Monthly Archives: October 2016

Working hard to get back on the boat, but having fun


The sign above hangs in our friend’s bathroom and every day that we housesit here provides a reminder about what we’re doing to get back aboard Yahtzee.

For us, there certainly is a lot of truth to it, and while “better” is a relative term in this case, different might be more apt. Living on land while we work on Yahtzee is just different, and not what we’re used to. In my last post I laid out why living and cruising the way we do works well for us, and the sense of fulfillment and purpose we find with our nomadic life has only increased as work progresses on Yahtzee. 

So what’s going on with Yahtzee?

The boat basically has two major areas that are being worked on: the rudder and the skeg. In order to work on the skeg, we had to completely drop the rudder from the bottom of the boat, which was fairly straightforward if time consuming. Once it was out, I was moving it and heard water sloshing around so I drilled a hole in the bottom and a large puddle of water proceeded to pour out. Not good. Continue reading Working hard to get back on the boat, but having fun

5 Favorites | Cruise-in Breweries

This is the third in an ongoing series called “5 Favorites” in which we’ll explore a range of topics such as memorable anchorages, marina showers, fun things to do, ports, beautiful places, days of sailing, meals to make aboard and much more. The aim is not to make a list of “bests” or to rank things, but rather to provide an entertaining and insightful look at what we’ve enjoyed while cruising the Pacific Northwest. And since every boater has their favorites, we invite you to share yours in the comments below. 

One of our favorite parts of cruising Puget Sound and the Salish Sea, among many other things, is stopping in port for a pint beer at one of the many local breweries and taking a full growler home with us.

Our trusty growler adorned in stickers from many breweries.
Our trusty growler adorned in stickers from many breweries.

But because our region is so rich in delicious breweries to visit, this list was quite difficult to put together. How could I choose just five? Do I include breweries in Astoria and other stops during our voyage up the Columbia River? What about Seattle?

Well, I intentionally left out Seattle because from any marina in the city you can walk to five different favorite breweries or more. And I decided to just stick with the greater Puget Sound/Salish Sea basin instead of delving into the Columbia River … yet.

In no particular order, here are five of our favorite walkable breweries from a marina or anchorage.

Tofino Brewing Company — Tofino, British Columbia: Tofino itself is a paradise of sorts. Gateway to beautiful and wild Clayoquot Sound, its beaches are stunning and the backdrop of green mountains is awe-inspiring. We loved our stop there last summer, and between the surfing and ice cream tasting, we didn’t want to leave. But Tofino Brewing also ticked a notch in our belt as a great place to stop for a pint and to fill our growler. Continue reading 5 Favorites | Cruise-in Breweries

On the hard | Lessons from traveling and the boatyard

The wind howls outside as I sit comfortably in a warm house. It’s nice, but I’d rather be anchored somewhere cozy or moving fast with the following breeze. While many boaters hibernate this time of year, we keep moving. But right now, we can’t. Not yet anyway. And it’s painful.

Yahtzee coming out of the water at Canal Boatyard in Seattle.
Yahtzee coming out of the water at Canal Boatyard in Seattle.

With jackstands pressing against her hull, Yahtzee sits high and dry in a concrete boatyard. She’s just as out of place on land as we are not sailing and living on her — and the difficulty, unfortunately, has just begun.

When we left Yahtzee at the end of August, we were excited for an extended visit with family, to deliver a boat on the East Coast and to attend a friend’s wedding. I came back for a short stint to work and do projects on the boat, and now that we’re all here, that’s what we’re up to again. Yahtzee needs some love and it’s quickly becoming one of life’s curveballs that tests our resolve as a family, but also teaches us along the way. As always, we’re rolling with it.

Boatyard Blues

It’s no secret that a lot of miles have passed over Yahtzee’s rudder in the past two years of cruising and racing. But with that many miles come obstacles, and there were some that we couldn’t avoid. We’ve hit a few logs along the way and they’ve taken their toll (including the strike at the end of the Oregon Offshore Race). Continue reading On the hard | Lessons from traveling and the boatyard

A wild ride from Maine to Maryland

It was pitch black outside when the anemometer hit 40 knots. Scanning the horizon for lights of passing ships or fishing boats, all I could make out were the faint, white crests of the massive North Atlantic swell — but barely. The coast was miles away and daylight seemed just as far.

This is pretty much what we were looking at for three nights in a row.
This is pretty much what we were looking at for three nights in a row.

We’d been at it for two days already and sleep was coming in fits. With three reefs in the main and just a scrap of staysail out, our speed was relentlessly fast and the Garcia Exploration 45 we’d been tasked with delivering took it all in stride. But the funny thing was, just like the boat, Jill and I felt as though we could go on for days, even weeks on end.

The captivating power of the ocean never ceases to amaze, and on this wild ride, it was breathtaking. Continue reading A wild ride from Maine to Maryland