Change, an inevitable and exciting part of the cruising life


Sweeping up into the sky, a large white cloud in the distance swirled and changed as we played on the beach at Jones Island last Friday. Then, last night, with the boys tucked into bed, Jill and I sat in the cockpit watching a superb sunset while the evening’s clouds beautifully reshaped themselves as they meandered across the orange-hued sky. We talked about our next steps for the spring and summer and the shape of life in front of us. Like the clouds, change is once again in the air aboard Yahtzee. Continue reading

Lessons learned during a routine plumbing project

Jill putting the final touches on the new sink drain hose

Jill putting the final touches on the new sink drain hose

Tales of maintenance aboard Yahtzee rarely make it to the blog because, well, they’re really just not that exciting. But it’s important for those following along to understand that living and cruising aboard a sailboat isn’t all history lessons, racing and eating s’mores. When it comes down to it, there is always a project to be done and with two young boys it seems time is not always on our side.

On Sunday night, though, with Porter and Magnus snoozing away in their bunks, Jill decided to tackle the plumbing to our galley sink. A foul smell has been emanating from the drains for sometime and after attempts at thwarting the odor failed, we decided to install a new section of hose and clean out the elbows joining the double sink drains.

When she got into the project it was pretty clear that swapping out the hoses and cleaning the elbows was the cure. But the fun thing about almost every project we get into is that we learn about Yahtzee a bit more. This time it was about the seacock and through-hull that the sink actually drains out of.

After Jill closed the seacock and then got the hose off the sink end, seawater was still filling up the hose at a slow rate. That shouldn’t be, as the purpose of the seacock is to completely stop the flow of water. Closer inspection revealed that when the handle for that seacock is pushed to starboard it rests on the handle of another valve, which leaves it about a quarter of an inch from closing. So, lesson learned: when closing the sink seacock aboard Yahtzee, always turn it to port, not starboard. The more you know.

How We Roll

Porter in the kayak (our "car") after a trip ashore

Porter in the kayak (our “car”) after a trip ashore

Since we don’t have a car or bikes, people often wonder how we get around and do day-to-day things ashore like taking the boys to doctor’s appointments or simply getting groceries. Our answer is easy: we walk. But the kayak is thrown into the mix as well and the key to making it all work is planning.

In living around the San Juan Islands since September, we’ve been strategic about where we go for certain things and will plan to be in ports where there is a major grocery store that is convenient for big provisioning runs. For instance, Port Townsend and Anacortes have large grocery stores right across from the marinas and West Marine stores nearby. And Friday Harbor has a few stores that are reasonably priced (for islands’ standards) and are not too far away. We then supplement these big hauls with occasional stops at smaller, typically more expensive stores such as in Roche Harbor. Continue reading