Downsizing – Now It’s Getting Real

downsizing to live on a boat

Downsizing Part 2 – Things are getting real

In my last post, I shared that we had looked at some apartments in Seattle and started to clear out clutter as we begin downsizing from our home.  A lot has happened since that post!

Over the past few weeks, I have been purging everything in this house. Family photos and memorabilia have been divided up. Bedrooms and closets are completely cleared out and our kitchen has only the items left that we are keeping. As you know, we entertain A LOT and so we had over 36 plates, 40 wine glasses, 24 martini glasses and platters galore! Yes, we are having a garage sale this Saturday and anything we don’t sell, we’ll give away to Northwest Center.

downsizing a home

downsizing a home

Purging all of your belongings is emotional, whether we want to admit it or not. So many of the items we are getting rid of have great memories, but then I ask myself, “when was the last time you used it or looked at it?” That’s when you know it’s time to let it go.

Then I packed up the things we are keeping, but don’t anticipate to use over the next month. But just this week alone, I went to grab a platter or utensil, only to realize I packed it already.  Some folks have asked me why we are already packing if our house isn’t listed yet.  If you know me, you know I’m very organized and a planner. Since I’m not working right now, I want to take full advantage of my free time and do what we can.

Looking at more apartments in Seattle

The apartments we looked at last time were listed on www.apartments.com and they all had fabulous amenities, but the actual units were very stark and industrial. For us to move from a large home to an apartment, it’s character that’s important to us, versus size. These apartments also were very expensive – almost $3000/month! That’s because you are paying for huge gyms and theater rooms.

The other day I found two apartments on Craigslist and decided to check them out as they were different and much more affordable.  Both are located in the Queen Anne neighborhood. These didn’t have any amenities, which explains their price. The first one we looked at was a townhome apartment. The bedrooms were downstairs and the living area was upstairs. It was definitely unique and had beautiful views of Elliott Bay, but in the end, it wasn’t for us.

downsizing

The next unit that Scott and I looked at was a penthouse in a building that only had sixteen units. What I really liked about this unit, is how “homey” it felt. It has a very large master bedroom, large kitchen, fireplace and also great views. Unfortunately this unit won’t last long and we hope something similar to it comes available when we are ready.

downsizing to live on a boatYes, the balcony is tiny, but we plan on spending all of our sunny days on the boat. Elliott Bay Marina is only five minutes away. So fingers crossed that we find this jewel again.

Meeting with Realtors

Now it’s time to interview realtors and find out what our options are. As you may or may not know, our home is one of a kind for our neighborhood.  It’s open and perfect for entertaining, but what makes it very special is the view. Not only do we have views of Downtown Seattle and the Olympic Mountains, but we also can see the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.  We will definitely miss the views, as they never get old.

downsizing from a large home

With the views, you also get wildlife and lots of it!

downsizing to live on a boat

Back to the realtors and listing our home. In this process we want to take our time to meet with different real estate professionals and see how they can best market our home. In addition to this task, we are also thinking about refinishing our floors and installing new carpet.  This week I have been busy meeting with companies & getting quotes. Ugh. We are also going to work on the landscaping, so to say we have our hands full is an understatement.

Everyone is asking us “when when when?”.  Since we are not in a rush to sell, we are going to take our time to decide what to do. I remodeled my first home myself and am considering doing some of this work.  We’ll keep you posted and let you know when it’s finally for sale. Just know that we are closer today than we were a few months ago to finally making the move!  Stay tuned for the next update.

Cheers, Scott and Ally

 

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Downsizing to Live on a Boat

downsizing to live on aboat

Downsizing our Home

Scott and I have been working on downsizing our home for the past year. You will recall that two years ago we were making preparations for me to move to Belize and we began removing clutter.  That project is never ending.

Since I have not been working these past few months, we decided to take advantage of my time off and really concentrate on prepping the house and downsizing. Are we selling our house you ask? The answer is yes, but we don’t know when. Obviously, we want to take advantage of the market and so we are monitoring it carefully.

