Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Project List Is Devouring My Calendar!

As a new boat owner, I am finding myself simultaneously smitten and overwhelmed. Steve is the Listking and has conveniently helped me to sort out all the things that must be done to Dervish before cruising season starts. He has posted a new list of my tasks along with his (much longer) list on the Live Page of his website. As things get finished we line them out and leave it for a few days so we can feel accomplished and show off to our friends how productive we are.

Before getting into the details of boat projects, I will assure you that I did get out sailing on an overnight trip to the homeland aka Camano Island. Steve crewed on the sail over which was predictably sweet, gentle and perfect. We grabbed a friend's buoy and had a glass of wine and some snacks aboard with Camano friends before going home for the night. The next day he drove back to Oak Harbor (where we moor) while my friend, Bonnie and I sailed Dervish. When we left Utsalady Bay it was warm and sunny with only a whisper of wind, but determined to sail back, I insisted we shut off the diesel. We drifted a bit trying to figure out how to capture the elusive and very squirrelly little puffs that came intermittently from the west, south or north. Then, as we rounded Rocky Point we found some wind. And boy did we! In less than five minutes it went from 3-4 knots to about 15! Yahoo! Dervish kicked up her heels and we were off! Before long we were facing whitecaps, a 20-25 knot southerly and 4 foot seas. A lot of fetch had built up in the mighty Saratoga Passage! When we hit 6.6 knots with the rail in the water, we discussed reefing, but decided to just hang on and sail a beam reach west across the passage. Once in the wind shadow we turned north for a downwind run to Oak Harbor. I can't even express how good this felt! I gained so much confidence both in myself as skipper and in my little boat. Even in those conditions, we were dry in the cockpit, and she held course without too much effort. Steve snapped this as we came into the marina after the epic crossing.

Once that trip was over it was time to get busy on the To Do list. One of the more frustrating projects is the repairing of my leaky Hillerange kerosene stove/oven. I really wish to keep this stove as it burns wonderfully hot, simmers well, doesn't have a risk of exploding and burning my boat to the waterline, and best of all, is already on the boat.

I considered replacing it with propane, but the cost of a new range, installation of an outside locker for fuel storage, venting (and all that goes with it), is more than I want to spend right now. Yet being able to cook is hugely important to me. I want to be able to make everything I love and bake goodies aboard. A one burner camping style cooking setup simply is not good enough for me. So, I have decided to roll up my sleeves and figure out how to repair the leaks. The problem is that the only place on earth I can find that sells replacement parts is in England, Base Camp Stoves. They have an old phone system and the message I get (at 8 am or past midnight-- time difference has its own challenges) states that their mailbox is full. I have tried three times now and no luck. I could order via email but need to talk to an expert to make sure I am ordering the right parts, especially since it will probably be a month before I get them anyway. Sigh. It could be awhile before that one gets crossed off. Meantime, I have to sop up leaked kerosene before starting the stove every time. This stinks!

Another issue I have run into that I thought would be easy, is putting the new name on. Turns out the old name is painted on and the hull is also painted. I can't sand off the lettering without sanding the entire transom and repainting. I have been collecting ideas on how to approach this, and purchased some nontoxic paint stripper to try. I do, however, have the new lettering and once the transom is bare, it will be trivial to put on the pretty new name in lovely copper-colored letters.

But I have managed to get a few projects completed. I have replaced the old Hawaiian floral curtains with some darker, heavier, ones.

Sewing curtains on Steve's mom's White in the cold, cold lab.

Insurance has been purchased and the Washington license numbers are now on. I am legal. I also acquired (thanks to a barter deal Steve did) an alcohol cabin heater, put nonskid patches on, put in a new fresh water pump (well, Steve did it really, but I could have) and purchased safety netting to keep Zubenelgenubi and crew aboard. I bought it from On Deck Sports because they had the best deal. It was just over half of what I would have paid for marine safety netting. It came with a convenient sewn rope border, UV protection and cut to size. I'll be installing it very soon and will try to put a picture up when it is done.

Speaking of pictures, the reason I don't have many photos this time, is because my camera died. If you (or anybody you know) has a digital camera with a decent zoom you'd like to sell, by all means contact me.

I am planning another trip to Olympia soon. My father has been having some health issues, and I'd like to be close for awhile. This will be a three day trip with two overnight stops. I need to refine my anchoring system a bit before leaving, but hope to get out in the next weather window. Until then I'll be taking on that To Do List with gusto!

