Fletcher Woodworks Gift Items

Fletcher Woodworks Cutting Boards & Utensils

This past Christmas my brother in-law, Kurt gave us some great gifts from his Fletcher Woodworks business. If you recall, Kurt has helped us out tremendously on the boat, including helping us dock on our first day.  He is also a very talented woodworker!

We have a joke in our family that if you want him to design cabinets or counters for you, be patient because he has to grow the tree first. After Kurt retired from the Washington State Ferry system, he started this business with his two sons, Chris and Spencer. Everything they make is handmade with custom wood and gorgeous!

Cutting Boards

This year Kurt gave us a Birdseye Maple cutting board and honestly this picture doesn’t do it justice. You have to see it up close.

wood cutting board handmade

Here’s a close-up of the grain:

handmade cutting boards seattler

Cheese Knives & Spatulas

In addition to the cutting board, Kurt also gave us four utensils. The cheese knife is displayed above on the cutting board. The utensils are made out of Leopard wood, also known as Lace wood. The knife has a very sharp edge on it too.

handmade wood products seattle

I know what you are thinking……these are way too nice to actually use! However, they are designed to be used regularly.  They also have a wood finish that is food safe to use on the cutting board and utensils. Fletcher wood finish is made of organic beeswax and organic flaxseed oil (linseed oil). They chose this mixture over mineral and other oils because of its food safety, rich color and tougher finish. Flaxseed oil naturally soaks into the wood pores and polymerizes with time to form a stronger finish.

Fletcher Name

So you are probably assuming that Kurt’s last name is Fletcher, but in fact it’s not. My sister and her husband live in Ballard and in a quaint neighborhood (one street) called “Fletcher’s Village”. This quaint street has a handful of Storybook Tudor homes that were built in the 1930’s, featuring European style homes with clinker brick & stone work exteriors. As you enter the village, there is a big wooden sign over the street for “Fletcher’s Village”. Now you know where the name comes from!

Fletcher woodworks

Fletcher Woodworks On-line Store

Fletcher Woodworks has an on-line store with all of their products available. These are locally handcrafted items from the Pacific Northwest and are great gift items. Of course they would go perfectly on a boat, but also serve great in any kitchen.  So the next time you are looking for that unique gift, remember Fletcher Woodworks handcrafted gift items. Check out their website and on-line store at www.FletcherWoodworks.com.

Fletcher woodworks products for sale

 

Stay tuned for the end of the month, as we are heading to the Seattle Boat Show! We plan on staying on the boat that weekend for our first winter stay over, so we’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

Cheers! Scott & Ally

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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 Must Haves

boat must haves

It’s been six months – what are our boating must haves now?

When Scott and I started shopping for our boat, we were still trying to figure out what type of boat to buy. At that time, we didn’t really think too much about what we “had to have” on the boat, other than a few basics (head, bed, etc). Since we took possession of our Bayliner Ciera 3055, Kokomo in May 2017 we have slept on the boat 27 nights or almost a full month. This has certainly given us some perspective on life living aboard a boat.

custom boat pillows

Currently our plan is to sell this boat next Spring and upgrade to a larger boat. What size you ask? We haven’t decided that yet.  Scott and I have talked about finally selling our home and moving onto a live aboard, but that’s a big jump. That boat would have to be at least 48′ for us to live on it.

Boat Must Haves

What we do know now that we have spent time on our current boat, are the things we wish we had. When you are home, you take for granted simple things such as using the toilet, washing dishes, getting a glass of water, etc. Think about the things you do the most at home and see if those are also important to you if you spent any time on a boat.

This Bayliner Ciera 3055 is perfect for a long weekend or short vacations, but it’s not designed to be lived on. I consider it an upgraded camping experience.

Toilet

First off, let’s address the topic of the toilet.  Our boat has a brand new Thetford toilet, but it’s a manual hand pump and the first weekend we were on it, someone clogged it. After that,  a rule was created, which was that no toilet paper can go in the toilet. This obviously is not a rule we like. Scott and I want the comforts of home, so a dependable toilet will be on the list.

