Enjoying the weekend in Seattle!

Weekend on the Boat in Seattle!

The weather last weekend was HOT HOT HOT and there’s no better place to be than on the water!  We stayed on the boat Friday and Saturday night and ended up entertaining friends all weekend.  Friday night, Scott’s old friend Erin came down for dinner.  It was great to show her the marina and the boat.  One thing she said to us was “I’m so happy to see that you guys follow your dreams. You had a dream to own a business, you did that. You have always wanted a boat, and here you are.”  It was nice to actually hear someone say that to us.


It’s June 23rd and we still do not have a “slip mate”. Our biggest challenge with having a mate, will be when we dock, as we have been running into the “imaginary boat”. LOL  The winds were very strong both Friday and Saturday coming from the north. While it was great to help us stay cool, the marina was also much noisier with the sail boat riggings clanging back and forth.

Also, the 159′ S/V Georgia is still there and it is stunning at night, as the pictures show.


Elliott Bay Marina really is such a beautiful place to be during calm warm nights.

Even Kokomo looks awesome at night!

Friday night they had a wedding up at the Admiral’s House and we could hear the music all the way from our dock. It didn’t bother us, but we were amazed as to how far noise travels.
Sitting in the dark at the marina is also so incredibly relaxing – it’s a great way to end a hectic work week.  We bought Flameless Candles for more ambiance and I love them!
Saturday, we went to the pump out station all by ourselves! LOL  We did find out that the marina will come by and pump out your waste every Tuesday if you want and they charge $20.  But it was super easy and the guys at the dock helped us.
I spent part of the afternoon relaxing and reading one of my favorite boating magazines, Cruising Outpost in the sun while sitting on the bow. It just doesn’t get much better than that!
That night we had our friends Nick and Rhonda on the boat for dinner. It was nice to catch up and show them how great the marina is. I don’t think we can take enough photos to do it justice!


Mom, it is so hot on this boat!

Entertaining on Kokomo at Elliott Bay is certainly easy with the beauty of the atmosphere.

Early Sunday morning Scott is standing in the galley, when he looks out the starboard window and says “Ummm, I see a fender!”  What?! What do you mean you see a fender?!!! We both rush up to the deck and sure enough, we HAVE A SLIP MATE! Ugh. So it begins.  Luckily it is an aluminum fishing boat and if we were to bump into a boat, it is the best kind. LOL I guess the guy moved it into the slip at midnight! Crazy.
In preparation for a trip we are taking to the San Juan Islands in July with my brother and his wife, we decided to check out all of the storage spaces on the boat!  Under the salon cushions we found all kinds of space, where we can put wine, beer and staples. We also found a BRAND NEW Thetford head pump. Score!! These retails for $210. Let’s hope we don’t have to use it, but what a treasure!


Enjoying the weekend during the heat wave

Sunday, June 25th was the HOTTEST day on record for the month of June in history in Seattle! It was the best day to be on the water.  Good friends of ours, Tim and Lori joined us, as they used to be boat owners. It was great to have them along and they were so helpful.  We traveled over to Alki and then down to Shorewood where they just purchased a home.

Mac isn’t too keen on going fast in the boat and kept crawling up on the seat cushions. I started to worry that he would jump out, so I eventually put him down below.

senior dog boating

Notice Scott’s new custom T-Shirt for Kokomo??



Mac, finally relaxing down in the aft berth! Before I took this photo he was sound asleep like a baby!

senior dog aft berth




I drove the boat from Alki down to Shorewood and back to the marina. Now I just have to get docking down. Even though it was the hottest day of the year, when you are going fast on the water, it’s chilly! When we got back into the marina, it was hotter than hell! Amazing the difference in temperature is when you go from one to the other.
When we got back to the marina, Tim suggested that we finally put the dinghy in! Whoa, this is a lot. LOL. The electric winch uses a 12 volt and we don’t have that, so we manually put it in the water and lifted it out.  The engine started right away and Tim noticed immediately that the plug wasn’t in. That would have been a disaster!

We couldn’t have asked for a better weekend and we know we have many more to come.  The other cool thing about the marina and boat life is all of the sea life we see. When we were out in front of West Seattle we saw dolphins again.  It’s been awhile since our seal has visited, but this past weekend we had eagles flying over head, we had tons of minnows and a super cool purple starfish on our dock.

