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  • July 2009
    M T W T F S S

Our Searing Heat Wave

Wow it is hot and it sucks big ass! The Seattle area has been in the grip of a unprecedented heat wave. During an average summer, we might hit the 90’s a couple of times and when we have a string of them, they usually only last a couple of days. Some past record strings of 90’s have lasted 5 days. In 2005, we never even hit 90 the whole summer. Seattle is not know for very hot weather and I prefer it that way myself. Twice since official weather records began 118 years ago did Seattle hit 100, once in 1941 and again in 1994. Well that has been shattered as of late. Yesterday Seattle broke an all time high reading of 103 degrees. Out east where we live it hit 108 in Snoqualmie and 113 in North Bend. We have broken two overnight lows where we didn’t go below 70. That is just ridiculous heat!! Not only has it been hot, but it has also been incredibly humid which makes it even worse! This heat wave will last well over a week before finally breaking loose and hopefully bringing temperatures back down to a more livable range.

Now most of us Seattlites are not used to this kind of heat and do more than our fair share of whining about it, yours truly included in the whining process. Actually I add bitching, moaning, groaning, yelling, crying, sobbing…..well you get the picture. We also have reason to whine about excessive heat because most of us live in homes that do not have the luxury of air conditioning. Most of the year it is not needed. As a matter of fact, most of the transit buses, including the ones I drive, do not have air conditioning either. I was driving yesterday with an interior temperature of 110. This makes getting any sort of relief from the heat almost impossible. Debbie and I ended up going to a hotel where I sit in wonderful cool posting this! Now what really annoys me are the folks living in scorching climates telling us we don’t know what hot is until we live where they do. I recently saw a post somewhere of a guy who lived in Phoenix listing the last 20 or so days of the highs there. All where in the triple digits and mostly above 110. He quipped at the end that the overnight low was 92 so we should just enjoy our weather and mug up! I wonder if he lives through that heat without air conditioning. I doubt it. I am sure he posted his spew sitting in an air conditioned office, then he drives home in an air conditioned car and lives in a wonderfully cooled home. Let’s see how he man’s up if he turns it all off, opens a window, and sits around fans blowing all his hot air around him! Wonder how long he would last! Well that’s how most of us Western Washingtonians do it!! Who are the real pussies out there? I guess the ones who are sitting in an air conditioned room blogging about it! Heh heh heh!!


Another Vacation on the Boat

Well we just finished our second annual boating vacation (I presume it will be an annual event), and we had a great time. We went further from home in her than we have ever gone before. During most of the Spring we performed annual maintenance, changing oil and filters in both engines and the generator, checking fuel filters, belts, hoses, repaired a raw water impeller, checking the diesel furnace, replacing all the zincs, and even installed a new electric fresh water toilet. Work was also done to our dinghy. Due to the fact we have no davits and can’t hoist it up onto our larger boat, it sits in the water tied up to the rear of the big boat. It sat in the water through the winter until we finally found a trailer to haul it out on. By then the barnacles had created a crusty coating on the whole bottom. Nothing we could do on our own would bring it back to near new, so we had to take it to a boat detailer and had it scraped and bottom painted with anti fouling paint and it wasn’t cheap. Now we were ready for anything.

Our first stop of our cruising adventure was at Snug Harbor Resort on the west side of San Juan Island. It is a very quaint kind of rustic setting and very beautiful. Our good friends Larry & Lynette met us there on their boat. For some reason, even after all my docking experience thus so far, I looked like a rookie boater when I attempted to dock the boat! I had to end the first attempt and turn her around and I backed her in on the second. It was ugly and an embarrassment for me and even Debbie was appalled at the misadventure! I never repeated the travesty again! We settled in for some cocktails and then cruised our dinghys over to Roche Harbor for dinner. Another couple, the Hillstrom’s, met us there and we had a very enjoyable dinner together. They once lived near us in Snoqualmie and now live on San Juan Island enjoying the good life the island has to offer.

We then headed for our next destination which took us into Canada! We have never taken the boat to Canada before and it was an interesting venture going through customs. Larry & Lynette also went up with us. We were in Bedwell Harbor at the Poets Cove Resort and it was a beautiful place. We had to check in at the customs dock before we could get to our assigned slip. Only one person from each boat could go up to the customs office to check in and Debbie did that while I stayed with the boat. It was very windy there and many other boats were pulling in to check in also. Twice I had to catch the lines on boats pulling in next to Larry’s boat as the wind was shoving them right at it! Once we had cleared customs, then it was time to pull out and go to our slips! This was another docking adventure as I had to pull in right next to another boat and the wind was carrying me toward it as I came in. I had to try twice and it took six people on the dock and Larry on the guys boat to get me in without banging into him. I guess I did a pretty good job considering a boat tried seven times before me to get into the same slip and finally gave up. It was a white knuckle experience! We spent two nights there and had a great time. Larry & Lynette went home the morning of the second day and we were on own from there.

