Sunday, April 29, 2012

April 29, 2011 - MacKaye Harbor guy's trip

I (Steve) had my semi-annual guys boat trip this weekend.  There were supposed to be 4 of us going, but at the last minute one of my friends found out his Mom was in the ER over in Bremerton so he obviously cancelled.  That left three of us.  Mike and Ted arrived Friday afternoon at 4:00.  After standing around on the dock looking at our "new" boat for a while, and then getting a tour of the inside, we were ready to go.  We left the dock about 4:45 and took a short trip over to Kiket Island.  We dropped anchor and cracked open a few beers to celebrate our new boat.  Even though we've had Adagio for almost a year now, these friends had never seen it.

We spend the evening listening to music in the salon and catching up with each other's lives.  On Saturday morning I woke up at 8:00 and pulled anchor so I could get through Deception Pass at slack current.

Deception Pass coming up.
Mike and Ted slept in a little and got up just about the time we arrived at Deception Pass.  We continued on to MacKaye Harbor on the south side of Lopez.  This is a nice bay, but can be exposed to some really nasty waves that will roll you all night.  Fortunately, we had calm conditions.  In fact, it was actually glassy-smooth at times.  We anchored here and then had breakfast.  Coffee, scrambled eggs and sausage - yummy.

Ted was not feeling too good.  He had a sore throat when he arrived on Friday and it was much worse on Saturday morning.  So, Mike and I took a dinghy ride over to Iceberg Point to go hike around while Ted took a nap.

Mike at the end of the trail; Iceberg Point.  Time to turn around.
After we had walked the entire length of Iceberg Point and turned around we noticed several whale watching boats not far offshore headed slowly our way.  We stopped and watched them and then POOF, several Orca whales surfaced and spouted!  Wow, what luck.  The whales were between the boats and shore, fairly close to us, and coming our way.

One of the Orca whales we saw on Saturday

Three of the five (approx) whales that passed right in front of us

The fleet of whale watching boats following the whales
At times I think I counted five whales in this pod.  One had a very large dorsal fin.  There appeared to be one smaller whale.  I was quite exciting to sit on a rock at watch this free show for more than 30 minutes.  Very lucky!  Too bad Ted was back in the boat asleep.

Ted's not feeling too good.  It was 70 degrees in the boat.
That night we BBQ's hamburgers and watched a movie.  We stayed up way too late so we slept in on Sunday.  Ted was still feeling pretty lousy on Sunday so we took it pretty easy.  We headed back in the afternoon to made the slack water at Deception Pass around 4:15 and then anchored just off Hope Island to BBQ chicken for dinner.  After dinner it was back to Shelter Bay.

It was a nice weekend with some decent weather.  The whales were definitely a special treat, but its always great to get together with my long-time friends.  I know these guys will be a part of my life forever....

Sunday, April 8, 2012

April 08, 2012 - Decatur Island/Lopez Pass

Finally we got to use our boat again.  The weather was great too.  No skiing this weekend, but we will try to get in another trip or two before Grouse Mtn closes for the season.

I (Steve) drove over to Moses Lake on Friday to meet Kathy's parent and to get our kids back.  We left them there on Monday so they could spend some of their spring break with their grandparents.  Its so great that they get opportunities like these to get to know Kathy's parents.  They had a great time skiing, playing in the snow, playing games, etc.

Now, on to boating!

As soon as I returned from my 9 hour round trip to eastern WA we headed down to the boat to get underway.   It was a nice afternoon and the forecast for the weekend was great.  Almost no wind with lots of sunshine.  Unfortunately the current at Deception Pass was just about at it's peak with a current of more than 8 knots.  In an 8 knot boat that's not going to work so we headed for our usual staging location; Kiket Island.  We anchored there for the night.  After dinner we played a few games of "Clue" and "Phase 10" then retired for the evening.

After breakfast Saturday morning we pulled anchor so we could arrived at Deception Pass for slack current.  Then across Rosario Strait to Lopez Pass to one of our favorite off-the-beaten-path locations on the south end of Decatur Island.  We have heard that it is called Tumbalo, but it isn't names on our charts.  We dinghied over to the spit for some beach time, and an Easter Egg hunt (a day early).

Playing the game "Headbandz".
You ask other people questions so you can figure out what card is on your headband.

