Jan's Journal

Wintering Over in West Sound on Orcas Island

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Oct. 8, 2002: It's quite foggy in the morning and today is "D" day - up to Orcas for the winter. Jim runs last-minute errands and he and Steve are trying to figure out how to hang the dinghy (Ruthie). They decide the setup will get us to Orcas, but is not a rough-water solution. At 1400, the fog is lifting and we're ready to leave. We say goodbye to all our friends and back out of our slip. I wave for a while; they have been such a terrific support system and I miss them already. We go through the Locks and decide we'll overnight in Kingston. We luck out with a reciprocal slip and treat ourselves to dinner with the money we saved.

Oct. 9, 2002: It's beautiful out (thanks Mom!). 0900 is our planned departure time to get the best boost from the current. We see almost 11 kts off Foulweather Bluff. All is well until we hit the Straight of Juan de Fuca, then all hell breaks loose. Instead of 1-2' seas as predicted, we encounter 3-4' confused seas. We are not prepared for this and we pay for it. Nothing is bolted down and things roll or fall off shelves. The table actually toppled upside down, the chair kept sliding into the helm station. Jerry hides behind the head door and gets bonked with a pile of papers so he runs forward, only to get bonked again. DC is not comfortable and I eventually wedge myself into the settee corner with one foot holding the chair and DC tightly held in my lap. Jim does a marvelous job soothing me and working the boat. He alters course to help lessen the rolling and 3 hours later, we are, happily, in the lee of Lopez Island. We stop long enough to straighten up and make coffee. The rest of the trip is a piece of cake and Peter and Charlie are on hand to catch the lines. Babs has a wonderful salmon dinner waiting for all of us. It's an early-to-bed night and the boys are still speaking to us when we return to the boat.

Oct. 10-13, 2002: Joyce and Nicky arrive from San Francisco so our time is shared with them. Babs makes a lovely birthday dinner and cake for Joyce and me (our birthdays are 2 days apart). We take Mañana out on Oct. 12 with all aboard. Nicky has a huge smile on his face. A minke whale keeps pace with us for a short time. It's beautiful out, but there's a cold wind. Babs brought lunch, including soup - mmm mmm good!

Oct. 14, 2002: Jim flew to Seattle, ran errands, visited Dunato's and Voula's and got home at 1915. We then went to the Lower Tav to watch the Seahawks lose to San Francisco on Monday Night Football.

Oct. 23, 2002: Len died. This is not a good year for the dads. Jim is quite upset and I help him make plans to travel back east for Len's funeral. We host dinner for Peter, Babs and Larry & Kay Taft. Six of us squeeze in here - wouldn't want to try anymore people, but we have a lovely evening.

Oct. 24, 2002: Up early to do laundry, packing and last minute things. Jim's flight to SeaTac is at 1145 but it's pea soup fog. We hang around Eastsound all day waiting for the fog to lift. I end up putting him on the 1710 ferry, then he'll catch the 1900 shuttle to the airport and backtrack to Colleen's. Life is not simple up here. I join Peter, Babs, Larry and Kay for dinner and come back to the boat early. The head door was closed so I'll be making a trip to the laundromat again tomorrow to wash the top blankets.

Morning Mist at West Sound Marina

Oct. 25, 2002: Turned both heaters on high to ward off the chill and popped the breakers. The pay phone wouldn't take my money to call Jim so I called Peter. I mostly had it figured out, but it helps to plug the heater back in! Anyway, I'm not off to a good start.

Picnic Island Shrouded in Mist

Nov. 1, 2002: Managed to make it through the week with only popping the breaker one more time, but I knew what to do! Kept myself occupied by touring the island, playing cards and watching movies at night. I had a job interview for a part-time position, but was home when Jim arrived. It's good to have him home, but it was good for me to be alone.

Nov. 4, 2002: It's been quite frosty the past few mornings and retrieving the milk out of the freezer on the flybridge is getting dangerous. Jim spends quality time with the new refrigeration system so we no longer have to climb up on the flybridge every time we want something cold.

Nov. 7-10, 2002: Colleen offered to pay half of my transportation down to see her so I took the shuttle - not a bad way to travel if you aren't in a rush. I did some Christmas shopping and had my fill of McDonalds, Sonyas, pizzas and stores. We went to the Rose Friday night and watched a movie Sat. night. Caught up with current events and had a great time. Would like to do this more often.

