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!