I could see Bill was getting itchy for the sea, and our kayaking adventures, and our 26ft trailerable sailboat, "Second Wind", was not going to satisfy him for much longer. He has always maintained that once he found the suitable boat, he was ready to become a "live aboard cruiser" again, and since I have enjoyed our other water sports, I'm ready to try this too.
|Second Wind, 26ft MacGregor M|
Both of us were employed at the University of Alaska, and Bill retired on May 1st, and I quit on May 9th. Alexa, my daughter, graduated from UAF on May 11th, and we scurried like crazy to load the 27ft trailer with boat and eventual Wrangell needs. Oh, did I mention, that not only were we leaving Fairbanks behind to live on a boat, but we bought 4 acres on the Southeast Alaska island, Wrangell, and neither of us had ever been there before. I know, call me crazy.
We took the Wakefield Wagon train on the Alcan Highway, and because we had a deadline to meet with finalizing the boat sale, we drove the highway from Fairbanks to Seattle in four days. That is not the way to see the scenery, or relax along the way.
|Teslin Lake Canada, notice the lake is still frozen.|
|Our red truck, and our cozy neighbors.|
We completed our purchase on Thursday, and moved all of our 26 rubbermaid tubs full of worldly possessions onboard, as well as had a wonderful time learning about our new home from Jack and Fred.
Shipshape: A boat is said to be shipshape when every object that is likely to contribute to the easy handling of the vessel or the comfort of the crew has been put in a place from which it cannot be retrieved in less than 30 minutes.
We had our life raft professionally repacked, they also put in new supplies, and gave us our indoctrination into how to deploy it if it ever became needed. It's something you hope you never have to see again, but if you do, then everything is ready.
|Winslow Life Raft|
We drove our wagon train to Anacortes and arranged temporary storage, While there, Jack and Fred graciously gave us all of their spare boating supplies, and we filled our rubbermaid tubs back up with equipment, and stored them in the trailer. We (of course) had to eat at our favorite place to celebrate, Dad's Diner. Jack drove us back to Seattle, where we got onboard our boat and prepared to leave via water instead of land.
The northwest Nauticat owners get-together once a year, and as it turned out, the event was happening that weekend. Jack came with us, while Fred drove her car, and we went to the rendezvous in Port Ludlow on Friday. So between Wednesday May 14, and the following Friday May 23, we have driven to Seattle, bought a boat, put all of our stuff onboard, made multitude trips to the store, provisioned with food and stuff, and are now leaving to take up our new life. It was quite the whirlwind.
Jack and Fred are famous in the Nauticat world, and as Denali Rose arrived, many people came over to our slip to welcome them to the rendezvous. When we are in a port, this is a common occurrence for us now. We always get "Hey Denali Rose, Jack and Fred!" I usually come out on deck and say "Yes, Denali Rose, but now it's Bill and Donna!" This leads to meeting new friends.
|Denali Rose, second from left, in Port Ludlow|
After a fun weekend getting to know other Nauticat owners, we said our goodbyes to Jack and Fred, as they said goodbye to their trusty vessel, (a few tears on both of our parts), and we motored off to begin our journey north.
Bill is grinning, happy to be back aboard. I took this photo in bed with my morning coffee, the first morning, "I live on a boat."
Our first stop was Port Townsend. We were having our sails assessed, and repaired at Carol Haase's Sail Loft. After assessment, we had Denali Rose measured for a new set, so that when we are ready to purchase new sails, the sail loft will have all the details they need to make them. Port Townsend is a very cute town, and they call themselves, the capital of wooden boats. We saw many beautiful boats, and we were there when a salvage company pulled Captain Vancouver's anchor up out of the Sound.
We drove the Wakefield Wagon train to my brother's house in Woodinville WA, where he is storing it in his backyard for now. My niece took us back to Anacortes, and we became true "live-a-boards".