We are planning on staying on the boat the weekend of July 15th to prep it for our trip to the San Juan Islands. So stay tuned for our next blog which will discuss all of our preparations and things we are buying for it.
Cheers! Scott & Ally on M/V Kokomo

Getting to Know Our Boat Part 2

bayliner engine well

Getting to know our boat, Kokomo – Part 2

Last Sunday was cloudy and damp in Seattle, but we still wanted to spend the day on the boat and do some housework.  Better to do that on a cloudy day and enjoy it on a sunny day we figured.  We left Mac at home, so we could move about easier and get things done.
When we arrived, we noticed we had another new yacht visiting. This time it was the S/V Georgia from George Town. This photo doesn’t do it justice. We found out from our neighbor that it is 159′ long and now is a charter vessel. The mast could be seen from miles away!


sailing yachts

Time for Chores

Scott and I had different chores – he replaced all of the spark plugs and I cleaned the interior carpets.  I also brought our Dyson Vacuum Cleaner from home, which made a huge difference both inside the cabin and in the cockpit. Something about walking around 17 year old carpet that someone else walked around, was creeping me out. At least I feel better now!  We ended up ordering a vinyl anti-fatigue mat for the galley too, to help make it better and we also bought a portable vacuum cleaner to keep on the boat – too much dog hair! LOL


Working on the engines was a tight fit, but Scott did a great job! And he only broke one spark plug while changing out all 16 plugs.


Next on the list, was (doing something with the dingy motor)….as you can see, I’m not sure what he was doing. LOL I can’t say he was mounting it, as it was already mounted….but it had something to do with drilling a hole thru the bracket and putting in a screw. Unfortunately his drill bit wore out.


We have yet to put the dingy down and take it for a run – but we promise to do that this weekend!

Next on the list – the anchor chain

Now we need to figure out how long our anchor chain is and spray paint it in 20′ lengths.  I was a bit freaked out running the electric winch as it was so noisy.  I kept going down to the cabin to see how much was left. In the end, we had almost 240′ of chain and looking at the chain, it appears the previous owner rarely used it. We also noticed that our winch is missing the manual handle, should it break down, so that’s on the “buy list”.



Scott fired up the engines and our Furuno radar – we’ve been told to do that every time we go onboard. Especially the radar as it can get “stuck”.  After a few hours work, we called it a day.  Walking down the dock, we ran into this fella, a Blue Heron.
If I saw him outside my stern entrance it would have scared me to death. He was so stealth like.
Scott & I are staying on the boat this upcoming weekend and entertaining friends each day.  Our goal is to take it out on our own and also with friends. Time to jump out of the nest I guess!  We still don’t have a slip neighbor, so who knows, we may get it all to ourselves this summer. Stay tuned! #KokomoSeattle


Getting To Know Our New Boat

Getting to know our Bayliner boat, Kokomo

bayliner ciera des moines marina

Getting to know our new boat, Kokomo

It’s been two full weeks now that we have owned the boat and we headed back to Elliott Bay Marina to spend Saturday and Saturday night on it. We wanted to utilize this time to figure out all the ins and outs of the boat and also take my brother in law out on the sound with us for tips and practice.

The first thing Scott and Kurt did, was open up the engine hatch and check everything out on our two Mercruiser 250HP 5.7ltr engines. We had just had the oil changed this week by Monkey Fist Marine in the marina and all looked great there.  They said it really needed it badly. Remember, the previous owner hadn’t ran the boat in almost two years!

Kurt wanted to look at the spark plugs and instantly that one cracked. So off I went to West Marine to get a bunch of spark plugs and some other stuff, including self-repair tape for the “just in case” incidents.  They replaced a few that they had removed and Scott will do the rest of them when in a few weeks.


Off to Blake Island

Then we headed out to the sound, so Kurt could listen to the engines and make sure everything sounded great. To be honest, I got freaked out last weekend when the engines would make different sounds as we moved across the sound, so I wanted Kurt (who used to be a Chief Engineer for the Ferries) to listen to them.

As we pulled out of Elliott Bay, a bizarre wave came at us – it was absolutely HUGE and we took a 6′ nose dive. There were no ferries, no freighters  and no cruise ships. It was unexplainable! Let’s say it freaked all of us out.  Kurt wanted to head to Blake Island across the sound.  It was a bit choppy with NNW at 8 mph, but he wasn’t worried at all.
satellite map elliott bay
About 1/4 of the way of the trip, we were going full throttle when we heard and felt a huge “thug”! What the hell was that?!! Yep, we hit a log and thank God, it was not a big one. We were all okay, but now I was a bit white knuckled between the white caps and the log.  The key to the trip, was we were finding out that the “sounds” we were hearing was that there was cavitation (see below) in the engines as we were going up and over the waves.
Soon, we planed the boat and found the perfect RPM and we made it to Blake Island State Park in about 40 minutes.


