talk about a long time ago…
Breathe deep, take it all in and stay out of the restricted areas of the military operations of which there are many in SoCal. Plus, the many oil rigs of central coast that loom on the horizon as “tron” characters during the day and brightly light cities at night as you cruise south.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lintball of the Universe

Our experiences on the open sea at night are something I just can’t put my arms around to describe. During the overwhelming time on your shift, and subsequently during days and nights that followed keeping watch, and even when safely ensconced in a harbor in San Francisco Bay, Morro Bay or Ventura, you really get the vibe that the fabric of the universe late at night is so immense. All the interwoven sights, sounds, smells – the night sky meeting the water or the fog surrounding you in gray – it’s hard to take it all in. And then there’s you, that little “lint ball” floating on the waves. You’re just so small. It's a perspective that puts you in your place.
We watch the ocean and the minutes as they slowly tick by during 3-4 hours, wanting to share the experiences, unable to as the others sleep below preparing for their time at the helm. Eyes are peeled peering into the darkness for a light that might be a freighter or fishing vessel, watching the bioluminescence of the waves as they splash by – you can imagine so many crazy things in the water. Was that a ?? Then it’s gone. Was it real?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Seattle to San Francisco!


Bigger than life! This trip was that and more. Lucky for you, not enough time to document the tales, just to let you know we made it thus far!
We successfully and frightfully traversed 337 nautical miles from Seattle to Astoria with just the two of us on our first ocean passage. And a huge one it was with many stories yet to be documented – let us say that fog, wind, current and choppy waters (and Judy running us aground at Protection Island as we entered the big waters and heavy currents of the Straits of Juan de Fuca) were just some of the experiences that were our fate. We traveled 19.5 hrs to our first resting point at Neah Bay. We crashed for 3 hours, grabbed lunch at the only restaurant in the Native American village and met a couple who were coming up from Mexico so we swapped a few quick stories. But we had to move on, so exchanged calling cards.
Off to Astoria on a 28 hour journey that brought us into a foggy and choppy Astoria bar crossing an hour earlier than was preferred for the best bar crossing (tide and current). Can we just say that there are no rest stops along the way, so you go for what you’ve got ahead of you. It was a treacherous passing into the fog with Judy creating real time waypoints for us to pass between the buoys and Mike skillfully at the helm navigating unseen. An occasional huge freighter would appear from the fog just to keep us on our toes.
We gleefully entered the harbor and stayed for 3 glorious days at the Port of Astoria, celebrating Judy’s birthday and sharing time with visiting family and friends! We enjoyed a bit of relaxation then cleaning and prepping the boat for our next big journey to Newport. In Astoria, we picked up Linda, crew member #1 and headed for 27 hours to Newport (132 nm) with 3 of us sharing the helm, so that was a nice treat: 3 hours on and 6 off (when just Mike and I, it’s 4 hours at the helm, 4 off).
Nicole, crew member #2 (she and Linda are experienced NW sailing / racers) joined us in Newport. We spent the night with 5 on board, then said good bye to Mark, Nicole’s driver, and headed to San Francisco! Those next 4.5 days were big. 3 hours on, 9 hours off, so great to have 4 of us sharing the “driving”. This trip was bigger than we could have anticipated, and yet, we had it better than those who followed (hearing stories of weather, storms, etc.).  
Many tales of sloshing and bravery to Bodega Bay, just north of San Francisco for much needed showers, a journey to a restaurant (in a borrowed pick up with 4 of us), and a good but short night’s rest: up at 4:30 for 5AM departure for SFO. The journey from Newport to SFO crossed 240 nm to CA border then 468 into San Francisco Bay to Alameda. Roughly 710 miles, but who’s counting.
All of this is why I haven’t written previously, just trying to process the huge journey that brought us to the totally fab experience of going under the Golden Gate Bridge in the afternoon sunshine! Mike at the helm, the crew anxious, smiling and taking photos. 
