Saturday, October 30, 2010

Blah cleaning

If cleanliness is next to Godlieness... then we rank down somewhere among the evil minions. Its not like we haven't done any cleaning, but I can't believe how dirty *under* the floorboards has gotten. Like we're talking all male frat house dirty.

Gross. Sorry if that brings anyone else repressed nightmares...

Dad and I discovered that I do not like to clean alone. Don't worry it was a good discover, he got a chuckle out of it... and I didn't feel the urge to throw anything at him. I guess it really doesn't go any faster, but it sucks cleaning... and it really sucks cleaning by yourself.

When I am cleaning by myself, I'm prone to all kinds of dark muttering taking-peoples-names-in-vain thoughts. Like 'You think I'm the only one who makes a mess around here?' even though I know full well that the faux-grass carpet is dirty because I was carving over it... or 'Are you actually expecting me to do the cleaning?' because I know he isn't, but that just leads down a road of 'Well then you must be confusing me with the cleaning lady we *don't* have'.

I did manage to get out a 'Hey can you give me a hand? ... no not this specifically... um well with anything... yeah I know you're doing boat stuff... I just don't want to be the only one cleaning' *relieved* Thanks Dad, I'm glad you see the humor in it *half grin*.

It's much better now though, and Dad re-caulked the kitchen too... he went to scrub it and parts of the sealant came off, but it looks very nice now :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Under the sea...

It was incredible! Today we went to the Monterey Aquarium, the largest of it's kind in the world. I felt like a little kid at the Science Center in Vancouver again... okay I felt like that when I went there last year too ;o) It was super wicked, they have so many incredible displays of all different kinds of fish, and tanks with ones full of stuff you can touch!

They've even got live displays of penguins, flamingos, murres (birds that kind of look like penguins), sea otters and other sea birds and the cool thing is that they are all rescues which they were unable to return to the wild, so now people get to see them up close! There are tonnes of cool fish and sea horses and sharks - hopefully the closest I will *ever* be to a shark.

I took a bzillion pictures, and even some video but I haven't had a chance to go through it all yet. I will post some if they turned out alright ;o) Wow! If you ever get the chance, definitely check it out. It took us most of the day, and I could see staying longer... it's too bad they don't do sleepovers *grins*

One of the cool things about the aquarium was that it was started by David Packard, the co-founder of Hewlett-Packard. There was also a large investment made into continuing ocean research. While the research uncovers more of the world under the sea, the aquarium makes those discoveries available to everyone.

The aquarium introduces you to the wonders under the sea, and how and why they should be protected, but it also places a large emphasis on what each individual person can do to reduce their carbon foot print.

I wasn't expecting to see anything about climate change, which is usually viewed as a sticky topic... and internationally seems to hold such controversy in the states. It has all been very well presented, and really makes you think about what impact you are having on the world around you, just by the choices you make every single day.

I walked all over town *again*... So what did you do to reduce your carbon foot print today?

Really, really yummy

I had this for lunch when we were back in Sausalito, but I couldn't remember what the little green things were called... so I couldn't tell you about it. I almost had to phone a friend, but Dad figured it out, so here yah go:

Sesame seed bagel, with plain cream cheese, topped with smoked salmon. Then on the side slices of purple onion and tomato... and CAPERS! I pretty much sliced up bits of everything and ate it all together *drools*

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Okay so, this little guy is super cute, but kinda looks little like a fish that had it's head bitten off, spat out and somehow it has managed to survive using it's top and bottom fins as a tail. And he's swimming in circles... Because? Actually I have no idea, he does look a little pathetic waving that teeney weeney flipper out of the water though.
"'Scuse me! Do you know how I'm supposed to sink?"

Apparently though it's an Opah fish, and they can get up to be a couple thousand pounds. *yikes* I want to take him home and keep him, but I don't think bambi-eyes will work.

Here comes the sun

I am one of the luckiest people in the entire world, as I was nearing the end of my second shift the sun was just starting to gently paint the sky over Monterey in water colours.

I stood mesmerized for over an hour, just watching the colours change... and then practically ran in circles like an excited puppy and peed when a pod of porpoises came and played in the bow waves! *squeee*

The porpoises playing in the sunrise was breathtaking, their charcoal greys coloured and silouetted by the reflection and background of brighter pinks, oranges and purples... Then without even a whisper a tiny little sliver of really for real sunlight sliced itself neatly into the picture. And without further ado, another day had begun.

Little did I know that the bay would be FULL of porpoises, and sea lions, and sea otters and fishermen... all kinds of cool wildlife. *mutters* stupid taking my camera off to eat breakfast, and a damn otter floated right past the boat, and didn't do the duck for cover as soon as I looked at him...Grrr.

I would also like to take a moment to um formally apologize to the dude we almost ran over though. I went to go take pictures *hold me back* and then um, well yeah... lets just say if we had coffee on I would've passed him a cup.

Back to the distraction that started it all... *grins* Yes Mom, I got some pictures this time!

And no, I'm not telling *how many* pictures I had to choose these ones from. We'll just say that you're lucky Dad's been teaching me to only show the good ones. *scuffs floor* These haven't been officially approved yet, but I guess I can tell you there were a few. *ahem* hundred *whistling innocently*.