They have 30 minute docks and overnight moorage. We pulled up to the 30 minute dock and walked around a little bit. We checked out Tillicum Village and then we had lunch on the boat. Of course, I had to get my photo with my Cougar flag (I do this in every new city).

salmon bake indian reservation
Soon, the park ranger came knocking on our door – we had stayed too long.  By now the winds had shifted slightly and as we returned back, we had to close up all of the cockpit, as we were getting sprayed everywhere.


What is Cavitation?

The aeration (bubbling) and boiling effect of water caused by creation of a low pressure area. Generally caused by a solid shape (propeller blade) passing through the water, in such a position and speed, that a low pressure area is formed due to the inability to move through the water in nonresistant manner. An example is, a propeller blade that has a rough edge would not cut efficiently through the water, thus creating a low pressure area. If the pressure drops below the vapor pressure, a cavitation bubble will form in that region. These bubbles will collapse when they reach the higher pressure region of the blade. This causes a rapid change in pressure and can result in physical erosion. You may notice burns (erosion) at some area on the face of the blade.

We finally got back to the marina!

By the time we got back to Elliott Bay, the winds were fairly strong from the north, at about 12 mph. We headed to the fuel dock and twice, the winds pushed us off of the dock. The staff at the fuel dock was super helpful and on the third approach we nailed it. It didn’t help that a 70′ yacht was sharing the same fuel dock! LOL

I’m always a bit nervous doing the “S Turn” back to our slip between 3 yachts, especially in the wind, but Scott did an amazing job.  We still don’t have a slip mate yet on our starboard side and so we have a bit of “room” when docking. This time, the northerly winds pushed us right into our side of the dock and he did great! We wouldn’t have even hit them if they were there. LOL  Mac was happy the ride was over too. It was a bit too bumpy for him! As you can see by the photo of the cabin – things went flying! Lesson learned – secure everything!

sweet golden retriever face


We then spent the next two hours cleaning all of the salt water off of the boat! It was a mess! We couldn’t see a thing out of any of the windows!



Relaxing after a fun day

The best thing we love about boating, is relaxing after a fun day, in the sun with gorgeous surroundings! This weekend, we had a new yacht neighbor join us “Invader”. It is one of the largest yachts in North America at 164′ and it is owned by a media mogul.


Super Yacht, Invader

Scott & I ended the day grilling steaks on our new Magma Gas Grill  – it works perfect for us! We just made a simple blue cheese salad to pair with it. Mac surely was tuckered out too.
Another thing we learned about the boat this weekend, is how fast we go thru water. I was prepping dinner, when I heard the water pump – we were nearly bone dry! We have an antibacterial hose, Teknor Apex Zero-G Hose that we use to fill the water tanks directly from our dock.

After dinner, we strolled to the west end of the marina to take in the sunset – Elliott Bay Marina really is a beautiful place.
Unfortunately, for the month of June we won’t get to spend much time on the boat, as we have trips or commitments. We will try and squeeze in a night towards the end of the month – but will definitely use it a lot in July and August. Until then……..


Memorial Day Weekend – Our Official Weekend on the Boat

boating journey

Our official first weekend on our boat, Kokomo!

Memorial day weekend was our first full weekend on the boat. Scott and I  certainly lucked out getting the boat before Memorial Day weekend and then spending the entire holiday at the marina (Elliott Bay Marina).  The weather was warm and sunny – 85 degrees, which is hot for Seattle.
We headed to the marina after work on Friday and surprisingly, got there within 45 minutes. Probably because everyone else was leaving Seattle, while we were coming in.  We had two huge carts to load up and as we got to the boat, we met our neighbor Doug (who owns the 75′ yacht at the end of our dock) and his 13 yo yellow lab Zoe. The yacht is his first boat – his fiancé, Jules, is a long time boater and each of them can dock their yacht by themselves. Needless to say, we are still nervous when we leave and enter the marina as we round the corner of their yacht!
Friday, we washed down the boat, inside and out. It’s amazing how dirty a boat can get, even sitting at the marina.  We finally finished around 7:30p  and we could relax, eat dinner and enjoy the views! The views are so gorgeous, that it’s impossible not to take photos one after another.


Even Mac finally relaxed on Friday with his woobie. It’s a very long walk from the parking lot to our dock, so for this 14 yo boy, it’s exhausting.