Friday, February 12, 2010

My Escape Pod

The night is black and wet and blue green on Saratoga Passage. Cool, still and damp. I pull from the half empty Sailor Jerry's Spiced Rum bottle and spread the sail cover across the deck. I am thankful that I made the trip without too many problems. Zuby watches curiously as I raise the bottle and nod toward the heavens. I didn't get the name off the hull. I didn't do the de-naming ceremony. I know I am pushing my superstitious luck, so I toss a splash of rum on the anchor and decide not to push it any further. We're hanging off an unknown mooring, and though the predictions say it will be calm, one never knows; methinks I've had enough grog for one night.

Zuby shadows me as I ramble back to the cockpit. I pause in the companionway struck by the contrast of colors and sensations. Outside it is huge and dark and very, very quiet. Below it is small and glows warm and woody. The red cushions that I couldn't decide if I liked are now inviting and womb-like. The oil lamp flickers and the kerosene stove hisses. My copper tea kettle steams. I could be anywhere. It could be any time. I go below and pour a thermos of Korean corn tea then fill my fleece-covered water bottle. What a simple comfort! A must for a chilly boat.

Back on the deck I listen to dogs barking in the distance as I gaze at the stars. I know so very little about the stars. I resolve to learn more and perhaps someday know how to navigate by them. I check the line tied off to the buoy before lying back to contemplate the vast emptiness. I sip my tea. The rum kicks in. I laugh at myself. What good fortune I have created. This definitely does not suck. In fact, it is better than I ever anticipated. Aesthetically it is intoxicating, and the sense of freedom humbles me.

As I sip my tea and snuggle with my pup, I wonder at it all. Images from the past three days--the first three days aboard
Dervish - dance across my mind's eye. My Canon S2 camera died recently leaving me to rely mostly on memory. The few photos I have from the 120 mile delivery from Olympia to Oak Harbor trip were taken on Steve's camera. He traveled the whole way to Camano with me and served as Chief Engineer, Human Whiskerpole, Bartender, Helmsman and Lover. I couldn't have made the trip without him, nor would I have wanted to. But now, he is back at the homestead, and I am here aboard my very own boat, alone and very much alive. I am pregnant with the possibilities, the dangers, and the incredibly exciting and unpredictable future that I am stepping into.

Only three days ago I left Olympia. I was excited but nervous and somewhat tentative at the helm. That first day I made the short trip north to Boston Harbor with my partner, Steve Roberts and Cathy Starck Nemeth aboard as crew. It was a gorgeous south sound evening.

We arrived at Boston Harbor just before six pm. I really love the hometown culture and the wonderful characters who people that little marina. They even have a resident seal who escorts visitors down the docks. There are also eight or so local dogs that visit and roam the marina store at different times. They remind me of my little Corgi Lily who was well known at this marina. When Zuby was bitten by a local Golden, I had three different people offering their phone numbers and accepting responsibility for any damage. Luckily, Zuben was bruised but otherwise unharmed, but that is just the way people are around there. Wonderful and decent.

The dog fight did add to the general chaos of our arrival though. We had many logistical problems to work out including car transport, lost keys and mis-communications with our dinner hosts. After a lot of finagling - including being coached by a ten year old girl on the finer points of using a coat hanger to jimmy in through the window of my car - I managed to find my keys and deliver my very patient friend back to her boat at West Bay.

The rest of night, however, was delightful. We had a huge meal of fresh steelhead from the BH Marina store
with our good friend Suzanne and her date, Al. Then we retreated to Dervish for a good night's sleep before the real journey began.

Next day we got off at about 10:30 with the goal of hitting the Tacoma Narrows at peak current and stopping at Gig Harbor for the night, both of which we eventually did, but not before we had just a wee bit of excitement. Motoring through Balch Passage we smelled some smoke in the cabin (oh god!) but it turned out to be exhaust. When Steve, acting as Chief Engineer, went to investigate he discovered water gushing into the engine compartment. A hose clamp had failed on the line feeding the engine raw water. He hollered up for me to cut the motor so he could replace it. I could still see water sputtering out the exhaust and looked around at our position just off the McNeil Island penitentiary docks. I put the motor in neutral. We started drifting toward the prison. I had to motor away. They might send out gun boats or something crazy. Steve did the miraculous and wrestled a new clamp on while we were underway. His hands shook like crazy, he burned his fingers, and he got a bit wet, but he did it. We were soon back on track.