We’ve all read stories about couples selling everything they own to move onto a boat. In fact, just this week a young couple sold everything, bought a boat and two days later it sank. Unfortunately, they were not experienced sailors and the romance of the journey lead them down the wrong path. Scott and I plan on taking baby steps towards living on a boat, to make sure we can do it.

Moving to an Apartment or Condo

Before we decide to make the jump to a 50′ boat, we have decided to move to Downtown Seattle and live in an apartment or condo. This will really tell us if we can live in a very small space with limited storage. Not knowing what was out there, we toured four complexes a few weeks ago.

Ideally, we are looking for a two bedroom, two bath, but we did look at one bedrooms too. If you haven’t looked at apartments lately, it will be a shock. I haven’t lived in an apartment since 1990.

Queen Anne Neighborhood

The first one we looked at was way too small and not anything we would want to live in. Next we ventured to Expo on lower Queen Anne. Scott and I loved that it had all of the amenities and numerous restaurants below the apartment complex.  They also had a fabulous roof top deck, so you could enjoy the outdoors during the summer.

downsizing to live on a boat
Rooftop Deck on the Expo Apartments. Our marina is in the distance.
downsizing to live on aboat
View of the Space Needle from the rooftop deck of the Expo Apartments

Instead of doing “studio” apartments, the new thing now is “one bedroom suites”, which have a glass door enclosing the bedroom and a 3/4 wall separating it from the living room. This would be great for a single person, but not a married couple accustomed to living in a big house.

downsizing to live on a boat
Instead of a studio, the one bedroom features a frosted door

The bedroom above, is directly across from the kitchen.

downsizing to live on a boat
Kitchen for the one bedroom apartment

Scott and I were surprised that all of the apartments we looked at, offered full size amenities, such as washer, dryer, dishwashers and refrigerators.

downsizing to live on a boat
Full size washer and dry in every unit

So did we find anything we liked? Actually, we did like the two bedroom, two bath unit at Expo. The key will be if these units are available when we are ready to move.

downsizing to live on a boat
Kitchen in the two bedroom apartment at Expo
downsizing to live on a boat
Master bathroom in the two bedroom apartment at Expo

Ballard Neighborhood

From Queen Anne, we set out to view a new building in Ballard called Leva. The apartments in this building were very simple and it was obvious you would need to use your furniture to create the different living spaces.

downsizing to live on a boat
Main living area for the two bedroom apartment at Leva
downsizing to live on a boat
Rooftop deck at Leva featuring a fireplace & dining

Many people are reminding us that living in a 950 sq ft apartment is going to be a shock, but that is the point. It’s better to move to a very small space on land & see how we like it, before we invest in a boat.

Removing Clutter

First on my list is tackling my photo albums and family keepsakes. Since we don’t have children to pass them on to, I have been dividing everything up for other family members. Not only do I have over twenty photo albums of my own, but I had my parent’s and my grandparent’s albums. So I have been scanning photos for almost a month. As weird as this will sound to many, after I scan the photos, I throw away the albums. No need to keep them anymore, as they won’t fit on a boat. The photos I’ve kept to divvy up.

downsizing to live on a boat

Next we have been dividing up our “stuff” into four (piles).

  • Keep & Store (we will get a storage unit)
  • Sell
  • Donate
  • Throw away

It’s amazing how much stuff one couple can accumulate over sixteen years. Some of it, we have never touched or seen in that amount of time.  At the same time, we are “downsizing”, so we have to look at those items we do use regularly. For example, do we need 12 bath towels, 36 wine glasses & 5 sets of sheets if we’re living in an apartment?

Next we have been painting bedrooms and some common areas. Funny that two of the bedrooms were never painted, so now they look really good.

downsizing to live on a boat

There’s a lot yet to do, but I am the type of person who wants to maximize my time and so this is what I’m tackling now since I have the time available.

Won’t you miss your house and view?

That’s the question everyone keeps asking us. Until you get to this stage, you can’t understand why we are doing this.  Scott and I live in a four bedroom, three bath, three living room, two dining area, etc house and only use a fraction of it. While we will miss our amazing view, we are simply swapping it out for another great view.

