Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Wonderful Week, All Good! -- 5/20/2015

This is "The week that Was" -- 

Willie's Tug's week at Cap Sante in Anacortes is one of her best experiences. We call it 'home' and enjoy seeing friends we have known over the years, and meeting new friends.

Atlas, a gorgeous motor yacht adorns the end of our "E" Dock, and I frequently hear the security guard directing incoming boats after hours to turn down the fairway immediately after they pass the green hull boat.

We are delighted to meet a couple with a loaded dock cart as they pass our slip.  They are Fred and Vic of M/Y Atlas.  "Passengers?" I ask; "No," they tell me, "We are the Captain and Crew getting ready to take a group to Alaska."  

Atlas is 95 feet long, and she will depart Anacortes June 8, traveling at 10 knots for ten hours a day to arrive at her destination of Sitka AK.  We laughingly ask if they would tow us, as that is where we are going, also.  Too late -- they will tow a 26 foot fishing boat for their guests.

We do hope to see Atlas somewhere along the way.

Atlas as seen from our slip on E Dock

M/Y Atlas

How many times over the years when we walked Dr. Jake, would someone come up to us and ask to pet him, because they had just lost their Golden or had to leave him home while they travel!

So, I can't miss the opportunity to teasingly speak to the couple with the sweet Golden on the dock today.  Hmmm....they look familiar -- the dog definitely looks familiar, and when we learn his name is Boatswain or Bosun, we remember that we met them at Reid Harbor on Stuart Island a few years ago. Dick and Donna recall Jake going by their boat on his way up the ramp for his walk every day.   Small world, good times.


Ray suggests a Captains' meeting at his home on Guemes Island for a relaxed Happy Hour and dinner.  He and Herb discuss plans for cruising together on the Alaska trip in June.   Brenna makes a raspberry-blueberry flan. Yum!

Lemon Zest for the Flan

Well, the week isn't all fun, some work is always lurking around.  The hum you hear is telling you the shower sump needs attention.  It doesn't matter that I have just made the bed this morning -- it gets unmade for access to the pump.

Herb the skipper/mechanic/plumber determines the major problem is that the float switch has gone bad, so he replaces it.

There goes a whole day in our lives, but we are good for another year!

Final preparations for the cruise to Alaska include getting spare parts from the Ranger Tug warehouse in Kent WA.  With a twinkle in Kenny's eye, he asks many questions on our departure date, ETA and destination.  Then he tells me he, too, is going to Sitka -- his grandparents will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary with a family trip on a cruise ship, and points on the calendar to their time to be in Sitka.  Our paths won't cross, but I ask him to leave me a note, "Kenny was here!"

It must be 'old home week' when Ivan of the Monroe plant (where Willie's Tug was built) arrives and Herb describes to him what he had encountered in the shower sump maintenance.  Ivan adds a new float switch to our parts package.

Andrew knows immediately what the hum is -- it had taken Herb an hour at 3A to 4A to diagnose the source, by pulling each fuse in succession.

Glancing around the office, I see my photo -- a sales flyer including a picture of Vicki and myself taken on our cruise down Hood Canal last summer.  Nice memories of pleasant times.

And a special memory of previous years, as we drive back through Seattle.

Find the Ferris wheel on the waterfront in downtown Seattle....

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Wednesday - Tuesday, May 20 - 26, 2015

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Friends and Boats -- 5/15-16/2015

Besides our love for boating, a giant plus of being in the PNW is visiting with all our boater friends here, and it continues with a visit in Anacortes from Bruce and Vicki on Thursday.  They and Ray join us for Happy Hour aboard Sweet Caroline and we make plans to walk into town for dinner. 

                                                                 Photo Courtesy of Bruce C Moore

                                                         Photo Courtesy of Bruce C Moore

On Friday we visit the Trawler Fest at Cap Sante Marina in Anacortes.  One of the boats that catches my eye is Ranger Tug's R29S with the flybridge.  All Ranger Tugs are beautiful in my opinion (and in the opinion of hundreds of others) and this one, although different, has its own style of beauty.

If I were to get one, I might opt for the sedan with the optional hard top in the cockpit, but who knows....  This boat is just plain pretty!

                                                          Photo Courtesy of Bruce C Moore

We visit with many friends along the docks and see several other spacious boats.

In late afternoon the Rooftop Lounge of the Majestic Inn and Spa beckons us for Happy Hour atop the second tallest building in Anacortes.  We have a view of Guemes Island and the waterfront, as well as downtown.  

With our chef hard at work -- let's make that 'enjoyment,' -- we begin our meal with an appetizer of BBQ oysters and sour dough bread.  Yum!

We soak up the warming sun until it begins to dip behind the horizon, then the staff brings Vicki and me snuggly blankets because we are not near the fire pit.

Herb says the air is not chilly, just nice.
Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Thursday and Friday, May 15 and 16, 2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Where's That Forklift? -- 5/14/2015

We continue our plans for the trip to Alaska and think about a place to carry the crab trap, as Willie's Tug is quite loaded already.   A Sky Box is the next purchase by the 'big spender.'  

Amazing how Ray always comes by when there is work to do.   First we must get the Sky Box from the Jeep and onto the roof of the boat.  Herb had scheduled a forklift for the job, but he and Ray decide they can do it quicker.

"So here's what we will do....

Secondly we should put out fenders for protection of both box and boat."