*wavies* :)

Hmmm so despite our map position not updating, in a fashion that suits me... (practically instantaneously would be just fine) you may have, okay... probably guessed by now that we're not going to make it to Hawaii. You would be correct, 10pts for you if you had this thought more than a week ago.

We have officially? I *think* I can say that now, decided to tuck our tails between our legs and port hop down the coast of the US of A to Mexico!

As you can tell I'm devastated by the change in plans. We pulled in to Monterey Bay California while the dawn was breaking, and I do believe we've found the sunny that this state is known for! *happy dance* It feels like summer and the leaves are changing... which is a little weird, *shrugs* but its summer warm where I come from ;)

Um *closes one eye* I know I had other stuff to tell you, but I think being on watch for two seven hour shifts with a four hour nap in between... and then going for an hour long run just caught up with me. *blinks*

*Report Spam* button... I love you gmail

I just got an invitation to an interview... in Hyde Park Johannesburg, for yesterday.


Sorry I don't think I'm going to make it to Africa yesterday.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Look before you park

Last night we decided to anchor, and I got to put the hook down *smiles*

The depth sounder read "half a foot" of water... maybe we should calibrate that sometime... The anchor though, did a *sploosh* and then went slack as it hit bottom. We still let out the rest of the chain, and quite a bit of rope though.

Dad talked to some guy nearby who was rowing out to his boat, and he informed us that he was on the bottom, and his boat drew 6 feet. Well we draw 5. As the wind picked up a we had ourselves a little giggle.

We were fairly confident that between the angle we had, along with enough anchor rode out that it wouldn't pull free or drift... and that the boat had just hunkered down in the mud bottom more or less on top of the anchor we weren't going anywhere. Heck, there could be a hurricane that sucked all the water out of the bay, and we'd still be sitting suctioned into the mud on our bilge keels with Marimba 2 "I ain't going nowhere!"

We learned this morning, why it isn't such a good idea to let out that much anchor rode. I *think* we semi wrapped it around one of the bilge keels... Dad had just about convinced himself he was going to have to dive for it to unwind it, when I loosened it off and shook it out. He walked it back the length of the deck and between that and some reversing we managed to get it undone!

Tepid... luke warm... blah

A questionably warmer than room temperature shower does absolutely nothing to improve my outlook on the day. On the other hand, everything should get better from here on right?

I'll even spell it out for yah

Um... I believe your presence is disturbing the rocks. They're sensitive like that y'know.

Avoidance Reasoning

"There's no point in my getting my rain gear wet since yours is already wet... Sooo why don't you go tie down the sail cover? Oh, and while you're out there check that the anchor line isn't chaffing".

*Mmmmhhmmmmm* I damn near blew away! My hood blew off on my way to check the anchor line... and this is about 30 seconds of wet. It was so crazy, like standing at the front of the ferry in a storm crazy!

If in doubt... sleep with your boots on

Twas a dark and stormy night, the wind howling through the shrouds. All around the distant sound of clanking, not quite in time with the swell or the wind... but with a rhythm all its own. The screaming creak of mooring lines straining to maintain their hold, and a full body boat shudder as though every muscle is tensed and shaking... trying to stay in position.

Gradually I awake to the full body vibration of the diesel engine. Somethings not right, the pitching and rolling has changed, and I can hear the Captain scurrying around on deck... the clank followed by the thud of the mooring shackle. With my body in the waking world, and my mind still deeply in the dream realm I stagger out of bed.

I find the Captain at the tiller, peering intently into the night wind and rain... in his skivvy's and a t-shirt. I know better than to ask any questions at this point. Waiting to be told what to do, I put on a jacket and stand there... half ready to do anything. Switching on the depth sounder, and gathering a headlamp and a jacket, my presence is welcomed and I take over steering while the Captain lays the anchor down.

Anchoring in the middle of the night, me in my jammies and Dad in his... is but a fuzzy dream like memory. Almost as if it never happened. But our relocation, along with the leftover wind and chop from the storm, and the Coast Guard warnings on the radio say otherwise. Even the seagulls are not impressed.

I trust this boat, if not yet fully our skill as sailors. Its cozy and safe inside, despite the relentless wind and incessant rain. She rides the waves with an easy gait, as if walking an old well worn path with comforting familiarity... She after all, has been here before and brings with her a quiet confidence that this storm too shall pass.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

La la la la la laaaa....

Just a couple of the cool little houses over in San Fransisco. This one reminded me of the smurfs *hehe*

And this one of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

And these two were just plain cool... sorry I think I'm all out of Disney references, but I really like the wispy tree. They have them all over the place and they always look twisty and windswept, and super cool.

If it had cheeks I'd pinch them

The Sausalito Fire Department mailbox. Isn't it just the cutest thing ever? I just want to stuff it in my purse and tell Dad it followed me home!

Little grrrrr

Dad was irritated that we didn't *both* have cell phones to communicate instantaneously, apparently having one working cell phone isn't good enough *rolls eyes* I of course with my usual lack of concern pointed out that we would just have to set a time and place to meet up. Like people used to. Before cell phones.

