Monthly Archives: January 2017

“There’s a raccoon down below!” and more from Blake Island

From the sheltered fire pit on Blake Island, we shined a light towards Yahtzee, which was the only boat sitting in the marina. A set of eyes glared back at us from the cockpit and we watched while a raccoon scoured the outside of the boat for food.

Having been to Blake Island many times before, we were well aware of the raccoons that pester campers and boaters alike, hanging out waiting for any opportunity to find a meal. The rules are simple, though, don’t leave any food out and don’t leave the boat open, and they’ll usually move on after a quick search of your boat or campsite.

Raccoons are a regular sight around Blake Island.

About a half hour later, we returned to Yahtzee and one of the little critters climbed off the boat just as we arrived. Then, while standing in the cockpit, I felt a bump on my leg and looked down the companionway hatch to see a wily raccoon zipping around inside. Continue reading “There’s a raccoon down below!” and more from Blake Island

Discovering Marrowstone Island’s Mystery Bay

Boats sit idle on their mooring buoys in a calm Mystery Bay.
Boats sit idle on their mooring buoys in a calm Mystery Bay.

With the sun gently rising, I poked my head out of Yahtzee’s companionway to watch orange and purple hues spread over glassy Mystery Bay. Down below, the smell of hot coffee wafted through the cabin and while the boys played and read books, preparations for a hearty breakfast were well underway.

It was the start of a leisurely day at Mystery Bay with our friends Ryan and Autumn aboard Velella, and typical of us, we were going to make it up as we went along.

The morning sun lights up Velella.
The morning sun lights up Velella.

The day prior we’d each enjoyed a fast and fun ride up Puget Sound on a strong southerly and chose the bay to spend a relaxing last few days of 2016. We’d visited Mystery Bay once before, but it was merely a quick anchorage for the night and then we were out. This time we were going to explore what the bay had to offer. Continue reading Discovering Marrowstone Island’s Mystery Bay

Above beautiful Bellingham

Our temporary home in Bellingham's Squalicum Harbor in December 2014.
Our temporary home in Bellingham’s Squalicum Harbor in December 2014.

We have a special connection to Bellingham, Washington. Magnus was born there a little over two years ago, and during our stay in town aboard Yahtzee, we fell in love with many of the things that this video depicts and represents. When I saw it, it captivated me to the bitter end, so I had to share.

The Pacific Northwest is truly an amazing place and we’re happy to call it home. Enjoy!

The heat goes on…

My recent posts about being back out for another winter of cruising in the Pacific Northwest, coupled with the cooler temperatures we’ve experienced this season, sparked some questions about what we use to warm the boat.

Proper heat makes winter cruising enjoyable.
Proper heat makes winter cruising enjoyable.

Before embarking on our first winter of full-time cruising in the Salish Sea, we made sure to have numerous heating options in place and what we ended up with is a redundancy that allows us to keep the boat cozy whether we’re at a dock, anchored out or underway. The heaters we employ to achieve this include an oil lamp, diesel fireplace, electric space heater, propane heater, hydronic space heater and dehumidifier.

Here’s how all our heat sources work in concert to keep the crew of Yahtzee warm. Continue reading The heat goes on…

5 Favorites | The joys of winter cruising

This is the fifth in our ongoing series called “5 Favorites” in which we’ll explore a range of topics including memorable anchorages, marina showers, cruise-in breweries, parks of the Gulf Islands, fun things to do, ports, 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. 

With the full onset of winter, we’re back to our winter cruising grounds of the San Juan and Gulf islands and are hopping from harbor to anchorage to marine park enjoying the splendor that comes with the season.

Cruising the PNW in the winter can be cool and wet, but having proper gear is a huge help.
Cruising the PNW in the winter can be cool and wet, but having proper gear is a huge help.

We love cruising this time of year in the Pacific Northwest and the reasons are many. While some may complain about the cold, the wind, the shorter days and the limited amount of services open to boaters, we embrace all of those challenges and more.

This is our third winter of full-time cruising in the Salish Sea and though there are innumerable things that we love about being underway this time of year, here are five of our favorites. Continue reading 5 Favorites | The joys of winter cruising

Cruising into 2017 while looking forward and astern

Sitting idle in our little rowing dinghy, I watched Porter gracefully navigate the kayak atop a clear pane of saltwater. A smile spread across his face when he dipped the paddle over each side and I didn’t need to say a word to him to know that he was in the moment.

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Porter out for a paddle in Mystery Bay.

He wasn’t the only one.

Spreading our wings on Yahtzee just before the new year has been incredibly rewarding. We’ve sailed with favorable breezes, met up with great friends and have spent time doing what we love — cruising and enjoying life. And as we say goodbye to 2016 and sail into 2017, here’s a look at the present, past and future of life aboard our nomadic home.

Getting in the groove

When we got back aboard Yahtzee in mid-December, we had grand plans of rushing north to the San Juan and Gulf islands to get into our typical winter cruising routine. But the big problem with that was the rushing part. That’s something we try not to do and since time and weather were on our side, we didn’t need to. Instead, we stuck around central Puget Sound for a bit, enjoying beautiful days of sailing and quiet harbors while getting Yahtzee ship shape after her long spa vacation in the boatyard. Continue reading Cruising into 2017 while looking forward and astern