They tie lines on the brackets of the box to haul it up.

Uh oh!  Herb's cell rings. He learns the forklift is ready to come move the box over.  "Never mind," Herb says, "We got it handled.  Thank you very much."

And they did!

Now to put it on the rack. Herb points out the hooks that must attach around the bars on the boat.

Done!  Victory sign and Thumbs Up!

Some adjustment needed.  A little more this way....

Ray even takes the label off the Sky Box to recycle for us.

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Thursday, May 14, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015

A-fishing We Should Go! -- 5/13/2015

In preparation for our extra-curricular activities on a 'hope-we-get-to-go' trip to The Inside Passage, we visit Cabela's for fishing supplies.  "Oh?"  you say, "You fish?"  Over the years when boaters ask how the fishing is, we reply that we don't fish; we cruise and enjoy the scenery and the ride.

Last year Chris and Mike kept us in crab and salmon, and it looked like such fun that we decided to give it a try.

Andrew, the sales person, is very helpful to give advice on the kind of crab trap we should get and finds a rod suitable for halibut.  Amazing how the dollars add up -- Herb sure knows how to spend money!

I'm told I will need waterproof shoes of some kind for the trip, but shopping for my shoe size is a challenge.  Let's try Walmart on our way home to Anacortes.   Ah, yes! Boots -- but no shoes.   I try on the pretty ones, but they don't fit.
 How about the shiny black ones?  It is amazing how comfortable they are.  


And the funny part -- only $13.88!

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Monday, May 11, 2015

Our Friends from Guemes Island -- 5/8/2015

Friday night is Date Night.  We have a date with Ray, Jocelyn and Brenna for dinner on their boat, Nudibranch, on K-Dock of Cap Sante.  We do know the way!  

Ray grills burgers on his shiny new grill and Jocelyn puts together the sandwiches.  She asks who wants mustard, mayo, tomato, etc., and when she says avocado, I am delighted.

She spreads softened avocado on the bun along with other condiments.  De-licious! and a first for me.  I plan to have all my hamburgers with avocado in the future.

On Sunday as we are having lunch in town, we get a text from Ray to wish me Happy Mother's Day and to tell me to check the reefer in Willie's Tug for some treats.

I feel really special to see the carton of eggs from Brenna's chickens and a bouquet of fresh flowers from her garden.

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Friday, May 8, 2015

The New and Improved Willie's Tug -- 5/7/2015

It's all my fault!  When we went to the Seattle Boat Show in January, I said how much nicer my life would if I had all the water I wanted on Willie's Tug, and didn't have to worry about how much water is left in the fresh tank and guess how long it will last.

$$$$ later, we have a Spectra Watermaker and Skipper makes plans to install it early in May before we cast off for our first cruise.  So lets get to Anacortes soon!  Hence the long days when we drive as long as it is safe and we are not tired.

On Friday, May 1, we leave Cap Sante RV parking and drive Sweet Caroline to the City's Necessary Area to refresh her.  It is a tight squeeze, but she is carefully maneuvered into the slot.

Then we drive to the storage lot 20 blocks away to park beside Willie's Tug

OK, now it is time to rest! We are here, so let's kick back and rest this weekend.

On Sunday we walk from 34th to 21st Street to Anacortes Lutheran Church, and as we approach, we begin to smile at the sight of several pink flamingos on the lawn.  The church has been 'Flocked.'  During the announcements part of the service, a teen explains that the Youth Gathering Team moves the flamingos to different yards to help raise funds for their Summer Mission trip.

On Monday, it is back to reality.  Knowing he has an intricate task ahead, Herb begins the installation of the watermaker.   It takes a few trips to Sebo's Hardware store and West Marine for parts and fittings.  Sometimes he walks the 23 blocks there and back, but in the interest of time he sometimes drives the Jeep.

Later in the week Steve of Steve's Yacht Repair in Anacortes comes to drill a hole in the hull of the boat -- yes, below the water line -- for water intake into the watermaker. 

Herb invites me to take a look at where the equipment will go and shows me the hole in the engine compartment on the starboard side.  The photo shows the fiberglass sawdust around the hole.  Oh, a hole?  We can't turn back now!

Note the white circle the camera sees when looking straight down into the bilge. The second photo zooms in closer.

After brushing some sawdust away, I walk around the side for a look from a different angle, and see daylight and the ground.  Yep, it's a hole!

With the hole now complete, Herb balances across the threshold between the cabin and cockpit to peer through the freshly drilled hole and watch for Steve to insert the outside fitting.

Steve now puts the fitting in place and prepares to seal the area.  I like that thought.

It scares me to think about it, and after Steve finishes the project, and with tongue in cheek, I ask if he plugged it up really good.  He assures me he did. Suzy, his faithful canine companion, gets to go to work with him every day and rests in front of the van.

With the work mostly complete, Herb shows me the installation.  He points to where the water will come out of the watermaker and I ask what that small black wire is.  "Not a wire, Willie; that hose is the outlet from the watermaker." "Really? That small?"  He explains that the water is made slowly, and over about three hours of cruising, it will make between 18 and 20 gallons of usable water.

Some assembly required....

Control Panel

Nice job!  It has taken a few days -- oh, we are not through yet?  

Herb tells me he is installing another hose, which will take water from the watermaker and divert to fill another container.  He shows me the diverter valve.

I think we are about ready for the cruising season!

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Thursday, May 7, 2015