Friday, July 27, 2012

Spencer Spit State Park, Lopez Island - July Boat Trip, Part 1 -

On the weekend, starting July 6th, we were blessed with amazing weather, and headed out for a weekend of relaxation, recreation, and celebration (T's big 3-0 birthday).  

On Friday, after T got home from work, we motored to Spencer Spit State Park.  It took about two hours to get there and we anchored on the north end of the spit.

Spencer Spit State Park - Photo from Washing State Park's website.

This was our first experience anchoring aboard Ma'alahi.  We took it slow, and successfully set anchor.  We try to make each new experience we have aboard uneventful and successful.  Shortly after turning off the engine, one of our anchored neighbors drifted by us at a good 2-3 knots.  T used our air-horn to try to get the other boat's attention, unsuccessfully, and then proceeded to dinghy over and knock on their hull.  They had no idea that they had moved a good 200 yards from their original spot.  Whew!  That experience made us a little paranoid.  

Sun setting - view from Ma'alahi's cockpit.

View, through the spit, of the boats anchored on the south side of the spit.
We have been (slowly) checking items off of our cruising/general maintenance to-do list.  We were able to take advantage (FINALLY) of using our newly serviced outboard engine on our dinghy.  After the kiddos were asleep, I dinghy'd out into the channel and was able to ketch a photo of a mama seal and her pup... it is quiet moments like these (not taking into consideration the not so soothing hum of the outboard), that I feel far removed from urban civilization.  PRICELESS.

Mama seal with her seal pup.
 The next morning we took the kiddos (and Buddy Dog) to the beach, on the spit, and explored, combed, and lounged for a few hours.  M is still not walking (late bloomer) and, literally, crawled into the water! 

I can't help but wonder, in a positive way, about all of the things the kids are learning through these nature focused experiences.  T and I took turns walking up and down the spit with K.  K continues to talk-up a storm and enjoy every beach we go to.  Whenever we are out on the boat she says that we are "goin-to-the-beach, goin-to-the-beach mommy (or daddy)" - she gets so excited. 

Happy Baby M - 13 Months -

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fourth of July at the Port

Summer has arrived!  Hence, my absence.  We have been savoring every moment of this weather and lifestyle.  This (weather) is what we have worked for.  A few flawless days of weather totally makes up for the dark, cold, and wet winter days.  

Starting at the beginning, I kept the nautical theme for the kiddo's Fourth of July attire.  It was nearly impossible to get a good photo of them - this is it...


We observed the "Famous" Friday Harbor Fourth of July Parade (just up the street from the port) as well as Friday Harbor's fireworks show (right in front of the Port of Friday Harbor).

K, as usual, slept through the thundering and startling sounds, M, as usual, woke up.  We brought him above deck to the bow to watch the show.  He is not sure what he thought of it... but his eyes were wide and he was absorbing everything.  

Taking it all in...
The view of the fireworks from Ma'alahi's bow
The Fourth of July is, personally, my favorite holiday.  We were able to share the day with my mom, her fiance, and my in laws.  I can tell that, as the kids get older, each holiday experience is going to become more fun because we get to see them discover and witness exciting new events.

Happy belated Fourth of July!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Photo of the Week - Turning Point?


11AM - this morning - waiting for a "weather window" so I could make a break for my car with kids in tow.  After two hours, I gave up and trudged up the dock in the rain. 

7PM - Who would have guessed?  Mid 60's.  Beautiful.

Is this Summer?  Hopefully.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Cruising "Essentials"

Because the weather has kept us at the dock for that last MONTH... I have taken it upon myself to daydream about cruising and keep my eyes open for good deals on things that we consider "essential" for cruising.

I saw a Garage Sale sign posted on one of the Port bulletin boards last week.  Garage Sales are very common in our little community and I, as a general rule, avoid them (for obvious lifestyle reasons).  Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted "Offshore/Cruising Gear" - SCORE.

I got to the garage sale right when it opened and I am very excited with the results! 
  • Charts from the northeast end of Vancouver Island - counter clockwise around the island to the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  19 CHARTS total - that is a retail value of $380 - I got them for a $1/each = $19.
Organizing the charts during nap time.
  • Foul Weather Gear:  (For ME!) - I got a full GILL Foul Weather Gear set (bibs/jacket) for $30.  These set retail upwards of $400. 

There is, of course, a lot of other things that we need to get.  I have followed a lot of the advice provided by the S/V Totem Family Blog (link is to their blog posts tagged "Cruising Prep").

Purchases, such as these, make me feel like our family's cruising dream WILL become a reality.