We hit ten knots under the Narrows bridge and made Gig Harbor well before sunset. I called ahead and secured a slip at Arabella's Landing for the night. What a sweet little private marina! You can't beat the unlimited showering and friendly staff. After a walk through town for provisions, I made dinner aboard as Steve rigged a sweet little blue tarp boom tent (a dodger is high on the list of immediate projects!) and we settled in for the night.

And most importantly, we indulged in something I have longed to try for decades: Absinthe, the famed drink of artists and writers of Paris around the turn of the century. A drink shrouded in mystery and brimming with history. It was legalized in the US only a couple of years ago. This was my first experience with the strong sweet, anise-flavored, wormwood spirits. Let me simply confirm that "chasing the green fairy" as it is sometimes called, led to some luscious conversations and inventive lovemaking. I highly recommend it! Here I am pouring ice water over a sugar cube into a shot of the green elixir.

Next day we woke early without a trace of a hangover and went into town for breakfast before motoring up Colvos Passage. As we passed Blake Island, the wind blew light and southerly so we put up the sails and headed across the channel. Once we cleared the shipping lanes we turned dead downwind and ran wing and wing all the way to Shilshole Marina. Steve became the wondrous human whisker pole by holding the genny out with a boat hook. Honestly, it isn't as easy as he makes it look.

It felt like we were hardly moving but one look at the little dinghy, Hamster and it was clear from the wake that we were making good time. In fact, Dervish averaged about 3.5 knots and held her course quite well.

Zuby was getting used to boat travel by now and thoroughly enjoyed himself even when the wind was enough to make him squint as we raced along.

Shilshole was surprisingly quiet. We butt sniffed about (for the uninitiated, that means walking the docks checking out boats and peering around at their sterns for names) met some nice folks, and continued with the absinthe rituals. Uh-huh!

Next day we motored up past Gedney Island and along south Camano in what is known to the locals as The Mighty Saratoga Passage. The wind kicked up from the north as it often does there, and we did some close-hauled sailing for awhile. I was amazed to find that we could set Dervish on her course, straighten the rudder and just let her go. She didn't round up at all and actually gained a couple tenths of a knot without human interference. I am not sure what that says about me as a helmsman, but surely it proves I've got a sweet little sailing vessel.

When we finally gave up on beating our way into the wind, we powered up and chugged along to Indian Beach off a friend's house on the west side of Camano. We made three attempts to set anchor, but it just wouldn't grab. I think there is a lot of eel grass there, or perhaps I am simply incompetent. Either way, it was getting dark, I was exhausted, and Steve was eager to get home - now only half a mile inland. I didn't feel confident about heading on to Oak Harbor alone in the dark, so we grabbed a buoy and hoped for the best. We hauled ourselves into Hamster, rowed to shore and continued home with loads of stuff. I returned to Dervish a few hours later to spend the night alone. It turned out to be a magical night and a very important experience for me. The depth of feeling that came with the realization that I finally have my own boat, that I am the skipper, and that I am free to move about the planet made my heart swell and my imagination leap. I am about to embark on a journey both of spirit and in the flesh that will surely change me. It already has.

I made it through the night and single handed it over to Oak Harbor the next day without incident. Dervish is home now, and so am I. Once we get the homestead rented, the next phase of our journey will begin. Our flotilla is forming and the Dramanauts and Traveling Circuits are about to be born. My escape pod awaits me, bobbing happily at the dock.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Trial by Fire

After a week away from Olympia and sweet Dervish while they fixed the crane truck, I returned last Thursday night and made a plan with Jim Benson to try to get the mast stepped Friday when the tide was right. The tides have been in the 17' range which is too high to get an adequate angle for the mast. We decided that around 1:30 pm Friday, the tide would be just right.  I woke up early after my first night aboard alone. Took my pup out for his morning poo and returned to make myself a stout cup of coffee. I'm still learning how to use the Hillerange kerosene stove without undue smoking. The key seems to be to get the burner well heated prior to turning on the kerosene. If it is hot enough the kerosene becomes gaseous and burns cleanly and without smoking. If not, it burns as a liquid and smokes terribly. That morning I got it just right and managed to make my coffee without smoking myself out. I reached down under the starboard quarter berth, turned off the kerosene and sat down to savor my morning java.  

