Porter and Magnus lend a hand on some engine maintenance.

Porter held an assortment of wrenches in his hands while I tightened a nut on the engine. He watched me finish intently and when we moved on to the next one, Magnus came behind us with his toy drill to give it one last turn for good measure. It was project number three that day and with each one, the boys tagged along offering any bit of help they could.

We’ve been doing projects both big and small on the boat these days in preparation to head north next week, but we’ve also had time to cruise the Central Sound and get some work done, too.

Central Sound Bound

A couple days prior and we were hanging out on the sunny patio at Valholl Brewing in Poulsbo. The boys zoomed toy cars around and swilled root beer, Jill and I sipped tasty brews and went back-and-forth on a sporting game of cornhole while discussing the various things that we had left to get done on Yahtzee. We hadn’t been to the endearing town known as “Little Norway” in a few years and it was great to be back exploring some of our favorite breweries, shops, parks and, of course, the incredible treats at Sluys Bakery.

For a variety of reasons, we’ve been bound to central Puget Sound this winter and it has been fun to be in the area again. When we lived-aboard at Seattle’s Shilshole Bay Marina from 2012 to 2014, we were avid Central Sound cruisers and racers and loved visiting places like Poulsbo, Gig Harbor, Blake Island, Eagle Harbor, Port Madison, Kingston and more. Since we don’t want or need a permanent slip, we’ve been harbor-hopping and re-discovering some of these old haunts. And, being that it’s winter in the Pacific Northwest, we’ve enjoyed some beautiful moments of sailing, some wet and windy days, and everything in-between while moving from port to port.

Projects and Preparedness 

Completing projects on the boat and getting work done so we can keep the cruising kitty topped up has been a high priority recently. Jill and I’ve both had work things going on that have kept us around the Central Sound a bit more than the past two winters, we’ve gotten necessary items crossed off the boat list and I spent last weekend at a very informative and eye-opening Safety at Sea seminar in Vancouver, Washington.

One of our big projects that we finally tackled was to make new covers for our cockpit cushions. With spring and summer on their way, we’ll be spending  more time outside and the old covers just wouldn’t last that long. Fortunately, our friends Ryan and Autumn on Velella have done the project before on their boat and they graciously offered to lend a hand.

Ryan measures the new Bimini cover against the old one.

What ensued was a fun yet productive weekend at the Seattle Yacht Club’s outstation in Port Madison where we spread out in the clubhouse (we were the only boats there) and got to work. Ryan’s skill on his Sailrite sewing machine was impressive and he, Jill and Autumn had the necessary fabric pieces cut out and sewn by the end of the day on Saturday. As a bonus, we woke Sunday and used the leftover Sunbrella to make a new cover for our Bimini. To say I was impressed is an understatement.

Yahtzee’s cockpit makeover included new cushions and a Bimini cover to match the rest of the boat’s canvas.

Their expedience with the cushions meant that we could play and get some extra things done on Sunday. After a paddle around the cove, we finished a host of jobs including splicing line, installing a deck plate in our dinghy’s seat and then Autumn did the honor of painting the name on the stern, which I’d been meaning to do for almost a year. Just writing this makes me happy all over again knowing how much we accomplished.

Hornpipe finally gets her name on the stern.

Ready, set, go north!

After a few more work obligations and a 5-year survey of Yahtzee to complete for our insurance policy, we’ll be underway by the end of the week. It has been challenging yet rewarding cruising the Central Sound again and we’re planning to wait for a nice southerly to come our way to head back north on.

Where are we going? Anacortes and the San Juan Islands first, and then we’re toying with a variety of routing options for the next few months, so stay tuned!

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