At each boat show, we have talked to numerous sanitation suppliers. For toilets, your choices are a manual, electric or vacuum flush.  Right now we are leaning towards an efficient vacuum flush toilet (one that doesn’t use too much water). Top brands on our list right now are VacuFlush and Lavac.  Our toilet is a salt water toilet. This means that the water comes in from outside when you flush, so you don’t have to worry about using up your fresh water. However, a salt water toilet has more maintenance issues as salt water can calcify inside the plumbing and holding tank. Below is a head on a boat we saw at the boat show – comforts of home.

yacht bathroom toilet

Water

The fresh water tank on Kokomo holds 30 gallons and the hot water heater holds 6 gallons.  This is potable water, but ideally I would like a filter for the water too. Remember, our toilet is using seawater, so that is not a factor in our water usage. But you would be amazed as to how much water you go through when washing hands (often), doing dishes and filling up dog bowls.  Kokomo has three fresh water faucets and we use them frequently. If we spend three days on the boat, we need to fill up our tank by the third day.

outdoor sink boat

What’s the solution to this? Install a water maker. These systems use reverse osmosis to convert seawater to fresh water. They are a bit expensive, but definitely worth the price.  When we fill up our fresh water tanks with water, we use a special anti-bacterial ZERO-G Hose. The fresh water input in located on the starboard side. Our boat is docked on the port side, so to do this, we have to hang over the edge with the hose to fill it. It’s a pain in the butt.

seattle cruising boat

Having a water maker on board, gives us a number of benefits that also make life easier.

Shower

Our boat has a shower and the curtain does separate it from the toilet area, but honestly everything still  would get wet. In addition, with only a 6 gallon hot water tank and a 30 gallon fresh water tank, we would run out of water pretty fast.  Having a water maker on board with a larger hot water tank, would alleviate that issue. Looking at larger boats at shows, we also want a separate shower stall.

boat must haves

 

Ice Maker

At Elliott Bay Marina, we have a fully stocked store at the fuel dock. In fact, they have a great selection of wine and beer. However, the store is six docks away and it’s a long walk. Every time we stay on boat, we have to go get ice as our freezer is very small.  Friends of ours converted their outdoor faucet in the cockpit to an  ice maker. Who needs three sinks anyways. Great idea!

Comfortable Bed

Like I said earlier, our boat is perfect for a long weekend as it’s an upgraded camping trip. But it’s not meant to be lived on. At home we have an expensive mattress which is very comfortable.  Moving on board we would definitely invest in a high quality comfortable mattress.  There are many custom mattress companies out there. Then there is also a company called Froli Sleep Systems. They make a unique spring type of foundation that goes under your mattress for support and circulation. You would use this system in addition to a high quality mattress.

spring marine bed support

Oven

Lastly, we would have to have some type of oven on board. Many boats come with a microwave / convection oven combo. Ideally, since I love to cook, I would love to have a stand alone oven. Here are some dream ovens we have seen on boats.

boat must haves

boat must haves

I could live on this boat! This is bigger than my kitchen at home!

boat must haves

Of course, we will not be able to have any of these galleys or ovens in our price range, but a girl can dream! What will the galley most likely look like?  Probably like these below.

spacious liveaboard kitchen

boat must haves

boat kitchen cooking

If you have any “must haves” not on this list, please share with us. Just like a home, we can always add items, but it would be great to find one with everything we want.  Stay tuned! Scott and Ally #BoatingJourney

Fall Boating Weekend in Seattle

Calm Fall Day Boating Seattle

Fall Boating……..

