Saturday, February 21, 2009

Two Sealanes Diverge

So those of you who've been scoring at home know that Kris and I are looking for a liveaboard to make step one (or two) toward our new life of cruising.

Love and Coconuts is the dinghy that we picked up this past fall to work on important skills, like sailing a sailboat with sails, so we will be ready when buy the big boat. And this blog here, the original, is meant to track our progress toward making that big move.

We have seen a few boats and even made one offer, just because it seemed like a good chance to pick up something that might meet our needs for a great price.

Today we looked at a couple of big cruisers up in Seattle. The first, a 1995 Island Packet 45 is fantastic shape and fully kitted out for offshore cruising.

The second, a 1991 Tayana 55, would cost about $50k less, but would require about that invested to get it ready to go offshore.

The Tayana is very attractive and incredible. With a 16' beam, the saloon could probably double as a ballroom dance studio. And the master stateroom has a true walkaround queen bed. I've seeen a lot of boats with advertised 'walk around' beds, that end up being the sort you can edge about midway up the bed and then you run out of room. This bed is truly walkable on three sides.

I won't go on about all of the appealing things in this boat, but, my god there are a lot. And, at once appealing and terrifying is the amount of sail this thing can put up. The yacht broker commented that it is probably viewable from a satellite in space with all of the sails up. I wouldn't doubt it.

We'd need the five+ years we have coming before we would have the confidence to sail this thing. I imagine we'd have to find some crew to really run it right. Although, ahem, electric winches ... giddyup!

The IP was a solid confidence-instilling cutter rigged bluewater boat. And, with two massive heads and fiddles and handholds everywhere it's truly a cruiser.

So, maybe we get one, maybe not, either way we are educated and have discovered that this process is going to require a lot more question asking before we start to get close to the point where we begin to answer some questions.

More broadening before the narrowing.

Much more broadening.

Our work is cut out for us.

Meanwhile, we drove out to Pier 90-91. The USS Wabash, oiler that I served in, moored there when we came town. There's a new marina right next door; well, maybe it's 20+ years old. We walked the shoreline, watched some folks sail, and had a Spanish coffee as the sun set on a beautiful springy day in Seattle.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Caged Lion, the Little Dog, the Old Lady, and the Thickheaded Sailing Wannabe

When I sailed a couple of weeks ago, I believe it was my season opener, I came back to the dock to adjust something on the boat and as I approached an older woman walking a small dog (the size and disposition of which my sister refers to as a punting dog), hurried down the rampway and waved at me.

I came alongside the dock as she came down to where I was slipping in and she asked if I was from the sailing club (Willamette Sailing Club is a couple hundred meters downriver from my regular boat launch). I said I wasn't.

She then asked if I was sailing in the snow last month, meaning January, because she had taken some pictures from up on the hill of somebody out in the snow and left them at the club. I said that couldn't have been me, as I was out of town.

She then said, "Oh, you must be the one who capsized," which sounds a lot friendlier here in print than it did when she delivered it.

In fact, it sounded so superior that I nearly laughed, reminded of a haughty stereotype of a country club wife.

I smiled and said, "Well, yes, I've tipped this thing over and I'll probably do it again, if you want to know the truth. I tend to find the limits of my abilities nearly every day of my life."

She wandered off after this, a bit crestfallen in my estimation.

That happens to me occasionally. Someone pokes a stick in the cage and tries to rattle the lion, and I'm getting more and more used to the poking and relatively comfortable in my cage, and I tend to shrug it off and move along.

That said, I've really enjoyed all of the ribbing I've taken from you all, as it seems to come from a more genuine place.

As for my own jabs, gybes, pokes, and blunders, I hope they are taken in the same spirit. If not, please send me a note. I'm a little thick, and, although fully capable of sensing when I'm getting the brushback, I'm a much better signal reader when the letters are in a serif-font delivered directly to my inbox.

I believe in community and have a strong desire to belong to a community of people I respect. That's not my original thought, but it is something I ascribe to. I also think that community shifts and changes and moves along. We are players, with our exits and entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts - wait! That's good. I gotta get that down. Maybe start if off with something like, All the world's a stage ...

After teasing everyone about their winter navel-gazing, I'm in the same boat thanks to some old lady and her dog. Thank dog the sun came out this week.

Much aloha!

Yaghan's RTW

Been following this Swedish couple on their circumnav. They are a couple hundred nm from Brazil and will cross their departure path there, thereby completing a round trip.

They will celebrate with a ten-day stop in Brazil during Carnival!

They have some links in their blog to good video of their adventures on Swedish TV, also.

Junior Returns to Seattle! And so do we.

Kris and I are off to Seattle for the weekend. We are going for fun, but also planning on looking at boats while we are up there. Our strongest desire was to check out catamarans, but apparently any catamarans that get purchased in Seattle end up sailing off for warmer latitudes in short order. So, not many to see.

There are, however, some pretty great deals on some sweet cruising monohulls, including a Tayana 55 and an IP 45.

Meanwhile the sailing (and drifting) skills continue to build over here.


Friday, February 13, 2009

I'm Such a Child

I'm so happy that our 44th President read his autobiography for the books on tape version. 'Cause now I get to keep these mp3s until the secret service invades my MacBook and snatches'em along with my fries...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Stomping the Koala

Which one of you blogger people turned me on to this blog: F%c& You Penguin?

C'mon, 'fess up. I suspect the GPW.

Why do I love this blog so much? Is there something wrong with me? Has this blogger tapped into a deep, dark spot in my soul that resents the eff out of cute little animals? Is this blogger drinking my milkshake?

Or is it something less nefarious? Something that I should just let flow and enjoy, a natural contraction occurring after the expansion of the past year?


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Three Sails Under my Boom

And two others under clipper/schooner booms in Key West.