But something smelled... weird. Hot. Toxic. Holy crap! I spotted some black smoke wafting up from the starboard bulkhead near the stove. I lifted the cushion and sparks flew. The battery charger wires were melting. Quickly, I unplugged the charger from the AC outlet. The wires ran from the charger down under the companion way steps to the batteries. Flames were flicking up through the finger hole in the step. I opened the hatch and huge cloud of smoke puffed out. I reached for the nearby extinguisher, but decided to try blowing it out first. And by golly, I blew the flame out. I disconnected the clamps on the battery terminals which sparked and flared up a little. I threw the whole mess out into the cockpit and opened every port and hatch. My heart was pounding. I nearly lost my boat to a fire. WTF?!  

Steve had kluged the charger together until we could get a permanent one installed. There was a place where the wires were twisted and taped together and evidently when I lifted the cushions to get to kerosene tank, I caught the wires in it and then managed to smoosh it enough to cause a short. I inspected the batteries and all the other wiring. Nothing seemed to be damaged. I tested the battery. Phew! All was well. I drank my coffee out in the cockpit in the rain where I could at least breath. I wondered if it was a good day to try the mast stepping. Did I totally screw up by not doing the de-naming ceremony? Events like this turn me superstitious in a heartbeat. 

After coffee and a meditation, I talked to Jim and everything was set for 1:30 pm. The truck had started fine that morning and the weather was dry and calm. I motored over at the assigned time and met my crew: Jim Benson, Jib Harlan, and Jack the crane guy. Everything looked good.

We hooked up the mast and slowly they hoisted her up while I scuttled about clearing lines and such.

The only problem we had was when the bow pulpit got caught over a chunk of wood on the piling (visible in bottom center in the picture below). As the tide ran out the boat lowered several inches and got hung up on it. We had to stop while everybody moved to the stern to raise the bow enough to get it off the wood.

Once the mast was up and steady, Jim had to work fast. All the wiring for my boat exit the bottom of the mast (rather than through a hole in it) which meant that it had to be balanced and kept within about 8" of the deck. Jib steadied the mast, and Jack adjusted the crane as needed until the wiring was done.

They lowered her onto the tabernacle and attached the baby stays. I motored back to my slip without incident. Then Jim worked on the rest of the standing rigging.

It took me several days to sort out the running rigging and furler assembly. I have an old Hood Seafurl 810 which is a continuous line furler. It must be one of the earliest models, and it wasn't easy to figure out how to assemble it. There were three little parts that didn't seem to fit anywhere. I had every guy on the dock advising me. I was buying beers in Tugboat Annie's (the Tavern/restaurant at West Bay Marina) and trying to get somebody to just come and rig it for me. Nobody did. But Jim Nemeth printed out an exploded view of the furler from the manufacturer's website which confirmed that two of the three spare parts did, in fact, belong to it. (The third mystery part still awaits its destiny.)

Eventually, I got Tony and Cathy to walk the docks with me until we located a Gulf 30 that had a similar furler which we could study and compare with mine. Aha! We figured it out and got all the parts in the right place!

It took another full day to rig my 10 kilo bruce anchor, and run the furling lines aft along the port stanchions. I'm not so fast at all this, but I did it, and now I understand how it all works. And that is very valuable.

January 27th I finally got her out of the marina and into Budd Inlet. Cathy, Jib, and Zubenelgenubi crewed with me. Here I am instructing Zuben to stay out from underfoot.

And here is Cathy at the helm as we motored out. (Cathy did all the photography for both the mast raising and the test sail! Thanks Cathy. My Canon is currently out of commission.)

We motored for about 30 minutes, pushing the little single cylinder Farymann diesel engine to its limit. She smoked a little until I backed off to about 75%. I forgot to turn on instruments, so I am not sure what our speed was, but judging from the wake and apparent wind, I'd say at least 5 knots under power. Maybe even six!

There was only a trace of wind, but I had to put up the sails. The main was a bit sticky going up, but the furler worked perfectly. Even in light wind little Dervish picked up some speed. I think Jib wanted the boat to heel a bit more, but alas we just didn't get going fast enough.

Zuby did his job splendidly: looked cute, stayed out of the way, and kept his vest on. I just love the heck out of this little boat dog. In fact, Zuby is largely the reason I got this boat. But that is another story!