Nov. 19, 2002: Had another job interview today but...last week I got a call for an interview on Friday at noon. I believed it was for the court house position. So Babs drove me to the ferry (Jim was at Fish Expo in Seattle) and at noon I showed up for my interview, only to have everyone scratching their heads trying to figure out who I was to meet with. It seems everyone was out that day. So I caught the next ferry home. On Monday (11/18), I realized that the interview was with Candy at Orcas Center and not with Candy at the court house. Who'd have known there were two Candys? Anyway, I left her voice mail apologizing profusely and she said I could interview the next day. Don't know if I blew it big time, but appreciated the chance to interview. Still haven't heard from Island Petroleum and haven't pursued it because I would prefer (I think) full-time work. And so much for the court house needing someone who could start immediately last month - they haven't started interviewing yet! This is called "island time"!

Nov. 28, 2002: Thanksgiving. Peter's van was in the ferry line last night so we'd be assured of getting on the 0700 ferry. We watched a beautiful sunrise. Picked up Colleen at 1015 and on to Tacoma. Everyone was there: Marty, Bill, Deb, Dan, Becky, Jim, Jenna, Douglas, Juliana, Peter, Babs, Jim, Colleen and me (14!). Had a delicious dinner; the only letdown was there was only one pie for dessert and it was apple - no pumpkin pie. The hips really didn't need it. Jim, Colleen and I stayed in a local motel that night.

Nov. 29-31, 2002: Bill drove Colleen and me to the bus stop after breakfast. Jim stayed in Tacoma. We got into Seattle at noon and went our separate ways. That evening Colleen and I went to the Market to watch the tree lighting ceremony at 1700. Afterwards we walked up to Westlake and caught the 1730 ceremony, complete with a chorus, Santa, and fireworks off the roof of The Bon (and onto our heads). Quite a festive evening! By Saturday afternoon, I was done with my Christmas shopping (hooray)! I took the 1500 shuttle back on Sunday, but had my fill of Sonyas, grinders and oreos.

Dec. 2, 2002: Jim had dinner/drinks with Roger and Arlene (Augusta) while I was off island. Roger needs a part-time administrative assistant to work in both Seattle and Orcas. I sent Roger my resume. We'll see what happens next. So far, no job has come through.

Dec. 6, 2002: Decorated the boat for Christmas, but we can't find the blue lights for the exterior railings. They have to be in the barn, so we'll keep looking.

Dec. 13, 2002: In the ferry line at 0610 for the first ferry. Made it to Seattle in time to have coffee at Dunato's. At 1530 we were at the Keg for a Kenworth get together and at 1800 at the floating homes for a wine tasting/gift exchange. Lots of shopping in between parties.

Dec. 14, 2002: Lunch with Judy in Seattle and then lots of shopping in very rainy weather. Celebrated Christmas with Colleen; we had roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and cherry pie. Colleen liked the flannel pillow cases I made her.

Dec. 15, 2002: Had brunch with Kim & Eric on Abyssinia at noon. Unfortunately Dude had an abcess and Kim had to rush him to the vets. At 1630 we went aboard Handy Too! for appies and dinner. Bob and Ursula had also been invited. What a great evening, despite another very rainy and windy day.

Dec. 16, 2002: Jim and I went our separate ways. I went to Kenworth for a potluck with the girls and Jim picked me up at 1300. We shopped at Freddie's and then browsed the local quilt shop and caught the 1800 ferry home. It'll take us a day or two to recoup from this trip to the mainland!

Dec. 20, 2002: Ian told Jim they were going to switch water systems and would be shocking the supply on Tuesday, so we decided to fill the water and empty the holding tank today. Once again, we did it on a day with a north wind, making it challenging to get up to the dock. Why do we do that?! Thankfully no real problems and got back into our slip without an issue.

Dec. 24, 2002: Finally located live Maine lobsters in Friday Harbor so we ferried over to pick them up. Had drinks and appies with Peter and Babs and then home for our first Christmas Eve on the boat. We lit the candles, put the Christmas music on and totally enjoyed the lobster. The boys were happy to lick the plates, but weren't interested in the lobster meat!

