Friday, February 19, 2016


We took a little break from all the industry that's been occupying Al since the first of the year when daughter Lindsay and 'over half' of our grandkids came for a visit. The weather didn't totally cooperate, but there was enough of a break that we took the boat to Stuart Island for an overnight and hike.

Papa is happy to be underway for the first time since September, and youngest grand Ranger is proud to show Papa his very own tablet.

The older three grands are happy to be underway as well! 

The rain has stopped, and we begin our hike. Grammie 'hopes' to make it to the lighthouse, but that IS nearly 3 miles away. The kids find there is a significant amount of trash on the beach in Reid Harbor, and Papa says they will return later with the dinghy to pick some up.

Before we have made it to the island school, the two youngest especially are saying they are ready to return to the boat. We spend a little time exploring the library and peeking in windows of the school building, then head back another way.

I think this could quite possibly be the biggest slug I have seen! I bring my size 8.5 alongside for comparison...

There is a torrent heading for the dock at Prevost Harbor.

Papa and Troy enjoying a quiet moment.

Little Emrie, in her bright leggings, at the top of the torrent.

What a gorgeous day it has turned out to be! 

Emrie, Ryker, and Troy

Papa and three kids land at the beach on their litter safari.

The trophies! A bucketful for each of them, AND some bigger stuff.

Emrie and her window art the next morning.

Ranger too

The kids hanging out in the v-berth. Their screen time is restricted during school time, but this is 'vacation'.

Ready to take the haul to the dumpster!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sewing Project

We are spending some inheritance dollars on home improvement. We got a new refrigerator (which reminds me, I need to post photos of that!) We have ordered a new head. And the boat cushions are going to be replaced. 

All-around handy guy Al is in charge of it all! In early February, he dug the Thompson walking foot sewing machine out of the v-berth, and to practice for the upholstery job, he made a new cover for the dinghy's outboard motor.

 The Joby light is handy for 'sew' many things! His magnetic feet hang onto the cast iron body of the sewing machine as he directs a spot of light just where it is needed most.

Al says this is his first sewing project since he made a duffel bag in Junior High.

Sewing complete! Now to run a drawstring.

Finished and installed!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Scenes From the Dock

Yesterday I noticed a boat approaching the harbor, placing fenders and staying out of the way of the departing ferry. Al was gathering some things to take up to the garbage dumpster and timing was right to help 'catch' the boat, if it appeared they would be choosing to dock behind us. But as Al went out onto the dock I heard him say 'I recognize THIS boat!'

Then I knew who it was -- our friend Steve was bringing his new boat home.

With selling Captain at the helm, and buying Captain at the door.

Steve gets to play 'deck monkey' as The Chief pulls into the slip.

A couple of hours later, one of the best looking work boats around is also coming home. The sunset lights the clouds, but the daylight has dimmed enough that his steaming light sends a beacon.

One day I told Al that we had a raven. REALLY?! How did we get a raven?

Haven't you noticed? Nearly every day, in the morning, a raven perches on the barricade and caws.

He peeks in the window -- I see you in there! -- and if it has rained he sips from the 'cups' atop.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Cost to Cruise Jan 2016 (They're back!!)

2016 is kind of a 'fresh start' for Kristi and I.  No taking a year off to move to the midwest.  No "sort of cruising" while also packing in 6 trips. No more 'special cases' that just become too much.  Nope, 2016 will be a nice simple take-the-boat-out into waters and 'mess around'.

And with that we will resume our Cost to Cruise posts, where each month we list up what we spend to live this lifestyle. Being as we stopped them last year (exceptions just became too much), here is a kind of refresher on the Rules we use when tracking costs:  We include all costs with the following exceptions:

  • Income and business taxes (Sales taxes are included as they are 'built into' the price of items)
  • Business-related travel (Airfare, auto rentals, etc)
    • I do report meals (Still got to eat)
    • We include costs for moorage of Viking Star during travel - Kristi often gets the place to her self :-)
    • We do include 'personal' travel costs.
  • Gifts given - such a personal choice.
  • Others - Always an others - and case-by-case. 
In short, our goal is to represent what it might cost someone to live the lifestyle we are living.  Two 50-somethings in a 50-something-year-old boat cruising full time and currently located on the northwest coast of North America  (Puget Sound, BC, Alaska).  We spend 8 or so months 'out there', coming into a port some time typically in November for the winter and leaving typically at the end of Feb.

OK, with all that said - here it is, January 2016 Cost to Cruise:

Kind of lonely, being only one month...   Aside from being lonely, it is kind of high.  Here are some reasons:
  • Maintenance:  We are getting ready to redo the cushions, and this includes fabric as well as some other supplies to get started.  (There will be more, specifically the Foam)
  • Moorage:  Our monthly cost for winter moorage - this will go away soon!
  • Dining Out:  WOW - we need to get out of port, those coffee shops are killing us!
  • Medical:  My favorite [sarcasm].  And as always, still the SINGLE LARGEST % OF SPENDING WE HAVE
  • Misc:  Mostly fees for the state park marine pass, as well as yearly taxes on the boat + dinghy.  Oh, plus a few loads of Laundry :-)

Well - there it is.  We are looking to leave port the end of Feb, then start working North some time in April. Will be interesting to see how things balance out over the coming months.  Make sure to click on the COSTS label to see prior months, as well as a comparison of costs while we were afloat vs. on land.