President’s Day weekend, 2011, found us attempting our first foray into nasty weather, and we really weren’t entirely prepared. I was determined to head down to Phinney Bay for the Puget Sound Cruising Club’s Chili Cookoff, so I was game to try. There was: too much canvas up, peak winds against max ebb current, badly stowed kit below, and Slappey, bucking like a toy in a sloshing bathtub. This did not last long, and back we ran to Everett, with tails between legs, soggy and cold, and a bit seasick. At least we got to practice with our harnesses!
I had recently made the momentous decision to move our boat from Everett’s main marina to the 12th St. Yacht Basin, and not just because I like to imagine Slappey as a yacht. No, it was in preparation for moving aboard full-time. We had planned to do such a thing after moving up here from warm and sunny Texas, but then we spent the first Winter, and…..well, there went the motivation for that! But as the dream of cruising really took hold, I knew it was something we needed to do, even if I still had plenty of reservations about it. I boldly picked out the vacant slip in the corner, on the widest part of the dock, and reserved it for later in the Spring, still expecting to change my mind.
But as we made our way back to the marina, wet, cold and shaken, I decided we should head for our new slip. It was not yet really ours, but it was vacant…and waiting for us. We docked easily in the roomy corner slip, tied up, picked up, calmed down, and proceeded to have my New Mexican Hatch chili stew sitting in the sunny cockpit. Before long, we had met several other liveaboards on our dock, all welcoming, all seemingly happy to be here.
Later I was playing around with the stereo, looking for anything decent on the radio, and happened to tune into an unfamiliar but wonderful public radio station, in the midst of a pledge drive. I was so taken with the music that I called them up immediately to pledge.
“What station is this, and where are you?” I asked. “KSER, right in downtown Everett,” he said. Really? I hadn’t found a station I really liked in the whole Seattle area till I heard this one, and it’s in Everett, of all places? This living aboard thing was beginning to look up.
Our new backyard