Christmas Storm at Madrona Point

Dec. 25, 2002: Christmas Day and a wild one at that! 30+ kts of wind had me feeling queasy after opening stockings, gifts and breakfast, so we hopped in the truck and played tourist. Walked around Madrona Point in Eastsound, but the wind was cold and blowing spray. The power went out shortly after arriving at Peter and Babs, but we were content to sip wine/rum, snack on crackers and cheese, open gifts, talk to family and sit by the fire. Babs popped the lamb roast in the oven when the power came back on, but an hour later it was off again. Jim and I eventually brought the lamb and potatoes to the boat to finish cooking. We had the propane, but no heat, so we couldn't "move" Christmas dinner. Just as we pulled the lamb out of the oven, the power came back on. Dinner and dessert were delicious and Jim and I were in bed early.

Dec. 26, 2002: Received a call from Liane, whom I met at Lynn and Chris' solstice party on the 22nd. She wants to hire me part time to help organize her home office. Fine with me! I went to Poppies in the afternoon (with Jim) and we picked out several small pieces of fabric, as well as material to make a baby quilt for Bob & Chrissy's baby (due in February). What fun! A latte at Teazers rounded out the day.

Dec. 30, 2002-Jan. 2, 2003: Douglas and Juliana have been on island. Peter brought them to the boat and they seemed to like it. They took us all to the Deer Harbor Inn for New Year's Eve dinner. We sat across from the fireplace and roasted, but the food and service were wonderful and a lady played the dulcimer. Douglas and Juliana headed for bed at 2145, Babs fell asleep in the chair and Jim and I left at 2200. Happy New Year 2003! Babs' annual pizza open house was a huge success. Have no idea how many people came, but the house was packed and we were all exhausted at the end. That night brought yet another wild storm. It hit around 0100 with steady winds at 30+ kts, heavy rain, lightning and then we lost power. Mañana bounced like a bucking bronco! Thankfully the storm lasted only an hour and the power came back around 0600.

Jan. 6-9, 2003: Judy came up for a visit and stayed at Nanette's B & B. Unfortunately we discovered mold in the lockers on the flybridge so Jim and I spent all morning scrubbing life jackets with bleach water. Judy entertained herself on Mt. Constitution. The three of us hiked Madrona Point and picked out colored glass on the beach. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable visit. Nanette showed us her slide presentation of France and served tiramisu afterwards. Lovely!

Jan. 14, 2003: Roger sent me an e-mail asking when I can start. I confirmed with Colleen that the arrangement of me staying there will work out and I made reservations to spend a week in Seattle.

Winter Sunset in West Sound

Jan. 19, 2003: Boat Show. Jim came down and we attended 5 seminars - actually saw very little of the show, but Jim met up with the vendors he needed to speak to. Went to the Women Aboard dinner at FX McRory's. The national director of Women Aboard said a TV show, Radical Sabbatical, is looking for first-time cruisers who have chucked it all and she would submit my e-mail address to them. Linda Lewis offered us the chance to attend TrawlerFest free (!), as long as we're willing to work the Women Aboard booth. That's okay with us!

Jan. 24-26, 2003: Quilt Camp. What a kick! Three days of nothing but sewing and learning all I can about quilting. Went with Lynn, but there were 65 women at Camp Orkila. When I returned to the boat Friday night, Jim had a huge surprise for me - a warm (but very smelly) cabin! Hooray! We have heat! That brought my "4 layer days" (of clothing) to an end.

Feb. 14, 2003: Happy Valentine's Day! Jim made arrangements to have the heater checked out for warranty purposes in Anacortes. We had a lovely 3 hour cruise to Cap Sante. The engine died as Jim was docking at the pump-out barge and wouldn't restart - oh oh. He quickly diagnosed the problem and got around it. The heater passed inspection and Gordon offered Jim a job if/when we return to the NW after cruising. Spent Friday night in a reciprocal slip. Had dinner at Estaban's, did some grocery shopping and poked in the local quilt shop. They have Laurel Burch flannel - I'll be back with measurements!

