Monthly Archives: February 2017

Bouncing round the Central Sound

Porter and Magnus lend a hand on some engine maintenance.

Porter held an assortment of wrenches in his hands while I tightened a nut on the engine. He watched me finish intently and when we moved on to the next one, Magnus came behind us with his toy drill to give it one last turn for good measure. It was project number three that day and with each one, the boys tagged along offering any bit of help they could.

We’ve been doing projects both big and small on the boat these days in preparation to head north next week, but we’ve also had time to cruise the Central Sound and get some work done, too.

Central Sound Bound

A couple days prior and we were hanging out on the sunny patio at Valholl Brewing in Poulsbo. The boys zoomed toy cars around and swilled root beer, Jill and I sipped tasty brews and went back-and-forth on a sporting game of cornhole while discussing the various things that we had left to get done on Yahtzee. We hadn’t been to the endearing town known as “Little Norway” in a few years and it was great to be back exploring some of our favorite breweries, shops, parks and, of course, the incredible treats at Sluys Bakery.

Continue reading Bouncing round the Central Sound

The sailing we needed

The breeze was up and an approaching squall had more in store.

With the red buoy off Bainbridge Island’s southeastern tip fine on the port bow, Yahtzee healed hard on port tack. A wet, blustery squall had just passed and in its wake left sunshine and a stiff 25-knot breeze that scuttled clouds quickly across the sky. Glancing down from the mainsail to see our speed, I couldn’t contain my smile when I read 8.4 knots. Yes!

Shortly after, gusts in the mid-30s kept the adrenaline pumping and a rainbow framed the channel markers leading us into Eagle Harbor. We’d sailed 20 miles in under three hours in what turned out to be one of those days on the water that wiped away the fiberglass dust, boatyard grime and dollar signs that inevitably came with all our recent boat work. This was a day of sailing we’d been looking for.

Patience pays

When we’re cruising in our normal winter routine, we typically plan to sit and wait places for days if necessary to catch favorable breezes — sailing to a schedule just doesn’t suit us. Earlier this week we’d headed down to Gig Harbor in the snow, knowing that when a warm front came on Thursday we’d be in for a predictable southerly and smooth sail back north. Boy, did we get it. Continue reading The sailing we needed

Surviving the winter cruising blues

Yahtzee covered with snow during a trip from Blake Island to Gig Harbor.

Motoring south towards Colvos Passage, snowflakes the size of quarters dropped from the sky in a deluge. I could barely see the water in front of the bow and had to pull my hood down nearly over my eyes to keep my jacket from filling with snow. Just then, Jill popped her head out from the warm cabin, looked at me with a wry smile and said, “Should I take a picture and caption it ‘Living the dream'”.

I laughed. She’s always had a way of making me do that.

This is our fifth winter living aboard Yahtzee in the Pacific Northwest and our third of full-time cruising. In all of those winters, we’ve seen snow on deck just a handful of times and have been underway in it just twice. And though unusual, it was actually quite beautiful.

This is a first: The boys building a snowman on the dock.

Continue reading Surviving the winter cruising blues