Tuesday, February 9, 2016

January 2016 Back in the Seattle Saddle

The Seattle Family had the perfect New Years 2016

Meanwhile, back at the Ranch, uhh, Marina, Randy and Pat hosted the Texas New Years Celebration aboard their Morgan Out Islander 41' "Lucky Lady"  
The evening began with a fine sunset.

Attending the Party were the crew of the 40' Morgan Sloop "Skye" Philip and Sharon

And the Crew of the finest Catalina 30 in Texas "Salty Paws"  Linda and Earnie

New Years Day I made sure all the above crews did not miss out on the Luck of 2016. My contribution was a fine old Southern black eye pea recipe

Wth a little assistance from my broker, Wand'rin Star was moved to her Primo brokerage slip on dock 5 of Waterford Marina. She could not be in a better spot in the entire Gulf Coast to find her new owners.

In slip three she is lined up with all the other shining vessels looking for new owners.

With all the work done I helped Linda and Ernie take their Catalina to the boat yard to have some new electronics installed and a bottom job. The water was at a very low winter low tide which only occurs when the North winds blow the water out of the bay. We literally had to plow through the bottom mud to get to the boat yard.
Linda is the helmsman doing a fine job

Almost to South Texas Yacht Services.

Salty Paws already with a new bottom job, a waxed hull and new thru hulls for the electronics.

Driving back to Austin on 290 I was glad to know Blue Bell was back in business. I always stop in Brenham to get the Peach but, since they had not been back in business for long, peach was not available, 

So Maple Pecan was a great substitute.

I woke up in Seattle to a relatively warm sunny day. The Cascades were in full view from our patio.

To recover from the jet lag a walk down the waterfront put things into perspective.

The Olympics make it even better.

Is this what our winter in Seattle will be like?

A couple of days later I take a walk the opposite direction and find the harbor Seal in Bell Harbor taking a nap on this log.

Two weeks later we find the same seal sunning himself on one of the few sun days in January

The Seattle Sea Hawks get Lucky when Lucy showed up to play for the Vikings.  

We got to experience our first traditional Seattle winter, mostly in terms of rain but not temperature. 

Warmer than normal but the rain was constant.

This is called a sun break. a moment of sun between the end of one front and the beginning of the next, it can last 15 minutes or a few hours.
Any lull in the rain is a good time to get out for a walk. The bulk cargo 225 meter ships are lined up this time of year to fill their holds with Pacific Northwest grain.

Or go on a Ferry ride to one of the nearby islands.

One of the few opportunities at this time of year ot the the peaks of the Cascades, that is "Three Fingers" in the center and "White Horse" to the left of :Three Fingers"

The Cascades behind the city.

Rainier is out for the moment.

Checking out this trawler in Eagle Harbor, Later I find out it is a Helmsman Trawler 38". We got to see one at the Seattle Boat Show just recently and they are pretty awesome!
Black Berry Ice Cream from Mora in the little community of winslow on Bainbridge Island. http://moraicecream.com/

A lot of work is complete but there is sure a lot more to get done on the reconstruction of the Seattle waterfront seawall.

This will be the New Dick Wagner Education Center and boathouse at the Center for Wooden Boats

Here Dick Wagner is giving the history of all that has led to this moment of breaking ground for the new $6.6 million dollar facility that will greatly expand the outreach of this awesome non-profit organization

The anticipation for the ground breaking has been building for the two years since I have been volunteering here.

That is Dick Wagnor and his wife in red.

The New Begining

The great thing is the very intimate historical nature and culture of CWB will be preserved.
check out this great video on the CWB 40 year History: http://tour.offcenterharbor.com/cwb-1601
Also check out this short video on splahing a freshly restored Blanchard Jr. Knockabout
See: https://youtu.be/Gz71Zf2qoKM/

Sometimes you need a walking stick in Washington.

Rocks in a log = plenty to do on Pocket Beach

A Canadian Navy ship must have been hungry for some Antony's Seafood

It's rare to be able to just walk up this close to a ocean going barge. They are just as big as the huge 225 meter bulk grain ships 

Twice on our way to Lake Union we walked through just at the right time to get a free banana at the Amazon Cummunity Banana Stand. 

A full moon night on our way through Seattle Center to the Seattle Repertory Theater to see Constellations

I try to find useful stuff that I can donate to The Center For Wooden Boats that will support the Sail Now program. At the end of each day the sailboats have each have a sunbrella boom tent stretched over the cockpit to help divert the rainwater. We use a Waterproofing solution on all of our canvass to increase the water repellent properties of the fabric. So I donated a couple of gallons hoping it would be beneficial for CWB.

You can spray it on the fabric or better yet just use those little 4" foam rollers to roll it on.

It's a test, I hope it works for this application.

I got this screen shot from the Queen Anne tower webcam.
If you live around the 650' elevation in the Seattle area this would be the view out the kitchen window on foggy mornings.

January 2016 Back in the Seattle Saddle

After about two months in Texas getting Wand'rin Star to Kemah all cleaned up and ready to sell, I said farewell to all my awesome sailing friends at Waterford Harbor. Many thanks to Randy and Pat, Phillip and Sharon, Linda and Ernie for hosting all the happy hours and fun times aboard your fine sailing vessels. The Admiral and I had never been apart for so long, maybe 10 days at the most in over 46 years!
 Climbing back into the Seattle Saddle took a little time. I mean Kemah is just a little sleepy seaport compared Seattle. Sure it is just down the road from Houston but Kemah is really just a bedroom community of Houston now and you are pretty far away from all that hustle and bustle stuff. Since everything you need is within two miles from the marina you can just lazily drive about and not worry about traffic or anything really, there are no pedestrians that you have to look out for and it is pretty quite, no sirens or other city noises at all. The first two days when I got back to Seattle were relatively warm and very sunny days. At first I thought, Wow, this is going to be a great winter in Seattle, then the rains started and we soon realized that this would be our first experience with a traditional Seattle rainy winter. The only thing not traditional was the relatively warm temperatures since the lows that arced down out of Alaskan waters brought subtropical moisture up to the Pacific Northwest. I have not heard the term Yukon Blast at all from the weather people this year, all that super cold air seems to be diverted towards  Northeast of Washington due to El Nino. This means a lot of days with the highs in the mid 50s and lows in the lower 40s but with lots of rain.
The other part is acclimating to driving in Seattle. With all the diverse traffic and pedestrians about you have to be very vigilant all the time or else you would kill someone every time you take the car out. Unlike Sleepy Kemah where you can just put your mind on automatic and cruise about. The first firetruck that came up from behind and all of a sudden fired up his siren just about made me jump right out of the car.
I new if I was going to make it through a rainy Seattle winter I was just going to have to jump in and get back to my routine of volunteering at the Center for Wooden Boats. Just bite the bullet and get out there in that rain and teach somebody how to sail. Well that did the trick. It is such a rewarding way to spend your time and the rain is really of very little consequence. The Grandfather part is excellent as well since this 2.5 year old can talk your head off and do so much more like go and get his own milk out of the Frig!
We have begun to look around at trawlers as we consider our next boat. Some on the list include boats in the 36 to 39 foot range like the 37' Lord Nelson Victory Tug, Kady Krogan, DeFever, Ocean Alexander, and Grand Banks. Being between vessels is a weird spot since we not commit to another vessel until Wand'rin Star finds new owners. There was one 40 foot vessel we stepped on that was immaculate and I wanted to hide it from everyone so it would not sell, but it did. So no reason to go through all that and get excited about another vessel until we complete our obligations in Texas. It's a weird place to be in this holding pattern.