Saturday, June 26, 2010

Strangers in the Night..

… or ‘Al, there’s someone on my Boat’!

We had some excitement last night around 4am.  That prior evening a friend of ours rafted to us, and as the night got longer decided to stay over (Rafting means as we were tied up to the dock, and the docks were full, he simply tied up to us).

About 4am I was starting to wake up for my err, well, 4am thing when I noted footsteps on the back of our boat.  We sleep in the aft cabin, with our heads right next to the aft deck.  My thought was ‘Well, Dan must have been out for the night and is just getting back to his boat’.  Then I heard some voices, one of which was a female and my next thought was ‘you Dog!’.   This lasted for a bit, but things changed a little when I heard Dan clearly say  ‘Who are you?’, and then a young lady reply ‘I was not on your boat, I was not on your boat’!

Well, by now I was fully awake and got up just in time to see this young girl step away from our boat still saying ‘I was not on your boat’, then she high tails it up the ramp and back into the city.

‘Well, welcome to the 1st nice weekend in Portland and the Blues Fest’ was my thought, until Dan continued ‘Al, there’s someone on my boat!’.  Sure enough, this nice girl had left her boyfriend stranded high and dry on the top of Dan’s boat.

After a bit of talking, he was rather apologetic and I am sure a bit frightened, we let him climb down and over Viking Star back to the dock where he rushed off to join his companion.  In the end, no harm done – except Kristi and I were full on awake at 4:30am.

One of the things said to us when we tell folks what we are doing is:  But what about strangers, how will you protect yourself?  It is true that, being mobile, we are almost by definition in unfamiliar surroundings, and that one needs to be a bit more vigilant and watchful.  And, to be honest, the water can attract folks with less than noble lifestyles.  Part of the trade off.  It is also true that bad folks (or in this case mischievous folks) are about anywhere.  Lock the doors, keep an eye open, sleep lightly, be aware of the surroundings.

This bring up another key topic:  Guns.  Better than Politics, and Varnish vs. Cetal, firearms will bring boaters from all sides into the conversation with very set views.  A pump shotgun is perhaps the most optional solution, with that very distinctive sound being a good attention getter and often all that is needed.  This case was resolved without any such need – but  those who might be wanting to climb aboard uninvited late some night to enjoy the view might take heed of what Dan mentioned last night ‘Some crazy person might shoot you’!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A day in MY life:

As a follow on to Kristi’s documented day, thought I would list one up.  Not that this is typical, but perhaps will become so.

4:27am – Awoke, as many Men my age seem to do, for an early morning trip to the Head.  Back to bed after.

8:32am – Awake again, this time a bit rested.  Got up and flipped on the hot water heater.  Batteries were well charged, and we wanted a REAL shower this morning.

8:44am – Back into bed, groped my Wife, then we read some while the water heated.

9:20am Showers

9:30ish -  Made coffee in our Italian style Espresso maker (and Bea, it is Stainless Steel, not the Aluminum that is ‘for the tourists’ J )  using fresh beans from Spella Café here in Portland, also a micro-roaster.   Very very nice.

10:00 – Fired up the Generator, the Kubota EA-300 / Alternator one.  (Have made some progress on it, will post more in a future entry)

10:20 – Helped a friend diagnose a Bilge Pump issue with his boat.  Pump would not turn off, not even when the fuse was removed!   à Turned out to be two issues:  1) Bilge pump switch had failed  - common, and 2) Someone has installed a phantom power source to the pump – bypassing the fuse and ‘control’ panel.  Maybe also common on older boats, but interesting to hunt down.

11ish – Brunch à Strawberries, and avocados .  Love the Fruit and Veggies showing up in the markets now.  Also added protein with a tuna pita pocket sandwich.

More reading of ‘Hawaii’ by James Michener

1pm – Turned off the generator and was picked up by someone else I am helping.  We drove over to my Son’s house to collect an oscilloscope and then to the problem boat.  Issue à Interaction between generator and inverter/charger – inverter shuts down after about 30 seconds of charging on Generator but is OK on shore power.  Verified waveform of generator looks acceptable, and neither leg of the generator is showing signs of compromised windings.  Inverter is a good old Heart and should not have issues.  But as Xantrex will not do any support, diagnostics, nor repair now, he will be replacing it with a Magnum.  A company that will support their products.

5ish pm:  All done, got him some new shore power cords that were showing signs of heat stress and stopped by a local café on the water for a couple of beers.