Next stop took us to the Ganges Harbor and the town of Ganges. It is the largest town in the Gulf Islands and was a fun place and a little crowded in the harbor when you come in. Not only do have the contingent of boaters going in and out, but multitudes of crab pots everywhere and sea planes landing and taking off all around you. As we pulled into the marina, Debbie heard someone calling her name from another boat. Just so happens, Debbie had worked with her in the past. Small world huh! Ganges is located on Salt Spring Island and we discovered a golf course near by, hmmmmmmmm……..imagine that! Although the weather turned gray and wet, we got on our bikes which we had brought along, and rode up to Salt Springs Country Club and played nine holes of golf. I always enjoy playing golf courses in different out of the way places. It was a pretty good course. Being that Ganges was an actual town unlike Poets Cove, we could shop and eat out and get stuff we needed for the boat and even managed to do a load of laundry. I think Debbie liked it the most!

Off we went to Sidney BC and got a slip in the Port of Sidney Marina. Now this was a nice marina! It was huge and much newer than the previous marinas. They had a nice shop, and laundry where you could watch TV or surf the net while you washed your clothes, and even showed movies at certain times. As a marina, this was my favorite. Sidney itself, seemed like any other town you’d find here in the States, but it was still nice. We didn’t have allot of time to do much here, dinner in a nice restaurant, took a night dinghy ride into the channel, a little shopping, etc. Then we headed back to the US.

Back to San Juan Island we went, this time heading into Friday Harbor. We have been to Friday Harbor before, but never in our own boat. It is a nice place and would be a great area to move to down the road. Tori again met us and we had a great visit. I listen to quite a few podcasts and one of them is called the Gastrocast hosted by Chef Neal Foley (the Podchef) He lives on Shaw Island which is right next to Friday Harbor. I had always wanted to visit the Podchef so I figured this would be a good time. I had contacted him ahead of time and we set up a meet on his farm. We took the dinghy over, including Tori to Shaw Island. He lives right by the water and has a dock we tied up to.  The Podchef and his family really live a different life than most. He raises most of the food they eat which includes vegetables, pigs, chickens, rabbits, milking cow, etc. He is also a trained chef and has worked in restaurants and privately and does catering today, blogs, does his podcast, and works the farm! He has a great family, a wife and four beautiful daughters (two sets of twins)! I find it funny that all that hard work he has to do and has no other male to help out, but I’m sure the girls do what they can. We toured his farm and he treated us to a wonderful lunch prepared from foods he raised on the farm. We had a great time and it was awesome to finally get to meet him!

After the visit we dinghy’d around to the north part of San Juan Island where Tori showed us their waterfront lot where they will build their future home. It is lovely and they will have great views. Hopefully they will have a mooring bouy that we could tie our boat up to. Next we did a drive around the island and visited Bert, their Corgi, and had dinner. It was a nice visit, but it was too bad Kevin was out of town and couldn’t be there. Our final leg of our trip took us back to Seattle for one last night before going back to our home dock in Tacoma. We went through beautiful Deception Pass where the tidal currents can get real strong and nasty. We went against a 6.6 knot current, but handled it just fine! The only hitch in our trip came just as we were about a half hour from Seattle when we looked back to check the dinghy and it was gone!!! The tow line had snapped! Using our binoculars, we located it about half a mile back just bobbing in the waves. We had to scramble back and get it somehow tied up to the boat because we were in the shipping lanes and two cargo ships were bearing down on us! They do not stop! We did manage to finally secure the dinghy so we could tow it to Seattle after many bumps, bangs, against the boat and Debbie’s arms (bruises to prove it). In Seattle we pulled into Bell Harbor Marina where Larry & Lynette were waiting. Just by chance, some friends that live near us in Snoqualmie, the Sheehans, were in Seattle so they came down also. We had a great time and went for dinner. Larry, Paul, and I had many Jaeger shots. I laughed so hard my sides ached. The next morning we went home and ended our cruising vacation. It was fun, exciting, adventurous, and full of happy times with my girl! You can find pictures and videos on the links to the right! Until next time!!

New Homeowners


Here are Alex and his wife Mo standing in front of their brand new home they just closed on and moved into! It is an exciting time for the both of them and a very smart move. In this time of recession and trying times economically, it is a great time for new buyers to get into the real estate market and they jumped when they found this buy in Gig Harbor. Not only are they now new young homeowners, but have a very nice location as Gig Harbor is very nice. We cruise there quite frequently on our boat. Not bad for a very young couple just starting out in life. Alex’s job seems to be secure for the foreseeable future but Mo had a temporary bump. She is a first year teacher and got riffed because of the State budget cuts. The Federal stimulus money came through and she was rehired for this coming school year at least for one more year which is great news. Hopefully she will stay on beyond the next year. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for them. At any rate, we figure they bought at the very bottom and this will be a good investment for them. They are paying just slightly more than they were paying for rent and their money is now working for them for the future!

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