Monday, January 6, 2014

December 2013 Seattle to Austin to Corpus Christi and Back

Every time I go for one of my walks down the Water Front I take a pic of Mt. Rainier if it is out hoping to get a better representation, still working on it.

It was a Alki Beach Day over in West Seattle

I watch these ships and Tugs do their dance together often from Drew's bedroom window's but  from West Seattle I was up close to see them work. As we were driving back  home these tugs pulled this ship into the duwamish river under the bridge we were traveling on. I could not believe they were taking this huge ship up the narrow river.

Sometimes they are pushing and sometimes pulling

New tugs have props that can rotate 360 degrees so they work the same from Forward, Aft, or Abeam. 

Another fine Sunny Day, a bit cool but Sunny in Seattle!

These Landmarks are interesting nits of waterfront History

Here is the whole story:

The ton of Gold put Seattle on the Map as the jumping off point for those heqading to get rich in Alaska, they did all their tooling up and provisioning in Seattle leading to a whole new economy for the region.

I know you have heard about them

Yep Drone Research happening right in front of our eyes.

Finally looked out our patio door on a clear day and realized we had a nice view of the Cascades!

The view of the Cascades from the 40th floor Starbucks in the Columbia Bldg. Downtown Seattle

The Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Compition

Literally hundreds of Caroliing groups competing for your vote

You vote by placing a donation in their can, the group that collects the most for the sponsoring charities wins.

The Macy's tree at Westlake Center

The entire downtown area around Westlake Center is full of lights.

No volunteering tonight, we spent some of our earned tickets at the Symphony from our volunteer hours to hear the Holiday Pops Concert

I have looked in all the stores to find the right seasoning for grillin Salmon, we found it at this store in Pikes Market. They sell bulk spices by the ounce

On my way to Austin I learned how to use the light rail to Seatac Airport. This transit center is several floors under Westlake Center

But first I took the Monorail from Seattle Center to Westlake Center, the whole trip took 50 minutes and $5:00. Gotta love mass transit, so easy and convenient. 

1st thing I noticed when walking down the dock to Wand'rin Star was my neighbors mast broke in half...What Happened?

Turns out he lost a shroud as they were sailing in the Bay due to some corrosion and it was not even very windy

The Good news is I got to take Wand'rin Star out on a fine Corpus Bay sail to check out all her systems

MY brave crew, Randy II at the helm with Linda and Earnie grinding the winches! I took the opportunity to flip on all the switches and make sure everything was working properly.

Shortly after I got back to Seattle we had snow, I took this at 7am on my way over to Drew's for my morning shift.

About 1" of snow on this water table in front of our condo building.

I rustled up Drew and family and we went to the community deck at their condo bldg to make a snow man...he Loved It!

Crabby Hour at Anitas!

When the Admiral got back from Ft.,Worth she found a half price ticket outlet called and so for $15 we had tickets for 2 to the Hwy 99 Blues Club we saw Michael Shrieve's Spellbinder

December 2013 Seattle to Austin to Corpus Christi and Back

The only thing I can think of that creates the intensity of the Holiday Season here in Seattle is the population density of the area. It seems to magnify all parts of the Holiday Season, the commercial part, the family part, the social part and all the rest of the parts. The Christmas Ship Festival was Huge and then it just grows from there. The biggest event we ventured out into was The Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition. This is a very old tradition in Seattle so the natives show up by the thousands and they take Christmas Seriously. All the people that live around us are from somewhere else so this was our first time being immersed in PNW natives.  It was almost to big for us as you weave your way through thousands of people to see the different Caroling Groups compete for your charitable $$ votes. We should have done a bit of homework before this event, everyone else seemed to know how to navigate through the crowds to see the groups they were interested in, we just shuffled through the throngs and after a few Caroling groups we found our way out.

A trip back to Texas to take care of Texas stuff was ordered up by the Armadillo Gods. In the interest of baby Drew the Admiral and I decided to divide and conquer. Besides our annual physicals in Austin the Admiral needed to take care of some business with her parents in Ft.Worth and I split my time in Corpus to take care of Wand'rin Star. I had 5 days to go through all the systems and make sure all was good. I had a couple of projects on the list and fortunately Matt with Coastal Bend Yacht Services and Don Glandt of Gulf Stream Marine had time to come by and take care of things I have wanted to address since we crossed the Gulf back in May. I was praying that I would have at least one day to take her out on the Bay for a sail. There was a front due to come through on Saturday the only possible day for me to go sailing. I checked the weather several times and if the forecast held I would be able to get out on the water early and be in by 13 or 1400 when the front was due to arrive with 30 mph winds. I invited all my dock friends to join me and I was lucky to pick up 3 crew, Randy II, Linda, and Earnie. Geeez, I was so rusty. I easily took her out of the slip and set off to run the motor for about 30 minutes before setting the headsail. I did not want to risk getting g the Main out since the Main roller furling line was wearing thin and it had given us a bit of trouble on the Gulf crossing. That is why I needed Matt to splice a new continuous line in.Just after getting the headssail out I noticed a red light on the instrument panel as I was about to shut the engine down. I asked Randy to take the Helm and I got into problem solving mode. After a few switches I found the problem and somehow I forgot that anytime our engine is on the battery selector switch has to be in the ALL position. This is the issue I need Don for and I will be really glad to have him return our battery system to a conventional schematic and end the current setup. To involved to go into detail here but the current Battery system is unconventional and not crusier friendly. It is ok for those who are always connected to shore power but due to the current setup we are to dependent on the SeaPower Generator to keep the start battery charged. The generator has never failed us but you need redundant systems on a cruising sailboat. We had 4 great hours on the Bay and started in just as the front started the wind machine. I did not have the relaxing sail I was after but I got to go through all the systems while underway to give her a good seatrail. My next visit should be really sweet since these two projects should be complete and she should be ready to go full's only $$

The weather has been mild by Seattle standards with little rain, regular sun and warmer than average temps. I was first back to Seattle and just after I returned we got one brief morning of snow. I got to help make our Grandson's first snowman. The snow was gone by 10 am but it was super fun for us to play in the snow. I really can't remember I got to play in the snow! The rest of December was spent watching Drew grow into a 4 month old and do things that we learned from all the tours we went on. The surprise for us though was The Hwy 99 Blues Club and as Serendipity would have it we got to see the Original Drummer of Santana who played with them at Woodstock at the age of 19. It was not the Blues but it was a fine Latin Jazz Rock that had the whole club pumped.

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