Looking Back on 2017

looking back a year in review

A Year in Review 2017 – Looking Back

What a year 2017 has been.  Looking back at everything we accomplished, we feel pretty proud.  Scott and I have had the dream of owning a boat for over seven years. Each New Year, we would review our lives and make a new plan, but until we sold The Wine Alley nothing could possibly happen, as we were working six days a week. No point in owning a boat when you are working that much.

Scott and I sold the shop in October 2015 and as we began 2016, we were not sure what we wanted to do. We spent that year researching and figuring things out. From boat shows in Seattle to boat shows in Annapolis. Finally at the end of last year, we knew we were searching for a weekend cruising boat. Boating Journey was born!

dreams boating

A New Year, A New Plan

Every year, Scott and I attend the Seattle Boat Show at the end of January. It is the largest boat show on the West Coast. We had a plan and the search began. We had met our broker, Eddie from NW Yachts in the Fall and so we told him what we were looking for, which was a weekend cruiser.

A Trip to the Caribbean

Soon after the boat show, we headed to the Caribbean for our annual trip. This year, we picked a new island, Dominican Republic. The tropical water is definitely gorgeous with lots of great reefs.  You can read all about our trip in our blog post.

sand bar cocktails caribbean island

Boat Shopping in the Rain

When we returned from vacation, we met with our broker, Eddie, who showed us three boats. Ironically, the first boat is the boat we ended up buying. However, not right away.  We looked at two other boats, but we didn’t like them at all.  While touring the boats with Eddie, it was pouring down rain. Not a fun day at all. Scott and I thanked him for his time and told him we would keep it in mind and keep shopping.

looking back a year in review

Anacortes Boat Show in April

This boat show is not large, but it certainly makes for a fun weekend with our good friends Nick and Michelle. Scott and I love going to this show and this year, it was bitter cold! We found one boat that MIGHT work, which was a Regal. However, it’s GPS screen was mounted where the steps are to the bow.

looking back a year in review

looking back a year in review

Later that day, Scott and I went back to our hotel room and called Eddie. We had looked at over fifty boats since January and we kept coming back to the Bayliner Ciera 3055, Kokomo. We made our official offer and a month later we were finally boat owners!

Boating Tips & Lessons

Within our first weekend of owning Kokomo, we were already learning about owning a boat and maintenance.  Captain Scott quickly learned how to navigate and dock a boat! Especially in our tight marina!

entering marinas difficult yachts

In our first year (really only 7 months), some of the things we have learned how to do are:

While these items might not be a big deal to the veteran boater, ask any new boater or novice if they have done any of these things.  We would not have learned half of what we did, had we not used the boat almost every weekend. Scott and I are so glad we chose to moor our first boat, rather than trailer it. By doing so, it became our home away from home.

Home Away from Home

Looking back, Kokomo certainly became our weekend getaway this summer and fall. For those that know us well, you also know how much we love to entertain. Boating wouldn’t be as fun without friends and family!

The Boating Journey Evolution

Eventually, this blog became more than just documenting our adventures and lessons. Since I love to entertain, I added a Recipe Page so I could share my favorite recipes. I have figured out how to prep meals in a small galley and make it work.  And, as you have learned throughout our blog, storage is a luxury on a boat, including finding a home for your cookware and food.

grilling on a boat

My objective with the blog this year was to document the lessons we’ve learned and share them with you. Perhaps you are looking to buy a boat or just entertaining the idea. Hopefully our stories are useful and also entertaining.

New Adventures Await in 2018

Scott and I do have a new plan for 2018.  This is all dependent on many factors, including my job prospects. But no matter what, the Boating Journey will continue to share its adventures and lessons. We’ll begin the New Year at the Seattle Boat Show on January 27th and we plan to launch our new YouTube Channel beginning that show. Stay tuned for all of the fun ahead!

Happy New Year!

Scott & Ally

#KokomoSeattle #BoatingJourney

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This Holiday Season We’re Thankful For

Thankful This Holiday Season

This past year has certainly been a journey and Scott and I are so thankful this holiday season. When we sold The Wine Alley two years ago, we were not sure what to expect nor what was in store for us. The plan was to buy a boat, but first I had to find a job.

Placencia, Belize

That plan took a strange twist early in 2016, when I was toying with the idea of moving to Placencia, Belize.  What?! You didn’t know the story? I had been consulting for a resort that was under construction and they had offered me the position of Director of Sales & Marketing.


I visited the resort (which was a journey) for a few days. (Be sure to read my blog and check out the awesome photos.) In the end, I turned down the job as it would have meant living apart from Scott and Mac, which I just couldn’t do. Two months later, I was back looking for a marketing position again.

Now that I had launched my marketing consulting business, Allison Leigh Consulting, I started doing a few projects for smaller companies that needed help. In May 2016, I took on a huge project for a retail chain developing their marketing program and team from the ground up.