Unfortunately we had a distinct lack of following the directions. Apparently "Meet me on the beach around 2, and look for the dinghy" actually meant "Wave when you see me looking for you with the binoculars, because I couldn't tell if it was you or not"

I'd just like to say that I was on the beach... sitting in the pathetic excuse for rain, and that I did not have binoculars. I also looked for, and found the dinghy but at the specified meeting time it was still attached to the boat...

I was not particularly impressed, but after putting on dry pants and having a nap Dad took me out for a fabulous Thai dinner and then a beer while we listed to a live jazz band, with a wicked awesome drummer. Which more than made up for the hour+ of contemplating my navel.

Happy birthday to me! And a collection of ramblings

Apologies, this turned into a bit of an epic collection of thoughts. As usual they are interspersed with distractions and interruptions along the way. You might want to read this one in a couple sittings.

Can you believe it's been 40 days and 40 nights since we set out on this adventure? Me neither. I'm kind of hoping that instead of the rain stopping, it means we've made it through the worst of the breaking and replacing things, and that maybe Dad will take a deep breath.

Its also a bit of a shocker that I just survived to see my 28th birthday, this long on a boat with my Dad had the potential to push past the breaking point.I know as you get closer to 30 you're supposed to start to feel old, or at least that's what I've heard.

When you look at it from the point of view that my Granny is 97 and is the coolest Granny ever, then relatively speaking I'm barely out of training pants. Besides if I'm half as cool as she is, even at half her age then I figure I'm doing alright... she went down the big waterslide at West Edmonton Mall when she was 80. Yes, I'm fairly confident, that's where all my crazy comes from *s*

It's crazy how my priorities have changed on this trip. I don't have that many different clothes to choose from, so my toughest first world dilemma in the morning is what colour tank top I'm going to wear. The important things that I grab when I go out somewhere are my hat, sweatshirt, camera, and my laptop if we're going to be near wireless.

I do miss having 24/7 access to Wikipedia and Google, but it's not the end of the world, I just have to remember things and look them up later. It's also been weird not having my cell phone, but again not as important as I used to think it was. I do miss the random text messages relating family gossip or something funny that just happened... although I know the good stuff will resurface around a campfire *grins*

Its almost like we've slowed down to pioneer times, Dad has had considerably more frustration adjusting than I have. The thing is that peole have always made things work, so if you don't have what you need to make it work one way, well sometimes it helps to think about how Granny would have done it.

It's moderately embarrassing to admit this, but when I moved into my friend's old place, I was living there for a bit without a microwave... and I kid you not, one day I went to make soup for lunch and just stopped, my brain went completely blank. I was all "Omg I don't have a microwave to warm my soup up in." *long pause* Then I had a "wait a minute..." moment, people have been eating soup long before microwaves were invented. Then I honestly did the "Hmmm how would Granny heat up soup?" ... D'oh! But ever since then it's been a lot easier for me to take a step back from how I've always done things, to the fact that there are usually other ways to do the same thing... involving little or no modern day technology.

The pace of things has slowed down, partly because doing anything on the boat takes so much longer, but also partly because there is less that has to be done 'right now'... it seems like even simple tasks take more energy. I'm not sure if its because my body is constantly balancing itself and running interference between my stomach and my eyeballs, or if it's just all the extra fresh air.

Thus far it has been a wonderful combination of what I thought it would be like, and things that never even crossed my mind. I've learned a lot, but still feel like there is so much more I would like to learn... and I sitll have lots of projects in various stages of being started.

All in all, it's been a pretty awesome trip so far!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My feets... they hateses us...

 And this is why... Reminds me of a story when I was little, this guy bought new feet. I could go for that right now, they probably wouldn't have any in my size though...

*grin*Okay, it's a goofy grin... but that's what you get when I have to take my own picture. In all honesty I'm concentrating more on taking the picture, than smiling... Obviously. *rolls eyes* I'll stop now.

So I walked all the way across town again today, indulged in a milkshake for lunch, and took the ferry over to Alcatraz unsupervised. It was super wicked! They have done a fabulous job, it is part of the National Park, and there is a 'self guided' audio tour... Yep, I got distracted and fell off the self guided tour a couple times but luckily there was a rewind button.

They have done a fantastic job, they walk you through the cell block, using the voices of guards and some of the different inmates to describe what you're seeing... or relate something that happened or what life was like on 'The Rock'. You definitely get a feel for it, and wow, I would not want to get sent there.

"Break the rules and you go to prison, break the prison rules and you go to Alcatraz"

I think the thing that struck me the most, was that it wasn't the conditions that got to the inmates, so much as the fact that San Fransisco and freedom were a tantalizing mile and a quarter away. They could hear people going about their day to day, could see the city sparkling, so close and yet so far away... There was no reward for good behavior, only punishment for bad behavior. But it seems the biggest punishment of all was having freedom just beyond your grasp.

VNC Rocks!

Thanks to my personal IT ninja... I am literally sitting in San Fransisco eating oatmeal and reprogramming a webpage via VNC in Vernon... How cool is that! *squeee*

My inner nerd just died and is floating peacefully in the ether.