Been posting like a demon over here. It's a good year, so far.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Vang This

Where else but in sailing can you say "I had to pick up a shackle for my boom vang"?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Another Shot of the Sister Ship for Bonnie on a Cold Day in Aiea

Adirondack II moored in Key West.

Dream on, scooter.

meme /meem/ [coined on analogy with `gene' by Richard Dawkins] n.

I responded to this meme going around on Facebook. I usually ignore these things, but my cousin and another guy I know each posted and I was inspired by their wit and vulnerability. So I jumped off the cliff, too.

25 Random Things

1. Dove into the Gulf of Thailand from a bar window. Read all about it here:

2. I am fascinated by my wife's habit of coordinating her underwear top and bottom.

3. The best thing I ever read was a note from my 22 y/o daughter telling me she likes to hear the stories I tell about her because it helps her remember what is good and strong about her.

4. I am surrounded by women who love me and tell me, my beautiful wife and three amazing daughters, and it makes me happy, however, I have a poor relationship with my parents and worry that I am not helping my son find his bliss.

5. I have recently discovered sailing and am a bit obsessed with it; in a good way.
In fact, Kris and I are planning our departure from the higher latitudes and I keep track of our progress on two blogs. We dream of lying at anchor in translucent water and work hard to perfect our repertoire of cocktails for the purpose of enhancing each and every sunset.

6. I like creme brulee.

7. I like Bordeauxs from 1985 that have been opened and allowed to air out for an hour.

8. I secretly admire my redheaded 5 y/o's rebellious desire to have whatever she wants whenever she wants it and regret having been such a good boy growing up. Of course I recognize that my current vicarious thrill is a payoff, since my caution was a survival tactic, so the regrets don't run too deep.

9. Everybody Wants to Rule the World and Tarzan Boy are the two songs that make me happy every single time I hear them.

10. I made wine in a plastic barrel hidden in the bilge of the engineroom I ran in the Navy. It was pretty good, but everything that came out of my body for the next week was a deep purple color, including snot.

11. I was raised a poor white child in Mississippi ... and Texas, Colorado, Utah, Alaska, and California.

12. I miss my brothers. I have some friends now who I get together with once a month and they feel like intentional brothers; they also know how painful I find it to have grown up with those guys and not be able to have them around anymore.

13. I'm very proud of my 19 y/o son's guitar playing skills and travel down to Corvallis whenever he plays just to sit and listen to him.

14. I rarely wear socks with my sneakers.

15. The first time I tried to catch a wave over 20-feet it caught up to me and completely blew up my whole world. It was the first time in my life I realized that I'm not going to live forever.

16. I was Dave Johnson's (Olympic decathlete) first training partner. We ran a 300m race with some other guys and I won. Dave probably could have been on the Olympic team as a Javelin thrower, too. I was a lousy javelin thrower.

17. I drive to Mexico for a spring break surf trip every year, speak really bad Spanish, eat great fish tacos, drink beer on the beach, and fall a little bit more in love with Baja.

18. I was in a car accident four years ago this month and put on forty pounds over the past couple of years, probably because I quit running/biking/swimming. I've gotten a little fatter, but I'm a little happier. I expect to drop the weight again, but I feel grateful and a little humbled by the lesson I learned about how vulnerable we all are and what a fragile gift life is.

19. It's weird being a military brat. I lived all over the country and feel a part of the whole thing. When I see [insert place here] Native stickers on cars, I think that's a person with a closed mind and little imagination. I imagine if you counted up those stickers they would equal the number of people who voted for W.

20. I love Virginia Hamilton Adair's poetry.

21. Hoodies make me happy.

22. I own six surfboards and four bikes and whenever my wife asks me why, I answer, "Because I haven't bought another one yet."

23. I'm taller than you.

24. I should have paid attention in school and become a pediatrician. Now I realize what an important role parenting plays in how a kid turns out.

25. When I think I'm all done, I wipe one more time.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Shh, don't tell Kris

... but I'm posting some Paris pictures. She's still a bit pissed at Paris, mostly because of the Parisennes.

Here are a couple of shots of liveaboards, just downstream from Notre Dame, towards the end of Ile de la Cite (which I can't be bothered to try and spell in proper French because I've lost all motivation to learn it after my most recent experience with the passive-agressive residents of the City of Light).

Photo Tag - You're It!

Captain JP tagged me with something Bonnie the Hawaiian New Yawk Kayaker started spreading amongst the sailing bloggers.

Now you're it. Go to your picture folders and pick out the fourth folder and then the fourth picture.

Here's mine. It's from Kris's and my recent trip to
Spain. Here we are sitting in Paco y Carmen's kitchen outside Sevilla, with our little friend, Pata Negra. We are holding snifters of what Paco called "brandy" but it tasted like no brandy I've ever had. It tasted a lot like a port, in fact.

Here's the box the bottle came in. Oddly enough, the photo is the fourth photo, in the fourth folder of my 'modified' photos.

Monday, February 2, 2009

An August Passing

This blog took a new tack back in September, inspired by Kris's and my determination to set ourselves a new course in life. I recounted that in our Bidness post.

Just this week, Adam over at Messing About in Sailboats posted his own manifesto, or at least the opening shot. He has set his year and intends on sailing off to the Caribbean in 2014. We are supposed to track him and hold him to his word, in support of his pursuing his dream.

Kris and I have an article posted on our home office wall. It's a similar piece to the one that Adam references in his post. If you look around enough, you can find them. They are the one's telling you to make the leap.

I told Kris about Adam's post and read the inspiring passage to her. She was as touched as I. Today she sent me her date. We have been shooting for somewhere in the 4-6 year range, with our eye on 2014, also. Now we have an actual month, August, and a day, the 15th.

Thanks, Adam.