Thursday, June 21, 2007

Summer of Socks, Official Start!

Or, SOS-OS. Sorry, couldn't help myself. We're still on the boat, but this is our last full day. We're in Friday Harbor, and the clouds are starting to part (both mentally and weather-wise).

So, to celebrate the confluence of both events, here's a couple pictures:

OK, I'm really north of Seattle, in Friday Harbor, but I'd rather be knitting than surfing the net for a better page.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wednesday night, and all's well...

Ah, after Monday's excitement, it was good to just sit on dry ground and wait for the boat to be repaired. The operative word is "wait". The problem turned out to be a broken shaft on a water pump, and the replacement had to be flown in from Seattle. And the only planes that fly in to Roche Harbor, Washington are the ones that can land on the water in the harbor. So Tuesday was spent hiking around Roche Harbor, touring the Sculpture Garden that's in a 12-acre pasture (that's not a typo!), and getting a king-size sinus attack from the newly mown grass.

Amazingly, though, once the replacement pump arrived, the boat was repaired by noon (Wednesday)! I was just kicking back up by the Lime Kiln Cafe (for those who might ever go, it has my highest recommendation!)... the cell phone rang, and the Roketman said to hurry on down, we're ready to take off! Wow, wish all mechanics were that good and fast.

Skipper Terry was already on board, they'd already tested the engine and set a course, so I skedaddled on down, snapping a few last pictures as I went. We traversed San Juan Island, going out into Haro Strait, and actually got to see some orcas by Deadman Bay! I have gazillions of pictures, of mostly water with 4-6 pixels worth of fin.

Then, it was down past Lime Kiln Lighthouse and Cattle Point Lighthouse (RM really likes his lighthouses), and on around the island back to Friday Harbor. RM and Skipper Terry practiced more mooring drills while I went up to the marina for a much-needed shower. Did I mention that showers cost 25 cents a minute? And you better load in those extra minutes before the water stops, or it's another 5 quarters off the bat.

After my two dollar shower (remind me to describe why I didn't want to shower on board-- suffice it to say that there isn't a whole lotta room for these big hips), I find the boat again. Which was a bit of an adventure, because they changed slips on me and I didn't have cell coverage to find out this needed bit of information. Luckily, it was only a couple slips away from where our original slip was. Did I mention that it's a heckuva walk from the marina out to Pier G, slip 36? (yup, Pier A slip 1 is closest. And that's where the Mayor ties up.)

We'd only had PBJs for lunch, since I was totally blindsided by the mechanic's super speed and thus not prepared with any other food. So we went to Vinny's, an expensive but very good local restaurant with a wonderful view of the harbor.

The sun is just now setting at 9pm, but we probably have another 30 minutes of light. I like this about the PNW this time of year.

More thoughts tomorrow, if I have the gumption...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Knit on, through all crises...

Oh, my. Oh dear my. You know the kind of adventure you have on the seas, where when it's done, you are just thankful that the menfolk aren't the panicky types and nobody got wet?

Skipper Terry showed up about 9, as per arrangement. They did all the pre-launch checks, and Terry was pretty thorough because he's gonna let us go by ourselves pretty soon. (it's called bareboat, by the way.)

ST and Mike were going to practice docking and such, and I was going to go shopping. (I mentioned this last post). I went to Island Wools, and found that Cat Bordhi was a local. I couldn't help mentioning to the lady behind the counter that a lot of us knitters who've been around the circs a few times think it's pretty obnoxious to lay claim to techniques that have been around a LONG time, such as moebius knitting and socks on two circs type stuff. OK, to be fair, she doesn't come out and say "I invented this." The words she uses are "Reveals the magical technique."


I did buy a Noro booklet I like, and one of those necklaces you can hang your glasses from. And I got some jump rings and good luck tokens for the folks at work, at the bead shop Garuda and I. It's a neat shop, I recommend it highly! Lastly, I hit the grocery store, and headed back to the marina.

We dropped anchor near by to fix and eat lunch. The Princess Ruby's anchor winch doesn't work too well, and it was a two man job to haul out. ST smelled a bit of coolant, so there was another engine check... one fan belt was a bit loose, and the alternator wasn't putting out much charge unless the engine was revved. Hmmmm... noted into the ship's log!