So stay tuned for our next update! The next month will be full of big changes.

Cheers, Scott and Ally

 

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#BoatingJourney #KokomoSeattle

 

 

Boat Safety & Comfort

cruising boat pnw

Boat Show Takeaways including Safety & Comfort

At this year’s Seattle Boat Show, Scott and I found ourselves talking to different vendors about safety and comfort.  If we are going to keep Kokomo for another year, I want to make some changes to help improve these items.

boating safety

SmartPlug

I had read about the SmartPlug product and we were thrilled that we got the chance to talk with them since boat safety is so important to us. Basically, this shore power kit, replaces not only your power cord, but also the plug in on your boat. The primary purpose of this is to prevent fires (which is one of my biggest fears). Did you know that shore power delivery systems have remained virtually unchanged since they first came out in 1938?!

boat safety

 

boat safety

boat safety

boat safety

 

After talking to the rep, the installation is very easy. Simply remove the four screws on the old plate, cut the wires and insert them into the corresponding slots for each wire. The key here is to make sure the new plate is sealed tightly!

boat safety

You can buy the entire kit or the parts separately. If we buy the entire kit with the adapter plate, the cost is about $400 for everything, but Fisheries Supply is offering a great sale right now, for about $275. To me, this is worth the cost and we will be swapping out our cord this year.

Side Note on Safety

A few weeks ago, Scott and I went down to check on the boat and run the engines as we have been doing all winter long. I was down in the cabin cleaning and Scott was up in the cockpit. The engines had been running for about fifteen minutes, as we wanted to get them up to temperature.  I decided to plug in the vacuum to charge it and laid it on the counter.

All of a sudden, a very loud alarm went off in the cabin! Scott and I couldn’t tell where it was coming from, so I shouted at him to turn off the engines and I unplugged the vacuum (LOL). We kept looking up on the ceiling and finally we found the culprit.  Our carbon monoxide detector was up on the shelf in the galley and had been set off due to the engines running.  Turns out the curtains were hiding the detector, which you can now see out in the open.

boating safety

Moral of the story, is make sure you not only ventilate your cabin well while running your engines BUT also make sure you have a First Alert Carbon Monoxide Detector. It works! Boat safety is your number one priority when boating.

boat safety

 

Boat Comfort

Okay, back to the boat show! One of our other goals (if we can afford it) is to upgrade our mattress on the bed. Right now, we have a somewhat thin pad. Here’s a photo I took after “prepping the boat for winter“.

winterizing boat bedding

Currently, we use two foam pads on top of the bed to help cushion ourselves.

marine bedding

Even these two pads, don’t make much of a difference.  So we talked to two companies at the show.

Friendly Foam

These guys have three locations in Seattle, Bellevue and Everett. You can visit their showrooms and try out different pads. They said I could even email them our dimensions and they would give me an estimate. We plan on visiting their showroom, as I wasn’t comfortable laying on their beds at the show!

boat safety

 

King Marine Canvas – Handcraft Mattress Company

The other company, King Marine Canvas is located right near the marina on Commodore Way. Again, you can go into their showroom and check out all of their products. They make both mattresses with regular bedding covers or you can do a custom fabric like the one we have on the boat. Josh, the sales rep was super helpful and friendly!

boat safety

So hopefully, one of these will fit into our budget so we can finally sleep comfortably on the boat.

Needless to say, since it’s February 2, 2018, we are ready for Spring & Summer to arrive. We are anxious to get the boat ready and spend some time on the water.  Stay tuned for our next update!

Cheers,

Scott & Ally

 

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Seattle Boat Show 2018 Tour

boat show pnw

Seattle Boat Show 2018

boat show pnw

Last Saturday, Scott and I attended the Seattle Boat Show for the tenth year in a row. This is the largest boat show on the west coast. If you recall from my last blog, we planned on staying the night on the boat Friday and Saturday, to have a “staycation” in Seattle. Well, after the weather forecast came out on Thursday, change of plans!

boat show pnw

Wait until you see the video footage I took! We are so glad we did not stay on the boat! We heard from marina neighbors that the waves were crashing over the breakwater wall. High tide was at noon and was 11.6′! With gusts of 40mph, this was a very unpleasant day on the water.

