Friday, January 30, 2015

Boat Show Day Two -- 1/24/2015

Herb and I head to CJ's Eatery for breakfast this morning, and Paul quickly serves us some of the best tasting coffee ever.

Then with tickets in hand, we continue our walk to Century Link Field, where we are two minutes early for the doors to open.  We find our place at the end of the line, which quickly builds, snaking around the corner.

Find Herb....

First stop -- Ranger Tug/Cutwater area, where we say Hello to Kenny showing yet a different model.

We make our way upstairs to see what interests us, and stop by the Rocna booth. Yes, we do need a larger anchor, and they have plenty to choose from. Should it be this one?  We would have to get a larger boat!

 Or one of these?

 This is a closeup of the one I am holding in my hand:

(It is actually a bottle opener.  Cute!)

The anchor rated for the R-31 becomes ours, and we move along to see other items for sale.  And spend more money!

A text from Jocelyn tells us that Ray is ready for lunch, but they are at Lake Union checking out the Boats Afloat display.  The shuttle between the two show events is just about ready to depart, so we quickly get aboard.

Over salads and sandwiches we catch up on the news of what has happened since we saw each other in October -- not that long ago.  We share what we have seen in each location of the boat show, then go in our separate directions for a time.

At this point it is shorter to walk back to our accommodations from Lake Union than from Century Link, so we set out, using the Space Needle to give us our first direction.  Even this construction crane has the Seahawks logo in blue and green lights.  And flies a 12 flag.

Arriving home, I give my feet a rest while Herb assists Bruce in setting up equipment for Anne's presentation of her cruise up The Inside Passage of Alaska this past Summer.   He and Vicki host the reception and viewing.

With setup and testing done, Anne is ready to share her experiences and photos.

Happy Time! 

Herb offers me a shrimp from the buffet.  "Soon, Herb, I should take a few photos first."

I see interesting labels on the beer....

I later learn that someone is shooting a video of me while I set up my still life, and their faces tell it.

I spend some time visiting with Sam, a new member of the Fluid Motion group, who is a communications specialist.  I find no photo of him in my albums, but Bruce shares one from his collection.  Here Sam is armed with camera, ready for action.  One of his goals is to update manuals for all boat models.  Cheers are heard.

                                                                    Photo Courtesy of Bruce Moore

House lights dim and Anne is ready to tell us about her Alaska cruise.  When she had Internet, she had sent eMails during that time, (long eMails typed on her iPhone), but tonight should prove to be even more enlightening and entertaining.

I am so caught up with the program, I forget to take many photos.  Anne narrates the slide show and we are all amazed at some of the shots she got.  A closeup of a harbor seal comes to mind.  A bear with a salmon in his mouth walking by the stream where he fished.   An eagle perched on a pole -- or was it in a tree?  Mountains, ice, snow, awesome landscapes.

I won't get all her facts correct, but when she arrived at the destination of the group she was in, and it was time to head south, she searched for a companion boat in order to keep the promise she had made to her son.

She found one, a sailboat, which could go only six-ish knots.  (Anne has been known to go FAST.)    The sailors asked her why in the world she wanted to hang with them, and her response as she raised her arms to us was, "You have no idea!!"  Laughter is definitely heard in the room.

Anne is kind enough to recap that part of the trip for me and I quote her.

 " My sailing friends asked me why I was trying SO hard to find another boat to travel with?

They had observed me at the helm in strong wind and waves, then turning broadside to the waves to line up and get thru the entrance to Meyers Chuck, then dock. 

The next day we traveled on to Thom's Place, where I anchored while they did some practicing of maneuvers, then anchored within sight. 

The third morning I led through winding sections and they again wondered why kept looking for others to travel with since clearly I was doing fine and Cascadia could move faster to avoid weather issues rather than going 4 knots, which they were doing for the most part. 

I commented " IF THEY ONLY KNEW" reflecting my struggles to keep my word to my kids that I would travel with others rather than wander around SE Alaska on my own. 

After that, I did wander around on my own, traveling on to Petersburg and Sitka, anchoring out in a wide variety of coves looking for bears and enjoying whales, waterfalls and wilderness."

She shows gorgeous scenery, lots of photos with water -- all flat calm. could she get so lucky?  Then I recall some of her eMails describing not so flat calm seas.  Then it hits me.  Single handing is hard to do and operate a camera at the same time.  

Ray sees my new camera, which is much smaller than the heavy one I used last year, and checks it out.  His photos are below:

                                                                                 Photo Courtesy of Ray

                                                                                Photo Courtesy of Ray

(The glass of wine poured is classic.)

