The past few weeks have been a whirlwind for Yahtzee and crew. After finishing our circumnavigation of Vancouver Island and spending time in the San Juan Islands, we made way for Seattle. From there we flew to Michigan to be with family for Labor Day and had an absolute blast. It couldn’t have been a better time and it was wonderful for the boys to play and hang out with their cousins, grandparents, and aunts and uncles — which they’re still doing.

Seven of ten cousins on the dock where it all began.
Eight of ten cousins on the dock where all the sailing began.
The boys and their cousin George riding big wheels.
The boys and their cousin George riding big wheels.

I ventured back to the boat solo and cruised up to the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend, and in between have been working on boat and work projects, and seeing friends. After spending so much time underway over the past two years, we’ve had some upgrades to make and, with the crew off the boat, I’ve been tackling those one by one.

We’ve long wanted a deck washdown to spray mud off the anchor and keep the bow a little cleaner. Also, it’s great for washing down sandy boys after a trip to the beach and can be extended aft to hose out the cockpit or cleanup the mess of catching and cleaning fish.

It’s alive! (Photo credit to Eric Anderson.)

The install was easy and difficult at the same time. We had a spare seacock ready to hook a pump up to, and the install of the pump itself was fairly straight forward. But running the hose to the bow proved to be more difficult. It meant removing almost everything from Magnus’ room in the V-berth and then *gasp* drilling several holes to run the hose through. In the end, the effort was worth it. I used the washdown several times on my trip to Port Townsend and can’t believe we didn’t put it in sooner.

Next, I turned my attention to installing a new solar array on top of our dodger. When I designed and built it two years ago I envisioned putting flexible solar panels on it, but this summer really made us realize the need for them. We didn’t plug into a dock to charge our batteries for four months (our charger died while in Portland) and even though our existing solar array and wind generator did an admirable job, it showed us that we need just a bit more solar, especially with the coming of winter and shorter, cloudier days.

New solar panels installed and ready for wiring.
New solar panels installed and ready for wiring.

Speaking of battery chargers, we needed to buy and install a new one of those, too, which was accomplished with the able help of our friend Davey. My weakest point on the boat is working on electrical and his help was appreciated immensely when it came to troubleshooting and then installing the charger. Our batteries are loving the extra boost.

The new battery charger was a nice upgrade from our old unit.
The new battery charger is a nice upgrade from our old unit.

As every sailor (and homeowner) knows, there’s always more to be done and next up for Yahtzee is re-galvanizing our 200-feet of 3/8ths chain, properly installing our cell and WiFi boosters, and more — so stay tuned.

In the meantime, I’ll be off to meet Jill in Maine to deliver a boat to Annapolis, Maryland and then we’ll head to New York to visit Jill’s family and attend a good friend’s wedding. We’ll then be back to cruising aboard Yahtzee in October and will head towards our winter cruising grounds of the San Juan and Gulf Islands.

The adventures whirl on, but we’ll all be back at it soon, and Yahtzee will be better for it.