Feb. 15, 2003: The wind is blowing 22 kts inside the marina. We walked around town trying to kill time, hoping the winds subside. By noon, it was still howling and we heard there were 5' crested seas in Fidalgo Bay, so we decided to stay in Anacortes, which means we will miss Peter & Babs anniversary and the West Sound Community potluck dinner. By 1400 the wind is calmer, but it's too late for us to leave because we have no navigation lights. I spent the day making Laurel Burch blankets for each cat.

Feb. 16, 2003: It's calm out so we leave Anacortes at 1000. Jim temporarily hooked up one windshield wiper, but we have a very nice crossing. Murphy's Law says it'll be blowing when we get to West Sound. After several failed attempts to get into the slip, I made my way onto the swim step and was able to get on the dock. We used a spring line to get into the slip.

Feb. 23, 2003: I am in Seattle for a long stretch this time but Jim is down for 4 days, having taken Peter & Babs to the airport. We made good use of their van and bought a new side chair for the main saloon, and lots of other stuff. On Sunday we attended the Women Aboard luncheon at Ray's. Bill and Natalie joined us, as did Kim & Eric. Afterwards we all went for a tour of Abyssinia; she's coming along nicely but we all agree we won't be ready by June. That evening I had Christian shave my head 1" all around. Very short!! It looks okay but I'm not sure if I'll keep the top this short. Jim was approached by the TrawlerFest presentation coordinator asking if we'd like to speak on Mañana's refit. We will be given free moorage, registration, t-shirts and actual cash. Although we've never done anything like this before, we decide it will look good on a resume when we decide to rejoin the rat race.

Cover Shot for Latitudes and Attitudes?

March 8, 2003: Woke up this morning to snow! I quickly bundled up in my winter finery and ran to the bow pulpit for a "sexy babe" shot to be submitted to Lats and Atts. Sometimes living aboard and cruising doesn't mean bikinis and shorts! Bob Schoen's memorial service is at 1330 and there's a wonderful turnout at WSCC. He was a fascinating man. Several members of the Orcas Island Yacht Club decided to do a sail-by Bob's house after the service, despite the snow still falling and the cold temps. We went out with Peter & Babs on the Arctic Tern. Four boats in all and Bob's family was at water's edge and fired off Bob's cannon as we passed by.

Jan Tries Winter Cruising Aboard Artic Tern

March 9, 2003: The snow was gone this morning. We took the ferry to Friday Harbor and met Rebbie and Bill Bates, a Women Aboard member. After lunch, we piled in their car (her sister was along) and got an abbreviated tour of the island. It's amazing how different the topography is. We signed up for an educational seminar that San Juan Island Yacht Club is sponsoring in two weeks. Hopefully we'll be able to bring the boat over.

March 15, 2003: National Quilt Day and the Orcas group has reserved a hall for the day. I rode with Gail and there were about 15 ladies present. I made two squares for a comfort quilt and then began working on Colleen's birthday present. That evening we attended the WSCC potluck, my first in two months.

March 21, 2003: I flew home at 0900 and we were underway to Friday Harbor by noon, despite weather predictions of 45-60 kt winds. It took us one hour and had the reciprocal slip to ourselves. Rebbie and Bill drove us to Brown's Hardware and to the local's grocery store; definitely a great find as we came out $95 later! We ate at the yacht club that evening as their guests.

March 22, 2003: It got bouncy around midnight but we awoke to beautiful blue skies (it was breezy all day). The seminar was mostly good; would have preferred more "how to's" than sales pitches, but it was still worth the money. Went home on Sunday morning - nice and calm and no trouble getting into the slip.

April 10, 2003: The three words no woman who is living on a boat in the middle of a major refit and six weeks from cruising wants to hear are "the mast broke". Jim and Josh discovered a crack about 2" from the top; Jim was able to break it off without using undue force. Josh has a plan on how to fix it. In the meantime, the mast and boom are sanded, drilled and plugged and the top of the spreader was fiberglassed.

April 14, 2003: Had a company come out to take measurements for a new linoleum floor; the headliner is in Peter's barn. Jim has decided to have San Juan Canvas make the flybridge cover. The heat is on and I've decided I really don't want to do this anymore. An apartment, a job, a real life would be nice. Guess I'm tired of living under construction.

