Thursday, June 1, 2017

A Tumbo Memorial Day, again!

With the winter we have had, it was all the more delightful that we had such warm lovely weather for the holiday weekend. We went up Friday night and departed Friday Harbor Saturday late morning to journey to Tumbo Island, our home away from home. This marked at least the fourth or fifth year that we had enjoyed Memorial Day at Tumbo, and this year was nothing but a reminder of why we do it.
Owen is big enough now to drive the boat!

The trip there takes a bit more than three hours in neutral conditions. We were not able to sail, as it was so dead calm, and we had a bit of help from a building flood current as we approached Saturna. The passage around East Point on Saturna is always a threshold to happiness. That passageway up the west side of Tumbo is just narrow enough to feel cozy and curvy enough to feel intimate.

Elliott before leaving enjoying the pleasures of the hammock
The tides were unusually low on this weekend, and lower than we had ever seen there. So low, in fact, that on Sunday we did something we had never done, which was to cross the isthmus between Tumbo and Cabbage. It dries at negative tides, and we had no trouble traversing the half mile distance without any fear of getting washed away.

We did what we always do: play, lounge, read, eat, run, swing, watch wildlife, play cards, and generally putter. Heaven.

On the way home we got to sail down past Waldron and most of the way to Friday Harbor. A nice steady 15-20 made for perfect sailing conditions, and it felt deeply good to heel over and fly by the wind. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Winter Week in Wonderland

We went up to Friday Harbor the Friday night before last, and came home on Thursday night the following week. In between, just rocks, water and plants. Oh, and sky. And books. And walks. And card games. And great food. And conversations large and small. Just an escapade into the wonderland of nature and each other. Our truest homes.

Here are a few pictures from the various stops and routes, which included the American and Canadian islands of Stuart, Saturna, Tumbo, Russell, Jones:

A close pass in Boundary Pass

Tumbo wanderings
The rope swing on Tumbo...from the majestic Garry Oak
Climbing the cliffs on Russell Island

Such a small thing, to take us so deep and far

Tumbo shoreline on the edge of Everywhere

Is there a prettier sight? 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Off we go, into the wild blue yonder...

Back north, up where the water rages through, where the wildlife is wild, and where our hearts and minds are free

Monday, February 6, 2017

Corroded Shift Arm on MG 360-No help from Mill Log or Twin Disc

Here is a photo of the rusted and corroded shift arm on the MG 360 Twin Disc I have had in for only 3 years. My prior tranny was a Hurth, in this same spot for nearly 30 years and looked spotless when I removed it. A serious design and manufacturing flaw by Twin Disc to build a marine transmission that in normal conditions would corrode so badly. I contacted Mill Log Marine, our local Twin Disc dealer here in WA, and was told not only is there no recall, or replacement program, but that the same model is $67 if you are lucky enough to find one! Appalling.

I will be having to haul out my engine and tranny for cleaning anyway, and will remove this shift arm, clean it, see how much is left, and paint it with some good corrosion resistant paint. What a pain.

Snowy escape to Stuart Island

After all the recent political turmoil, we had a million reasons to stay home and read the NYT and attend a gathering by our local Congressional rep about paths of resistance, and just stay warm on a snowy cold weekend. Did we? You know better.
Owen headed up as the blizzard starts

We gathered ourselves up and sped off to Friday Harbor on Friday night to get away from it all. Away from news for a weekend. Away from screens. Away from the reasonable choices we make each day to maintain our household. Into nature. Into wilderness. Into adventure. Into the sanctity of each other.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

A wintry day to check and clean

What better thing to do on a wintry day off than go to Friday Harbor and do boat maintenance?

All paths lead to Aeolus! 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Aeolus back to Friday Harbor

As I mentioned on my last post, we have moved Aeolus back to Friday Harbor. This decision came about after being in Anacortes for a couple years and facing Rosario Strait in the winter. We are a year-round sailing family, with winter trips being some of our favorite times. Over the past couple of years we have had repeatedly rough conditions in Rosario Strait that have made getting to and from the San Juan Islands a seriously uncomfortable or forbidding affair.

The reality, for those who may not know, is that almost all of our storms come from the SE, and Rosario Strait is open to the full fetch of water from Port Townsend north. It is common for seas in Rosario Strait to be 3-5 feet. Whereas, in contrast, San Juan Channel is a far more protected stretch of water. In all our years of living and sailing in that channel, I can recall only a handful of days that would have kept us from venturing out.

Friday Harbor feels like home, and though we will once again face the tyranny of the San Juan ferry schedule, it is a trade off that allows us to venture whenever we want to where we want to go. Most of our trips take us to Jones or Stuart Island, or into Canada. All of this is closer from Friday Harbor, and much safer getting to and from. It feels good.