"Smile like you're wearing matching bra and panties, and nobody else knows" ~S

The kindle

Its sleek, its hot, and I saw one up close and personal today *drools*. My inner nerd was incapable of carrying on an intelligent conversation while we drooled over it.

I really really really want one. *bambi eyes* Okay, I've mostly convinced myself that I should get one... we'll see.

Dad pointed out all the reasons it would be bad to have on a boat, and that we should attach it to a piece of plywood?!?! Sorry, did you miss the sleek part? No, you aren't supposed to sit on it, it isn't designed for twist forces... put the darn thing away when you're done with it and it wont be a problem.

Besides my camera is still working, although I think it needs to be cleaned already... and the kindle would work in a zippy bag!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

These flip flops were made for walkin'

I gotta get me some boots. Okay so I'm not gonna lie, my feet hurt. But I'm not going to admit it either cause Dad doesn't understand how I can walk in flip flops... *shrugs* I figure people did lots of walking before shoes were invented... and they must've turned out alright. In any case, despite walking ridiculous distances today I'm not letting on that my feet are tired, even if his are. And he was wearing shoes. So there.

We literally walked all over San Fransisco today, stopped by the Maritime museum which is ... closed for renovations, due to open 2012. Hyde pier was kinda cool though, and they still have the old street cars running *s* I'll try and get a decent picture tomorrow.

There is a HUGE park we walked through on our way to Fisherman's Wharf which is basically the place to hang out and wander through. Tonnes of little shops, stands, booths and vendors. We splurged and had chicken teriaky at Subway *drools*, you have no idea how excited I was that they have Subway down here. So very unworldly of me I know, but it's comfort food... I survived University by eating Subway.

This is a cool tree that was out in the middle of a grassy area in the huge park. I swear they mostly have normal looking trees but what's the fun in that? I only take pictures of the weird ones.

It sure was cool though, away from the waterfront you get an old city feel. The houses and condos are super close together, but with lots of designs like the old castles where there is scroll work around the windows and stuff. The streets were wide, and clean and the sidewalks were very comfortable to walk down. Everything just felt really established and... permanent, like it had all been there long enough to be the old man in the rocking chair yelling at the kids to "Get off my lawn!"

This is a church, its a little more intricate than the houses... but pretty cool!

You know who you are

This one's for you... I'd like to make a submission to the 'dirty signs' category, no comment necessary.

Indicators that you might be in a posh marina

Directions to the washrooms are given as "Down the hall, then turn right down the short corridor and it's the first door on your left" instead of "Just down the hall here and take your first right" trusting that you know whether you should go into the little girls room or the little boys room.

The second indicator... there is a powder room separate from the actual washrooms.

And the clincher. Oh yeah, I totally used the mouthwash (there were even individual use little plastic cups!)

Look both ways

Okay my side note to San Fransisco. It didn't confuse me so much that you don't have buttons to prompt the little walky light to change for me to cross... what was confusing was that some streets didn't have the walky light at all. Now I know we're from Canada and all... but this is the closest I got to figuring out your rules for pedestrians.

If there is a walk/don't walk light thingee, don't look for the button, you just have to wait for it to change. Be patient. *ahem* Dad, that's us.

If there isn't a walk/don't walk light thingee, you can walk by default when the traffic parallel to your path has a green light.

If there is a break in traffic, and nobody is turning it's acceptable to cross.

How to learn Hawaiian

So one of the beers that we tried at a funky little Banana-something-or-other place in Eureka was Pipeline Porter, it's yummy and made with Hawaiian Kona Coffee. Have I mentioned it's yummy? Well it is, it's got a coffeeish taste, but not in a stale aftertaste bad way... more of a hint of it :)

Anyways, I noticed tonight that under each cap is a Hawaiian word along with it's English translation... so I figure if we buy a few cases of the stuff we'll be well on our way to learning Hawaiian right? Yeah, Dad didn't buy that either.

So far we've got Hoa = Friend, and Paki = Splash. Now you know! See this blog is full of learning experiences, and they aren't *all* warnings of how not to do things ;o)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Seriously, you're never going to believe what happened to me this morning...

So I'd just finished drying off after a nice hot shower, which is pretty much the best thing in my little world right now...

I'd just starting to get dressed, when I hear a *hmmmm-click* and the power goes out. I was all seriously? Seriously. So I stood there in the buff running through my *very* limited options...

a) attempt stumble out nekkid
b) attempt to find my towel and stumble out mostly nekkid
c) pretend I'm blind attempt to get dressed and stumble out, with a high probability that my shirt or pants will be on backwards or inside out
d) yell, keeping in mind that anyone who comes in with a flashlight is probably gonna be blinded by my whiteness
e) stand in the dark until the power comes back on

Luckily for all the innocent bystanders, I was long enough trying to decide what to do, that the power came back on...
At 28/09/2010 3:57 AM (utc) our position was 40°48.44'N 124°09.79'W

Nerdy Engineer

Well, the Engineering Corps has taken model building to a whole new level!

