Friday, August 1, 2014

Three Week Break!

 I've been busy these last three weeks!  I got back on July 12, then went out sailing with Lindsay for four days in the San Juan Islands.  We had a nice time over at Matia island and at Stuart before heading back to Bellingham.  Altair is in great condition, and I am planning the trip down the coast this fall.  I expect to leave October 1 from Bellingham and then try to get to San Francisco two weeks later.  From there, the plan is more uncertain as I wait for Lindsay to catch up.  She works until the end of October, so she'll find a way down after that.  Then southern california, the channel islands, and Mexico! 

I've been doing a lot of modifications to Altair to prepare for the trip, including installing a fridge/freezer, adding lots of shelves and storage compartments, and buying a small dinghy that could have a motor on it or a sailing rig.  It is a plastic lapstrake rowing skiff that is made by Walker Bay.  The Walker Bay 8.  It's 8 ft long.  I haven't named it yet, so I'm open to names, but she fits on deck nicely and rows great with one person.  With two, a little more difficult, but possible.  Three works as well.  I haven't made the sailing rig for it and when I do we'll find out how she sails.  I am excited to sail it. 
I also spent a few days re-building the exhaust system for my little diesel engine.  It is a Universal 5411 engine, with two cylinders and 11 tired horses inside, but still kicking and snorting out soot when they get riled up.  The exhaust system has been leaking for years and I have been loathe to fix it, but the time finally came and I got it done.  Now the engine is much quieter and cleaner smelling, and ready for a long trip. 

I also bought a new computer to replace the old one that is getting to the point of demise, so I figured I'd get something that could handle complex video editing.  Sadly I haven't had time to get it all set up yet and do any editing, so the report on that will have to wait.

I'm going to miss the San Juans, both for going North tomorrow and for going South in the fall.  I'm excited about the trip down the coast, but I always like sailing around in the summer in Bellingham.  Beautiful scenery, nice wind and lots of kelp and seals.  How peaceful. 

I also climbed Mt Baker, and I will write up a trip report about that in the next blog post, coming right up.  I got this picture of Baker from Matia Island, two weeks ago, but completed the climb two days ago.  It was a nice adventure and neat to get up to the top of a mountain I had been looking at all my life.

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