We have been in SFO Bay area from Fri night, 16 Sept, across from Coast Guard Island (Alameda) - very cool for so many reasons. Not the least of which, Mike was a “coastie” so he jumps when they do revelry at sunrise, and the views of USCG ships just across the harbor are incredible – at sunrise, sunset and during the glorious fall days that we have been blessed with in San Fran.
We are getting our fuel polished (who knew?) and tank cleaned on Wed AM then start the next part of our journey to places further south!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The first two months!

July 7 – Aug 2
Moving on board and getting adjusted to life on a boat! After our hasty departure from our home, we had a lot of stuff to get settled into a substantially smaller living environment. This wasn’t without its own sets of ups and downs and we made a lot of changes to, well, pretty much everything. Judy had a bout or two of “wanting to go home” then Mike politely shared the little tidbit that we WERE home.
 Downsizing, manual processes, rethinking.  Loaded and reloaded hatches, moved things around twenty times until it seemed ‘right‘ . This will continue to change as our learning curve increases!
We quickly realized that we’re in school now full time. Both smarter and stronger with a few bruises or “badges” to our names.
Aug 3 – 7
Spent 5 intense and great days with Captain Chuck on board to literally show us the ropes on Pura Vida. This was Mike’s fabulous idea and the captain helped us learn practical skills for our ketch and for sailing her. We picked him up in Port Angeles where we learned some basic docking and anchoring skills with a full keel boat that doesn’t like to go in reverse (some say it backs up like a bale of hay). He hails from Sidney BC and we cruised and sailed in Canada until delivering him safely to his marina on Saturday.  We stayed at his home base marina - the fisherman’s working marina, where boats were moored 3 and 4 deep on each dock. Crazy maneuvering out of there but we made it safely then headed out to practice our skills and take a breath!
Aug 7 – 13
Tooled around Canada and the San Juans, made another pilgrimage to Port Townsend – 3 visits to get our rigging installed and adjusted. We learned that town and that marina!
 6:45 AM on Wed, Aug 10, Judy at the helm with sun rising behind the clouds. Behind us, BC and the cloud formations over land and sea. Sidney hails to our west as we travel south to US Boundary and customs bound at Roche Harbor Marina, San Juan Island. Fighting the current and major swirls as we cross Boundary Pass and head into the Haro Strait. Graced by a Dall Porpoise heading North with their small black fin and shiny surface against the morning light, just 25 yards to Starboard. A sure sign it will be another amazing day on the water.
Just like when we headed North into Canada on Wednesday Aug 3, leaving behind a shroud of fog.
Seals pop up at random and eyeball us as they lazily coast by, sometimes doing their full body flip into the water, other times gracefully dropping below the surface with absolutely no sign of their existence.
Heron fly over the islands squawking to let other creatures know they are around. They gracefully land on the shore and in the trees, beautiful in flight, awkward yet knowing as they land on a branch.
Kingfishers cry as they zoom across a bay to announce their territory. We were literally divebombed by two as they raced across the stern and flew through the rigging of a docked boat we passed as we departed Roche Harbor Marina. Being so territorial, it was no doubt a test of wills – fighting for who will have that key spot to roost and fish. Their cry is so distinct.
Sightings:
Porpoises – 6 times
Purple Martin nests at Oly dock
Kingfisher
Artic Tern
Eagle
Osprey
Great Blue Heron
Surf Scoter
Pigeon Guillemot
Pelagic Cormorant
Turkey Vulture
Auklet
Murre
Seal
Stellar Sea Lion
Sparrow at Poets Cove in the butterfly bush, quizzically looking at us just 3 feet away.
Bumblebee (landed in Mike’s drink at Poets Cove, poor thing "drunkenly" climbing the rail after being ousted by Mike's dueling olive picks)

Aug 14 – 21
Time for a break from the non-stop work!! Had a glorious week cruising in the San Juans with Michelle & Tony (our best man ‘way back in ’07). Started sunny Saturday with a visit from longtime friend Kathryn who drove up to check out the boat and have lunch. As we returned to our boat loaded with provisions for our first long term guests, there was another Islander Freeport 41 in the next slip! In a marina with 600+ slips, odds were slim. We celebrated that small world moment with new made friends and nosily toured each other’s boat – what changes they’d made, space and sail configurations. Quite fun!