Dad found out that Sausalito has a HUGE model of San Fransisco Bay, its inside a warehouse the size of two *american* football fields! It takes up 3 acres and has tonnes of pumps and stuff supporting it.

Unfortunately it is currently under construction, I think in the transformation from research model to educational model now that they are using computers to simulate changes. But man is it cool, I'd love to see it in operation... they even have it so you can test changes to the bay etc and how it affects the mixing of salt and fresh water!


I just had a chicken quesadilla and they put avocado in it, it was soooo yummy I think it might become my default order again :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tuna diet

On a personal note, maybe lots of tuna wasn't such a bad idea. I had to tighten my belt one whole loop today. Yes I am very smug and pleased with myself.

All official and stuff

It is a beautiful sunny day out, Dad spent the better part of an hour trying to sort out something with his credit card company and figure out who exactly we were supposed to check in with at Customs.

Apparently the Coast Guard doesn't have the right phone number for Customs... and the main phone number for Customs has no idea what a cruising permit is... or who in their department you're supposed to check in with... makes it a little tough to check in guys...

A couple of transfers later though, and Dad finally got Gary on the line. I got the impression he was happy to talk to us, and gave us his extension so we could reach him directly. If you're looking for more to do Gary, maybe let the front desk know you still work there... and what it is that you do.

Hopefully Dad'll be able to breath a little better now that we're all official and stuff.

Sleuthing skills

The alternator is probably fine, Dad's inclined to assume so... I'll let you know again if it isn't ;o) But we found another broken wire which thoroughly confused the meter that tells us how much battery charge is left...

I have a sneaking suspicion that it might be time for some rewiring hmmmm? *raises eyebrow* Okay so it's not that sneaking, in fact if it was any more obvious it would smack us up side the head.

I don't even know what to say...

After less than 3 days as part of the crew, the el cheapo cell phone we picked up jumped out of Dad's shirt pocket... and into the chuck.

Yeah, I'm not even kidding. I pretty much shook my head, it kinda figures... I mean he was all stressed about not having a cell phone, so he went a bought one... and we had it. Briefly.

It really sucks not having a phone, but the weirdest part is that I still get phantom vibrations. Like I'll grab my pocket thinking my phone is vibrating... and it has not even been in my pocket for like two months now.


It made me giggle, I guess we came in just after a hot spell... so everyone had their toques and Northface down vests and jackets on.

Sporting my shorts and tank top I definitely got a couple sideways glances... I have a feeling this is one of the things where "Crazy Canadians" comes from...


Well we tried and we tried, but we couldn't get the right number for Customs, let alone one that worked on the weekend. We wandered back and forth and all around without finding anything other than the library which was super ++ for my nerdyness needs. Eventually we wandered over to the Police station and ended up talking to a super nice lady from Parking Services.

She gave us the "Welcome to Sausalito!" and double checked inside if there was anywhere we had to check in. The answer back was "Tell them to move their dope tonight... and leave the running lights off ;o)" and basically that we'd unofficially checked in and that we should officially check in on Monday.

Sweet. Hope we don't get deported or something if you haven't checked in... Hmmmm on second thought, wonder where I could get deported to?

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Despite all the warnings, and potential for mass amounts of chaos with shipping lanes, traffic, shoals, currents, tides and fog... our sail in under the Golden Gate bridge was completely without drama. Okay mostly, we both yelled at the AIS when it beeped for the umpteenth time that 'Harbour Princess' was on a collision course because it was anchored inside the bay.

It was absolutely incredible! I mean, I was already feeling like a pretty insignificant part of the Universe after being out under the stars above from horizon to horizon, and the phosphorescents shooting out the back of the boat like balls of wizards fire... but sailing under the Golden Gate bridge is something in a class all its own.

There was a little fog, hardly any traffic, and porpoises zipping all over the place! I was caught between trying to get pictures of all the awesomeness, not get my camera wet in the spray, and not give Dad an aneurysm... (it stresses him out a little when he's trying to do something and I'm taking pictures)

It was sooooo cool! I don't know it probably took us a couple hours to get in, but it was pretty neat sailing in *grins* I froze my butt off in my shorts, but I was way too busy to change!

The good, the bad and the ugly

The good news... we got the part, got it installed in a whirlwind of activity, fueled up and got out of Eureka, and I had a pleasant trip down to San Fransisco. Night watch was absolutely beautiful, if not exhausting. Somehow I managed to skip being sea sick and loved every second of it!

The bad news... Dad didn't feel so good for the whole trip down, I think it was the ham I didn't eat. In any case he was um not so loving every second of it...

We tucked into Drakes Bay at 4am so that we could enter San Fransisco in the daylight. We woke up to a cool view of cliffs that were shortly obscured by fog, and then our friends we met in Eureka sailed over, they are heading South to Mexico, so we followed them in!

The ugly... the alternator isn't working properly so we had a last minute scramble to hook up the deep cycle battery before we got around Bonita point and entered the chaos of San Fransisco Bay.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hoooo boy

So, we didn't leave Eureka yesterday... but I think instead of a play by play of the erm drama, I'm going to tell you about all the positive things that happened. It is purely for selfish reasons, but mostly so I don't turn red with yellow polka dots, grow horns, and have my head spin around with green smoke billowing out of my ears.

