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Skunk Island

3 Jul

The girls are rediscovering the Lord of the Rings movies, now that Madi finished the book.

All their adventures now are elvish, including kayaking to Skunk Island, a small rocky island just offshore in Hadlock Bay. Oh, to have such a vivid imagination again!




Saturday sail to Port Hadlock

23 Jun

Saturday we left Sequim and sailed a whopping 20ish miles to the marina in Port Hadlock. This town is much smaller than Sequim, but it feels bigger since we can all walk to the grocery store and back again (the John Wayne marina is about three miles one way to grocery…doable but not much fun loaded up on the way back). The marina in Port Hadlock also had room for us through July 4th weekend, which is the primary reason to move, so off we shoved!

We sailed in light winds up Sequim Bay and around Protection Island and into Port Townsend Bay. Was nice to finally air out the mainsail and test the newly repaired stackpack (one jack line pulley tie died – but that was an easy and quick repair). So nice to have all those seams back in place!

The cliffs around Protection Island are pretty cool…and did you know tufted puffins live on Protection Island? We tried to get close and peered through the binoculars, but didn’t see any. We may have seen a few from a distance. Whatever those little sea birds were…they had orange puffiny feet…but we didn’t see the telltale beak…so we can’t say for sure. We did see about ten seals though. We love the way they pop their heads up to track the boat for a few minutes before they disappear and swim off.

We did have a bit of boat drama coming in…the slip where the harbormaster had intended to put us was occupied by a trawler who crunched a hole in his hull coming into the marina on Friday from a metal bit sticking out of the side of the finger dock in that slip. Guess the wind grabbed him and slammed his poor trawler into it the day before we arrived. Eesh! Probably a good thing (only for us though) that he is stuck in that slip waiting for the fiberglass guy to repair him, since it saved us from having to navigate that odd metal protuberance. Almost looks like a motor mount at the water line. Whatever it is, this new marina owner is planning on having it removed…probably a good idea!

Here we stay for a bit…a peaceful marina with bay front, picnic benches, grills, and Skunk Island…the girls say bring on the play.


Skunk Island


Finding sand dollars


Mount Baker…so cool to sail with mountainy peaks


Protection Island


Marina at Port Hadlock



A different kind of beauty

17 Jun

Sequim is very beautiful, and the girls are enjoying the change from sandy, palm beaches of south Florida and the Bahamas. Perhaps they are Northwest girls after all!



Not borrowing from tomorrow

8 Jun

While Andy and Robin quietly worry about the gale force winds and rough seas plaguing the AAL Dalian delaying arrival until Monday or Tuesday, we continue to hope the crew lashed Tango down well, and that we removed enough and stowed everything tightly. Tough to see the AAL Dalian traveling less than one knot and sometimes turning in circles, knowing they were in 40-50 knot gale force winds and accompanying high and rough seas, but there isn’t much we can do at this point.

Although as of tonight it appears they are pulling free and increasing speed to about eight knots. We even got a tentative discharge schedule for Tuesday. We also secured the loft apartment until the 12th, one less detail! Nice to know where we will sleep tomorrow night.

Sticking to our decision to enjoy the weekend (something along the lines of not borrowing from tomorrow’s trouble), we explored downtown and even got in some shopping at Value Village (warm clothes for cold people who didn’t pack well or who grew many inches after we left Maryland) and Capital Iron (a very cool everything in the world store).


Friday night dinner with fellow cruisers, Phil and Deb, at Lido. This very nice couple have offered lots of help and advice…including the admonition to visit Capital Iron. 🙂


Madi the leftenant at BC’s gorgeous Parliament buildings


Petting the goats at Beacon Hill’s Childrens Farm


Pondering pigs at Beacon Hill’s Childrens Farm


Beautiful totem near the BC Museum


We splurged for tea at the Empress (okay so this was really on Thursday, but it didn’t make an earlier post)


The girls are in tiny dessert heaven


Panorama sitting on the steps at the Legislative Assembly Parliamentary buildings


Monkey wrench in our cargo works

4 Jun

Robin had no sooner helped her mom get settled at the launch for the ferry back to Port Angeles and ran a lovely run through downtown Victoria, past the Empress Hotel and back to the apartment than we got some exciting news. The AAL Dalian changed the final unloading port in Canada. Wait, what? CHANGED PORT? Yes indeedy…our arrival port has really been changed. Something about cruise ships delayed into Victoria due to weather, and an impending tug boat strike. Guess if they stayed on course for Victoria Harbour, it would be mid-week next week before we could start unloading.

As you can imagine, this news really changed the flavor of our day. Remember that comment in my last post about adventure and attitude? Well, that concept got put into action with this latest experience!

Our new port is a small town called Chemainus, with only two marinas. Everyone I talked to in town had heard from a few boat owners before me, and were instantly sympathetic to my last minute pleas. We successfully found a spot in the local municipal marina where we can limp in to reassemble Tango. Then, instead of staying in Victoria for a few weeks to enjoy the sights, we’ll head south a bit to Sidney, which is a much bigger town and has quite a few marinas and where everyone goes around here to get marine work done. We’ll stay there for a bit and fix a few (hopefully ONLY a few) things before we continue on into the San Juan Islands.


