Tuesday, August 27, 2013

We made it!!!!

We arrived at Half Moon Bay Monday morning.  To sum it up briefly, we had a great trip, nothing broke, and the weather and seas were better than we anticipated.  We met some great people and saw some amazing things along the way - whales, dolphins, etc.  Right now our priority is getting back to the girls.  They are with grandparents in Arizona.  I have a lot of pics and videos to share.  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

On our way south....again

We are "stuck" in Newport, OR waiting out 40 knot winds and 15' seas building just south of us offshore.  Newport has been a great place to stop and hang out.  The sun is shining, the sea lions are barking, and we are meeting new friends everyday. The plan is to head out Wednesday, around 0730am, and go out 10-20nm offshore.  The winds seem to be less severe closer in this time.  If the weather pattern holds true and NOAA has their act together, we should have a great push down south with 15-25 knots of northerly winds.

The overall goal is to make Half Moon Bay, CA by the end of the weekend.  Upon arrival, we will kiss the ground and play on the beach.  A day relaxing in SF watching the America's Cup boats race back and forth on the bay would be a sight to remember as well.

So out to sea we go, Half Moon Bay here we come!!!

Half Moon Bay, CA beaches!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Making Progress...

Day one: We motored through the strait of Juan de Fuca from Neah Bay in fog, light wind, and calm seas.  We saw a humpback whale within 2 hours of leaving.  Pretty cool!  We had heard horror stories of how wicked the strait can be.  We didn't have any problems at all.  It was unbelievably calm. 

Day two:  We continued down the coast and headed to longitude 125 which put us about 30 miles offshore.  The wind picked up in the morning and we raised the sails.  We flew all day with an average speed of 6 knots.  It got a bit rough because we were beating into the wind.  Dylan and I got to feed the sea life over the rails.  I took some meds and was fine by the afternoon.  Dylan came around the next day and was just fine. 


Day three:  No wind.  We continued to motor southbound.  We made a group decision to go into Newport for fuel and showers (thank goodness).  We arrived at the entrance to Newport at 0200.  Just in time for zero visibility with fog, fishing boats coming out of the river, and max ebb.  We were able to make our way using radar and GPS.  I love technology!  I don't think we would attempt that again though...

Day four:  We are holed up at the Port of Newport marina waiting for a good weather window to leave again.  There is a gale south of us that we would like to avoid.  Right now it looks like we might take off some time on Tuesday.  The crew is having a great time back on land.  Spirits are great and everyone is getting along great.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

And we're off!

We motored out of Port Angeles at 7:30 this morning.  We are officially loaded down.  We raised the waterline when we did our last bottom job.  Apparently it wasn't enough... We'll get lighter as we eat our provisions and use some fuel and water.  Anybody not behaving will be thrown overboard, that should help as well.

The weather looks calm with light winds.  Looks like we'll be motoring out of the Strait of Juan De Fuca.  The winds offshore are expected to shift coming from the north on Saturday.  That's just what we'll be looking for to push us down the coast.

Our crew on board for the journey: Andy Schwenk (owner of NW Rigging), his 12yo son Dylan, Erlin, and Zia.  We have a great group with us and I'm looking forward to some good times at sea!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Emotional Roller Coaster

We had a great time at the cruiser's party Friday night.  I'm glad these parties only happen once a year.  We met up with some good old friends and made some new ones.  What happens in the dock, stays on the dock...

Jake's parents arrived on Saturday.  The girls have been talking about this moment for weeks.  They were very excited for their road trip filled with hotel swimming pools, bathtubs, an actual tv, and a trip to the zoo.  What more could a kid ask for?  Reality hit for me on Sunday.  The kids were ripped from my arms, loaded into a car, and sped out of the parking lot with GranDad at the wheel.  Ok, it wasn't quite that dramatic... 

Everything hit me on Sunday.  It all started with a line cutting ceremony for S/V Unleashed (another CoHo HoHo boat) in the morning.  They were getting ready to untie and head to San Fran.  They did the whole ceremony and toasted to the sea and wind Gods.  During the ceremony I was overcome with emotion and suddenly realized that we would be leaving soon.  I realized that this was something we had been planning for the last 3 years and it was really happening.  Holy crap!  
I had to take a walk and attempt to put a plug in the emotional volcano that was ready to spew all over the place.

Next on the agenda - say goodbye to the girls.  If only I had a "that was easy" button.  Instead, I bawled my eyes out and held on to my baby girls for as long as I could.  I know they are having a blast and enjoying being spoiled by grandparents.  It will feel amazing to he reunited as a family in San Francisco.  See you soon girls!  Love you xoxo!!!

We are currently anchored in Port Townsend.   The plan was to sail to Port Angeles this morning.  Change of plans... Our cap on top of our winch for the jib sheets has decided to crumble and fall apart in all of its plastic glory.  We left this morning in search of a new one.  It had to be ordered and delivered via truck from Fisheries in Seattle.  Problem solved, not a big deal, but we missed the favorable tide and will have to leave tomorrow.