1) We didn't have to use the fire extinguisher inside the cabin, because the belts didn't catch on fire and burn the boat down to the waterline...
2) Dad didn't throw the seized tension bearing overboard as far as he could
3) It didn't happen when we were out past the bar, or in the middle of nowhere
4) We didn't come to blows, and neither us or the boat was grievously injured.
5) Nothing crazy happened while we were towing ourselves with the dinghy
6) We didn't lose our space at the marina, and they were even nice enough to let us use the one next to it when that was where we 'landed'
7) All the fishermen were superwicked, helping us... um arrive, and gave Dad a ride into Arcata to get the machine shop to work on the piece he didn't throw overboard
8) We didn't actually break anything, or lose any fingers when taking what was left of the fan belts off...
9) We haven't booked a flight for home
10) I had a really good peanut butter and honey sandwich with an apple... followed by a coffee crisp, and then Mom's spaghetti for dinner. Comfort food? Definitely.

Update for today - getting the part with new bearings, installing it and skedaddling *fingers crossed* ;o)
At 28/09/2010 3:57 AM (utc) our position was 40°48.44'N 124°09.79'W

Monday, October 11, 2010

Personal space what?!?!

There's no room for a 'personal space bubble' on a boat.

I realized this when the Captain said excuse me in the galley, and I pointed out that there wasn't anywhere I could move to unless he backed up...

Crossing all body parts

We're checking and double checking times and conditions for sailing out tomorrow... depending on how the gravol holds out you may not get another update for awhile, personally for my own selfish reasons I really do hope I'm able to update practically right away, but in any case Dad will probably be sending/receiving grib charts so there should be position updates that *aren't* in Eureka!

Raising a mast

It was a learning experience, some learned more than others... me I learned that we aren't the only ones that have sailboat adventures ;o)

Tony picked up this sailboat as a project... he's in 70's and just this last week got it to the point that he was ready to put the mast up, set the rigging and take 'er out for a test drive.  Being as this was the most exciting thing to happen all week, it drew quite a crowd. Somehow the two guys with the most experience were up top working the lines and the crane thingee *chuckles* they more or less stayed out of the way, keeping an eye on things and mostly just making sure nobody got hurt.

As Frank one of the older guys said, it generally all works out in the end one way or another... every mast raising is different he chuckled... everyone runs around, and eventually it gets raised, despite your actions this was followed by a knowing wink and a smile.

And really that was exactly what happened, the boys got the pin in to hold it up, there was some line and height adjusting, and then it just slid right on home to where it should be.  They all grabbed a shroud and went to attach it to the tackle... and wound up oooooh definitely more than 6 inches too short. Leading me to decide that boats are responsible for the adventure end of things, we're just along for the ride!

Here they are re-evaluating the situation attempting to get *something* to work... adding shackles... nope, checking if the old turnbuckles were longer... nope... this is the 'maybe if I just pull on it it'll be long enough... nope...' *curses*

Eventually they ended up with enough things tied down to the deck, that it was safe to move. The plan they ended up with was getting all the hardware together to get it solid, take it out for a test run and see if there was anything major they were going to change before redoing the rigging in stainless.

I especially like the wobbly looking rig, but there she is ;)

Smellin' the flowers

Here yah go T, these ones are for you...

This was a larger one I cropped down...

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Did you know that....

While I was talking to Tony and helping him with his photos, I asked about a picture on his wall. It's a submarine going under the Golden Gate bridge...

It turns out that he was working at a museum at the time, some film company wanted the sub for a movie but it didn't run so they had to tow it. The insurance company made it part of the contract that he had to oversee all of the towing and such.

He said it was pretty funny, because every time they were filming he had to duck down between Kelsey Grammer's legs... then when they cut the scene he'd stand up check everything and then radio directions to the boats towing.

I casually asked what the movie was, already having half a suspicion... and it was! Down Periscope *s* one of my favoritest movies evar! I know, I know, it's a terrible movie... but I still love it ;o) Tony said his name is even in the credits, little and waaay at the bottom, but I thought that was still pretty cool.

Pardon my while I wipe the drool off my chin

We went to the NOAA office just up the road, it stands for something like National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, yep for real I just Googled it.

Initially I had a little trouble following the conversation, let alone participating... I was too busy ogling the office equipment. And then my inner nerd almost sold all my worldly possessions to sign up and be a weather forecaster when I grow up. They all had like 4 LCD screens, and were running 2 or 3 computers... while running multiple forecasting models and overlapping the results *drools* and the guy there was a surfer... I mean really, I could do that!

It was pretty cool though, he walked us through the forecast models, said something to the effect of "Why aren't you guys out there right now!?!?" lol and then said if we weren't leaving the next day, we should probably hole up until it calms down around next Tuesday.

It was pretty funny too, he started a sentence with "Do you know Pat and Sean?" I was thinking Omg is this seriously one of those 'Hey do you know Sally from Canada?' ... but as it turned out they also sailed out of Victoria and one of them had been plucked off their boat by helicopter, I guess they got hammered in a storm, ran out of gas and shredded their sails.