6-7ish back at the boat.  Dave and Patti had stopped by to say Hi, was good visiting with them.

8:30ish:  Kristi and I went to Harborside for their Happy Hour.  $3 cheese burgers and fries!  VERY good!

10ish walked around a bit, noted three more boats coming in to the bowl here and dropping anchor.  (Turns out one of them was the guy who purchased the Minto dinghy from us a while ago.  So, will have to watch in torment as he enjoys this wonderful small rowing dinghy throughout the Blues Fest – Oh Well)

11pm – Into bed.   End of an enjoyable day that was a surprise for as:  A nice sunny warm day.  Was supposed to be overcast, and raining.  Oh Well, no reason to listen to weather folks, they are getting it about 10% correct these days. . .

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Some Men strive to Great Things, and every once in a while we have the honor to meet one.

David Livengood.

Last week we noticed a man who appeared to be planning to jump from the dock near our boat into the Willamette River, on purpose! (Locals will understand what a brave act this can be.) Al spoke with him briefly and learned that he enjoys endurance swimming and running triathalons. Normally he leaves his gear on the dock, and had not had a problem with people disturbing it, but Al offered for him to leave his bag onboard Viking Star anytime he departed from the dock and Viking Star was there.

This evening we returned from a shopping trip, spied the gear, and Al noted 'Oh, the swimmer is here!' As we prepared the grill for our newly purchased steak, I saw a red swim cap approaching and gave a wave. Al was present while our friend emerged from the water and soon was knocking on the window for me to come out and meet him. 'He's leaving Sunday for England---to swim the English Channel!'

We quickly became Facebook friends so that we can follow his endeavors. We certainly wish David all the best as he attempts this great acheivement. He informs us that fewer people have successfully swum the English Channel than have reached the summit of Mt. Everest!

Al believes that this is the best of the cruising lifestyle that we have adopted--meeting interesting people from all walks of life, living out their dreams.

David, our wishes are with you!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Fathers Day - Is this really paradise?

Sayings, there are lots of them.  One saying goes "Cruising is defined as: Fixing and Repairing your boat in exotic locations".  Now, we are not exactly in what one would readly refer to as an 'exotic' location, but the Fixing and Repairing things continues...

Today's task:  I need to swap out a head (toilet) pump that I replaced the other day. Last Thursday I removed the old pump, replaced the duckbill and flapper valves, and installed a spare unit that I had previously renewed all the seals in, greased it up, and had it ready just for this occasion.  Well, the new one is not working well.  Not sure if it is due to sitting for so long after being 'renewed', or if it is just worn out.  But it is bleeding between the Used water and the New flush water.  Will leave it to your imagination what that means, but it is not what we want.

I need to remove this pump and either fix it or replace it with another.  Just like I did last Thursday, only this time the whole unit is umm  contaminated.  Fun, and no picture.

Ah yes, we are living the life :-)

Happy Fathers Day to all!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A bit of a mind shift. . .

Truth be told, we are kind of cheating this whole Cruising thing. We are not really full time cruisers, or at least by some's definition. We plan on picking up a moorage in our port town this winter, and I still have this part time consulting job.

But I don’t know, one quote known by many comes from the Water Rat in ‘The Wind in the Willows’ “…there is nothing – half as much worth as simply messing about in boats” And in that light, we are full timers on the water. And who say’s one must LEAVE their port town to qualify as Full Time Cruisers? Perhaps when we migrate north next spring it will satisfy a more pure definition.

And on another view of mind shift: I have noticed a decided difficult task doing this Cruising thing, and still having an unrelated job. Guys being rather single task oriented, I find it at times difficult to get my mind out of the Boat Life, and into Email, CCalls, review and preparation of documents. Even if it is only 5-10 hrs a week. And once I do make that mind shift, takes some time to shift back. . . .

Oh, the challenges of those who choose this life style!

p.s.: Another quote I picked up along the line: "... a good traveler is not intent on fixed plans and is not intent on arriving. " – Lao Tzu –

Yup, I like that one a lot.


We are at the public dock at Riverplace in downtown Portland.  We have been on both the inside and the outside of the finger parallel to the shore previously, and rode it out well.  But this time, we are on the outside of the dock straight out of the ramp.  Boy, do we seem to catch the waves!