We ended the day with a lovely walk around downtown

The last piece that we haven’t quite figured out is how to get all our stuff and dogs up to Chemainus. Robin’s mom very kindly offered to turn around on the ferry and come back up here, but we know how much of a work sacrifice she already made (thank you again, mom!), and don’t want to pile more days and hundreds of miles on her. Robin has a backup limo service that can take us, but we are still looking for a cheaper option, or other boat owners who want to split the cost. We also might be able to finagle a rental thingie…so stay tuned!

Running dog

9 Apr

Max loves to run…he really loves to run. He’s getting a reputation in this marina, and we’ve only been here a month. He almost folds himself into a taco shape at the “starting line” for the sheer joy of the takeoff. If we stop mid-run to offer him water, he’ll start whining as if to say, “come on, no stopping now!” We started taking him on small one-mile long runs just to manage his nervous stranger energy. Now whenever we start pulling out our running gear he starts yelling, making sure we know that he’s excited and definitely wants to join.

As of this post he’s running about 15 miles a week (in Florida heat and humidity we might add), at a minimum of three miles per run. Actually, we should say he’s trotting that distance…he’s so fast that neither Robin or Andy can maintain the sub-seven minute mile pace he’d prefer. But hey, he’s a good running buddy and always stays out in front, encouraging us to try and keep up.

Crazy running boy

Crazy running boy

Running on Old Seven

Running Old Seven

Now we just need to start looking for some dog friendly distance runs, because Max would have tons of fun training for and running those. But the best part about a good Max run? A finally relaxed and chill Max…at least for a few hours!

Key West, part deux

7 Apr

As our time in the Keys winds down, we decided to hit up Key West once more and visit some of the museums. The girls were dying to see shipwreck treasure and six-toed cats. 🙂

It was a lovely day, spent hanging out with the treasures at the Mel Fisher Museum and the home of author Ernest Hemingway, and great Cuban food at Juan Loves Lucy. We ended it all with a Mallory Square people-watching-sunset.


When Hemingway was traveling to Paris, his wife wanted to surprise him with a new swimming pool at a cost of 20,000 dollars. The sticker shocked author handed this penny to his wife and said, “Pauline, you’ve spent all but my last penny, so you might as well have that!” The penny is still here.


Madi was so impressed with all the recovered treasure

Hemingway's house...built on the highest hill in the Keys at 16 feet above sea level

Hemingway’s house…built on the highest hill in the Keys at 16 feet above sea level


Mallory Square…so many interesting characters


Hemingway’s writing studio


Atocha pottery treasure



Hemingway’s garden

Sloppy Joe's

Sloppy Joe’s


Madi got a great shot of Hemingway’s famous six-toed cats. Currently there are 45 cats living on the property. They consume 80 pounds of cat food each week!

Sombrero Beach

5 Apr

There is a dog friendly beach in Marathon with sand! Max wasn’t sure what to do, but with a little help he got into the swing of it.




Sombrero Reef

23 Mar

Light winds and quiet waves made for a great day to sail out to Sombrero Reef lighthouse to do a bit of snorkeling with Uncle Jim. Andy and Robin lazily slept in, so we got a late start and weren’t sure we’d get a mooring ball out at the lighthouse. Because it’s a reef, it’s illegal to anchor out there, and mooring balls are in high demand. Fortunately a sailboat left right as we pulled up into the field!

Even though the waves had died down, the visibility was still low so we didn’t see much of the reef because of the milkiness of the calcium carbonate silt. We still had fun watching the yellow snapper swirl around for cracker bits, and the girls did their usual crazy diving board jumps off the bow. We even spotted a few sea turtles cruising around eating jellyfish.

Max on the lookout

Max on the lookout for a mooring ball…or more chicken

Sombrero lighthouse

Sombrero lighthouse…built in 1858

Sailing is rough

Sailing is rough without candy

Sea turtle spotters

Sea turtle spotters

Come in Andy, the water's great!

Come on in Andy, the water’s great!

Lessons in rock

19 Mar

We found an unassuming shop along the A1A, but only from the outside. It looks like an opal shop, and I (this is Robin) stopped in during a run one day to see if they could engrave sea glass as a gift (don’t tell Madi). The old man who owns the store has been collecting and selling gems, petrified wood, sea glass, rare corals, old jewelry pieces, and rocks since the 60s…and the bins and bins and bins of treasures show this passion.

On the walls are photos of him as a young rock hound with his rock hammer wandering through the California desert. We came to find out that he also spent time as a child in Vanport (in Portland, OR where we are from) as his parents helped build ships during WWII!

After hours in this shop the girls are broke, but we are all richer in stories and rock treasures. If you are ever in Marathon, you must check out J&J Jewelry Repair and Gifts…an amazing and warm place.

Looking for that one stone

Looking for that one stone


Unearthing new treasures

Unearthing new treasures