Thursday, December 6

Big Bad Boat Blog - Home Edition!

Ok, well, so we can't rightfully have the Big Bad Boat Blog anymore. Having a boat blog is hard when you don't have a boat. But we're back in the Blogosphere and just liked the old blog name too much (or we aren't creative enough to to think up a new one.) So we've started a new blog to go along with our new adventure...

We've created Tom and Jessi's Big Bad Boat Blog - Home Edition! Please come join us over there for some more stories about how we don't know what we are doing...

Anyway, here's the deal. As the previous post indicates the boat went up for sale last year. Well, we sold it and moved into a house that felt cavernous. But alas, at 1000sqft we outgrew it in only a year. Now you may ask, "You survived on a 300sqft boat for 2.5 years, how did you outgrow a house so quickly?" Well, without the novelty of living on a boat, it's a lot easier to give up more quickly. On the boat we would say, "Sure it's small, but it's a boat, it's supposed to be small."

That excuse no longer cuts it.

So, Jessi and I started going to open houses and dreaming of our "someday house." One such Sunday an idea that started out as a joke, turned into a very generous offer for help. And since we were given this huge opportunity to upgrade from our current small house to a nicer bigger house - we couldn't resist.

I'll go into more detail on the new blog, but essentially when we couldn't really find exactly what we wanted, we decided to buy a house with an awesome layout in a great neighborhood, and re-finish the inside. That way we can turn it into exactly what we want.

Since we've never remodeled a house before we figured we'd blog about it since it probably won't go smoothly. And honestly I'm already way behind. We just closed last week, construction is starting as I write, and we've already had plenty of ups and downs.

I'll get into the details in the first post over at the Big Bad Boat Blog - Home Edition! But for now.... We're back!


Saturday, October 14

For Sale

Well, we never thought the time would come, but we've decided to make the move back to land. Sea Change has treated us very well and we've had a blast living on her for the last 2 years. But Tom recently took a job that requires him to work from home, and although Sea Change is very spacious, there's just not quite enough room for a home office!


Here's just some of the great things about Sea Change:
  • Transferable, hard-to-find liveaboard slip in downtown Seattle
  • Two staterooms, two heads – sleeps 6 (walkaround bed in master stateroom)
  • Freshly tuned, efficient twin GMC diesels and new engine room sound insulation (installed in ’05
  • Includes Boston Whaler dinghy w/freshly tuned motor (’05)
  • Hauled, surveyed,& painted stem to stern in ‘04, including professional hull and bottom paint. Freshly painted decks (’06).
  • Numerous recent improvements, including: rennovated master bath (’06), new refridgerator (’05), newly rebuilt Webasto heater (’05), newly rebuilt fore and aft heads (’05), new portlights (’04)
  • Great amenities such as washer/dryer, shower tub/stall, marine grill

Don't hesitate to email or comment if you have any questions, and don't forget to check out the complete listing here.

Thursday, October 5

Time Flies...

...When you aren't blogging.
Well, we're going to try to get a few posts up here to update friends and family.

So remember how excited I was that Jessi was going to be around this summer and it was going to be a huge boating summer... I was going to do SO much to the boat and we were going to cruise all around. Well, instead I got a new job and Jessi has become a triathlete. I'm in the training phase of the job, so I'm putting a lot of my free hours into studying. And when I say Jessi has become a triathlete... I don't mean she is training to try to finish a triathlon sometime next year... I mean she has already trained so hard that after her second triathlon ever, she qualified for Nationals! (Go Jessi Go!)

So what that means is that we've only taken the boat out a few times. (Actually we have a post written and sitting in the queue about the last time we took her out.)

And, all that work I wanted to do? I put it off.

But finally, after getting frustrated at the condition of the boat I called around to some places to see about paying someone else to do some of the work. I wanted the work done, but didn't have the time to dedicate.


I had obviously forgotten about the boat unit. And the days of pain and anguish having the heater fixed and the fridge replaced have all faded to happy memories. 1000 bucks to have the bilge cleaned, 75 dollars an hour for touch up paint (probably 1000-2000 total), and 100 bucks to have the boat washed... not detailed, washed. Um, did I mention I'm in the training phase of my job? - I'm not even earning my full salary yet. Perhaps I thought I had become rich in the last few months, and just had so much cash lying around I could pay someone to do my work while I sit around and drink margaritas. So much for the dream.

What actually brought me down to earth was talking to Seattle Yacht Service. They were nice enough to come out the the boat for free and take a look at what touch up had to be done. After talking with Jeff from SYS for half an hour, he convinced me that it would be a waste of money to have SYS come down and do the work, and that I should just get off my butt and do it. And I thank him for that, he could have easily just taken the work and the money and been on his way. But instead he took the time to explain some things to me, talk to me about how to get it done, and just shook my hand and left. So thanks to Jeff and Seattle Yacht Service.