In fact. yesterday after our walk-about-town, we returned to Viking Star to find a bit of a mess.  The two 'bread boxes' and the bag containing our paper goods had slid off the top of the refrigerator. Contents were spread all down the stairs to the aft cabin.  And Al said 'Whatever you do, don't put it back the same way!'  I ended up using a couple of precious gallon ziplock bags and sorted plates and napkins into a holiday pack and a generic pack, and they are simply tucked into the cupboards above, beside or behind pots and pans.

Other items had slid from other positions, but not disastrously.  As I told a friend recently, we are still learning many things!

Al and I had a good conversation of ideas to improve storage in the v-berth.  Hooks and hammocks are on the list, and we plan to make a trip to a nearby hardware store soon.

Another side effect of the 'bumpiness' of our present location -- 'land sickness' has intensified.  I am sitting at Borders, enjoying a mocha and the internet, but the table and chair keep lurching around!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Day in My Life...

Yesterday was a good day.  And I feel, typical, of my days on the boat for the next three weeks.  Here is a review:

7AM--Wake to the sound of voices outside the window.  Cuddle with husband. Doze until 8:30.
8:30 AM--Finally answer nature's call.  Put on the tea kettle, NOT for water for tea, but for washing my body.  We are in super-conservation mode as comes to water, electricity, and the holding tank.**   So today for my 'shower' I poured hot water from the kettle into a tub, tempered it with cold from the faucet, and then stood in the shower and washed.  Surprisingly, it felt quite good!  Much better than a cold shower, and it used less water!
9AM--sit at the table to apply makeup.  I found out those voices that woke me were from what appear to be high-schoolers, because they are debarking from the Sternwheeler Rose, which has pulled up to the dock to unload.  Twice I hear the comment 'Oh look!  She's putting on makeup!' and I feel a bit like a monkey at the zoo.  We DO have nice windows that we much appreciate for the view they allow us, but it goes both ways!
9:30 AM--I leave Al to lounge and read in bed some more--he has work calls later--and head up to the Little River Cafe.  I order a bowl of oatmeal, and set up the computer at a table.  I check emails, Facebook, the news and weather, usually in that order.  I 'chat' with one of my daughters via Facebook, and I order more soap-making supplies.  After an hour online, I am ready to return to the boat, but first I head to Bean and Tree  for a mocha and a latte for Al and me, arriving JUST in time for him to have coffee for his 11:30 AM call.

While he is on the phone and computer for work, I read further in the book I began 2 days ago, Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult.  I like this author because she writes about tough issues, and usually presents many facets of those issues very well.

12:30 PM  Al is hungry.  He has not had anything to eat so far this day!  I am still FULL from my bowl of oatmeal (which I couldn't finish), but I heat some soup to share, and I put together a sandwich in addition for Al--his favorite, turkey and swiss.
1:00 PM  Wash the dishes from lunchtime and the last night's dinner.  I TRY to wash dishes only once a day, making that water stretch just a bit further, but today I want to clear the counter to make a batch of soap.  I pull my supplies out from their cupboard, which also contains my cleaning supplies.  I have to TOTALLY empty the cupboard to get all that I need.  Then I discover that it is quite dusty in there, so I get the vacuum and take care of that.  I made a one and a half pound batch of soap, using vanilla and nutmeg essential oils for fragrance. In another day or two, I will remove it from the mold (a sandwich meat container--practicing the 3 R's of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) and cut it into bars in another day or so.
3 PM  Repack all my soap supplies.  Reorganize my canned goods drawers.  Spend some time in the V-berth moving things in the attempt to clear a bunk.  This will take ALOT more work, but it must be done before we have company for a weekend in July.
5PM  Al finishes up some work and research he is doing on the computer.  He asks to go for a walk, but he takes longer than expected, so we decide to have dinner first.  He fires up the grill and sets it on low to heat the left over lasagna wrapped in foil that we got from friends.  It is yummy!  I love Italian food best, I think.
7PM  We finally depart for our walk, which has doubled as a garbage run, and potty break.  Another aspect of boat life:  We have a holding tank as our 'sewer', so in order to not fill it too quickly, we do use facilities on land as often as possible (ANOTHER reason to visit those coffee shops, in addition to the caffeine and wi-fi). The public toilets near Riverplace have those stainless steel bowl-seat-all-in-one.  And like most women, I try to hover, first because of the general 'ickiness' of public restrooms, but also because stainless is COLD to sit on!  But, I have been on a boat for the past month and a half, and I experience 'land-sickness' most strongly in small enclosed spaces, like bathroom stalls.  The floor 'tilts' and I sit after all---GASP!
8 PM  We continue our stroll along the waterfront, searching for an ATM to deposit the two checks burning a hole in Al's wallet.  The first we come across does not have envelopes.  We find a second that does have envelopes, but after preparing the envelope and attempting the deposit, it says he needs to go to his institution to make a deposit.  Arg.
8:30 PM  We return to the boat, and take our pudding, blankets and books to the back deck to enjoy the last bits of daylight.  I am nearing the end of my almost 500-page book.  Now that we are away from the marina and our ready supply of electricity and easy wi-fi connection, we watch TV very little, and I am limited in my computer access.  That means, I am reading ALOT.  I use to track my books and read reviews.  In the past, I think I read an average of a book a week or so.  I think this is my third book in the last week.  I have a good supply yet for the summer, but we are also considering an e-reader.
9:45 PM  We decide to forego the 10 o'clock news and prepare for bed.  This also includes time to discuss hanging some artwork on our cabin walls.  How do we make them secure--we get tossed about pretty good from time to time, and we don't want them to come down.  We need to visit a frame shop for advice.
10:15 PM  Lights out.

