Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Boat Names

When we're on the water, we always monitor our VHF radio and it gets me to thinking about boat names. Can you imagine calling out one these names on the radio?
Roger, Out
One Ringhy Dinghy
Free Beer
Uh Oh
The last one I got from this site on boating safety. It's a good review of the use - and misuse - of your boat's VHF.

Help Wanted

Someone To Goof Off For Me - Must have prior experience, sense of humor, and strong Work Avoidance skills. Responsible for surfing the net, posting to FB, blogging, writing, napping, and excessive photography. Daily Occasional Random No reporting of activities, or lack thereof, required to feed vicarious experience. Manage Be aware of Ignore schedule, logins, and passwords, for optimal Work Avoidance. Logins and passwords will be provided. Replacing individual who isn't goofing off enough. Starts immediately. No pay. Will be praised. Open bar.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Where Am I?

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and wonder where I am. This used to happen more often when we traveled by RV but it still happens in the boat. The game I play is to try to remember before I open my eyes. For bonus points, I try to remember where I left the boat (previously, RV).

In the first few seconds of wakefulness, I have to guess whether I'm in my bed at home or on my boat. If I guess that I'm on the boat, then I have to remember what marina or bay I'm in. If I can also remember which way the boat/RV was headed when I docked/parked it, then I figure I've got my wits pretty much about me and it's safe to open my eyes.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Coast Guard, This Is Double Jack

There's a first time for everything, they say. Hopefully, there's a last time, too.

We were cruising yesterday with two other boats from Blake Island to Gig Harbor only a few miles away but only 15 minutes into the trip, one of the boats stopped and was spewing smoke. We were in the middle, and the smoking boat was in the rear. Behind us was Hubby's brother and wife in the boat they purchased all of three weeks ago, used. This was their first trip into salt water.

I have to say that everything went pretty much according to Hoyle from that point forward. The first concern was whether or not there was a fire and since they didn't want to raise the engine hatch, we had to assume there was one. Their halon fire suppression hadn't automatically detonated (which was probably a clue that there wasn't a fire) but we told them to detonate it manually under the category better safe than very, very sorry. Next, life preservers were donned by all.

We decided there was no fire and tied up alongside, and made the radio call to the Coast Guard. Our lead boat, which was out of sight at that point, heard the radio call and waited. Coast Guard determined there was no immediate danger to life or property and so advised us to tow the distressed vessel back to where we started. Our lead boat turned around and headed back.

The rest of our friends (another four boats) were still at the docks and helped us in, saving dock space for us at this State park. Hubby did an excellent job getting us back and getting the disabled boat to the dock and then docking our own. Everyone was safe and sound, and relieved.

One of our group members is a boat mechanic, so it happens, and another works for a boat dealership so we had access to labor and parts. The State park is connected to Seattle via ferry and we were able to arrange to have the parts delivered to the ferry terminus for today's crossing. The problem was we couldn't get all the parts so we decided to make another plan.

What happened was a hose from a hydraulic pump failed and when it did, hydraulic fluid shot all over the hot engine which caused all the smoke. There was no fire but it was scary nonetheless. The pump, the hose, a melted dipstick, a washer for the stern drive ram - all need to be replaced.

Tomorrow, we'll tow them to the nearest boat launch ramp - about 4 miles from here - where someone with a trailer will meet us to pull the other boat out of the water for repairs. We'll continue on back to the Lake where we'll float for another couple days before heading back to the dock.

All is well. The trip has been good in spite of yesterday's drama. Bro & Sis-in-Law are so grateful for all the help that they will join the club as a result. The weather is great and the scenery is beautiful. I have lots of pictures of boats, the City, and Mt. Rainier. All to follow.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Could It Be?

They say around here "Summer doesn't start in Seattle until the Fourth of July." This year presents a perfect example. Before the official start of Summer on June 21, the Seattle area only saw five days of weather temperatures above 70 degrees. Since then, we've had five more.

But now, after the fireworks are over the forecast is for ten more days of 70-plus weather - in a row! More than half of those are predicted to be over 80 and the warmest is predicted to be a mere degree from 90!

Are you kidding me? Do you know what happens when you add hot water to a frozen glass? I don't mean to complain here but I don't think we're prepared for this. Whine all you will about all the damp weather we've been having but I guarantee we'll be complaining about the heat in a week's time. (Not to mention local drivers who now have to adjust to a new adverse driving condition known elsewhere as sun.)

Which is not to say I don't plan on taking full advantage. Went threw the locks yesterday, and am sitting on my boat in the sunshine right now with my second cup of coffee (which is dangerously close to empty). We'll spend a day or two here on Blake Island, and then head further south in Puget Sound.

Photos will follow.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


When my husband came home today, I hoped to pleasantly surprise him by making his favorite dinner: red spaghetti. Now, I have to tell you that red spaghetti is probably my least favorite meal. Plus, we are planning to leave tomorrow for a week long cruise on our boat. So, I wasn't going to make it from scratch but I did buy some mushrooms and a nice jarred sauce and, still, thought he'd be pleased.

He said, "What? No carrots? No celery?"

Usually, he's pretty good about memorizing his lines. But I help him out occasionally. Like when I need a little help to feel pretty, I tell him, "Tell me I'm pretty." Or, after I've vacuumed, I'll say, "Tell me the house looks great." And he always obliges. Hard for him to fail to meet my expectations that way, right?

And, when he's not sure what he's supposed to say, he says, "Line?"

So I reminded him, his line was "Thank you, darling. I'm so lucky!"

Later, I thought I would give him a little test. He was off somewhere else in the house while I was in the kitchen baking cookies (the lucky bastard) and I shouted "Why, yes, darling! I'd love one."

My friend, Jack, appeared a short time later.

Good man.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


I'm talking several generations from the iPhone here but I was noticing how they've been getting bigger, phones. They used to be as big as bricks. But, now, my current flip-phone just about fits in the palm of my hand. I checked a new "smart" phone from Sprint and it seemed HUGE compared to what I'm carrying now.

I've noticed that sometimes that's all a person needs, one's phone. Women, in particular. They leave their purses behind and just carry their handful-sized phones in their hand, or sometimes a pocket (if the jeans aren't too tight).

So, I'm thinking - This is brilliant. What's a purse for anyway but to lug around stuff that's usually not necessary. Why not let your phone handle everything? Now, that would truly be a smart phone.

First, I think the cover - since it appears every phone now requires one - should double as a lint brush. Second, there should be a slide out hair brush. All the bristles would fold flat to about the size of a credit card and slide into a thin slot (Go-Go Gadget style). Third, some models could have either a Velcro attachment for one's ChapStick, or perhaps a refillable reservoir for lip gloss. Last night, I watched a show on TV wherein a woman whipped out a pack of dental floss from her purse. So, why not a dispenser in your phone?

Naturally, it would also store all your banking information. No need to carry a wallet, if you're already carrying a phone. Security would be handled by a wireless key, like my car. I don't need to put my key into the ignition to start the car. I don't even need to get it out of my pocket to unlock the doors. Why not do the same thing for your phone? The "key" could be any tiny device that transmits a signal to the phone and must be within a certain proximity to unlock its most sensitive features. The device could be small enough to be embedded under the skin, made into jewelry, or carried like a coin in a separate pocket. As long as you don't lose the phone and the key together, all the banking info (or anything else you want locked) is safe.

Finally, there should be cameras on both sides of the phone so you can view and/or record video of yourself. This doubles as one's pocket mirror. This particular feature wold be called Mirror, Mirror and would be voiced activated. Naturally, the user would have a choice of the responding voice.

Watch out, Apple....