Scott and I are so glad that we have chosen to use our boat all year round, as this past weekend was a perfect time for Fall boating.  It was unusually warm during the day with temps of 69º and no wind at all. We headed down to the boat at Elliott Bay Marina on Friday afternoon with our golden retriever Mac.  We didn’t think he would have another weekend on the boat due to his age and health, but he did great! The colors of the trees are absolutely gorgeous at the marina! I shared many photos in my blog about autumn in the marina.

Elliott Bay Marina Autumn

If you remember back a few weeks, we had removed everything off of the boat, including our bedding. So we had to bring our bedding and pillows back down for the weekend. Luckily, I use Jumbo Space Saver Bags which work great.

Fall boating weekend Seattle

golden retriever boating dog

The water was so calm it looked like glass! During the Fall and Winter, the marina is very quiet as many boats have left for the season. We soaked up the sun with a few cocktails and enjoyed our happy hour.

Calm Fall Day Boating Seattle

During  the Summer, the sunset is so far north, that we can barely see it. Now it is setting much farther south and we can actually enjoy it. Here are the two season’s sunsets from the bow of our boat.

horizon sun seattle summer boating
Summer Sunset
seattle sunset boating
Fall Sunset

sunset horizon Seattle boating

Scott and I had dinner on Queen Anne, one of Seattle‘s quaint neighborhoods. They have lots of restaurants and bars to choose from. It was  Halloween weekend, so everyone was dressed up.  We headed back to the marina fairly early and the moonrise was absolutely stunning! Using just my Samsung Edge 7 phone, it takes amazing photos!

Seattle boating moorage

Our first Fall Saturday on the boat

We woke up around 7:30am and the sunrise made DT Seattle look like it was on fire!

marina sunrise Seattle

Sunrising boats seattle

Feeling a bit lazy, Scott and I decided to go out for breakfast. Ballard is only about 5 minutes from the marina, so we headed to a new restaurant called “Eggs and Us“. I love all things eggs and their menu was huge! The food was outstanding and perfect. Scott ordered the “Elvis Presley” and OMG! This was a French toast dish – two pieces of bread, with peanut butter between them, then dipped in egg wash and dredged in Panko crumbs. Then they deep fry it! LOL. I don’t normally take food photos, but you have to see this!

breakfast ballard

Ally Docking the Boat

We decided to take advantage of the perfect weather and have me practice docking on the “yacht dock” at the marina. The winds were basically non existent and it was the perfect day to do this.

practice docking seattle

Here’s the video of Ally docking the boat:

Docking a boat is definitely nerve racking! A few months ago, I tried on the same dock but I freaked out because it was really windy. It is helpful having someone tell you specifically what to do as you are moving. BUT if they call out the wrong instructions, it can also fluster you.

After docking about four times, we headed into the marina. Scott wanted me to pull completely into our fairway (not slip) and I got around the first two yachts and then I had him take over. Remember, Scott’s first docking event (which he did without instruction – wow!).  Again, here’s what we have to do to get into our slip. My advice, is take it very slow and feel comfortable. For me, I didn’t like practicing around other objects (boats, booms or buoys.). Once you find your comfort zone, then go at your own pace.

entering marinas difficult yachts

Trail walk from Elliott Bay Marina

After practicing on the boat, we needed to get out for a walk. There are two marked walking paths from Elliott Bay Marina and we took the one to the north.  We ended up doing a full loop, which was about 4-5 miles!

bike path magnolia

walking paths north seattle

zinc out fencing

salmon safe parks

Seattle bike paths

seattle bike bath

seattle walking path

Interurban walking trail

walking path magnolia seattle

Fall boating weekend seattle

magnolia bridge water view

Who knew staying on a boat could mean this much exercise!? Mac didn’t even walk with us and he was all tuckered out!

old golden sleeping

Things in the Marina

The herons this weekend were hysterical.  One heron made friends with a bird deterrent owl on a boat and the other looked like he was trying to mate the radar (normally their necks are long and skinny)! LOL

marine life birds

marine life birds seattle

We went out to dinner with friends and came back fairly early as we were exhausted. Downtown Seattle was so cool looking from the boat.

view space needle night

Sunday in the Marina

Scott and I had planned on taking the boat out again, but woke up to thick fog and decided to call it a weekend. Even Mac was ready to go home.