After sailing about for an hour or so, we dropped the main, furled in the headsail and motored down to the public dock at Anthony's restaurant where I practiced docking.

I'm now back on Camano Island planning for the delivery to Oak Harbor Marina where a slip awaits. Before that trip, I'll be installing a new Shur-flo water pump and hooking up the sea water intake to the head. Then I'll get that old name off her stern, perform the necessary rituals, and make the appropriate sacrifices to Neptune. Stay tuned...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dervish at Last!

Finally, after months of twiddling my thumbs, real estate shopping, and contemplating the possibility that it could be years before we are able to move aboard Nomadness, a miracle, it seems, has transpired. As of last Thursday, I am now the proud owner of Dervish, a 1974 Cal 2-29 sailboat!

A couple of months ago, as I sat withering deep in the woods of Camano Island, lonely, unsure of my future, and dreading the long wet Northwest winter, Steve sauntered in from the lab one evening with a sly smile and claimed he had an idea that "is a little crazy, but just might be a rather elegant solution to our problems."

"Go on," I urged as he nervously fiddled with his pockets and rehashed all challenges we had been facing in our relationship. Then, almost reluctantly, he proposed we get a second boat. A smaller boat for me and Zuby dog to live on while he turns our blessed Amazon 44' into the Star Trek Enterprise. It took all of about a nanosecond for me blurt out, "Okay, that sounds great. Let's do it!" You see, I have been dreaming for years of a little boat to sail and live aboard. I pictured myself cruising the Salish Sea on a salty vessel of moderate size equipped with all the comforts of home. We talked it over rationally while my inner child was jumping up and down and squealing like a Christmas morning toygasm.

It seemed the only way I would get my thrills sailing, he would garner enough peace to focus and finish his highly complex boat systems, and we could stop the rapid outpouring of money trying to keep both a boat afloat and household in the woods, was to buy another boat. So the search began. I spent weeks diligently (obsessively perhaps) reading Craigslist and Yachtworld, studying different types of boats, and driving all over the Western Washington looking at various vessels. I found a couple that I liked, but alas they were either too small for my big guy to fit his 6'4" frame on, or too expensive. Long story short: a friend of a friend had a friend in Olympia who had a boat on a trailer that he had been talking about someday maybe selling. A few phone calls were made, and I drove to a Steamboat Island yard to take a look the following day. I fell in love. And the price was right.

I returned to Camano to tell Steve that I thought maybe I had found "the one." We began our usual internet research of Cal 29's and after googling the boat name, Chailena, Steve found out that she had once been owned by Tim Clauson. Tim had made many posts to Cruiser's Forum about the renovation of his Cal 2-29. He and Steve had even made several exchanges in the forums there. I emailed Tim, and sure enough it was his boat. He had traded her to the current owner in Olympia as partial payment on a larger vessel. Now we had a first-hand account complete with pictures of all the wonderful work he had done on the little vessel. (You can see pictures on Tim's blog, Seven C's Sailing Web log beneath the most recent post on his current boat, an Ingrid 38' cutter which is up for sale.)

Armed with so much information and history of the little boat, Steve and I drove down to Olympia two days later and decided to buy her on the spot without a survey. It took us a couple of days to get our all ducks in a row, and we went back to pick her up last Thursday. This is where it gets a little... uh... exciting.

It was pouring rain, and due to industriousness of the moles in the yard where she was lying, the trailer had begun to sink a bit into the mud. Now Steve's truck is a big Ram truck, but it isn't four wheel drive, and though it was spinning and straining the trailer didn't move. The owners, Jon and Vickie, got down and pushed and dug and grunted to get that trailer moving. Vickie even got a matching bathroom rug and toilet seat cover set (picked up earlier that day from Goodwill and currently being used as a bed for her dog) out of their car, and with great heroism threw them under the truck's tires for traction... but even that didn't work.
I did give their dog, Scuppers, a pack of Zuby Snax for the sacrificing his cozy rugbed.

Well, now it was time for the neighbor and owner of the yard to get involved. A tall, thin drink of water in cowboy hat, he was quick to introduce himself. Darryl Duer is his name, and this fella was bound and determined to help us get that boat out of his yard. Moles or no moles, she was going. After rhapsodizing sparkly-eyed with me about his first sailboat, which he also bought in the middle of a blustery January decades ago and sailed all winter long, Darryl decided what we needed was his
1952 Case tractor. Within minutes he returned on the tractor and hooked up a tow chain to the truck which was hitched to the trailer which held my new boat. Round the yard they went, and we were on our way.