April 17, 2003: Colleen's 24th birthday! Happy birthday, baby! I took her and Christian to TGI Friday's for dinner - yum! She seemed to like her wall hanging. She didn't quite believe that I'd made it and didn't mind the pink center pinwheel!

April 20, 2003: Easter. Douglas and Juliana came down and the six of us had a nice brunch at Rosario (at $35 pp - ouch!). This was our first Easter since 1985 that we didn't have brunch at Anthony's. A lazy, but very pleasant, day.

April 24, 2003: Jim brought Mañana down from West Sound alone and Colleen and I watched him come into Bell Harbor Marina from her apartment. Colleen, Christian and I each carried a bag of food to the boat. Thankfully the weather cleared up nicely and Jim fired up the BBQ for steaks on the grill. A good time was had by all. I woke up to some LARGE wakes in the middle of the night, long after the ferries stopped running. The next morning we learned there had been an earthquake. Hmm...

April 25-27, 2003: DeFever Rendezvous in Brownsville and we actually made it in our REAL DeFever! Yahoo! We fueled up and emptied the holding tank before joining the group. In all there were 12 boats and we weren't the smallest :). We had warm sunny weather all weekend; it couldn't have been nicer. Received lots of positive comments about Mañana - it helped recharge our batteries.

April 27, 2003: Went to Poulsbo for the day; a pretty ride. Stayed in a reciprocal slip, unhitched Ruthie and took her into town after a brief time on the battery charger. Had a relaxing walk about town, then back to the boat for kielbasa on the grill.

April 28, 2003: Back to Bell Harbor Marina and another beautiful day, although the wind was from the north, making our trip bumpy. We have decided to summer over in Sidney, BC; Jim will go up to Van Isle Marina to check out the slip before we pay the deposit. Oh Canada!

May 1-5, 2003: Greensboro, NC to see Pat. Lin drove the DC-3 down for Teri and we had a wonderful time together. Went to Old Salem (Moravian town) on Friday and Mt. Airy (Mayberry RFD) on Saturday. Had a fried porkchop sandwich at Snappy's Restaurant (fried porkloin with chili, coleslaw, tomato and mustard on a bun). A gastronomical delight that actually was very good! Saw Bob, Chrissy, Mason, Butch, Nancy, Michael, Kathleen, Thomas, Rick, Teri, Jordan and Ethan. Flew first class - the ONLY way to fly!

May 9-10, 2003: Babs' 70th birthday. Went out to dinner Friday night - expensive! (but excellent). I hemmed a pair of slacks she had received as a gift. We had a party for her on Saturday afternoon. It was a beautiful day and the party was well attended. She liked the pillowcases I made her and was proud to show them to everyone. Douglas and Juliana came down as a surprise.

May 16, 2003: Took "the boys" to the vets for their rabies shot so we can get into Canada. Both did fine but Jerry got pretty sick afterwards. Thankfully it's a three-year shot.

May 20, 2003: Last day of work at Westfield Center. We went to Raja for lunch; we were also celebrating Christopher's 24th birthday.

May 23-26, 2003: Memorial Day Weekend at Oak Harbor with Yarrow Bay Yacht Club. Disappointed to learn that F-troop is no longer part of the club, but that afforded us the chance to get to know other couples. Jim won the Mexican Hat Dance Saturday night and we won the blind-folded dinghy race on Sunday. Had a zooey trip up Saratoga Passage on Monday afternoon, fighting the bozos headed south. Went through Deception Pass at slack and then had a peaceful cruise across Rosario Straight, through Lopez Pass. It was great to get away - got a couple projects worked on, as well as some sewing, and showed Mañana off.

Mañana Gets Her Mast

May 27 - June 2, 2003: Mass madness and stress as we try to finish multiple projects before we leave West Sound. We had to move the boat back and forth to the county dock so Josh could work on and finish the overhead cabinet. Jim and I finished the new overhead panels, emptied the locker, cleaned the loft, moved the 2 big spools out of the aft cabin, installed the carpeting, varnished panels and painted the light blocks and shelf for under the helm chair, and last but not least, raised the mast with Josh and Peter's help. Babs took pictures. As soon as the mast was stabilized, Jim installed the radar and three burgees. We could then feel comfortable and relax just a bit.

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