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.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

A no screens, no news winter weekend escape!

If there were ever a time to get away on Aeolus to remote islands that are millions of miles away it was this weekend. With the recent election and all the drama of doom, we knew it was the perfect time to do what Wendell Berry called entering the "peace of wild things".

We took a family friend and headed out for the three day weekend to favorite places. Departing Anacortes on Friday morning we had calm seas and no wind, so we motored our way all the way to Reid Harbor on Stuart Island. No sooner had we arrived than we were walking the trails, enjoying the  smells, and going feral.

On Stuart, in winter, with whales in the distance. Happy Boys!
We all slept like the dead that night, even our teenage guest who normally stays up late was asleep by 9:30 with no screens to keep him awake and a day of activity to tire him out. Getting 9.5 hours of sleep a night is the recommendation I heard today from a school therapist, and we certainly get that and more when aboard Aeolus!

On Saturday we had a lazy morning while some rain swept by. We didn't leave the boat for our walk until around 11, hoping for the mid-day clearing that often happens. There was a wall of fog covering the peak when we headed out, and yet I was hopeful.

Sure enough, as we approached the summit, the fog was being filtered by light and we burst out onto the top in a gorgeous sky and direct sunlight. The skies had cleared just for us, or so we thought. We all commented that the mountain loves us and knew we were coming, so shed the blanket of fog for us to get the warmth and views we so desired.
You tell me, is she an angel? 

It was magnificent in every way.

And then we saw Orcas!

Yes, looking out toward Canada, we spotted a pod of Orcas spouting and jumping and without a single boat on the water to harass them.

The smells, the light, the physical experience of walking...talking under the winter skies.