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Second year of boaty school complete

7 Nov

Congratulations to Madi and Peyton on completing another year of school afloat!

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Put one foot in front of the other

6 Oct

And soon you’ll be running the Portland Marathon!

To commemorate our return to the Pacific NW, Andy ran the Portland Marathon on Sunday.

Congratulations, Andy!

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Girl support at mile 17.5

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Finisher!

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Icing the legs boaty style

Another milestone

9 Sep

Being dock rats and putting down roots brings some wonderful benefits. In the Bahamas last year, Peyton tried to learn to ride a bike on our folding bike (the only one we could fit aboard), but it was too heavy for her to control and she wobbled too much to get it. Thanks to cousin generosity and a bike rack in the marina, we now have a milestone moment like this one.

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It took her less than five minutes. Great job, Peyton! Growing up so fast…

Dinghy bliss

4 Sep

Thanks to Robin’s mom we have a new motor for our dinghy. Yah!!!! Thank you, Mom!

Our old Mercury 9.9 got very finicky. Some folks say BOAT stands for break-out-another-thousand. With our old Mercury that saying was nearly true.

For the last few months on Tango our big question has been – when to say when? New (expensive) carb, new fuel pump, a professional tuning, gaskets, new fuel line(s), tank, gas, etc…and it still wouldn’t run reliably! Every time the stupid thing started, the girls would give out a cheer (and this often happened multiple times during a single dinghy run).

After the most wonderful gift of a Honda 8 (which is also much lighter…and that’s a GOOD thing when swinging motors around on halyards to and from the dinghy transom to the motor mount on the stanchion), we don’t have to answer that question. We can finally cry uncle! Our nice harbormaster even took the old Mercury off our hands. We are watching to see how his repairs go, what could possibly be wrong with it, and if/when he cries uncle too. Can a motor just be a bad apple? If nothing else, our harbormaster now has a new carb.

We got our dinghy inflated again, ordered a new fuel line, and can finally say that we are back in small boat action. Yesterday we motored upriver to the tip of the island where Max and the girls could run around after school and get muddy. Just in time for the last gasp of summer here in the Northwest. Days are still warm, but the chill in the evening air full of cricket sounds and crunchy leaves lets us know it’s not for long.

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Could this be a hobbit hole?

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Peyton is happiest making muddy creations

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Ahh…a dinghy that works!

Garden bounty

30 Aug

This morning, Robin’s uncle dropped off some of his garden excess. Amazing!! After an afternoon of sailing, we came back to dock to turn all of this into a lovely stew (well, everything but that mutant cucumber…for that it might be tabouli time).

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Beachy spots

22 Aug

The Columbia River really has some beautiful beaches…we found this one just a few minute walk from our marina. We told the girls we were going on a secret scouting mission, so they decided to sneak through the woodsy brush and spy. Wasn’t much to spy on other than a few stray sailboats. For such a populated and busy island, the east side is quiet and peaceful.

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How far can we go?

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Darn that product development

13 Aug

Living on a boat sort of forces us to chose wisely when we are out shopping, but every now and then we still succumb to silly purchases. After a visit last night to Max’s new vet for a meet and greet, we ended up at the pet store buying dog food.

We walked in the door and were attacked by Star Wars pet gear, and we discovered that Max NEEDED a new Vader squeaky toy (Chewie has been in our family for about a month already). He really did – because vets are stressful, the Force, next year’s movie, and Star Wars!

At least Robin was able to assert her will power to put back the Yoda ears. Come to think of it, sometimes Max’s ears are very Yoda like. Bet Max is relieved he’s a boy, or he might be posing with Princess Leia ears in this blog post.

Clever of you product development people…really clever.

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Poor Darth Vader. How can you be take seriously as the bad guy when you’re all covered in slobber and squeaking?

Happy birthday, Andy!

17 Jul

Another boaty year afloat together, all your family crew wishes you a very happy birthday!

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Chesapeake 2012

Yukes

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Madi daddy date 2010ish

 

Public Market

14 Jul

Growing up in the NW, Andy and I have been to the Pike Street Public Market many times…only it seems to be a lot more famous than it used to be. Either that, or our crowd memories have really faded. We had fun shop roaming together and visiting our favorite food haunts,  but MAN was it crowded! Especially up top where they throw fish. There were a few spots where I felt like we were down on Bourbon Street in NOLA on a holiday weekend night.

After a few hours, we all started to get that thin, get-me-outa-here smile and called it a successful day. Our cool finds included goose and quail eggs. We drilled holes in the ends of the eggs and blew out the innards for art. Peyton saved all her innards in separate containers and fried them up to taste. Being the daughter of foodies, she wants to know what everything tastes like. She closely examined the first forkful, sniffed it, and then delicately nibbled it to extract its essence on her taste buds. Conclusions? Quail eggs taste saltier and creamier than chicken eggs. Goose eggs taste like chicken eggs, but they are too big for one meal.

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Andy playing with color and composition

This pig has raised over $200,000 for homelessness. Go pig!

This pig has raised over $200,000 for homelessness. Go pig!

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Sunday night sunset…absolutely gorgeous!

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This rainbow was a bookend to the sunset…needed an outdoor panoramic camera to capture it all

 

Fried egg jellyfish

11 Jul

In the Chesapeake where we started out with Tango, we were plagued (mostly in the spring) with sea nettle jellyfish. As the bay has gotten warmer and more polluted, the sea nettle blooms have gotten so bad that a new industry developed, that of expensive “nettle nets.” These pop-out inflatable circular nets trail behind your boat or from shore, so you can swim safely and not get stung. Robin used to cruise craigslist looking for a good used nettle net, as they can be quite pricey. She never did find one, but after we left the Chesapeake, we didn’t ever see too many jellyfish, so she let that one go.

That is until we sailed down to Seattle…

We had no idea that jellyfish were such a problem in the Puget Sound as well. Here in the Elliott Bay marina, we see so many jellyfish every time we walk the dock to shore. Finally, we took some time to look up what they were, and to find out if their stingers are painful (a very important girl question). We found out that most are fried egg (or egg yolk) jellyfish. Guess these guys are wimpy in the world of stinging tentacles and many small creatures will ride on their bells and steal food. The bad boys around here are the lion’s mane jellyfish. They look very similar, but apparently have more pink in them.
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Whoever we have floating around us, fried egg or lion’s mane, it’s cured the girls of wanting to even dip a toe in the water. Not sure they will let Max get more than ankle deep either…next girl question…can they sting through fur?

I love google and wikipedia for these rabbit trail question sessions!