As you can see... we will be here until sometime next Tuesday. I think we've been here long enough that I can say I lived in Northern California for part of my life ;o)


I have a new one... netmaking! Dad bought a book at the boat store, it has knots, and uh more knots, *and* how to make nets the old-school way, like fishermen used to. It even explains how to mend, or patch a broken net!

*grins* This was the first test piece I did, it's is so cool! I mean I could make a hammock (the idea that started the whole thing)... or mesh bags, oooh or fishnet stockings! I always wondered where they came from ;o)

Boys are smelly

This post consists of material not talked about in normal circles... you have entered at your own risk.

I already knew this, growing up with two brothers and all... but yeah, they definitely need to be aired out regularly... whether they're aware of it or not.

Note to self: the 'glow' generated by walking at a brisk pace negatively affects any airing out benefits that may have occurred.

On farts:
Farting in foul weather gear is worse than snow pants, snow pants breath a little bit gradually releasing the smell in non-lethal doses. Foul weather gear does not breath, but rather produces concentrations far exceeding the lethal limit by means not yet scientistically explained.

Just dancing with myself... whoa whoa whoa...

Wicked cool tree, and for whatever reason it made me think of that song when I looked at it...

Dyslexic much?

Dyslexics untie! *hehe*

Scavenger hunt anyone? Can you imagine the conversation *grins*

Me: Excuse me sir, can you tell me where Twelfht (Twel-fhut) street is?
Sir: Is that from Harry Potter or something?
Me: Uhhmmmm no, it's for a scavenger hunt *shrugs*... so you don't know?
Sir: No, sorry.

My feet were too tired to check if they were all like this, or just this one...

Hold the flash!

I'm a little surprised how this one turned out actually, and I'm not going to lie... I'm not exactly sure which setting it was that worked *sigh*

Note to self: There's a reason photographers keep track o which picture they tried which settings with ;o)

Friday, October 08, 2010


I'm frustrated. I don't really care that we missed the weather window, and will probably be here till at least next Wed. Eureka is nice, and I'd much rather be here, nestled in a marina, than out in 40+ knot winds when we don't really know what's going on with the engine.

I don't care if you know the basics, or how something 'should' work. When it takes the experienced mechanic two hours methodically going through things, and narrowing them down to figure it out... well I think, that just goes to show there is *always* more to learn.

The first thing you find that might have caused the problem, may or may not be it.

If you ignore it, it most likely will not go away.

If you don't fix it now, it will still need to be fixed later.

When you don't understand how something works, or all of the parts involved... you might as well be trying to guess how Houdini escaped.

Here's the gist of one of my favorite MASH exchanges was between Hawkey and BJ... and why "I just don't know" isn't a good answer to why something isn't working.

Hawkey: Hey BJ, how much do you know about kidneys, and dialysis machines?
BJ: The basic stuff from med school that we had to take to graduate... why?
Hawkey: I don't know anything about them either, so how do we know we *can't* build a dialysis machine?
At 28/09/2010 3:57 AM (utc) our position was 40°48.44'N 124°09.79'W


Well that was an ordeal.

See we were supposed to leave this morning, early tide and all. Get a head start on the big storm that is supposed to be blowing through.

So yesterday we filled up the water tanks and went to fuel up. For starters it was a huge pier, with a ladder up to the top. We haven't exactly done piers before, but everyone else manages so we should be able to figure it out. We took a swing by, had the foresight to flip the bumpers sideways and meandered in again.

With a stretch I haven't done since gymnastics, and my usual amount of grace, I landed myself on the ladder *with* a painter in hand. We got the boat tied up only to find out that the pumps were further back.

After more ordeal, I was safely topside this time, we tried to remove a pile with the boat... okay and an antenna with a pile... but managed to get everything secured again. Started filling up the port keel tank, got some in and then blew fuel all over the place at which point Dad gave up and we filled the spare jugs.

On our way back to the marina the engine sputtered and lost umph. Thinking dark thoughts, we switched tanks for lack of any better ideas and everything cleared up... when we got back I wanted a cold beer and a baseball bat...

Given the engine weirdness, we have been forced to re-evaluate sneaking out between storms. So there's our trouble, neither of us know enough about engines.

So what am I going to do about it you might ask?

... finish reading "Be your own diesel mechanic"
At 28/09/2010 3:57 AM (utc) our position was 40°48.44'N 124°09.79'W

Thursday, October 07, 2010


We were over at Tony's this morning checking out the weather forecasts, and tapping into his extensive tug boat knowledge of the area... In his words "Weather's changing with a vengeance!" Basically it's doable in our little boat, but "Gentlemen don't sail in blows like this." *chuckles*

On our way out he mentioned something about getting the pictures off of his camera from the mast raising... My ears perked up, and I offered my humble assistance. *grins*

He asked "You good with those types of things?"

