Monday, November 29

No Excuses

If we were lame, this next entry would start off with a bunch of excuses about why we haven't blogged in awhile. We'd tell you how we spent the last week with my family, and it would've been rude to excuse ourselves from Thanksgiving dinner so we could update the blog. We'd explain that even if we decided to go ahead and be rude, the only internet access we had was dial-up. We'd tell you how before the holiday Tom was away on business and I was absolutely swamped with school work. If we were lame, we'd give you all those excuses and more. But we won't, 'cause we're not.

Instead of a bunch of excuses, I'll give you a bunch of pictures that some of you may find just as uninteresting as the excuses.

That's right, a couple weeks ago we had a pierside party. Pierside, meaning we didn't leave the dock (because it's already tough enough to dock the boat when we're sober). Here are a bunch of pictures from the party, in no particular order. This pointless entry will hopefully compensate for the entries chock full of useful knowledge and helpful tips. Oh wait, we never write any of those. Well, enjoy the pictures anyway!

Full house

Danny didn't have any fun.

The Late-Night Crew, from left to right: Tom, Jessi, Anne, Danny, Jon and Nate.

Duncan the Vicious Guard Dog, protecting us from all the strangers in our home.

Despite appearances, Matt is the competent skipper of First Child, a 27' sailboat. The slip next to us just happened to be empty, so Matt and his wife Megan sailed First Child across Puget Sound and hung out for the night.

The Morning After - Bye First Child!


Thursday, November 11

These are the days

As you might have gathered from our last few entries, we’ve faced our share of challenges as we settle into the liveaboard life. Or, to put it more bluntly, things seem to keep going wrong. Rotten wood, leaky plumbing – and we haven’t even told you about the heater fiasco. But that’s for another blog entry.

This entry is about the good stuff. And last weekend was some good stuff (I’ll refrain from saying “good shit” because I think we’ve had enough of that. The head is fixed, by the way).

Even though it was supposed to be overcast, we decided Sunday was as good a day as any to untie the dock lines and get out on the water. It’d been way too long since we’d gone anywhere, and besides, we wanted to top off the diesel tanks. We invited a bunch of friends over, including Brooklyn Frankie, a union ogahnizah; Matt and Megan, sailboat owners themselves; and Andy, just back from Uzbekistan. It was fun to get everyone together - and also, it’s always nice to have a few extra hands when you’re still learning to dock a 48’ beast!

The crew, from left to right: Megan, Matt, Andy, Frankie

Around 1 pm the sun came out, and surprised us all by turning a gloomy November Sunday into a crisp, sunny, fall day. Perfect. First stop, the fuel dock. This was the first time we’d ever fueled up Sea Change, and at $215 for a quarter-tank (yep, 1/4 tank), it wasn’t cheap. The scary thing is, $215 doesn’t really seem like that much anymore. Not because we recently inherited millions, but because when you compare a few hundred dollars to the thousands it cost to paint the boat, or make a down payment... you get the picture.

Frankie helps fuel up...

... while Matt watches the fuel level rise in the engine room, with a walkie-talkie nearby. One of the many "charming quirks" about our boat is that it doesn't have a fuel gauge, so there needs to be someone in the engine room watching the tanks fill, ready to radio the fueler when to STOP!

After successfully fueling up, we headed up the Montlake Cut and into Lake Washington. For those unfamiliar with the Seattle area, we live on Lake Union, a small lake in downtown Seattle. Lake Union is connected to Puget Sound via the locks, and to Lake Washington via the Cut.

We headed east, to Lake Washington.

The Sleepless in Seattle house, which is just down the lake from us - because you know you were curious.

Cruising the lakes was just what we needed. After the last couple weeks of struggling with repairs, and heavy-duty cleaning, and emptying of bank accounts, it reminded us why we’re doing all this. Because there is nothing like living on a boat in Puget Sound!


Sunday, November 7

Oh shit

I've lost count of how many times I've said that since I bought the boat. But this is the first time I meant it literally.

I'm learning that sounds are very important. "Beep Beep" and "drip drip" I've got figured out... but "Splash splash" had me confused... especially coming from the engine room, and only when you pump the toilet. Hmmm...

I opened the aft access to the engine room and pumped the toilet, and that's when the shit hit the fan. Or rather, when it hit the engine room deck. Ew. Turns out one of the sewage pipes in the engine room had sprung a leak. Before I could even think about climbing in to fix it, we had to clean up the mess. I grabbed the hose from the pier, turned off the bilge pumps to avoid accidentally pumping waste overboard, and sprayed down the engine room deck into the bilge.

Necessities: Air Freshener and Hose. Posted by Hello
I pretty much just blasted the place clean. Next I took the Shop Vac and sucked the bilge clean. We then (very carefully) carted the ShopVac to the marina toilet, and flushed the contents. On the way back we threw out the ShopVac. It was old and shitty anyway.

Posted by Hello The last known picture of our old Shop Vac

After cleaning the engine room, I finally dared to check out the leak. Unfortunately, I’m a shitty plumber, and I couldn’t fix the problem myself, so I had to call in the pros. Marine Sanitation will be here Monday. In the meantime, we have another head in the forepeak, so don't worry - we’re not completely shit outta luck.