Friday, September 26, 2014

Broken August and Red Huckleberry Jam

In Early August, my mom, who just happens to be a hand therapist, took a look at my right wrist that wasn't healing and made me a super special, customized splint.  In doing so, she effectively salvaged the rest of my summer.  So, thank you Mom.  :)

I started to work more on the boat more.  Then Ben got really sick, so for a while we weren't moving very fast. But we were able to get in this tile in.  It's where the diesel stove is going to go.  
He sat there on the ledge and placed all the tile and handed me pieces to cut.  I would then hop down to the dock where we had the tile saw set up, and back up with a resized piece.  I was able to do all but the last ten or so, when my wrist started aching. Here are some pictures:

We were going down to the boat one Sunday and I had my feet up on the dashboard of the truck, when I felt the unmistakable sensation of a large insect flying up the right leg of my shorts followed immediately by a sting. Since there was no shoulder and a steep drop off on the side of the road, we had to drive with this thing crawling around inside my shorts for a couple minutes till we found a place to turn off. 

I am not officially allergic to wasps, yet, but every time I am stung the reaction is worse. The last time I was stung and didn't get treatment immediately, the swelling wrapped entirely around my leg and I had to take antibiotics and other fun pills that I can't pronounce.  I was also limping for a week. So when I get get stung, it is unfortunately a bigger deal than I would like.

The place we found to pull off was a gravel parking lot next to one of the Swinomish Tribe administration buildings. Ben sprinted around to my side and helped me out. We had to move extremely slowly and carefully, I got both feet on the ground then took off my shorts. During this, I felt a second sting on the thigh. I can only imagine what this scene looked like the the people driving by.
Ben shook my shorts and a Bald-Faced Hornet fell out onto the ground. We then looked at each other and he said,"Well, I guess this day is shot."

We turned right around and headed to Island Hospital. Because it was a Sunday, the walk-in clinic was closed, so our only option was the ER. I got a bed, and Ben sat in a chair next to me and swapped jokes and talked Game of Thrones until the doc showed up. 
It was a hoot.  I am so glad I ate lunch before all this. 

In the Island Hospital ER.
Now, lest you think this month was a pile of crap, a week later I hiked to the top of Mt. Erie with my knitting.  Get a load of that view.

Partway up, I found the most heavily laden Red Huckleberry bush I've ever seen. All those little salmon egg-like berries peeking out from behind those little tender green leaves!  I like to rub my face against those leaves because they're so soft.
I made a note of its location and returned with a friend the next day.  Now only she and I know where it is.  I am so excited about this! I've been foraging berries and other goodies for awhile, but I've never had a treasure spot before.

Jamming time!

So no, August wasn't a loss.  And in terms of boat work, September has been pretty awesome.  I'll write about it in the next couple of days.  Until then, thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cabinetry and Living quarters

Note: This is my first post done on the Blogger app. So if you have any trouble seeing these photos please let me know.

Well, all the structural work we were doing is done, so we are now on to the fun part. We have been planning the cabinetry and the layout of the living quarters for years now, and it's a tremendous pleasure to finally be able to do it. 

I find the above pictures absolutely adorable. Ben looks like a kid with a new Lego set.

Yes, those are splints on both my wrists, it turns out both wrists were sprained.  The secondary x-rays turned up nothing broken, luckily. The healing is slow and I'm having trouble holding a hammer or a brad gun, but I am able to do lighter tasks. I can also carry a surprising amount of lumber in the crooks of my arms.  It's hard not to be joyful though, watching this all come together in the golden July sunlight.

At the other end of the dock is a beautiful little sailboat called Treasure, and on Treasure lives this little guy. His name is Redford. 
Redford has discovered that it is not too hard to hop aboard the big tugboat down at the other end of the dock. And if he does so, the people working there will stop whatever they're doing, and scratch him behind the ears. 

Happy Summer everybody.

Friday, July 4, 2014


Ho boy,  We've gotten a great deal done.  I would be able to tell you about it in greater deal if it weren't for my accident yesterday.  I was stepping down from one of the diving blocks at the pool where I work and my feet flew out from under me.  Though I landed on the deck pretty hard, I walked away with only a badly sprained wrist.  Since it's difficult to type now, I will refrain from long winded stories.

Here be pictures.

A hole.
Covering the hole.
Madrona tree growing out of a piling.
Scrapey scrape-scrape.
It would appear there is wood after all.  I was beginning to think our boat was made out of linoleum.

We needed a pretty, instant gratification job.
Ooooh shiny!