Kids having fun on the beach

Kevin and Cindy pose for the camera

Adagio anchored at Tumbalo.  Olympic Mountains behind.
Looking southwest toward Mud Bay/Hunter Bay and Lopez Island

Kevin finds some Easter Eggs - Decatur Island

You find some interesting creatures underneath the rocks
Our friend Steve S. is out with his daughter Aubrey and her friend.  They come by to say hello so we head back to the boat to assist with tying our boats together.  But they had it under control by the time we arrived.  We visit with Steve for several hours until it is time for them to leave so they can get home before dark.

Steve and Aubrey (and her friend) leaving after a nice visit
 We BBQ chicken and asparagus for dinner.  Food always tastes better on the boat :-)

On Sunday we sleep in until about 8:30, which is pretty late for our family.  After breakfast Kevin and I (Steve) go for a dinghy ride around Center Island.  It's a little cloudy and cool, but we go around Center twice.  Kevin drives the entire time.  He loves to drive the dinghy, FAST!

Kevin ready to take me for a ride

                                        Kevin checks the depth sounder, then scans the horizon

It's a lazy afternoon on the boat.  I take a little nap while Cindy, Kevin, and Kathy watch a Harry Potter movie.  We need to be back to Deception Pass around 5:30 for slack current so we pull anchor around 4:00.  On the way back Cindy reads a book while Kathy and Kevin play monopoly.

Kevin beating Mom at Monopoly.  Kathy looks a little concerned  :-)

What a wonderful trip.  It was only two nights, but the weather couldn't be beat for this time of year.  It's been so long since we've been out that we were starting to forget how nice boating is.  We never seem to have this much time at home to be with the kids, without distraction.

For us, this last picture is what our boating is all about:

Too bad Kathy had to step back to take the picture -- Great family time!

Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2, 2012 - Idaho Ski trip

Schweitzer closes in 1 week so we headed over to North Idaho on Friday after the kids got out of school at noon (a half day) which is the beginning of Spring break.  This is our last Idaho ski trip of the season, but we anticipate several more trips to Grouse Mountain just outside of Vancouver BC before they stop skiing there, which could go into May.

We were going to go skiing on Saturday but the forecast was calling for the snow to turn to rain by 11:00AM.  So we instead went to the mall to see a robotics exhibit.  It was extremely interesting.  Basically, there is a "club" in the high school and they compete in national events following strict rules that tell them the task the robot must solve, how the robot can be built, the max dimensions of the robot, etc.  What a learning experience for these kids.  Apparently most of them go on to great colleges and head into engineering/computers/science.

Here, Kevin is rolling a big ball back to a robot that will lift it up and drop it somewhere else.
Kevin and a few of the robots in the background.

These high schoolers built a robot to solve the Rubic's Cube.  It had a camera that looked at the colors, and a computer figured out the steps needed to solve it, and then the robot manipulated the cube.  Amazing.

On Sunday we did go skiing and it snowed hard.  It was a pretty good day of skiing.  Kevin is getting very brave.  He is now asking to go down black diamond (advanced) and double-black diamond (expert) runs.  Cindy is not quite as daring, but she is turning into a great skier.

Kevin about to head down an advanced run.

Cindy and Bob skiing in the trees.
Nice view of the village.  Bob and Kevin on the far left side.
Bob (Pops) displaying his near-perfect form.  Looking good Bob!
Sunday was April Fool's Day.  We have a long standing tradition in our family of making foods for the kids that look real but are made with totally different ingredients.  This year it was sushi rolls made from green fruit rollups, rice crispy cereal, and gummy worms.  They also enjoyed chicken pot pie made from pudding, corn and carrots formed from Starburst candies, and chicked made from dried apple slices.  Yummy :-)

April Fool's chicken pot pie.

Sushi?  Well, it looks like it, but it's not.
On Monday Steve, Bob, and Kevin went skiing.  Cindy opted to stay home with Mom and Grandma.  It was great skiing on Monday. After skiing, Kathy and Steve drove back to La Conner while the kids stayed with Grandma and Grandpa (Grams and Pops) for the rest of the week.  We hear the kids are having a great time in Idaho without us.  They went skiing, played in the snow, worked on crafts, played Wii and Legos, played lots of games with Grams and Pops, and more.

We get them back on Friday, and then we are heading out on the boat for the weekend.  Finally, a blog entry that features the boat?  It's about time.