Show #1 – Century Link Field

boat show pnw

This year, there were three locations for the boat show. The big show is at Century Link and the other two locations were at Bell Harbor Marina and Lake Union. At Century Link, they have two levels with boats on the lower level and vendors on the top.

 

 

 

While we did enjoy looking at newer boats, we actually had a mission for this show:

  • Look at Toilets – we need to get one with a macerator
  • Talk to Sea View Marine about hauling out & working on the boat
  • Find an Isinglass installer and get pricing (we talked to Sea Marine in Port Townsend)
  • Look for a propeller company to replace our current ones  (there were no suppliers at the show!)

Toilets

That’s a fun topic. Not surprising, this booth was packed! Probably because anyone who has a manual flush toilet has toilet envy to the electronic macerating ones.  The sales rep was very helpful and said it is somewhat easy to swap out. The only catch is it needs a power supply.  Chances are, we won’t be replacing our current one. Back to “no toilet paper” rules.

I know you are asking the question “So are you keeping this boat?”. The answer is, we don’t know yet.  We will either keep Kokomo and invest in it. The boat needs to be hauled out, under painted and have the props replaced. If Scott and I find a different boat that is bigger, more seaworthy and within our budget, we will consider upgrading. Right now, we are researching all of our options.

Fun Surprises at the Show

Meeting Wendy Hinman

If you follow our blog & our Twitter account, you know that one of my favorite authors is Wendy Hinman. Wendy’s first book,Tightwads on the Loose: A Seven Year Pacific Odyssey” fascinated me! She and her husband are from Seattle and they traveled across the globe on a 31′ sailboat! You have to read it!

I met Wendy years ago at the Seattle Boat Show and last year when I ran into her, she had just released her second book “Sea Trials: Around the World with Duct Tape and Bailing Wire“. The title of the book is not exaggerating! This is another must read. Over the past year, we have tweeted and re-shared Wendy’s posts and when we ran into her on Saturday, she was so grateful! Be sure to pick up her books.

Elliott Bay Marina

Scott and I went on a hunt to find Elliott Bay Marina, as they had some kind of activity.  Turns out, you had to make ten basket ball goals in 20 seconds and Scott did it! He won a $10 gift card at the Fuel Dock!

Sea View Boat Yard

Most of our boating friends referred us to Sea View Boat Yard to haul out Kokomo. They have two locations, one at Shilshole in Seattle and one in Bellingham.  Scott and I talked at length with the sales rep and got pricing for everything we need to do. Then they had a “spin the wheel” contest and we won 10% off Labor”Woot Woot! At $105/hour, that saves us quite a bit of money!

Show #2 – Bell Harbor Marina

boat show pnw

The boat show offers complimentary shuttle service between all three locations. Our next stop was at Bell Harbor Marina in downtown Seattle. The winds were crazy when we arrived! Again, be sure to watch our video for the full footage. It was so windy, that we were getting a bit sea sick looking at a 39′ Carver that we actually loved.

boat show pnw

boat show pnw

boat show pnw

Touring the brand new $11 million Ocean Alexander 100′ MY

I was surprised that we were able to tour this Ocean Alexander yacht without all of the red tape. It truly was a gorgeous boat and bigger than my house! We included a lot of footage in the video, so be sure to watch it towards the end.

Show #3 – Lake Union

Scott and I attend two boat shows a year at Lake Union, including the Boats Afloat Show. We knew that this location would be mostly either larger boats over 50′ or Trawlers. By the time we got to Lake Union, we were starting to get cold and tired.  While we didn’t see any boats that would work for our budget, we did look at two really amazing ocean worthy Trawlers!

Sea Lion – Fraser Yacht

boat show pnw

Surprising, this yacht only had one engine, but a great engine at that!