The ten-mile trip to Swantown Boatworks went smoothly. Though the trailer looked rough and rusty, it is actually quite strong, with good brakes and new tires. We parked it on the X in front of the lift and left her there, ready to go Friday morning. The lift and splash went on time and without incident. Thankfully, my rigger and diesel guy, Jim Benson, had the sense to remove the tape from the speed sensor at the top of the keel. Here she is, going into the water:

My good friend Jim (Jib) Harlan and fellow marina employee, Dan, arrived on time with a work boat to tow us over to a slip at West Bay. I was nervous, and it was raining like the devil, but actually it was quite fun. I asked Jib to ride with me while Dan towed us.

The winds were kicking up so we docked her on the outside.

Steve and I spent the night dining with Jib and his girl, Robin, and later drinking liqueurs aboard s/v Ethereal where we slept. Cathy and Jim Nemeth were wonderful hosts and even cooked us breakfast the next morning. Then we got to work trying to get the little Farymann diesel engine running. After a few tries and some priming, she turned over. Yay. Wait... oh shit... no water out the exhaust! The black button wouldn't shut the engine down. Steve suddenly became very nimble flitting around trying to turn the engine off. After a long 90 seconds or so we discovered the throttle could be pulled way back to shut off the fuel supply. The engine stopped and we sighed a big collective sigh. No damage done.

Benson arrived minutes later and gave me a bit of a scolding for not waiting for him. Steve poked around and figured out that the raw water intake was plugged... in fact, all the thru-hulls were plugged. Once again Jib came and towed us to our new slip next to Benson's boat on the southside, where we hoped to deal with the problem with more tools available.

We discussed hiring a diver to try to open them, but Jim Nemeth had a better idea. He brought us his air compressor, and lo and behold, we blew
out the crap and cleared all four thru-hulls. Next Benson installed a gorgeous new Racor fuel filter complete with pressure gauge and shut off valve. We changed her oil and fired her up. How sweet it was to hear that little motor putt putt putt! I really like my little Farymann, which even has manual starting crank in case the batteries fail. They sure made them to last back in the day. Here she is before the new Racor (which replaced the aging filter at the bottom right of the photo). We also pulled out the big white vent that was left over from a previous gasoline engine.

That night, Steve and I slept aboard little Dervish. It was sweet and cozy until a Southerly gale blew in and started us rocking and rolling at the dock. We were now on the front line of a 30-knot blow, with gusts in the 50's. We added a fender and adjusted the mooring lines. I heard voices at 2 am and got up to see what the commotion was. By the time I was dressed and on the dock, everybody was gone. I added another mooring line (feeling rather salty as I secured it to the bucking bow) and went back to my bunk. Next morning I learned that one boat had broken its lines and a neighbor down the dock had fallen in and was, thankfully, rescued by the Bensons!

But it was a gorgeous day. Sunny and calm. So right on schedule we fired her up and I piloted her over to a slip where the crane awaited. I had a squad of pals on the dock to watch the mast raising. Everybody was cheerful and excited. We waited for the crane operator. And waited. He finally arrived only to discover that the damn old thing wouldn't start. They tried jumping it from Steve's truck and charging the battery, both to no avail. The tide was running out fast, and we were in danger of hitting bottom. Disappointed, I putt-putted back to my slip.

We couldn't wait around while they repaired the truck, so Steve and I returned to Camano to take care of critters and business. In a way it was fortunate as the interim days allowed me to wash the sails, soak my lines, and test my dinghy.

I'm heading back to Oly today with the intention of stepping the mast tomorrow. If need be, I'll bite the bullet and pay the extra $100 to have it done back at Swantown.

I'll spend the weekend testing systems, provisioning and maybe even getting my head working. Soon Steve will join me, and we will begin the three or four day delivery to Oak Harbor. I can't wait. I am about
as happy as a gal could be with my Dervish of the Salish Sea. Perhaps my blog can return to the purpose for which it was created: to chronicle the journey from a land based life to a life on the water.

And be sure to read Steve's version of the story. I guarantee you'll get a kick out of it!