** The reason for our Super Conservative Mode is we have claimed our spot for the Blues Fest in downtown Portland, and hence can not move until the 5th of July.  So we need to stretch our expected two week supply of water to 3+ weeks.  And as we are not moving, we will not be recharging the batteries from the main engine - only the small generators.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A bit about energy

One of the key concerns of a cruising boat is resources, chief among them being Fuel, Water and Electricity.  Now on Viking Star we carry 500 gallons of Diesel, about 6 Gals of gasoline for the Honda generator and the small outboard, and 10 gallons of propane for the BBQ and stove.  Diesel will last us 6-8 months of typical cruising, or one trip to Hawaii! Gas depends on Honda use (time will tell that), and propane perhaps 6+ months of use.  So, overall we are OK for fuel.

Water – we have 225 gallons, about 2-3 weeks worth.  Something we do need to consider and deal with, but not on a daily basis.

Electricity:  Those LARGE batteries we installed last winter (all 1,200 lbs worth) are perhaps 2-3x what a typical cruiser might carry.  Even so, these batteries only hold enough electricity to last us 2-3 days, that is it.  Electrical demands on a modern cruising boat is a daily concern.  Modern boats have electric lights, computers, radios, and refrigeration – all of which are typically powered by Electricity.  In days ago, lights were kerosene, computers where fingers, radios were sharing stories around the deck at night, and refrigeration was a dream.  Even today some minimalist folks will take this approach and have just a small car battery to power the VHF and perhaps nav lights.  But we as a people do tend to become used to our modern conveniences.

To get a better understanding of Electricity onboard a boat we need to talk a little about terms.  In your house one is often use to hearing about Watts – mostly around light bulbs.  We know that a 40 watt bulb is ‘smaller’ than a 100w bulb, that it uses less electricity and also produces less light.  We also know that if we leave those light bulbs on for a long time they will use more total electricity – as reflected in our power bill at the end of the month.  Energy for a house is typically measured in Kilo-watt/hours (Kwh), which is the function of Watts * time.  Leave that 100w bulb on for 10 hours, and you have 1 Kwh, which will cost you about $0.10

On a boat we also measure things, but we use a slightly different unit.  We tend to use Amp-Hours.  Like Kwh, Ah is the product of power  used (amps in the case instead of Watts), and the time it is consumed (in hours).  The use of Ah is more common because, frankly, we store electricity in batteries and they are ‘sized’ by Ah.  On Viking Star we have 1,800Ah of battery capacity.  Meaning we could draw 1A for 1,800 hours, or 100A for 18 (See * below for some details) before the battery is totally discharged.  One more background detail:  It is hard on batteries to totally discharge them, on Viking Star I like to go to 700 – perhaps 800Ah max before I want to start recharging. 

So, with all that, let's do some comparisons:  In our house, or even in the boat while plugged into shore power, electricity was practically  unlimited – paced only by the memory of last month’s bill (yes, Dad is going around the house turning off unused lights!).   During the month of May we used 380Kwh of energy while still plugged into the ‘grid’.  That comes to 12.7kWh a day – which translate roughly into 1,270 Ah per day!  So, if we kept up that rate of usage, we would go through our batteries in less than a day…

Clearly a big difference.