And because of him, I got off my butt and started filling in cracks in the paint. I remembered that I actually enjoy boat projects. It's really nice to have some mindless labor to clear the head. One of my wood boat neighbors actually came over and we had a nice conversation (another benefit to working outside). We talked about all the work we had to do on our boats, and how there were much worse things in life than putting a few hours into the boat out in the sun. It made me realize how lucky I am to have the boat and the lifestyle. So, no more getting frustrated at the boat (yeah right). It is time to do some work!

Hooray boating!


Saturday, July 8

July 4th

Believe it or not, this is the first July 4th we have spent in Seattle. We were going to invite a bunch of friends over for a Par-Tay, but instead we decided to have a simple 4th, and spend it just the two of us. It was really fun.

Before dinner we decided to hop in the dinghy and cruise the lake just to see what the hub-bub was all about. I was a little nervous because we have a small dinghy and there were a lot of big boats out there. Plus, we haven't really run the dinghy motor very much. (By the way, thanks to our neighbor Sig for giving us the dinghy motor, and Mom and Pops for fixing it for us - You made our July 4th!)

Getting ready to go... We certainly won't need these oars, but we'll bring them anyway.

Heading away from the dock into the thick of it.


After getting out into the melee we realized that although we were in a small dinghy, we certainly weren't the most ridiculous. We saw several "clown boats" out on the water.

The water was actually washing up over the bow as they motored along.

Paddle? Why would I need to paddle?

This one was an actual clown boat...

In addition to clown boats there were pirate ships too... YARRR!

But to keep all those pirates in line, Seattle finest were patrolling the waters.

As were Seattle's bravest.

We cruised (putt-putted) north to see the crowds up at Gas Works Park, thankful the whole time that we were not in the middle of it.

Wow, look at that crowd.

Lady Liberty came to visit. Tweet!! Hey Lady! The fireworks are going to be over here!!!

I prefer Lady Jessica though!

Motoring around the lake was really great. Not only did we get to see a whole bunch of different boats, and give thanks that we weren't smack in the middle of a huge crowd, but we also got too see some great scenery.

Hooray rainbows!

Hooray America!

Hooray Seattle!

After touring around for an hour or so, we decided to head back to the dock to have some dinner before the fireworks started. Hilariously, on the way home we ran out of gas. This is extra funny because before we left the dock, Jessi asked if we would have enough fuel, and I assured her we'd be fine. To add to her comfort our boat neighbor Greg assured her that "these small motors use like a tablespoon of gas an hour." Apparently, we had a teaspoon in there. But, if you recall, we brought our oars, just in case the motor broke... or just in case the operator was an idiot.

Well, to make up for it, I rowed us home.

Grinning and bearing it. It turns out I was happy to have practiced rowing while on the river.

Eventually we made it back home. We rowed up to the dock to the cheers and jeers of our dockmates, who were grilling on the dock and had watched us motor out an hour earlier. It was a proud moment for us. We'll show them that we're not young and inexperienced!

We did, however, manage to recover from our bruised egos and fire up the grill.

Jessi worked her magic and POOF dinner was ready!

Just as we were wrapping up dinner, night had fallen and the fireworks began. It was a spectacular show set to music. We turned on our radio, sat on the bow, and enjoyed the festivities.



I hope your Fourth was as fun as ours!


Tuesday, July 4

Still in Seattle

The weather here has been sooo good lately, I was starting to think we had accidentally moved to California. Every day I'd check the weather and it would say sunny and in the 60s or 70s, perfect! Because it's been so nice, we set up our "air conditioner" Which is just a fan pointing inboard on our bow skylight, and a fan pointing outboard in our pilothouse. It actually makes quite a nice little breeze through the boat keeping us cool on all but the hottest days.

This morning we were reminded that yes in fact we do live in Seattle. Jessi woke up and was getting ready to do some triathlon training. "Is it raining?" she asked. Just then a drop of water hit me square in the forehead. Oh crap! I hopped out of bed (so much for sleeping in) and ran out onto the bow to pull in the fan and close up the skylight. Plus I dabbed up all the drips and drops seeping in. What the hell happened to sunny, Mr. Weatherman? I think you need to come down to my boat and dry out my carpet for me...

Anyway, some good did come of all of this. I was discussing with our neighbor Chris how leaky everything was this morning. Especially when the wood in our boats has been dry for the last few weeks and therefore shrunken (is that a word?) up. Nothing seats tightly, so when it sprinkles the water just marches right in. He was telling me he's been using this stuff called Boatlife Life-Calk because it's flexible and rubbery, but can still be sanded and painted. Amazing!! I had been using a fairing epoxy to fill every little crack and crevice that appears as a result of the wood expanding, contracting and moving. Then, the wood would just separate from the epoxy. I was getting very frustrated because cracks I filled last year are back this year. "Yeah, no kidding epoxy doesn't work well for that." Chris told me, "But this stuff seems to work great!" Man, I can't wait to try it out!