Rock A Bye – Precision Trawler

boat show pnw

 

This trawler was heavy duty! Each of the staterooms had locking air tight doors and this vessel is meant to travel a long ways.

Wrapping up the Show

After six hours, Scott and I were ready to call it a day! The Seattle Boat Show offers multi day passes and honestly, that is probably the best way to view the show. That’s how we attend the Annapolis and Miami shows. There are great seminars during the show, along with festivities for families. The show goes until February 3, 2018, so you still have time to go visit – and hopefully during better weather! Check out our next post, as we cover more on the show.

Boating Journey has a new channel on YouTube! Be sure to subscribe for upcoming episodes. Below is the video for the tour of this year’s Seattle Boat Show 2018.

Thank you for following us and sharing! Until next time! Scott and Ally

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Dock neighbors helping each other

holiday party marina

Dock neighbors are your second set of eyes

When Scott and I started mooring our boat Kokomo at Elliott Bay Marina, we didn’t think too much about the importance of our dock neighbors. With over one thousand boats in the marina and us being moored at the very end, our boat is just a spec among many.

holiday party marina

But over the last few months, we have realized that we do care about our dock neighbors and we make sure to keep an eye out on their boats. Being new boat owners, we were not sure about how to connect with the folks we see every weekend. In fact, I’m a bit embarrassed to say that we didn’t meet our neighbor Joe until the Christmas party.  We decided then, that it’s important for us to connect with our neighbors and also meet new ones throughout the year.

A Fuel Leak

When we first arrived in May 2017, we did meet our yacht neighbors, Jules & Doug. They own a beautiful custom yacht and are located at the end of our dock, just a couple of boats away.

yachting seattle dock neighbors

We didn’t get to see them much during the summer as they left for a few months to cruise British Columbia.  When they returned in the Fall, we exchanged numbers in case of emergencies.  Of course, I was hoping that would never need to happen.  But a month later, we knew they were out of town and we noticed fuel around their stern.

I immediately called the marina and I also texted Jules to let her know. She was very grateful and the mechanics arrived asap, so nothing major happened. When all this was happening, I was nervous about notifying them. No one wants that call, but at the same time I would want someone to call me.

Should that water be running?

Right next door to Jules’ yacht, was an older Chris Craft house boat. It was under major renovation and the owner lived on it part time.

dock neighbors elliott bay

One morning, I noticed that the hose that was hooked up to the boat, was pouring out more water from the faucet connection than probably going in. Turns out she had hooked it up and didn’t know she needed an auto shut off valve and so water was going everywhere.  We did call the marina, but they already knew about it. Better safe than sorry.

Should the boat look like that?!

Last week, the PNW had another wind storm and our marina lost power. We decided to go down and check our lines and make sure the heaters were back up and running fine.  It was a beautiful sunny day and we were just making a pit stop at the marina.

dock neighbors marina

As we approached our boat, we noticed Joe’s boat across the way and it didn’t look right. (No, I don’t have a photo – we were too concerned with fixing the problem than taking pictures). But here’s one from summer and if you can picture what we saw.  First, his bow looked like it was on the dock, but it was because all of his bumpers were ON the dock, not between the boat. What the?? Turns out his stern line had snapped and forced the bow up onto the dock slightly.

dock neighbors helping eachother

We called him right away and fixed his bumpers and secured his stern. Normally the marina staff walks the docks and they would have noticed it too, but it was the day after Christmas so they were on a light staff.

Just as we were done and walking down the dock to leave, we notice the lock box next to us, was completely tipped over. Nope, didn’t get a photo of that either. Will do for the next time. So we went to the marina office and told them about both situations so they were aware.

The Dock is Sinking!

Scott and I follow many cruising / sailing blogs and YouTube channels. Recently, there was an episode on Sailing Ruby Rose. They were sound asleep and were woken up by their neighbors to inform them that their dock was sinking! You have to watch this episode–WATCH HERE! There’s lot to learn should this ever happen to you. Thank God their neighbors woke them up.

dock neighbors helping
The moral of this story is all of us dock neighbors need to be looking out for each other. If you don’t know your neighbors or haven’t exchanged contact information, do so the next time you see them. Boat neighbors are no different than your house neighbors, in fact in some cases this could be their home.