Since we thought we were moving and had began downsizing our home, we kept our plans to sell our house and move onto a boat. Of course that all changed after we went to the Annapolis Boat Show in October 2016. That’s when we decided to hold off, buy a weekend cruiser and see if we like boating first.

power boat show

us power boat show attendee

Thankful for all of our blessings

Scott & I started the new year at the Seattle Boat Show and our hunt for boat began. It was certainly challenging and as you know from our blog, it took forever. Finally this past May, we were officially boat owners!

seattle cruising boat
We have been so blessed that we could bring our dream of owning a boat to life. This past year, we are thankful that we shared great times with friends and family on our boat Kokomo. That is one of the best things about boating.

The marketing project has ended for me and now I am searching for a dynamic company where I can share my marketing expertise.  Over the past few weeks I have met with some amazing companies, so I’m thankful for these opportunities. Stay tuned for what’s next for me.

pnw boater seattle

 

friends boating elliott bay

We are thankful to Elliott Bay Marina, for helping us secure our moorage before we even owned the boat.  Spending time on Kokomo and at the marina has become our weekend getaway.

boating seattle sunset

In addition, we are so appreciative of my sister Susan and her husband Kurt for all of their help and advice this summer.

lake union restaurants pnw boater

Thank you to all of our loyal subscribers and followers. Now that our boating journey has begun, we are looking forward to sharing more adventures with all of you.

This holiday season, we wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas.

 

Cheers, Scott & Ally

#KokomoSeattle #BoatingJourney

 

Holiday Party & Decorating Contest at our Marina

holiday party marina

The Annual Elliott Bay Marina Holiday Party & Decorating Contest

This week our marina had their annual holiday party & decorating contest for all of the tenants. The winner gets one month’s free moorage! Of course that is motivation in itself, but as I mentioned last week, no one was going down to M Dock to view our lights.

Scott and I got to the marina during sunset and what a sunset it was!! I only wish we had been on a taller boat to really capture how stunning the sky was.

holiday party marina

holiday party marina

Mount Rainier looked nostalgic sitting off in the distance.

holiday party marina

The Olympic Mountains stood out too. They don’t have a ton of snow on them, as we just had ten days of sunshine and no rain.

holiday party marina

It was so festive watching the sunset while our dock neighbor Joe had Christmas music on.  Ironically, this was the first time all year that we finally met Joe, even though his boat is directly across the dock from us.  After the sunset, we headed up to Palisade Restaurant for a cocktail and an appetizer.

holiday party marina

 

Holiday Party at the Marina

The party was in the harbormaster’s office and we all snuggled in. It was fun to finally meet a few friends from Instagram and also meet other boaters. Most of the people we met were also new boaters this year, so we shared similar stories.

With wine in hand, the four of us headed down to D & E Docks to judge the best boat. There were a few others on B Dock, but we were too lazy to walk over there.

holiday party marina

holiday party marina

holiday party marina lights

I was amazed as to how many boats were completely decked out for the holidays!

holiday party marina

holiday party marina

holiday party marina

This sailboat didn’t have their lights on, but I bet it looks super cool when they are on.

holiday party marina

holiday party marina

holiday party marina

holiday party marina

holiday party marina

holiday party marina

In this photo, you can see in the distance, a blue Space Needle. We think that it was on B Dock and a boat on B Dock did win an honorable mention.

holiday party marina

holiday party marina

Here we are with our dock neighbors having a great time judging the boats!

holiday party marina

holiday party marina

This was on E Dock, so we headed over there. I was certain this was the winning boat, but it wasn’t according to the office. This boat is on the “odd numbered” side of E Dock and the Best Decorated Boat was E66. Waiting to hear from the marina as to what the decorations were on the winning boat.

holiday party marina

holiday party marina

Not only did this boat have the huge lighted Christmas tree, but the detail on board was amazing! Above you can see a nutcracker soldier.

holiday party marina

Then they had a polar bear and snoopy!

holiday party marina

On the bow, he had an igloo and penguins fishing! Really, this was an awesome boat!

I think the boat below was across from this boat and it could be E66 (the winner).

holiday party marina

holiday party marina

Scott and I are so glad we came to the party! It was great meeting so many people and enjoying the festivities of the season. This is just another reason why we love Elliott Bay Marina so much!  Thank you to everyone at Elliott Bay Marina for hosting a fun holiday party. Tis the Season! Merry Christmas! Scott and Ally

holiday party marina

#KokomoSeattle #BoatingJourney

 

 

A Winter Evening in Seattle

winter night in Seattle

Spending a Winter Evening in Seattle

Each year, Scott and I love to go into Seattle for a winter evening to enjoy all of the holiday festivities. When we bought our boat Kokomo, we had the intentions of staying on it during some nights in the winter. But with our golden retriever Mac’s health declining rapidly we haven’t been able to do that.

