Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Change is in the Air

In the morning we cast off our lines from E Dock here at Swantown in Olympia, Washington.  There are some changes in the making for Scott, Connie, and Traveler.  

Unplug the AC cord! Call the marina office and ask them to come read the meter and prepare our final bill, or, better yet, our refund for the last week of this month, then  cast off the spring lines! Connie and our neighbor Sam will walk the boat back while I turn the wheel to starboard.  She won't back to starboard so we hand-push her out.  

Catching an outgoing tide, we'll slide down Budd Inlet and take the turn down Dana Passage. By mid morning the current will be kicking up there and we'll see a strong rip tide.  We'll ride it east to Johnson Point and instead of continuing on to Nisqually Reach we'll turn up Drayson Passage and go around the north side of Anderson Island, shaving some time off our trip to Tacoma.  By noon we should be at the Tacoma Narrows where the current can exceed 4 knots if you let it.  I'm thinking we'll get an assist of maybe 3 knots to spit us around the corner at Point Defiance and on into Commencement Bay and Foss Marina, arriving at slack tide.

We've got a side tie at Foss Harbor Marina reserved, should get there early enough to get our gate keys at the office and plug in for the night.   Friday we'll secure the boat and take transit back to Olympia to pick up the truck and stay for a little of the Art's Walk celebration and the Luminary Procession that night.  Saturday we'll be back in Olympia for the Procession of the Species and Connie will be playing at the Blind Pig Spirits Distillery (at the Market on 222 Capitol Way) from 4:00 til 6:00.

Luminary Procession, Friday 9:30 PM
Procession of the Species
Saturday 4:30

Back in Tacoma, at 08:00 Monday morning I'll join my two friends Don Kneeland and Scott Tobiason at Flagship Maritime for the 56-hour OUPV (Six-Pack) course.  I'm getting my skipper license!

After seven days of taxing my simple brain we'll leave Tacoma and head north again, this time with a registered captain aboard...Me!  I guess we'll lay over at Blake Island for a night before getting an early start to make our way through the locks and under all the low bridges in the ship canal in Seattle, arriving at the UW docks Thursday afternoon so we can participate in the Washington Yacht Club Snooze and Cruise prep night.  We'll be anchored somewhere nearby for a couple of nights then that weekend take aboard a passel of UW students and staff and ferry them out to Blake Island for the night.

Scott and students back in the day teaching sailing at the UW

When I learned to sail at the UW I participated in plenty of Snooze and Cruise events.  It's a great experience for folks new to sailing.  A bunch of boats ferry, I don't know, 50 or so people from the UW to Blake Island.  We take over most of the dock space and the student crowd goes ashore and pitches tents in a group camping area.  There is a huge group dinner, a campfire, and the party goes on and on.  Us older boaters retreat to our vessels and get a good night's sleep.  There is a big pancake breakfast in the morning then we all sail back on Sunday.

After Snooze and Cruise we'll find a place to park the boat for a night and make our way by train back to Olympia to meet with a couple who runs a sailboat charter business out of a marina downtown.  Our plan is to take over their business and start chartering Traveler out of Olympia each summer.  Yes, we are going back to work.... this time in the charter business!   This is a huge change for us and one we are very excited about. More details will follow once we get things sorted out.

Along with this change we'll be thinking about selling Connie's rental and buying a little house for ourselves in Olympia.  We have other chartering ideas in the hopper that might, just might, include more opportunities in warmer climates.

In the meantime, we're trying to stay calm and take everything one day at a time.  Our plans are still to cruise the beautiful Pacific Northwest this summer May to August so any of you in the area who want to join us are welcome to jump aboard. Traveler has never seen this part of the world as we purchased her in San Diego so we're excited about gunk holing the Salish Sea in the boat that is our home.  Keep in mind that we'll be in the Seattle area, Vashon, Bainbridge, Kingston... for two weeks in May and want to get all our friends out for cruising or dinner or both.

Ain't life grand?  Ain't life strange?

sv and cb


  1. You are both beautiful and courageous and strong and full of life and love! May you always have soft breezes in the morning and calm seas at night enough for sweet dreams after glasses of wine that didn't spill out all over the place! Would love to cruise with the two of you!