Tomorrow, we will be picking up crew in PA.  Then off we go bright and early Thursday morning!  Weather looks great!  The excitement is killing me!


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Goodbye Anacortes!

The day has finally come to untie from the dock and move on to the big adventure.  We left Skyline Marina for the last time enroute to Poulsbo for the Northwest Cruisers Party.  We will also be meeting up with some good friends, crew, and other CoHo HoHo boats.  Jake's parents arrive on Saturday to pick up the kids for a fun filled road trip down to the bay area.

We left Anacortes and sailed for 12.5 hours to Poulsbo.  We had another good taste of sailing in the Puget Sound - sails up, sails down, motor on, motor off, wind, no wind, currents, and sloppy seas.  Good times!  All in all, we had a great time.  Zachia was a true sport and jumped right in to handle the sails and help out - when she wasn't busy playing I Spy with Hannah for the 25th time.

We plan on having some relaxing down time here for the weekend.  Then take off Monday for Port Townsend overnight, then Port Angeles, then offshore!

Many thanks to all...

Dreams and goals are accomplished through hard work, dedication, sacrifice, and money. To accomplish anything of significant magnitude, all of these forces come together and the outcome will be positive. Danielle and I are very thankful for all of the people that have supported our dreams and goals and forever are in debt to their kindness.

To the nights in the Virgin Islands discussing priorities in life and what is important, to the jobs that provided the funds to save and support, to the many strangers, characters, and friends we met on the water and docks, to the countless giving of support by people (to many to name), to the words of wisdom by those who live by the sea, to those who have pushed us and brought us up from frustration and defeat, to those whose opinions are negative of our dreams and goals (you gave us strength to not become you), to all family, friends, and God. Thank you for everything, if it wasn't for you or these occurrences in our lives we may have not succeeded...

Life is made by the choices we make, don't dream your life, live your dreams....

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

It's getting interesting...

I'm laying awake pondering life... I wonder how many couples woke up one day, said let's sell the house, buy a boat, dump thousands of dollars into the boat, then quit our jobs and sail off into the sunset with 2 children and a cat?  And I'm also wondering, how many of these couples (if there are any) have said this and are still married?

While out shopping for provisions today, Jake was left alone on the boat for 8 hours.  I'm not quite sure what he accomplished other than making my life inconvenient.  I am laying in a bed with 3 spare sails.  These are the same sails that have been stored under our bed (the v-berth) for years.  Can you say mildew?  I can taste it in my mouth and I think I'm getting a rash.  He is sound asleep, not laying next to the sail bags.  Why are said sail bags in your bed, you may be asking.  Well, because on Thursday 8/15 they need to be stored in our bed as we head offshore for easy access.  And because our bed will be used for storage because we will NOT be sleeping in it during the passage.  So why on Monday 8/5 do I have sail bags in my freaking bed?????  There will be some changes made first thing in the morning.  Stay tuned to find out if a sail bag can be converted into a body bag.  Just kidding of course...

We picked up my best friend Zachia from the airport on Saturday.  Little did she know what she was getting into.  She actually thought she was on vacation.  We played tourist in downtown Seattle for the last time on Saturday, I even took her to the Anacortes Art Festival on Sunday.  Then, Sunday night I made her sew our spray curtains and today I drug her along while running errands.  We made 13 different stops in 7 hours.  One stop was to Costco for provisioning.  When we got back to the boat around 9pm.  I thinks she thought she could relax at that point and watch a movie with the kids.  Nope.  I made her help me unload everything and organize it.  I made sure she knew where everything was at just in case I am hurling over the side of the boat for days on end, she will be able to find the Doritos to make the crew happy.  All joking aside, she is an awesome friend and there is no one else I would rather have with me right now.  As a matter of fact, I might end up bunking with her tonight...

I am pretty excited about our provisioning.  I actually made a menu and a list and everything (not my style at all).  We have a good variety of quick easy foods and snacks that I'm sure everyone that is not hurling will enjoy.  To top it all off, I actually found space for everything on the boat and I still have room leftover!  I guess that means we need more chocolate and wine.

The cockpit after the Costco run

Storage under the dinette seat.  Sorry Luna, no cat treats.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Final projects underway

The world is spinning and time continues to fly by. We are officially less than one week from leaving     for our offshore passage. Many projects are being completed at once with no room for putting it off the next day. Some of the projects have included having a diver clean the bottom and check out our prop (thanks NW Diving!), install new blocks on boom, clean/grease winches, check engine fluids, set GPS waypoints on chart plotters, and to clean/offload items from the boat and storage..... and this was completed in just a few days!!

We are keeping things under control (for now) and plan on leaving Anacortes, WA on August 08. From there we will meet up with the Coho Ho Ho group in Poulsbo, WA for a party and dock line cutting ceremony. After things calm down from the events we will head out to Port Angeles, WA and watch weather for our jump into the Pacific Ocean.  Destination San Francisco, CA here we come!!!