Monday, August 31, 2020

Not the End of The World

Serious about appropriate distancing, we decided to spend some time at Neah Bay and learned something important:   The end of the world is clearly visible from Neah Bay.  Join us in our adventure.

 Having some experience with the Strait of Juan de Fuca, we left at first light.  Sunrise over Mount Baker is a sight to behold.  We had traveled only a few hours when the Strait started spitting at us.  Anchored in Port Angeles which is a bit rocky.  

We were slightly disturbed by the Blackball line ferry, Coho, doing training exercises by aiming at us and turning sharply to dock.  Neither of us had the presence of mind to photograph the event.  Somehow it paralyzed us but the Captain of the Coho in anticipation of our fear called us on the radio with assurances.  Thanks, Cappie!

The next day the weather had settled and we made the remainder of the transit without incident.  Neah Bay was an American post during WWII complete with big guns and submarine lookout stations.  This would be part of the remaining structures.

At first opportunity we raced out to Mushroom Rock braving some pretty fierce swells and immediately caught a nice 25 lb King.  We smiled and thought who needs Canada?  Intending to recreate that fine day, we spend the next day trying to navigate 12 foot swells to get out to the calm of  Mushroom Rock which is sheltered by Tatoosh Island.  Not a safe thing to do!  We needed to distance from those seas.  

And then the next day Fisheries closed the season for King Salmon.  OH WELL, we needed to get things done and halibut opens four days a week.  But the seas roared and the waves slapped. 

 So we entertained ourselves with sanding the teak, watching the heron and Jan knitted and knitted and knitted.
If you would like to see the other 1000 pictures that we have of the heron, just drop me a line!

This is a scarf that I knitted for our dear daughter-in-law, Tammy!
Several times we tried for halibut but with no luck,  Doug, my shy engineer, noticed that the 24 foot boat anchored nearby had people CLEANING halibut.  That was cause for investigation and finding out exactly what we were not doing right.  

And hour or so later Doug came back to get two 5 gallon cans of fuel and to ask if it was alright with me to stay alone on the boat tomorrow.  That was fine.  Doug and his new friends (after a discussion about their safe distancing philosophy) headed out.  They fished 15 miles out in the ocean in 15 foot swells at a depth of 500 feet.  They caught and released a lot of small halibut and snagged a nice 35 lb fish for our freezer.  Doug was whipped - fishing like that is for the youngsters!

Neah Bay has one road in which is closed and no one can dock.  Anyone who leaves the village is not permitted to return.  This has resulted in zero cases of Covid 19 but had apparently been the cause of significant boredom among the teenage boys.  When they circled our boat in a skiff emitting loud war hoops.  We just smiled and waved.  Apparently, we aren't much fun for the activity was not repeated.

At first weather opportunity we returned to Sequim Bay which has crab, calmness and sun needed to finish our teak cap.

The new lighthouse at Dungeness Spit was a welcome sight!

Apparently, our favorite Kingfisher missed his perch which also doubles for a salmon net at times.

Tons of sandpaper and seven coats of finish later, our project is almost done!

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Staying Close at a Distance

 Such times we are living in where we need to remain both connected and distanced.  Early on we had Wesley and Jude on the boat for a week.  Of course, for most of the week the wind howled and the rain pelted but we found activities for both occasions.  Seth and Megan got nicer weather for their time with us.

Jude and Wesley

When weather permitted:

Two boys...Two Kayaks...Two Floating VHF Radios

Fishing for Sanddabs was better than eating them!
Nana teaches knitting and finds great talents.

Seth and Megan's Family Outing...

A Fun Way to Distance

Master Paddlers the first time out
We are actually quite talented.
Eli Gets A Tow

The Treasure Hunt is On!
A Small and Beautiful Wedding by the River

Saturday, May 9, 2020

A Different World

Some things are different:

The usually teeming streets are deserted

Masks are the norm

The spectacular fireworks shows are no more.

We don't see our friends or opponents when we play bridge.  Yesterday there were over 53,000 people playing online at 4:30 central time.

We are donating money to keep our Mexican neighbors fed.  There are no food banks and no safety net her.  I am thankful for what we have in our state and country.

We have family gatherings and cocktails with friends online instead of in person.

In Mexico beer is not considered essential by the government and there are protests.

The largest drug cartel in Jalisco is passing out food to the people in need.  An AK47 and a box of groceries...a bit noncongruent.

Some things stay the same:

The hummingbirds are still coming

Joey, the male Elegant Trogon is nearby.

Sometimes he hides in Laura's deck plants.

His lovely wife Phoebe is seen less frequently.

The gardenia is blooming.

Not all Tequila Sunrises contain alcohol!

Stay safe.  Be well and hopefully something good will eventually emerge from these terrible and trying times.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Say It With Flowers Cook it with Herbs

I am finding that my brown thumb is turning green.  Deck gardening is a new thrill for us. 
A Desert Rose rescued from mealy bugs rewards us with blossoms!

Our gardenia!

Hibiscus are a personal favorite!

Hibiscus come in many varieties.  We paid about $3.00 for each plant.
It's hard to pick a favorite but the double yellow comes close.

Orchids seem to like it here.
Doug has a favorite in the striped purple orchid.

Doug's herb garden is great!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Wonderful Oaxaca

People simply shake their heads at our taking a vacation from Puerto Vallarta but....Oaxaca called.  Doug had never been and I was there in the mid 70's.  Definitely time to revisit this magical city.

Dinner our first night on the zocalo.  I ordered a favorite - chile relleno.  I was a bit surprised that they contained pumpkin seeds in the chicken mixture and the MORE surprised to discover the seeds
were really another protein source - grasshoppers!

Grasshoppers with garlic, Grasshoppers with Chile and Plain Old Grasshoppers!

Oaxaca's churches are beautiful.  This church took hundreds of years to build and is booked for weddings three years in advance!

Rodrigo and Fernanda's wedding was a community affair that we joined!

Mescal hearts being prepared for roasting.  An early step in a long process in an area that is noted for its craft mescals which are made in the old way!
If you saw Coco, you might recognize this as an Albrije from the most notable of the Albrejes village.

Traditional dress and Indigenous languages abound!
A visit to a weaving and embriodery village.
El Tule is the largest tree in the world with a diameter of 31 feet but redwoods are taller!

Do not think for a moment that grasshoppers was our main menu.  Our dinners were sophisticated and delightful.  The wine selection was expansive and excellent.

If you have the opportunity, do visit this wonderful city even if it means leaving the paradise of Puerto Vallarta!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Along the Way South

When we leave the boat, it is always a bittersweet time - another boating season has ended but also another Mexico season has begun.  There was much joy in our travels.  First, we welcome Miss Eleanor Rowan to our family.  First child of proud parents, Tammy and Ron.

Mother and Child Reunion

Papa Falls in Love Again
A Very Happy Day

We not only celebrated a new love but also celebrated an  old love.

Jerry and Valerie McVay Celebrate 50 Years

Before the Celebration

From Olympia we head to San Francisco to see Jim and Masa and hang out with Mila and her parents.

Hanging out with Melissa and Mila

Mila Gets Even More Beautiful

Then on the visit Shari and Ryan, Jude and Taryn.  What a wonderful time we had.  They are happily relocated to Arizona.  We spirited away the children for a day at Goldfield Ghost Town in the Superstition Mountains.

The Superstition Mountains still hide the Lost Dutchman Mine.

 Jude in Motion

 Nanna and Taryn on the Train
 Pretty Girl 
Our Very Own J-Bug
Here is the Unicorn but the Ninja Must Be Invisible

On to Mexico!