|You're coming when?|
There are certainly no end to the "family coming to visit" cartoons, and jokes.
My son Matthew, daughter in law Veronica, and three grandsons, Dartagnon, Lance, and Sebastian, came to visit the day after Christmas. We didn't have the best weather for boating, but we made the best of the time we had. I'm glad they came! (no family jokes here)
They had quite the journey getting here. They loaded up all of the items that we had shipped to them, (spade anchor, Sailrite sewing machine and table, compact vacuum cleaner, batteries, and much more), in their vehicle and drove from El Paso TX. to Phoenix AZ. They had to do some creative packaging in order for the airline to accept the baggage. The anchor came in two pieces, and when the agent questioned them about the size and weight, Matthew told them they were going to Alaska, and it was hockey art. 😀 Airlines don't allow lithium batteries in checked luggage, so everyone had one large lithium battery in their backpack, and TSA had fun. Our "For our guests" page, here on the blog clearly states that we make mules out of you, and we certainly lived up to our promise.
An overnight stop along the way at a resort, and a visit to the other Grandma, helped to break up the trip. They spent a short night in the Sea-Tac airport, and arrived in Wrangell, on a slightly delayed Alaska Airlines flight around noon. Matthew and family did an excellent job of packing their own belongings, each had a small backpack, and the family had one additional duffle for their boots.
|Dari and Lance relaxing on their sleeping bags in the v-berth.|
All of their packs fit into the overhead port side single bunk. Well done!
We took the plunge, and headed off of the dock. We left a bit late in the day, and so accomplished a couple of firsts for me. (Bill, of course, is an old hand at all of this). We motored after dark, and since it was cloudy, no stars, no moon, it was dark! Then we anchored in the dark, deck lights, and hand signals worked great. We had been to Madan Bay before, and had several anchor points already labeled on the chart.
|Matthew calls this one, "learning of the 5 million floatation, bouys, radios, beacons, safeties, alarms, scanners....."|
|Turning on systems at the outside helm.|
|And we're off!|
I really appreciated the B&G chartplotter, and radar. AND of course the inside pilothouse helm station. We were all warm, dry, and still traveling to our destination.
|Using the windshield wipers to keep the forward windows clear.|
|The Hellship Denali Rose.|
We had to anchor in a less desirable spot, due to another boat, what????!!!, in December, with NO ONE else out there? I know right? The next morning, after our neighbor left, we pulled the anchor, and redeployed it in a better protected area of the bay.
|Everyone gets a lesson in anchor deployment.|
We enjoyed out time that day, with catching up on the stories of our lives, playing cards, and fishing.
|Sebastian plays solitaire with his Dad.|
|Lance learns the new game "Gutpile", an Alaskan game that we gave Matthew for his birthday.|
|Lance fishes, and catches a small halibut, which we sent back to his home to get bigger.|
|Sebastian is a determined fisherman! He didn't catch anything, but it wasn't for lack of trying. Good job Seb!|
|Dari is playing video games.... time to charge that battery again.|
The next day was sunny, but cold. We commissioned the dinghy, with Matthew and Dari's help.
|It snowed in the hills, we had frost on the decks.|
|Casualty with the cold weather, we cracked the Strataglass. Just makes the new dodger higher on the priority list.|
|Dari mans the dinghy.|
|Matthew connects the gas line to the outboard.|
Matthew and the guys get in the dinghy and zoom off to explore.
|Is he enjoying it? Unknown, under the cold weather gear.|
|Yes, definitely enjoying it.|
It was time to return to the dock for them to get packed, take showers, and prepare to leave Wrangell the next morning. They were continuing north to visit more family in Anchorage and Fairbanks.
|Family photo, Bill's not in it, he's taking it.|
|We got all of us in this one!|
|Just having fun!|
I'll try not to deploy this travel agency for their next visit. 😃
|We would enjoy another visit sometime in the future.|
As they left, we prepared for the next visitor who arrived the next day. We (again) employed the pack mule services, and John made trips to Sam's Club, and brought tubs of goodies. We so appreciate his good natured willingness to help. We missed having John's spouse Artha, but she stayed home to care for their ailing kitty. (We know how that feels). Kitty is doing fine, and we look forward to seeing Artha another time.
|Having a cheese, cracker, and sausage snack. Yum!|
|They are intent on something......|
Now, who's next?
Who's on your guest list, whether on land or sea?