This past week or so, we have been using around 200-250Ah / day, where does it go?  Some ideas:
  • Refrigerator:  100Ah / day
  • Freezer:  60Ah/day
  • Lights:  20Ah/day 
  • TV / Movies:  10Ah / hour that we watch (no leaving the TV on all day)
  • Coffee:  25Ah / pot (And we pour into a thermos as soon as it is brewed)
  • Computers:  Perhaps 20-30Ah / day .  More if we use the WiFi repeater.
  • Shower:  100Ah / short shower.  150Ah if we want the luxury of the whole 5 gallon hot water tank (about 10 minutes max)
I know this adds up to more then 250Ah, so obviously we tend not to do all the above in one day.

We are still adjusting.  One big difference between last month and now is we no longer use the space heater – that alone accounts for most of the delta between being plugged in vs. un-plugged.  Even so, we do have to change our habits while out here.  To be honest, this is mostly around heating of water.

At this point, the only way to heat water on Viking Star is via electricity.  Uncompleted projects will tie the water heater into the motor / generator to allow for water heating while those are running, as well as the installation of the Huricane diesel boiler (which will be able to heat water as well as provide space heating).  But for now, Electricity is the only way.  Our adjustments so far?  Taking cold (and very short) showers, and delaying morning showers until we are up and can start the Honda generator.  Will say, this has also extended our water supply from 2 weeks to what looks to be 3 weeks!

Energy systems are incomplete on Viking Star.  I am still tinkering with the Kubota generator, need to install the Hurricane, and perhaps also tie in the Dickinson stove to the water heater.

Am sure will come back to this topic as we learn and adjust more.  Will keep ya updated!

Monday, June 7, 2010


We had a lazy weekend, just lying about listening to the rain, and watching the river level rise.  This morning we called the Interstate bridge to get a river reading, and the tender said '13.4'  That means the river is 13.4 feet over datum, which is a defined average specific to a chart. 
This is significant to us today, not particularly as a reference to depth of the water, but as to our clearance under bridges!  The higher the water, the 'lower' the bridges! 
Portland is known as 'the City of Bridges' in addition to the City of Roses.  Today, on our trip from the Vancouver WA city docks, to Riverplace in downtown Portland we passed below many bridges, each with its own beauty. 
Our first today was the Vancouver railroad bridge.  It is a swing bridge, where a section  rotates on a pier to allow traffic through.  At datum, clearance for this bridge is 39'.  Just to double check our height, Al got out his tapemeasure, and we determined we are 24 feet from water to tip of our radio antenna.  We can tip the antenna back a bit, plus it is flexible at the tip, so we can 'fudge' a little.  But the mast itself is 23'  with no flexibility. 
Okay.  We have 39 feet clearance at datum, but the water is nearly 14 feet above that, which leaves 25 feet for the boat, which we have determined is 24 feet.  Hmmmm.  A little close for comfort. 
We called the bridge tender, and there was a train coming.  We would have to wait for a swing.  He suggested we come closer, and he would take a look to see if we could pass safely without the opening.  He hollered that we had a good 6 or 7 feet, but from where I stood, I didn't believe it.  Through and on to the next.
Around Kelley Point and into the Willamette.  The water is very muddy, and FULL of debris, though we HAVE seen more. 
I think the St. Johns Bridge is THE most beautiful of the Portland Bridges.  It was featured in the movie 'Pay It Forward'.  It is green and gothic, and very tall.  No worries.
Then the St. Johns railroad bridge.  We have never required a lift here before, but it looks awfully low!  We cannot see a river guage, but as we get closer we can tell there is enough room.  The guage is on the UPRIVER side--no good to us--and said 39'.
The Fremont Bridge is a huge white arch over the water, and then the Broadway bridge. 
The Steel bridge is a double-decker bridge, with rail traffic on a lower deck, and auto/light rail traffic higher.  We routinely require the rail deck to be raised here.  We wait for an Amtrak train to cross, then the lift begins.  Today, we are not the only boat to pass on this lift--there is a tug and barge behind us.
We travel under three more bridges to reach our destination, the Burnside, the Morrison, and the Hawthorne.  We are now at the dock at Riverplace, downtown Portland.  Three MORE bridges span the Willamette River in Portland--the Marquam, the Ross Island, and the Sellwood--but we won't be going past Riverplace this time.
As we pulled up to the dock, there was a young mother with two boys.  Six-year-old Ian was very excited to see us!  'Is this boat for rides?!'  'No, we are just going to stay here for a few days.'  'Can we come look inside?'  We nodded to mom Amy, and she and brother Colton also came aboard for a peek.  You know how Al loves to show off Viking Star, and pass out our boat card.  Maybe they will take a look at the blog and see their visit recorded here! 
I love the peace of anchoring out, but also enjoy the bustle of tying to the dock downtown.  The dragon boats are coming and going, practising for the big races this coming weekend for the Rose Festival.  We have already been up to our favorite coffee shop for an afternoon treat.
Tomorrow Al has business meetings all day at a hotel, perhaps even dinner.  I will be getting my hair done, and visiting my friend Rhonda.  She is recovering from several surgeries to remove a tumor from her head.  I was so happy to talk to her on the phone the other day, and hear she is in rehab.  They think they will send her home on Friday.  Yay!!!
The weather is nice today, and predicted the same tomorrow.  Rain returns for a few days after that :(

