Monthly Archives: January 2015

Guests of the eagles on Patos Island

A quick but wet sail north to Patos Island
A quick but wet sail north to Patos Island

A light mist turned into a steady downpour while making a pit stop at Roche Harbor for water and a few extra provisions on Friday afternoon. The wind was blowing a steady 15 or more from the southeast, but you couldn’t tell from the protection of the harbor.

Magnus taking it all in while we sailed
Magnus taking it all in as we sailed

When we got out and made a course north and east for Patos Island the rain picked up, as did the wind, which was fine by me. I always welcome a good downwind jaunt and we rocketed north between Stuart and Walrdon Island at 7.5 to 8.5 knots and topped out at 9.6. All the while, Porter slept soundly in his room and Jill and Magnus cuddled in the warmth of the cabin. I checked on them every so often and though I wished they were up in the cockpit enjoying the spirited sail with me, it was nice to see them so happy, dry and comfortable down below. Continue reading Guests of the eagles on Patos Island

Taste the Rainbow: Victory at Prevost Harbor

Go Seahawks!
Go Seahawks!

On Sunday morning a strong southwesterly breeze whipped through the tops of tall pine trees overhead and rain started to fall as we came closer to the end of our hike to the old schoolhouse and museum on Stuart Island. We picked up the pace near Prevost Harbor and as we moved through the trees, I caught a glimpse of a large, 70-foot powerboat at the state park dock that hadn’t been there just a few hours earlier.

When we walked up, the boat’s owner was going the opposite way with his dog and we stopped to exchange pleasantries. He had just come from Friday Harbor and said he clocked wind gusts in the 40 to 50 knot range. I told him we were waiting to leave for Roche Harbor until late afternoon when the wind was supposed to lay down , and he eagerly replied. “Perfect timing! You guys should come over to watch the Seahawk game with us!” Continue reading Taste the Rainbow: Victory at Prevost Harbor

Settling Back into the Islands

At the dock in Friday Harbor.
Hi from Friday Harbor.

While walking into Friday Harbor on Monday I couldn’t help but smile as I crested the hill on Harrison Street and caught my first glimpse of town; it just felt great to be back.

Then, when I walked into friends John Neal and Amanda Swan Neal’s office at Mahina Expeditions to say hi, the first thing they asked was, “How does it feel to be back?”

Wearing that same smile, I enthused about how good it was to be in the islands again. It just is. Continue reading Settling Back into the Islands

My Boat – Yahtzee

Here’s a feature about us and Yahtzee called “My Boat” that I recently wrote for Three Sheets Northwest

Yahtzee sailing in Puget Sound
Yahtzee sailing in Puget Sound

After sailing extensively on boats in Florida and the Caribbean, Andy and Jill Cross decided they wanted to become full-time liveaboards and start a family. They moved to Seattle in 2012 and found their 1984 Grand Soleil 39, Yahtzee, six months later. They’ve been happily cruising Puget Sound for the past couple of years and are now based in the San Juan Islands with their 21-month-old, Porter, and new baby Magnus.

Is there an interesting story about how you found your boat? If so, tell us about it and why you chose this boat?
In January 2012, Jill and I moved to Seattle after being in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia. We got a small studio downtown near the Space Needle and literally had a backpack of clothes each and a blowup bed. I don’t think we initially thought we’d buy a boat so quickly, but six months after moving into our studio we bought the boat and moved aboard. Our situation was nice, too, because we never really acquired much stuff, so we were able to move aboard without much trouble and didn’t have to get a storage unit. Continue reading My Boat – Yahtzee

Welcome Aboard & to 2015!

yahtzee 1231Our sails were full of wind and the boat was full of happiness as we sailed westward away from Bellingham and toward 2015 as a complete family. Broad reaching with the sun on our smiling faces, the last few weeks spent at the dock seemed to vanish in our wake. Yes, good times were had. But the lasting memory will be of bringing Magnus Russell Cross into the world happy and healthy at 2:20 am on his due date, December 27thMagnusThanks to our wonderful midwifes, we were back on Yahtzee by 5:15 am getting settled in and ready to spend a few cozy days enjoying our newest family member. After receiving the all clear on Magnus’ health and weight, installing a new raw water pump on the diesel and taking a trip to the top of the rig, we got underway on the last day of 2014 to head back out into the islands.

Out with the old, in with the new
Out with the old, in with the new

With sunny skies and a following breeze, Magnus’ first sail was as special as any in recent memory. Eagles soared overhead, the San Juan Islands showed off their usual splendor, the mountains seemed surreal on almost every horizon and Porter was in his glory to be back out sailing again.

As we look forward to our family adventures aboard Yahtzee in 2015, we are comforted to know that wherever we may go, we are home.

Happy New Year from the crew of Yahtzee!

– Jill, Andy, Porter & Magnus

At home on Saturday, December 27th
At home on Saturday, December 27th
Our sail from Bellingham to Friday Harbor
Our sail from Bellingham to Friday Harbor