Monday, October 10, 2016

Donning the winter wardrobe

 I think we may actually have Kyrie ready for winter! It's taken two weekends, but we managed to get the frame built and then wrestled one of the biggest tarps I have ever seen in my life over the entire wood and PVC pipe frame, not to mention the various furling rigs and stays. But after what seems like miles of a really sticky duct tape and boxes of screws, Kyrie has donned her winter wardrobe. And I have to say, while she definitely will not win Belle of the Ball, I think she will keep us comfortable this winter.

This is currently the view out the hatch over the salon table. Not the prettiest view anymore, I admit, but I think I'm going to like the greenhouse effect. On a sunny day like today, it's already warmer inside the boat, as well as on the deck. In fact, the kids dragged cushions out on the front deck so they could do their schoolwork outside. Hopefully there will be enough sunny days this winter so they can spend lots of time out there to do their work. I think the real reason they like it so much already is because we told them they don't have to wear their life jackets out on deck with that cover on.

Hopefully we don't have any issues with it tearing this winter. The tarp is reinforced, so it ought to hold up fairly well. Everything is screwed, zip-tied, and duct taped within an inch of its life. Let's see what this big sail we've built does once the famed Taku winds kick up this fall and winter. I love sailing, but I don't want to do it with a big pipe and tarp tent for our sail!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Living a life... on a boat

     I feel like I've abandoned this poor blog, like so many others I have started throughout the years. I am determined that will not happen with this one! :D Not long after my last post, life really kicked into high gear for us. I had somehow forgotten that we weren't actually on vacation on our boat, but that this is real life.
     We are back in Juneau, and one downside of not living in the marina at Semiahmoo anymore is the lack of amenities. We were rather spoiled down in Blaine, with showers and a laundromat on site. Now, we have to utilize what I refer to as M & D's Suds and Bubbles, otherwise known as my in-laws' house, for showers and laundry. And of course, that means packing up all three kids and the laundry, making sure the big kids have whatever schoolwork they need to finish, and grabbing the all-important blankie and stuffed kitty for the little one so she can take her nap! It's a bit of an undertaking to accomplish this chore now.
     Don't get me wrong. I'm really not complaining. It simply has taken some time to figure out how to plan our lives and get some sort of schedule going now that we not only have grocery shopping and laundry and other daily chores to take care of, but in addition, homeschool work and activities, and all the other activities a family of five living in a town in which they know a lot of people could possibly find themselves involved in! The big kids just finished two weeks of swim lessons every morning Monday - Thursday, for example. Joe travels nearly every Tuesday for work, plus I play Parks and Rec volleyball Tuesday nights. He just started a men's group Monday nights and, oh yeah, the kids have Awana (a kids' group through church) every Wednesday.
     It's frankly a pretty normal life and nothing that would make most other families bat an eyelash... if you live a normal life in a house. But go live that life on a boat, and that complicates things a mite. And you know what? That's okay. We do live a crazy life and we are rather busy, but I'm still enjoying it. And it makes me look forward even more to the day we cast off and head south on our next big adventure. We're looking at nearly three years away now, which may be a little farther off than originally intended, but Joe got a fantastic job that should last for close to three years. That will give us plenty of time to pay off some debts incurred and then save, save, save for travelling.
      In the meantime, we're enjoying being back, even if it means getting the boat ready for winter. I need to take some more pictures, but Kyrie is slowly acquiring her winter wardrobe. We took the sails down last weekend and starting building a framework for the plastic tarping that will protect her and hopefully cut down on the amount the heaters have to run this winter. Joe and I should be able to get the rest of the PVC ribs up this evening. Kyrie is gradually taking on the look of the skeleton of a beached whale!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Rain + Relatives = Reunion!

The rain has returned to Juneau with a vengeance, and naturally, just in time for our family reunion that starts today. I’ve really been looking forward to this reunion for a number of reasons. I’m looking forward to seeing so many family members, of course. This is for the Dvorak side of the family, which is Joe’s mom’s dad’s family. (Did you catch all that?)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Farewell to a furry friend

                Kyrie lost a member of her crew a few days ago. Some time early Saturday morning, Desi, our beloved boat kitty, died in her sleep. She was about eighteen and while it wasn’t unexpected—she started going downhill about a week ago—it was still incredibly sad.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

"Go to bed, go to sleep..."

   Joe is still out working on the tender. It's keeping him really busy and it's pretty decent money. We see him occasionally--he got home around 2:30 Saturday morning and then had to be back on the boat late Sunday morning. Even for that short amount of time, it was REALLY good to see him. I, for one, am very much looking forward to him being done with this fishing gig.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Already living the dream

     It's been over a month since we arrived back here in Juneau and I've been struggling to come up with something to write about. We've taken Kyrie out several times since--Taku Harbor with the sailing club for Memorial Day weekend (which I really ought to write about since a scary yet amazing thing happened on that trip), another trip down there just with our family, and an overnight getaway with just one kid along while the big two spent the night with friends--and while they have all been fun, for some reason, with the exception of Memorial Day weekend, nothing seemed really blog-worthy.
      And then I stopped and kicked myself for even thinking something so silly! My family lives on a boat--an amazing, beautiful, nearly-everything-we've-wanted-in-a-boat catamaran! How on earth can I not think this worth writing about? Even if no one else reads this, it's still worth mentioning. So, having given myself the swift kick I needed, and will need again from time to time, I can move on.
       I have Kyrie nearly all to myself as I type this. Joe is currently working with/for a friend on a packer, which for any who may not know, is a big boat that goes around, buying fish from the fishing fleet, and delivering them to the cold storage facility, where the fish are processed, packaged, and sent to various locales around the world. He will be doing this for the next month and we'll see him from time to time. For example, he called around noon today, saying he would be at the harbor (on the other end of town!) for about two hours. The girls and I dropped the little bit we were doing and drove to see him!
        Levi left this morning to go to camp for the next four days. It's his last year at Colt Camp, which is for the 7-9 year-olds. I know he's excited about being with older kids next year, but I don't know if I'm ready! This was his third year going to Echo Ranch so leaving Mom for a few days is no big deal anymore. I think Rachael will miss him more than he misses her!
        So, it's just me and the girls until I pick Levi up Thursday evening, unless Joe gets to come home for a little while. Rachael is off at the pavilion across the street, playing with the boys off Midnight Sun (should I be worried? 😉), which is another family boat here in Douglas. Megan is taking a nap, so currently, it's just me and Desi, hanging out in the cockpit, savoring this warm Southeast Alaska day.
          At some point, we'll be ready to cast off lines and get started our next big adventure, but until then? I'm living a dream right now. It may not be everyone's dream, but I'm enjoying it, and every day, something happens that someone, somewhere, just might enjoy reading about.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Traveling the inside passage . . . Lessons Learned

Well after having a couple weeks to think about it, I am finally ready to post on lessons learned from our passage north, also some items that worked and some that did not work so well.