If you have experienced any dock neighbor situations, please share with us.

Happy New Year! Scott and Ally

#KokomoSeattle #BoatingJourney

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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

 

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

Finding our boat slip at Elliott Bay Marina

boat slip seattle

Finding the Perfect Boat Slip

How did we pick out our boat slip? It occurred to me yesterday, that throughout this entire journey I never really talked much about how we picked Elliott Bay Marina for the home of our boat Kokomo.

Let’s go back to my blog that I wrote in August 2016 about “Live Aboard Marinas“. Scott and I realized that not only were we challenged with finding the right boat, but also finding a place to moor it! I talked about the buying process in our blog “We’re Finally Boat Owners“. The entire process reminded me of when we started our wine shop. In order to get a liquor license you had to have a lease. In order to get a lease, we had to have a liquor license. Crazy.

At the last Seattle Boat Show we attended, we met with Elliott Bay Marina and Fisherman’s Terminal.  Both were very helpful and eager to help us in a pinch. In the end, Elliott Bay Marina had nicer facilities, secured docks and the views were unmatched. Yes, the monthly moorage is a bit higher, but worth it to us. They also allowed us to reserve a spot before we owned the boat.

skyline water view

We found the marina, now what slip?

In all of the books I have read, one thing I have learned is the importance of liking your slip and slip mates.  Scott and I went down to Elliott Bay Marina on a sunny Saturday and met with Jordan and Brandon at the harbor masters office. They gave us a sheet with available slips and we then walked the docks N and M.

view of boats Seattle

N Dock is the last dock on the east side of the marina towards Seattle.  All of the large yachts dock on the outside of N during the summer.

boat slip seattle

mega yacht seattle

Our objective in looking for a slip

Scott and I had two objectives in finding our slip. One, was to find one with a view of downtown Seattle.  We knew that would be tough with all of the yachts on Dock N. What we didn’t know at the time (because they hadn’t arrived yet), was that the cruise ships would ruin that come summer anyway.

Cruise ship seattle port

Our second objective, was to find a slip that either didn’t have a slip mate or one that had a small boat. Since we were new boaters, we did not want to have to dock next to nice boats.  We walked up and dock docks N and M and took photos of different slips. Most of the slips we ruled out due to the slip mates, like this beautiful tug from Ranger Tugs.

boat slip seattle

boat slip Seattle

The marina had told us that even if the slips were empty, they would be occupied by summer. With that said, we took our chances and selected M95.

boat slip mooring seattle

 

boat slip seattle
If you look really hard, you can see the Columbia Tower in the distance.  It didn’t really occur to us at the time, that our bloat slip M95 was a quarter mile walk to the parking lot. Well, at least we get our exercise now.  The other thing we didn’t realize at the time, was “how we had to get into the fairway” on our boat. Read all about that journey in this blog.

entering marinas difficult yachts

Eventually, we did get a slip mate (an aluminum fishing boat) about halfway through the summer.  That was a funny story too!

aluminum fishing boat

Summer is over and now what?

Now that it’s winter time, many boats are gone. It’s like a ghost town at our end of the dock.  In fact, our aluminum boat neighbor moved into a boat slip much closer to the parking lot a few weeks ago. I figure, we need the exercise and I still love the view of Seattle. It is definitely hard on our old golden retriever Mac as he can’t walk that far these days. Unfortunately, he is declining at a rapid pace and doesn’t spend any time on the boat these days.

golden retriever boating dog

We found out this week that the boats all decorate for Christmas and there is a contest for the best decorated boat.  Of course plugging in a bunch of holiday lights freaks me out as you know from my previous blogs.  So we’ll just put up a few to be festive. We are looking forward to the holiday party and meeting other boaters. Stay tuned for the photos of the event!

Cheers, Scott and Ally  #KokomoSeattle

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