Fall Boating Weekend

sail boats foggy seattle

old boating dog Seattle

Staying on the boat for the weekend is like a mini vacation. It seemed like we had been gone for days and it was less than 48 hours. I can’t imagine life any other way now that we are here.  Cheers! Until the next journey! Scott and Ally #KokomoSeattle

Boating in Seattle

mooring balls pnw bainbridge island

Boating in Seattle spending weekends on the boat

Scott and I live in Renton, which is about 40 minutes from Downtown Seattle. One great thing about mooring our boat, Kokomo at Elliott Bay Marina is we can go spend a night or two on the boat and feel like we are “getting away” from it all.

Seafair 2017

Seattle has had one of the driest and hottest summers in history and we wanted to be sure to take advantage of every nice weekend we could.  Seafair is our big summer celebration in Seattle.  The festival ends with the hydroplane races on Lake Washington and the Air Show that includes the Blue Angels.

For us to go to Lake Washington to see the races and air show, we would have to go through the Ballard Locks and during the summer time, this can take hours to get in and then hours to get out.

We decided to watch the air show from Elliott Bay and hope that the Blue Angels would make a few fly overs.

Scott and I took his sister Cherie and her family out for the day. Unfortunately, due to all of the smoke from the B.C. fires, Seattle was very smoggy and visibility was limited. Yet, we still all managed to have a good time.

When the Blue Angels flew out of Boeing Field, they first came right over us and then over the city. It happened so fast, I didn’t have a chance to take a photo.

Just when we thought they were gone and gone, they made one final flyover above us! That made the day perfect.  So if you are thinking about watching the Blue Angels on Elliott Bay, know that you won’t get to see them very close.

Where to go for an afternoon?

The following weekend, Scott and I invited our friends, Matt and AJ for a day on the water with dinner. That morning we woke up to 8mph winds and it was cold and cloudy. They were not scheduled to come down until 2pm and we were worried the weather would get worse. Luckily, the day got warmer and sunnier so the plan was still on.

I had remembered a few years ago that my sister took us over towards Bainbridge Island for lunch in a cove.  I found out it’s called Port Madison and we decided to zip over there for a visit.  It was a quick 20 minute boat ride going about 18 knots west.

Just as we approached the entrance to Port Madison, we saw a large pod of dolphins! They were so quick, that none of us captured a shot of them.

Port Madison is deep and we only went in about one quarter of the way, as it got very shallow, about 4′ deep. Yes, I know our draft is only 2’9″, but 4′ is shallow enough for me to be a bit freaked out! We turned around just before Treasure Island.

After we turned around, before Treasure Island it was nearly as bright, so the scenery was much better.

It does get very chilly going across the sound, even on a hot 90 degree day. We always end up bundled up after a few minutes on the water.

Once back into Elliott Bay, we had to wait for the one of the cruise ships to leave. We have two ships docked across from us and they leave around 4pm daily.

We finished the day relaxing on the boat and enjoying a fantastic dinner with Matt and AJ.

What to make for dinner?

Knowing that we were all going to be out boating all day, I didn’t want to come back and have to spend an hour prepping dinner in our small galley. Planning ahead, I decided to make my Chicken & Tortellini Salad with Grilled Artisan Bread. Another perfect weekend on #Kokomo!

Print Recipe
Chicken & Tortellini Pasta Salad Yum
This hearty chicken and tortellini pasta salad is perfect for a hungry crew on a hot day.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to the directions. You can do this ahead of time and mix with a little bit of the dressing to keep it from sticking together. When ready to serve, mix all of the ingredients together, season with salt & pepper and serve chilled or at room temperature. Serve with grilled artisan bread.
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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

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