It’s been about 32º-34º during the evening this past week, so Scott and I wanted to go down and run the engines and check on the heaters. (Yes, we do this weekly!) We decided to make a night of it and spend time at the marina and Queen Anne. Originally, we were going to make a big pot of homemade spaghetti sauce, but decided to venture out instead.

Things to do around Elliott Bay Marina

There is a brewery and a distillery just a mile from the marina.  We first stopped at Holy Mountain Brewery, where we shared a sampler.  The brewery is fairly spacious, but a bit loud.  The beers were fantastic and it was a great way to start the evening.

beer sampler seattle

 

Right next door, is Batch 206 Distillery. I had bought their Elliott Bay Rum as a gift to my brother-in-law Kurt, who has helped us with the boat all summer. He loves Rum and he helped us on Elliott Bay. How perfect!

winter night in seattle

Inside the tasting room, it’s warm and cozy. Batch 206 has some great gifts for the holidays. Scott and I tried their Counter Gin and it was delicious! Served very cold, this is a sipping Gin. Of course, we ended up buying a bottle of that too.

winter night in Seattle

winter night in Seattle

Their light fixtures were made out of bottles and galvanized pipe! So cool.

winter night in Seattle

Off to the Marina

Scott and I walked down to our boat and honestly we are glad we didn’t bother putting up lights on Kokomo. No one has decorated on our dock.  There is a new yacht docked next to us, M/Y Arctic Pride and it was really pretty all lit up.

winter night in Seattle

We started the engines and let them warm up to 175º.  The cabin was at 50º with the heater on. We use a Ceramic Heater that has a built-in thermostat and we have it set at the lowest setting. With that said, I was amazed that the cabin was nice and warm. There was no condensation, so that’s good too.  After spending about a half hour on the boat, we headed up to Palisade Restaurant for a drink and appetizers.

winter night in Seattle

winter night in Seattle

Holiday Lights at Elliott Bay Marina

Next Thursday our Elliott Bay Marina is having a holiday party and we are also voting on the best decorated boat. The winner will get a free month’s moorage!  So stay tuned for our holiday boat tour later this week. Here’s a preview of what’s to come.

winter night in Seattle

Happy Holidays! Scott and Ally on #KokomoSeattle

 

Boating in December

Kokomo Seattle boating in December

Did we really go boating in December?

When Scott and I bought our boat Kokomo, we didn’t really have intentions to go boating in December. For those of you following us here and on Instagram, you know I like to check on the boat regularly this winter.  Our marina has lost power a few times already and I like to make sure the heaters are all working properly.

boating in december

This past Sunday, Scott and I went to the marina with the plan to put holiday lights on the boat, since many of the boats are decorated. Once we got there, we realized that no one on our dock decorates their boat. In addition, we are at the very end of our dock, where no one can see us, so we bagged that plan.

No engines? Uh ho

The weather was wet and cold, so not ideal for boating.  We had planned on running the engines at the dock and checking on our heaters.  After a few minutes, Scott said we needed to take it out on Elliott Bay to clean out all of the carbon buildup in the engines. My concern wasn’t actually the weather, but the engines. It was so cold, that they kept shutting off (which is why Scott wanted to take the boat for a spin). As I was untying the lines, I asked Scott if the engines were warm enough to stay on and he assured me we were good to go.

boating in december
This is our fairway on a sunny day at Elliott Bay Marina

Our slip mate moved his boat to another slip, so we have the entire slip to ourselves right now.  As I pushed us off of the dock and we started to enter the fairway, both engines died. Of course, I freaked out as we were just floating there with my pole in hand!  Scott started both engines up again and now we were headed between two yachts in our fairway. Just then, the engines died again! Normally, when we go through our fairway, we move very slowly. Scott started both engines and this time, he had to rev the engines up and move quickly between the two yachts.  Ugh!

motor yachts blue sleek
Here’s one of the yachts we have to pass to leave our fairway.

Boating on Elliott Bay in December

Scott and I left the marina for a quick spin around Elliott Bay. We left our fenders on, as we literally only planned to go out for ten minutes.

Kokomo Seattle boating in December

As we came back into the marina, it started to pour down rain and we couldn’t see a thing. Figures. We waited for about five minutes for a break in the skies and we quickly headed back into the marina.

boating in December

boating in December

By the time we were securing the boat, we were soaked! Guess that’s boating in December in the Pacific Northwest.

Remember the submerged boat?

A few weeks ago, I shared photos of a submerged boat at our marina.  At the time we took the photos, we didn’t realize that it’s hull and bow were located on another dock. So Scott and I headed over to N Dock to check out the remains.

boating disasters

boating in december

The boat is at the bottom of the bay here.  Here’s the video we took:

Moral of the story is, check on your boat regularly if you keep it moored and not “winterized”.  Next week our marina is having a holiday party and decorating contest and I will be sure to take lots of photos to share. Stay dry and stay tuned.  Cheers, Scott & Ally   #KokomoSeattle

boating in december