Getting There

It has been a month since we left Murphys.  We have had some adventures and experienced new things. The longer I wait to write, the more territory there is to cover.  I’ve waited too long already, so here we go…

We began our trip dreading the long drive to Washington, so we decided to make it a two-day journey this year.  We also chose a different route than the usual Highway 5, fast-as-you-can method.  Just passed Redding, we headed toward Klamath Falls and drove up the East side of the Cascades toward Bend, Oregon.  It was a very different drive, through high desert scenery sprinkled with wildflowers.  We enjoyed the open spaces, the topography reminding us of where we met in Bishop, California.  We passed through many tiny towns, requiring us to slow down a bit as we wondered what types of people lived there and what they did for a living.  People probably wondered the same thing when they passed through the Bishop area.

Upon entering one such town, we were in town before we realized it.  Yours truly was driving, and I was disconcerted to see an Oregon State Trooper behind me with flashing red lights.  I realized that I hadn’t seen the speed limit sign as we entered.  The nice Trooper informed me that I had been going 55mph in a 35mph zone.  “I’m sorry!” I said, reaching for my wallet to pull out my license.

Now, all the ladies reading this will understand:  When you take off to travel for months at a time, it necessitates changing purses.  You don’t want to carry around all the stuff you normally do.  Accordingly, I had downsized not only my purse, but my wallet.  I had placed my drivers license in a safe spot in said wallet, but it was so safe I couldn’t find it with those red lights flashing behind me.  The officer was really nice, and asked if I remembered my license number.  I tried my best!  “I might have left one digit out, I think…”  He went to his patrol car to look up my license, and I turned my wallet over to find my license in the plastic picture portion, right in front.  So, I ran back to the patrol car waving the license, “I found it, I found it!”  Probably not too smart.  Mike, to his great credit, kept silent.  Well, maybe he shook his head a little.  The officer handled it gracefully and I went back to the car.  Pretty soon he reappeared and handed me my license and registration.  “Why are you in such a hurry to get to Washington?” he asked.  “Oh, I’m not in a hurry.  I was just singing along with the radio, and lost track of my speed.”  “That’ll get you every time,” he said, and he let me off with a warning.  What a nice man!  God watches over little old ladies like me.


We passed through beautiful country on our way to Bend, where we made a dinner stop at Deschutes Brewery, and sampled some beer.  We found a couple we really like, a couple of beers that is.  Afterward, Mike was keen to get further down the road, but we didn’t get very far before the long drive and the beer combined made us decide to look for a room sooner rather than later.  We found a room for…  wait for it…  $65, breakfast included!  We’re not in California any more, Toto.  We slept great.

The next day we drove the rest of the way to our destination of La Conner, Washington.  On the way, we drove through the beautiful Cascades.  We might have spent more time touring them, but low clouds were obscuring the peaks, and a persistent drizzle wasn’t inviting for hiking around, so on we went to the boat.  An odd feeling of home-coming was in the air.

As you may recall from previous posts, Voyager was shrink wrapped at the end of last season.  Consequently, we spent a few days working in a bubble while on board.  We camped out on the boat in the boat yard, and we were highly motivated to move out and get underway!  We finally removed the shrink wrap, a job in itself, and completely washed down our “big girl.”  The mast had been lowered before the wrap job, and Mike and I managed to get it vertical again all by ourselves.  We felt pretty good about it, but even better about replacing the rigging on the mast and boom.  The old lines were worn and pretty nasty.  Now we have fresh new lines. [Lines = ropes, for you landlubbers]

Finally, it was launch day.  The unspoken question:  Do we still remember how to operate this thing?  I’m happy to report that we were successful and safe as we launched, and also as we docked.  We were very fortunate to find a spot to dock nearby on Memorial Day weekend, which we hadn’t been aware of since our heads were in work, work, work-on-boat mode.

Sunset – Day One.  Many more to come…
And so, we began our summer aboard.  We decided to head north into Canada to explore new territory, before our first visitors were due to visit.  We were joined for the first couple of days by some good friends in their boat.  It was fun spending evenings together.  Then it was time to head north on our own, ready or not.


The time of our lives, whether we like it or not…

We’re having the time of our lives, whether we like it or not.

A friend says, “That’s a sail boat.  Sometimes they anchor that way”
We have enjoyed the beginning of the cruising season in the great Pacific Northwest.

There are always the preparations that seem to go on and on and this startup was no different.  I am continually asking myself, “how important is it?”  I could be in the getting ready mode forever if this inner dialog didn’t occur.  There are many folks in boat yards that actually never leave because they aren’t ready.  How important is it?  Will the boat float without those extra batteries, or the dental floss?  Sure.  Will the engine run if the railings lack the last coat of varnish?  You bet.  Let’s go…


There is that nagging thought at the last moment when I wonder as the boat is touching the water, “Did I remember to do everything?”  I know that we didn’t do everything, but the boat floats and even starts, so we did the important stuff.  It does feel really great to have done just a few things in the off season that so far have made a tremendous difference.  From last year’s adventure, you might recall our anchoring difficulties with the infamous ‘Chain Biter.’  The windlass would start at any random time due to wet switches.  These have been completely replaced instead of a continuation of last year’s attempted repairs, and the problem is solved.  Thanks, Eric also, for the gear oil recommendation.  Chain Biter chews with his mouth closed and is much quieter.

While exercise is lacking living on a boat, the ‘opportunity’ to get aerobic every time we put the dingy up on the boat deck was a heart racing event.  This year with the addition of a big red Milwaukee drill, we can raise the little boat without hand cranking, just like the big yachts that have cranes.  Just push the button….  (Well, almost like the big yachts – they have ‘staff’ for such duties.)

Thanks John! What a great, low tech idea.

The aesthetic stuff is satisfying too.  The pilot house doors and the on-going teak deck restoration are looking great too.

The welcome mat matches.  Cymbre, You’re the best!

There is a lot to be said for living in the moment.  I could get anxious about all the stuff to do on the boat.  The goal is to enjoy the thing.  Right?  Even sanding?   No, I don’t like it…  So, here is the challenge for me and you:  have the time of your life right here and right now.   I know that some times are truly bad, but these are the things, along with the good that make texture in life.   I’ll leave the sanding for now and enjoy the view.  It’s worth it…



Having the time of our lives whether we even know it or like it…