Crabbing, kayaking, cruising, enjoying sunsets and occasional porpoise siting, photos and happy hour. Michelle and Judy got oysters at Sucia Island at low tide, wallowing in 55 degree water up to our knees, selecting stubborn oysters from the rocks. Star gazing overwhelming! We enjoyed the hot tub at Lopez and Rosario Resort on Orcas, and took in spectacular views from Rosario’s perch. Took in the hour long organ and piano concert and history tour with slide show of Robert Moran’s creation and lifestyle at Rosario, lo these many years ago.
Delivered Michelle & Tony back to Anacortes Sunday (following stories of midnight run via taxi to the fire station on Orcas to check out Michelle’s concussion and more…), we waited out a storm before departing on Tuesday for Orcas Island. This lousy weather day gave us time to more boat work, do 3 loads of laundry, and as we learn every day, reset our expectations of what any day will bring us.  Every day, it is what it is as we have no control over weather.
Up at 6:30 off to Orcas to longtime friends from Judy’s Eddie Bauer days, Kathleen and Steve’s
historical cabin on Diamond Point. south side of Orcas. They “lent” us their beach house with a mooring ball for our first night on land since July 7th, enjoy their incredible outdoor shower with hot water and a view of Mt Baker, and do laundry someplace other than a deluxe marina laundro-mat…all awesome. Enjoyed Prosecco as Mike cracked crab at sunset and Judy made salads for crab cake dinner on the deck. Pinch me, yet again.
Aug 24
Heading toward Seattle for the next phase of our adventure, we stopped at Port Townsend for best price diesel, visit to pump out station and visit to Port Townsend Rigging for more parts. Anchored near the paper mill, dinghied in to Port Townsend Brewery for beers, ‘live’ bluegrass music and internet access (thanks to Safeway across the way). Our docking skills improve every day and that makes our marina experiences.
Aug 25 – 27
Seattle-bound for more work. New friend Linda (referral from sailing friends in PDX) evaluated and discussed travel south – sailing experience, boat considerations, logistics and crew. After 24 hours on board, she agreed to be our experienced sailor and yes, we are heading to Mexico!
We are beginning our journey south around 9/10! Are we sure? Yes.  Are we apprehensive? Yes!
It’s a 24-7 trip for 7 – 10 days from Astoria to San Fran - we’ll have 3 or 4 of us to manage on the open ocean, up to 50 miles off shore! Wow.
Aug 28 – Aug 31
 Shilshole Bay Marina for a few days while we waited for packages, shopped for electronics and enjoyed visitors from Seattle and Portland. We made the big adventure through the Ballard Locks, the large lock at the last minute and we made it OK.
Sep 1 – 3
Docked right outside Ballard Locks where Miller & Miller Boatyard is installing refrigeration unit for warm weather refrig. Have 3 other vendors helping us with life raft, dodger repair (cover in front of the helm), autopilot and more.
The cool thing is integration of hardware and software for self-steering and navigation on the trip down the west coast along with wind speed and direction, radar, GPS, chart plotter and AIS (where are the other vessels).
We check weather, barometer settings, and watch the skies for what is happening. Our world has become much smaller as we are very focused on our safety and next decisions about travel.
When we’re done here, we’ll head from Seattle to Port Angeles then our first trip on the open ocean – along the north then west coast of WA to Astoria! Wow. We had a chance for a crew member but weather is looking good so we are doing the 36 hr trip with 2 of us, changing helm at regular intervals for food and sleep!
Next Stop: Astoria
Here for final provisioning and details then head out to San Francisco Bay!! Ready or not we are making the move south toward Mexico!
We will determine our next steps with crew member Linda once we get to SFO, how her timing works, etc.