                                                                                                                                                               Photo Courtesy of Ray
Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Saturday, January 24, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

Seattle Boat Show Day One -- 1/22-23/2015

The day is finally here when we depart Port Isabel and fly to Seattle for the Seattle Boat Show.  We are asked if we will buy a new boat -- No? -- so why are you going?

Only a boat owner would know the answer to that question.  You go to look at boats, and a more practical reason is to purchase items to enhance or upgrade the amenities you already have.

And a big reason is to visit with the awesome friends you have made through boating.

Oh, and sometimes you come home with an unexpected purchase agreement in your hand....

First to greet us are Bruce and Vicki, and we catch a ride to pick up mail from our Seattle mail drop.  Lisa brings out a large envelope which will keep us busy for a little while.

Just down the street we turn into the Harbormaster's 
office at Elliott Bay Marina, where Bruce picks up complimentary boat show tickets from Joe.   We get excited!  Next stop -- boat show!

With a temperature of low 50s we walk over a mile to Century Link Field stadium under softly falling drizzle or mist.  Nobody cares!  We have hoodies and are dry and toasty warm!

As we walk, I am like a kid in a candy shop seeing familiar sights of Seattle, a city I love.


Approaching the stadium, I am reminded of the fantastic NFL game and Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks.

The blue and green lighting -- be still, my heart.

First stop inside the hall is the Ranger Tug - Cutwater area.  Imagine that!  Ivan shows us the new R-21, quite a bit different from the one Herb and I had years ago.  Our experiences in the 21 showed us that we love boating and would enjoy one with a little more space.

We greet a few more factory friends and see a stack of handouts for boat shoppers.  Two familiar faces jump out and I recognize myself and Vicki, a photo taken on some of our travels together last Summer.  Nice memories.

I am told there are 11 Ranger Tug and Cutwater boats on display here today, this one being shown by Ronnie.

We note many changes in the different models and are impressed with how busy the factories have been.

We don't get around to all booths today, so have to save some for tomorrow.  It is time to get on to the evening's activities, but first the walk back, and a look at some of my favorite things.

Seattle Great Wheel is at Pier 57 on Elliott Bay, and at 175 feet, it is the tallest Ferris Wheel on the West Coast of the United States.

All Blue!

Seattle Art Museum 

Our friends direct our attention to an intersection where pedestrians can walk diagonally.  I've got to have a photo of this, as I think it is a great idea.

A View of Pike Place Market
I am speechless as I look up at Columbia Center, the tallest building in the State of Washington.  Go Hawks!

 Columbia Center with Blue and Green Lighting
Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Thursday - Friday, January 22 and 23, 2015

Friday, January 23, 2015

New Skyline of Port Isabel -- 1/12/2014

Herb and I are driving to Port Isabel from Brownsville on Hwy 48 when he says, "What is that???  It appears to be in the ship channel."  As we get into town we turn right onto Port Road to get a closer look.

We aren't the only ones.  Several cars are in the area, turning toward the street that leads to the Laguna Madre Yacht Club clubhouse. 

A beautiful sight to behold is a drilling rig.  We see the water marks and think it had been in shallow water in the Gulf of Mexico and perhaps moved to make way for the USS Constellation aircraft carrier that is due to come in to the Port of Brownsville for wrecking.  

Noble Driller

Herb writes a friend who has knowledge of those things, but gets a reply telling us it will reside there permanently, having been taken out of service due to the falling price of oil.  He further says it is a semi-submersible drilling rig that is actually used in deep water, and is being stacked (meaning stored) in Port Isabel for an undetermined time.

Doing a little research, I learn that Noble Driller is rated for a water depth of 5,000 feet, and a drilling depth of 25,000.  I also noted when a rig is cold stacked, the crew is laid off the its doors are welded shut.  

As I  take photos, I see people walk about on the deck and the tugboat below, Sea Spirit, moving possibly to direct a crane on deck.  This is amazing to me and I wonder what it would be like to work on a rig, or to shut one down.  

Sea Spirit

I love our friend's quote, "It will be part of the skyline now, just like Sapphire Condos."    Second only to the Jesus statue near the jetties on South Padre Island, it must be the most locally photographed subject in recent history.

More detailed information and a beautiful aerial photo are found in this link.

Once home, I aim my camera off our south facing veranda.

Using less zoom, it still can be seen as taller than its neighbor drill ship....

And my favorite is at night....

Noble Driller
Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Monday, January 12, 2015