Keeping busy at the marina

Saturday morning, we headed to Wild Salmon Market at Fisherman’s Terminal to get fresh fish, shrimp and crab. It’s a 5 minute drive and we love how close we are to really fresh fish!
Later, my sister Susan and her husband Kurt came down to help us learn how to dock the boat. We don’t have a slip neighbor yet, so that made it easier. We left the entrance of the marina and practiced coming in and out and me jumping onto the dock. Then we went to the fuel dock to pump out the holding tank – it was much easier than I expected. The gross part is it was pretty full and we hardly have used it. Yuck. After about an hour of this, we had enough (LOL) and it was time to go to lunch! The view of Mount Rainier is gorgeous from the restaurant.
Scott and I finished the afternoon cleaning more of the boat, then showering at the marina (they have really nice facilities at Elliott Bay) and prepping for dinner. We were having our neighbors, Dave & Kathy and Scott’s brother Jeff and his wife Michele down for dinner. Finally, we were entertaining guests on OUR boat after a 5 year dream. We bought a  Magma Gas Grill  and it worked great! We did have to buy a mounting bracket that expands in the fishing pole hole (not sure if that’s what it’s called).

Entertaining on the water in Seattle

Once again the views were picture perfect for our guests! Seattle is such a gorgeous city, especially during the summer.




Unfortunately, soon after these photos were taken the toilet got clogged by toilet paper and was unusable.  That called the night short and everyone went home. Since it is a 1/4 mile walk to the marina facilities, Scott and I used a bucket for the rest of the night. LOL  That’s what we did when we went fishing as kids, so it was no big deal to me.  But the question was, can it be unclogged?  We tried a weird plunger we found on board – no luck.  So first thing on Sunday morning, Scott got the idea to take off the hose that connects to the head and see if the clog was there.  Sure enough it was. There is a baffle at the end of that hose to prevent anything from coming back into the pipe and it is ridiculously narrow. He pulled out all of the toilet paper out and Voila! it works.  Our first fix (of many to come I’m sure).
NEW RULE: Nothing goes in the toilet except pee.
Originally, Dave and Kathy were going to stay the night on the boat and go out boating with us on Sunday afternoon. They came back down Sunday morning and off we went on our first boating outing with guests. (Scary!!!)  As we headed out of Elliott Bay, the Olympic Mountains were right in front of us and beautiful! We went north to Shilshole Marina in Ballard and then west over towards Bainbridge Island. Surprisingly, the sound was very calm.
From there, we went south and then over to West Seattle and Alki Beach.  I was driving the boat then when I spotted about 5 fins in the water. Everyone thought I was crazy until they saw them too. They came and went, but since they were small we think they were porpoises.



Alki Beach


After about an hour and half on the sound, it was time to head back to Elliott Bay Marina.  We had a nice lunch with Dave and Kathy. After they left, we decided to go thru all of the storage lockers and also look at the engine. I should have taken a photo of all of the cleaning supplies the previous owner had on the boat. I ended up taking most of them home, but he must have had over 20 bottles! We also dug thru the locker on the swim platform and found an extra anchor, 3 lines, 2 gas cans, more cleaning supplies and other stuff. One thing we did find was an outdoor shower with hot and cold water! Who knew?

We walked over to G Dock to get ice and that’s where some of the largest yachts are moored. It is amazing HOW CLOSE they are to each other!!
We did have a very scary moment with Mac. As he was getting on the boat from the deck, he fell in the water and he was almost crushed between the boat and the dock! We quickly got him out and on board, but needless to say we were all shaken up! He does have a life jacket, but it was almost 90 degrees and he wasn’t wearing it since he had just walked down to the park for potty.  Just another reminder to be very very careful when getting on board.
golden retriever begging for food
Later in the afternoon an Azimut 116′ yacht “Sin or Swimpulled up and docked parallel to the dock sideways!
Sunday night was a great night for us to relax, barbecue burgers on the grill and just take in all of the scenery. It’s really why we have chosen to be boaters and enjoy this lifestyle.



Memorial Day

Our good friends Nick and Michelle who have gone on this journey with us from the beginning, came down Monday morning for a quick trip around Elliott Bay. Unfortunately it was cold and cloudy, which was a bit of a damper. We knew the sun was coming out, just later. It was great to have them go out with us to help us practice more.  Right now, I’m not comfortable going out on our own, especially if we do end up with a slip neighbor. I can’t be in two places at once and it’s more important that I be able to jump on the dock to tie us up. But having another person on the bow to help push us off should we go towards another boat, is important too.
We ended the day with lunch at Maggie Bluffs, with a bloody mary and a good time with good friends! Oh, and more cleaning of course!



Scott and I are heading back down to the boat this Saturday to practice with Kurt and Susan again. We’ll stay just one night. Unfortunately our schedules in June don’t allow us much time on the boat, but we are wide open in July and August, so we are looking forward to many fun days. #KokomoSeattle