Cruising South Puget Sound

October 2005

So here we have this new-looking boat and no cubicle or metal tube to report to (and no salary to collect). We had planned to sail south to warmer climes in September, but those pesky boat projects got in the way and it was too late to make the passage to San Diego this year. So as the October days began to turn grey, heralding the beginning of another dismal Pacific Northwest winter, we said, "Hey, let's get out in that nasty weather and freeze our buns off." And we made it so.

We tested out all the systems and sometimes got cold, but mostly relaxed and enjoyed doing as little as possible. We cruised around Puget Sound for a couple weeks (for those not in the know, that's a big body of salt water extending south into Washington State sixty miles or so. It's pronounced "Pyoo jit", not "poo git"--although there is doubtless some poo in there.) We set our anchor in bays surrounded by mansions whose views were not as good as ours, but cost lots more. We anchored next to rural islands where we drank our morning coffee to the sounds of a braying donkey and the "bah-bah" of goats. We enjoy this background music much more than the thumping base of our ex-neighbor in Seattle, or the banging construction noises that used to start up next door at the buttcrack of dawn...The sounds aren't always those of sea birds, however. Once we were serenaded by automatic weapon fire coming from a nearby military base. We didn't stay at that location long...

Some friends seem confused by our lifestyle choice. Here are some advantages to this lifesyle that we appreciate every day:

--We don't commute. If we're moving from one place to another, it's with our kitchen and bathroom. We can whip up some muffins and coffee on the way and take turns "driving". There's not much chance of getting hit by a drunk driver, especially since our average speed is as fast as you can probably walk.

--We don't work. Some people find satisfaction crunching numbers in a cubicle, going to meetings, slinging coffee at 35,000 feet, or selling pharmaceutical products. We didn't and don't.

--Our house moves. If a neighbor starts playing rap at high volume or has a rabid dog who whines all day and chews our pant legs when we pass by, we just sail our house somewhere else.

--Our bills our low, and will be much lower when we are completely done with boat improvement projects and much, much lower when we leave the U.S.

--Our lives are simplifying. It's amazing how little space you need and how much stuff you can get rid of and not miss it.

"What do you do all day?" is the question I've heard the most often, followed by "Boy, that's a small space for you two to share, isn't it?"

So here's what we do: We pick huckleberries and make pancakes. We pick huckleberries and make muffins. We eat our muffins and pancakes. We watch seabirds and seals and listen to chattering Kingfishers. We read A LOT--always a favorite activity that work tended to interrupt. We sail or motor somewhere else. We admire views of Mount Rainier. We listen to NPR and smile smugly during traffic condition reports. We write dumb things to post to websites later when we pirate a connection somewhere.

And yes, it IS a small space to share, especially after a large meal containing lots of garlic...

So what if we have to pump a handle to flush our toilet, carry our garbage around with us for a week at a time, and have the water turn ice cold at the public park shower when we already fed it our last quarter? That's the price you pay to be able to take your home to Tahiti, where we hope to be in a few years by way of Mexico, the Galapagos Islands, and Easter Island (brrrrr). We'll be sailing to San Diego in May. Click on our Calendar to see our plans in more detail.

Since we think anything less than 75 degrees is uncivilized, we'll be much happier in tropical climes. Around November of '06, we'll be cruising to warmer waters in Mexico and won't have to wear long underwear and two fleece jackets under Gortex. So tune in every now and then--you never know when you might be unlucky enough to see a photo of one of us showering naked in the cockpit.

Paul having a bad hair day

Killer deer on Harstine Island

Making our way to Vashon Island

Paul enjoying the beautiful weather and the view of the Space Needle. This is why we need to go south!
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