Thursday, May 30, 2019

Tick... Tick... Tick...

Final preparations for departure have been a ...  unique ... process .  Life has had the odd sensation of both flying by and dragging on forever at the same time.  One moment, you can't tell where the last week went, the next moment time seems to be dragging on forever.  We are T-minus less than a week to departure, and chomping at the bit!

We closed on the sale of the house a week ago, drawing to a close that chapter of our life.  The last month has continued the logistical challenge of sorting, storing, and getting rid of all our stuff, and moving back into our tiny floating home all at the same time.

We've been back living on Kyrie for about two weeks now, and have 90% of our things put away on-board, with only about one trunk-full of miscellaneous stuff to finally sort through.  Who knew we had so much soap! We are also deep in the laborious process of provisioning Kyrie for our trip south.  So far, three car loads of groceries have been put on-board for our shelf-stable stores.  At the last minute the fresh foods, meats, cheeses, fruit, and vegetables will be stocked.                                                                 
The truck has already been sold, and the car is up for sale, although we have to hang on to it for food shopping right up until we're ready to leave! My parents arrive today for a short visit and I'm really looking forward to a bit of a reprieve from the crazy preparations.

Time to leave... It's so close, but there's so many last minute details to take care of. I can't wait to put the shore power cord away for a while, knowing we're about to go off-grid and be self-sufficient explorers!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Shakedown Cruise

     Memorial Day weekend was beautiful here. We had the opportunity for one last cruise to Taku Harbor, about 20 miles south of Juneau with the sailing club, so we jumped on it. It was sunny and gorgeous when we left Friday afternoon. No wind, naturally, but it still made for a lovely trip. The water was like glass almost the whole way there, which I don't think I've ever seen before.
      We were itching to go so badly that we were away from the dock in Douglas around 12:45 Friday afternoon, which put us tying up to the dock in Taku Harbor right about 4:00. First time in a long time we didn't have to make dinner underway!
       The kids had a ball, as usual. There were so many other kids there for the weekend that we barely saw our children, except for when they were hungry. Rachael's favorite dock buddy, Miriam, came with her family. Look for those two later on. Even Megan had kids her own age to play with!
      Joe and I got a few boat projects done that really needed to be dealt with, like fixing the heater that hasn't worked since Glacier Bay last year! That was an aggravating job. It took two days to figure out what was wrong. First we were both showing off our best boat yoga positions trying to wrestle the Webasto heater out from the engine bay. Joe has a couple nice scratches as war wounds there. He cleaned the heater up, replaced gaskets and a glow plug, and then we convinced the heater to go back where it belonged. Wouldn't you know it, though? The darn thing still wouldn't light! Ugh!
        In disgust, Joe gave up and sent me up the mast for my project. The foil for our mainsail furler separated again when we tried to rig up the main at the dock in Douglas. Didn't I already take care of that last year? Out came the mast ascender and up I went again. This time, thankfully, the job seemed much easier, despite an inordinate amount of heckling from the peanut gallery down on the dock. I didn't feel quite so much like a drunken Cirque du Soleil performer that time, twisting my legs around the mast to hold myself in place while I tightened set screws.
         It took the next day to figure out the problem with the heater. Turns out the fuel line hadn't been properly bled after Joe replaced the heater--air in the fuel line is a bad thing! It took about eight or nine times trying to start the system for all the air to bleed out, but it finally lit! Not that we needed heat on a nearly-70-degree day, but it sure was nice to have it running again. We left it running for about half an hour to be sure it worked properly, as well as to have some hot water for dishes later that night.
         The crabbing was amazing this weekend since the commercial fishermen hadn't come into the harbor yet. Wait until you see the prize catch of the weekend!
         Joe has been having a lot of fun with our new drone and this weekend was no exception. He put together another short video of some of the trip. Hope you enjoy it!