So, over to Spieden Island to look for wildlife. We were up to 3 eagles and 5 seals, Terry was idling along and Mike and I were on the bow taking pictures... and the engine stops. Terry- did you stop the engine on purpose, or what... ? No, it just cut out. Hokayyy...

In we all go, and I just figure I'm with a rocket scientist and a cruise instructor, ain't nothing I can do but stay outa the way. I got my knitting, and the world could rotate around me.

I look up, and Terry's down looking at the gauges, and I see a puff of smoke curling around his head. Oh my. They open up the com (where the gauges are) and huge billows come out. Oh, not to worry, Terry says. It's not smoke, it's steam. hmm. I start packing my tote bag with everything I might need if we abandon ship. Starting with the knitting, of course. Medicine next, put on the jacket and go sit on the bow, because now the cabin's starting to fill with obnoxious antifreeze vapor. Take out the knitting, watchful but calm.

We're pretty close to shore, with no power, no steering. A dinghy, yes. But it doesn't start.

Until they find the fuel cut-off valve, and turn it on. By now, I've been appointed to document this all on the camcorder. Soon to be posted on YouTube, I'm sure.... or Film at 11.

I dig into the tote bag for the ziplocks... was going to use them in case I happened across some dyestuff. Now, they're gonna preserve the electronics from getting wet. Hey, instead of panic, plan ahead.

By now, Mike's got the boathook, and is watching out for rocks. The engine is completely shut down, not startable, but the steam's dissipated. We call the yacht charter for instructions, and decide to try to tow with dinghy before the flood tide hits. We need to cross Haro Straits to get to Roche Harbor, about 5 miles.

'cept the dinghy don't tow. Something about fluid dynamics, and the wind. By this time, we're down to Plan D. I retire to the bow and get out the knitting again.

They tie the dinghy to the side of the boat, a "hip maneuver"- and it works. At least, we're not drifting any closer to shore. Roche Harbor is sending a tow - which turns out to be a bigger, rubber dinghy with a bigger outboard. But it does the trick.

For the next hour, I'm on the bow, knitting (and I have pictures to prove it!), and the menfolk now number four and are swapping war stories to burn off adrenaline. I'm glad I'm just out of earshot.

I start thinking "Orca! orca! here, fishie, fishie..."

We limp into Roche Harbor just in time for dinner, about 6ish. Ah, it's a wonderful resort, and I announce that I deserve for the yacht charter to buy me dinner and a night in the resort. And bless his heart, my Roketman goes ahead and arranges it. I'm not sure whether the charter company is going to reimburse us for the total, but hey.

We're on dry land. You've all been informed, and I didn't cash in early on my inheritance by calling my mother from a disabled boat to tell her all about it.

I'm going to draw my bath now. The hotel clerk tells me that John Wayne stayed here, and took a bath in this very same tub.

Where's the ibuprofen?

Monday morning, and Gawd I'm sore. The legs are killing me, from all the standing at the helm while Skipper Terry showed Mike how to figure navigation, etc.

ST is on my sh*tlist-- it's unbelievably hard to make that man tell me what I need him to tell me. "See those two boats in the harbor?" "No, Terry, I see about eighteen boats. Which two do you mean?" "The blue one by the white one." "Well, that narrows it down to six boats. Now which ones?"

Or this scenario: "See that tree on the island over there?" "Terry, that island has a gazillion trees. Which one?"

The proverbial stick that broke the camel's back was when he tried to show me how to dock. I knew how it was gonna go, so I showed him how I wanted him to give me direction by hand movements. Instead, he grabs a pencil and starts drawing - with his hands in the way so I can't see. So I move around, and he's got two different drawings doing two different things. We end up the docking with about 6 guys running over to grab ropes, because Terry's changed his mind 3 times about where I should go and how.


Maybe it's pertinent to mention how he was talking about his mom having 8 husbands - that he knew about. And he's never been married. And how he's involved with community theater (shades of HRH!!)

OK, end of complaining about ST. I'm over my mad, but I haven't forgotten. This vacation is for Mike, and I'm NOT gonna do anything to spoil it for him.

Last night we were in Friday Harbor again, and today they're gonna do harbor maneuvering while I check out the LYS, Island Wools, and the bead store, Garuda and I. After lunch we're gonna head over to Roche Harbor.