Is it weird that I'm excited about caulk?


Sunday, July 2

Summer is here

Last weekend we squeezed in some of our favorite summertime activities... Grilling, swimming, drinking a few beers, and BOATING! Hooray!

Jessi came up with the great idea to take the boat out on Sunday for some fun in the sun. It was Jessi and I, Jamie and Amy, Andy, Beth and Mike, and Frankie. We set sail at about 4pm and cruised up to Juanita Bay on Lake Washington. It was an absoultely gorgeous day. No clouds and about 85. The only problem: the wind was a blowing at 12 knots. Gulp. Oh well, I gotta learn sometime...

It's not so much driving in the wind as it is docking in the wind. No one wants to be the young guy with a big boat, making a pathetic attempt at docking right in front of a crowded restaurant (we live in front of a popular lakeside restaurant). I could just hear the screams and see the fingers pointing. I'm pretty sure I would have had no problem at the end of the season last year, but with not much experience under my belt the skills decay is huge! But alas, I sucked it up and we went.

I'm so glad we did.

The ride up Lake Union was no big deal, although it was crowded.

We weren't the only ones enjoying the day.

When we got out to Lake Washington, it was choppy! We rocked and rolled a bit, and I was wondering if we'd be able to find a good spot to drop anchor, but Juanita Bay didn't disappoint. Along the way we got in touch with one of Frankie's friends who was on a boat up in the bay and told us it was great.

I realized I was getting old when we arrived in Juanita Bay to find tons of boats rafted up to each other partying hard. Lot's of booze, loud music, and scantily clad women. It was like the French Riviera! But believe it or not, I just wanted to find a little calm spot to anchor, swim and enjoy ourselves, without the raucus parties around us. Yeah, I'm definitely getting old. So we cruised over to the other side of the bay to the "family" area and set up shop. We threw some burgers, brats and turkey legs on the grill and got to relaxing.

Must... grill... meat!

Andy working hard to keep the chair from blowing off the boat.

Mike holding Duncan. He's only sitting still because he's being petted... normally underway he whines. (Duncan, not Mike)

Frankie maxin' and relaxin'.

The ladies, chillin' on the bow. From left to right: Beth, Jessi, and Amy.

Jamie, Amy's husband. Despite appearances he's actually not color blind.

We're sinking!!! Oh wait no, we're OK, you guys can come back now.

Welcome aboard!

At about 8 o'clock we wrapped things up, futzed around with the anchor (I'm still only half sure how to use that damn thing) for 20 minutes or so, and headed home.

The sunset was gorgeous! I love Seattle.

Luckily by 830 the wind had died down to about 0 knots and pulling in was no problem. Whew, I can put off learning that skill until some other day!


Sunday, June 25

Boating returns!

We said we'd start writing about boating again, so here goes...

Only instead of wood, the boats were made of rubber. And instead of Lake Washington, it was the Colorado River. And instead of Seattle, we were in the Grand Canyon... But it's close enough.

Rafting the Grand Canyon

It was a lot of fun, and rather than tell stories, we're just gonna show a bunch of pictures. No one reads the text anyway right? As always, click on any photo to enlarge it.

Jessi and her brother (Eli) looking so fresh and so clean. This was taken at the rim of the Canyon, the night before we started our trip.

The hike down.

Every night we camped in a different spot along the river's edge.

We made it our mission to find the Penthouse/Honeymoon Suite at each camp site. Not too shabby!

Jessi's Dad (Peter) and Eli taking a ride in the duckies.

Tom relaxing in a raft.

Along the way we went for some "Easy Hikes." They often lead to some amazing scenery.

This picture shows how blue the water is in some of the side canyons.

Tom wading through a side canyon

Fellow rafter Dana shows her tough side on a day hike.

One hike lead us to the throne room... ah to be queen for a day!
(From left to right: Kelly, Sullivan, and Elizabeth)

Kelly shows Jessi how to navigate the rocks.

Jessi catchin' big air. Siiiick. (In all honesty, it was pretty exhilirating - big enough that you had time to think "When am I actually gonna hit the water?")

They days were filled with "Bigs..." Big water (Lava Falls, just like Lake Washington!)

Peter and Eli, with Win (another guide) at the helm, dive into Lava Falls.

Big Scenery

Big Falls

Big Reflections

Even though the days were long and tiring, camp was usually fun. Here's Eli chattin' up Kelly before the No-Talent Show.
Nothing but good clean fun on this river trip.

This can't end well... Tom bellyflops onto a makeshift "Slip N Slide" at camp one evening.

Win lookin' hot doing dishes at camp.

It was an incredible trip. We highly recommend it, and we highly recommend Canyon Explorations, the company we went with.

These are all of our fearless guides. They made the trip what it was! Thanks to Kelly, Susan, Geoff, Kristin, Win and Kent!!

It really was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. DO IT!

Bye Bye River!!

-Tom and Jessi