I answered: "I'm proficient"

I'm a trained professional just sounds ostentatious. I'm not entirely sure what that word means, but I don't think it's something I want to be.
At 28/09/2010 3:57 AM (utc) our position was 40°48.44'N 124°09.79'W

9 on the Zombie scale

I woke up at 6am... with something in my eye. Now how I managed to get something in my eye *while sleeping* is completely beyond me... I tried the token eye rub that you aren't supposed to do, I let it water for a bit, I tried the eyelash sweep... I really didn't want to get out of bed and rinse it out. It finally must have watered itself out, but needless to say I feel like a zombie.

Dad asked what I wanted for breakfast. I was thinking "All I want for breakfast is a large double double, and a bacon breakfast sandwich with a slice of tomato" *wistful sigh*... but instead I said that oatmeal sounded good. He did go to the trouble of making extra for me after all, and I do appreciate that ;o)
At 28/09/2010 3:57 AM (utc) our position was 40°48.44'N 124°09.79'W

Dear Mr. President

I'm sorry we Canadians always make fun of your beer, but I'm afraid your beer is terrible.

I was so looking forward to a burger and a beer, and was disappointed enough to write you a strongly worded letter. I tried a couple beers, and well quite frankly the 'light' would have passed as a fruity, flowery juice with bubbles in it... and the 'dark' might have *almost* passed as an amber beer back home in Canada.

Now I'm not an expert on beer, but I've tried my share, and I can now say with confidence I understand the plight of the American people.

Please come to Canada and I'll buy the first round to make it up to you.
At 28/09/2010 3:57 AM (utc) our position was 40°48.44'N 124°09.79'W

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


A boat is a collection of projects, all in various stages of completion. Where oftentimes a project is completed, not in order of its relative importance, but solely based on the availability of pieces needed to finish the project.
At 28/09/2010 3:57 AM (utc) our position was 40°48.44'N 124°09.79'W


We got engine parts! *happy dance* and... wait for it... the engine is running again!! Oh yeah!

We're just going to sit out this gale, with its projected winds of 35 knots... gusting to 45 knots but it should be all good to head out Wed. I'm excited at the prospect of moving again, but a little nervous that it will take a few days to find my sea legs.

Oh yeah and get this, you need a prescription to get whatever the local equivalent of the anti-nausea patch is... even though you don't in Canada *throws hands up* Go. Figure. So I will be relying solely on Graval. *sigh* The thing with Graval is that any time we took it as kids, it was usually *after* we already felt sick... and generally made me barf.
At 28/09/2010 3:57 AM (utc) our position was 40°48.44'N 124°09.79'W

Monday, October 04, 2010

Tuning the Rigging

Normally you wouldn't expect that tuning the rigging would have anything interesting whatsoever to say about it. Normally you would be correct.

Everything started out fine. The Captain had a gist of an idea, a vague rememberance of how it should be done... and so he started applying tape to the shrouds 1 meter apart, after they had been loosened. The Admiral stood there looking pretty on the foredeck curiously, but unobtrusively observing. Around about the fourth shroud, he measured, put the tape measure down leaving it to wind itself up, and started to mark off the meter.

The tape measure seized this opportunity to zip itself up... down the deck, over to the scupper and off into the briny depths. Note: The scupper is the hole in the toe rail to let water off the deck - which I might add was the only one that was not blocked off in some way.

So, the interesting part.... Well that was the only tape measure on board, and it's Sunday, and chances are not in our favor for purchasing a *metric* tape measure in the land of imperial... *curses*

After laughing at ourselves for a few minutes we regained our composure, dug out a chunk of metal, taped a ruler to the end, and proceeded. I unofficially dubbed it the "Bar of measures", called to duty for a task it was never intended... performed beautifully!

All in all we managed to straighten out the mast, we achieved *some* sort of moderately equally tension on all of the shrouds... and got two that had been crossed at some point uncrossed (we wont talk about that). We also deemed our sacrifice to the Sea Gods was acceptable, since the scissors when dropped did not abandon ship.
At 28/09/2010 3:57 AM (utc) our position was 40°48.44'N 124°09.79'W

Saturday, October 02, 2010

What was I thinking???

I woke up this morning, and this little voice inside me sucked up all the oxygen in my lungs and yelled "WE SHOULD GO FOR A RUN!" I blame this little voice solely on my friend Mitts. Because this is not a normal little voice, normal little voices you can pause, think about it, and then dismiss the crazy idea... but no, so I geared up and off I went for a run.

Now this little island that we're on, has two bridges that meet... I ran to the bridges and then had a bit of a dilemma, off towards nowhere running along the highway... or in to town? Both were equally scary, what with there being nothing more than a line designating space for a pedestrian.

I looked at my watch, sucked it up, thought skinny and ran as fast as I could across the bridge. If I had been any closer to the edge I would have been running on top of the railing. I considered it briefly actually, I have pretty good balance... but the water was pretty shallow and I figured my chances were better with the cars.

Needless to say I survived my 30 minutes of a half-jog. It felt pretty good too... until Dad and I walked all over town looking for the damn paint store. *shakes fist* stupid girl didn't pick up on the fact that we were walking and sent us to a store we gave up on.

I swear Mitts... you'll be the death of me yet ;o)

Still waiting...

I have nothing witty to say about waiting for parts... stab me in the eye with a salad fork.