Unfortunately blurry picture of wheelhouse overhead before.
Wheelhouse overhead after.
Pleased with result.
We've actually done more than what's pictured.  But the rest of the photos are on Ben's camera which is  . . . somewhere.  We now have paint samples taped to the walls and are planning the layout of the galley, which is a lot of fun.  I am going through my possessions and deciding what I really need in preparation for moving aboard.

My hand hurts now so this will have to be sufficient.  Thank you all for your kind words and support!

Friday, April 11, 2014


April is here.  Look, pictures!

Sitting on the aft deck knitting or reading in the sun make for the most pleasant moments I have these days.

I'm knitting my first sweater.  What?  I'm proud of it!  If you wanna see boat pictures, keep your shirt on and scroll down.

Oh no the roof is gone!
So yeah, we found some rot in the overhead, so we tented the deckhouse and knocked that shit out.  I forgot how much I enjoy the sound of rain from inside a tent.

New deck beams.

While the tent was up, we could enjoy staying dry while searching our pockets for the keys to the cabin.  Eventually, we would like covered side decks, but that's a little ways in the future.

I've got this brilliant idea that we should get a miniature donkey and get him to pull the dock cart.  I'd name him Donkey Xote and keep him away from windmills.

Ben thinks this is an incredibly stupid idea.  Feel free to leave a note in the comments to tell him how foolish he's being.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Shelter Bay Fire

There was a fire in the Shelter Bay Marina last night.  Before anyone asks, Susan is just fine, and so are we.  We are moored at Pioneer Point, across the ditch.  I hope everybody in the area is uninjured.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Excitement and the Return of the Sun

The Superbowl was on Sunday.  And you could tell just by being aboard on our spot below the Rainbow Bridge in La Conner.

Ben and I were planning out our projects for the day when we heard the sound of a passing vessel.  I, being still fairly new to the maritime world, thought nothing of it until I saw Ben look up suddenly and cock his ear to listen.  "Someone's going by fast," he said.  We'd lined most of the windows in the galley with garbage bags to keep them clean during construction, so we couldn't see out where we were standing.  I jumped up into the wheelhouse just in time to see wake of the passing boat coming towards us.  Once again, I'm still fairly new to life on the water, so it didn't look too impressive to me until I heard Ben, who had a view through the window by the diesel stove, shout "holy shit, hang on to something!"

Whoa!  I've never felt our girl rock like that!  Not even underway.  I saw green water over the dock and  Ben got a view of all the boats moored behind us dancing.  As soon as things settled down, we ran down the dock and started knocking on doors to see if everyone was all right.  Only three other people were home and they were all fine, but there was a lot of swearing directed at the yacht that was still heading towards downtown at ten knots.  One of our neighbors said he only gets this shook up about once every other year.  We figure it was someone hurrying to get home in time for a certain event.

Everyone calmed down (mostly) and started picking things up.  Ben and I shoved a couple of our fenders back into place and got to work on the cabin.

There was a giant blue 12th Man banner hanging from the bridge that you can't see in this picture.

It was eerily quiet.  There was very little traffic on the bridge and roads, and none on the water after that.  And so we became aware that somewhere off in the East, a game had started.  Now I should mention that neither of us really gives a crap about football.  However, I am extremely susceptible to communal excitement and this is Seattle, my hometown, which never seems to get its proper respect when it comes to . . . well anything.  The dead quiet was punctuated every now and then by roars from various open windows around the ditch.  It made us giggle every single time.

Ben turned on radio to the classic rock station in Victoria while we worked and after awhile he began to grumble, "Rush again!  Is that all you Canadians wanna listen to?!" Which just made me laugh harder.  The station was also following the game and we got periodic updates as we both tried to remember the rules.  "How many points is a touchdown again?" 
"I dunno three, six, something like that."
"Oh.  Then how did we get seven?"
"I dunno one of those conversion things."
"What's a convergent thing?"
"You're asking me?" More laughing.

Here's what we were working on.

Setting brads is now my favorite job.  It's really satisfying.
Putting the last panel in the Galley/Salon area.
Ben had the camera that day, so consequently there are more pictures of me then him.  Here he held up the camera and said, "do something."  When I said "like what?"  He said, "I dunno, look thoughtful or something."
Wheelhouse before.
Wheelhouse later that day.
Not all of these pictures were taken on the same day.  For the most part the weather has been very clear, but freezing with the kind of wind that goes right through you.  I am grateful for the sun though.  I can tell the season is changing and it injects a lot more lightheartedness into everything.