Saturday, June 5, 2010

We THOUGHT we were big!

Until THIS pulled up along side!  Most of the day Al observed much activity as the Spirit of '98 was provisioned and took on water and passengers for a cruise upriver.  As their generators/motors were quite loud, Al decided to run our generator also to recharge our batteries a bit.

The river is running high and fast.  There is a LOT of debris in the water.  

Friday, June 4, 2010

End of the week, what's it like? (Here is a hint: Rain Rain, Go Away..)

Have been ‘out’ 4 days now, and what has it been like?  Have been trying to get my head around what is in my head.  Has been a long effort to get here, and like many accomplished goals there is a kind of let-down once achieved.  A kind of ‘OK, Now what’.  I think it will take a few more weeks to square my feelings away, to be honest.  As Kristi commented in the last post, just seems kind of quiet now.

We are currently at the Vancouver City docks, having arrived yesterday.  One of the kids has an anniversary this weekend, so we went and got the car and Kristi is out in Hillsboro babysitting the grandchildren.  This leaves me alone on the boat for the night.  There are several topics to post about: where will we be going in the near future.  How about provisioning?  Energy – a big topic, trash removal, and the ever popular Stuff!  But for now, just working to make it through the days. (which today included tightening the head bowl to the base and cleaning under the whole thing, yuck..)

And then there is the Rain.  And by Rain, I mean RAIN.  Like – should I start collecting two of everything rain.  May finished up with over 200% of the norm, and here we are 4 days into June and we have ALREADY received the normal June rainfall for the entire month! Here is a visual of the earth, see that white streak (err, line of RAIN clouds)  stretching across the WHOLE Pacific?  Those have landed on North America right on top of us the last few days.  And by 'us' I mean Viking Star!    Rivers are high, currents swift, and there is lots of debris in the river - even in the Columbia where we do not often see stuff (I can only imagine what the Willamette is like).  We have fared OK.  There are two small leaks at the forward trunk cabin; one comes down in the head, and the other onto the workbench.  Manageable as both are onto a counter where we can place a tub.  But I can see soaked wood and I am not sure the exact source.  Future Rot in the making.  And of course the bilge is filling with the opened Devil Seams, keeps the bilge pumps busy.

But it has not all been Gloom and Doom (and by Doom, I really mean RAIN).  Tonight cleared off rather nicely.  After dinner of “two Side Golden” Ramen noodles I walked up to the local farmers market which is open tonight.  Not much there (still early in the season), but did pick up a couple of pears and a Boysenberry Scone.  Scone is for my Breakfast with some fresh French Press coffee.  Pear was enjoyed on the aft deck for desert.  Combined with some good Scotch and this view – guess it is has not been that bad of a start.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

And We're OFF!!!

Off to our adventure, off the grid, off our rockers?
Yesterday we got the car stuffed into the garage, and had dinner with Dave and Carolyn before they dropped us back at the boat.  Just now we topped off the water tank, pulled our dock lines from PacMar Marina, pumped the holding tank, and pulled away. 

At the moment it doesn't seem quite real.  I feel a bit detached, and Al is even a bit speechless.  As he says, we have been working towards this moment for over 10 years now.  And for Al much longer if one counts the years dreaming. 

Viking Star has been at home at PacMar for the past eight years.  I took a photo of our 'naked' slip as we backed out.  Good neighbor, Bob was there to wave us off and wish us well. 

Today is gray, overcast, and drizzling  with the promise of a heavy rain later today and tomorrow.  How fitting for starting an adventure in the Pacific Northwest!
You can now call us River Gypsies, or in a nod to friend Bart, Nautical Nomads.  For the summer, anyway, will we have no other 'home' than Viking Star.