Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Ellen Maria makes it to her mooring

After waiting all summer to get in the water, Ellen Maria (a.k.a. Piccina II) finally gets to sit on the mooring line. Hopefully, she will get to play in the wind and waves occasionally before I dry her out again in mid-October. After school meetings today, Bjorn and I took her to the launch. I was a little concerned about her through holes, as they leaked a little last time she was in the water. I had placed a fresh sealant on the joints and was hoping that would do the trick. Unfortunately, as soon as she was in the drink, water seeped in by the joints. I agonized about whether to haul her back out. After waiting a half an hour, I decided to go for it. As we motored over to Southworth, we didn't seem to take on any more water. I will have to keep an eye on her the next few days.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The 'cost' of 'free' mooring

scrubbing the scum line
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
I am determined to get Ellen Maria (the bigger boat) into the water this year. But that necessitated the retrieval of Blue Wing (the smaller boat), and cleaning her up. The Puget Sound is a healthy aquatic environment; and mooring for four months produces an abundance of marine growth on the hull of a boat. The bottom paint protects the bottom pretty well, but where the waves splash the sides a 'scum line' grows. After hauling the boat home this morning, I spent the afternoon scrubbing Blue Wing and getting her ready for winter storage. Hopefully, this means I will get Ellen Maria out on the mooring in time for a month or two of sailing before winter.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Mexico Mission Muchachos

Wednesday night, Markus and Calvin returned from their mission trip to Mexico. They were gone thirteen days and worked in Tijuana for a week in a very poor section of the city. Calvin worked with a VBS type program for young children, while Markus helped with a sports ministry to teenagers in the area. They were amazed at the poverty and were excited about bringing the good news to these needy people. The youth group worked in conjunction with YUGO ministries, which provided a place to pitch the tents, a training program, and the food. After getting back to California, they spent a day at a San Diego beach. It's good to have them back home; and they are trying to psych themselves up for the beginning of school.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Texas Adventure - Day Twelve - Back home

Back home
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
We left Reno this morning at about seven and arrived home at ten this evening. We enjoyed the drive through northeast California. It was very pretty around Susanville and Lassen. We left a note for Markus and Calvin at the Mt. Shasta church where they will stay tonight. We finished reading the seventy love letters. We hadn't looked at them for thirty years, so it was fun. I'm sure that we would have never taken the time to read them all if it hadn't been for the long trip. We traveled just over 6000 miles in twelve days. It is good to be home and sleep in our own bed.

Texas Adventure - Day Eleven - Nevada entertainment

college love letters
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
Sleeping in the back of a van at a Truck Stop can be suprisingly restful, but we were up a moving by 6:30. Leaving Kingman, AZ, we went by Hoover Dam where they are making a huge bridge across the canyon, just below the dam-pretty impressive. We cruised the Las Vegas strip at 9am and made a stop at McDs. The day was spent driving from Las Vegas to Reno on Highway 95. There is practically nothing for 450 miles. The landscape is pretty at times, but mostly desert. The time went quickly because we occupied our time reading my old ‘love letters’ to Esther which I wrote our freshmen year of college. While I was in Michigan, she was in California. They were pretty hilarious to read. I was one whipped puppy! I wrote atleast twice a week, usually more. Esther found them this summer while cleaning out her parents home. We arrived at Reno around 5pm and decided to spend the night, taking advantage of cheap rates. We got a casino hotel room for $29. The only redeemiong thing about these gambling towns is their buffets, so we enjoyed Harrah’s buffet and Esther ate several plates full of crab.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Texas Adventure - Day Ten - the cool desert

We had a wonderful nights sleep at a rest area in Santa Fe. The temperature was cool and a quiet spot. This morning we drove into town (Santa Fe) and joined the crowds at the Indian Market Festival, a once a year event where native American artists from around the country come to display and sell their work. There was some very nice stuff there. They estimate that about 100 thousand people come for the weekend festival. Esther paticularly enjoyed herself as Santa Fe is a favorite city and she loved all the silversmith art. The city is very unique with almost all buildings in adobe architecture. In the afternoon, we drove to Flagstaff, Arizona and enjoyed a few hours with our friends, Doug and Nancy Peake. We got to see their house and take a long walk on a trail that runs next to their house. It was refreshing to feel the cool mountain air and smell the pine. We left around 9:00 and drove to Kingman where we spent the night at a truck stop.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Texas Adventure - Day Nine - Oklahoma City

Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
The Oklahoma City bombing was just over ten years ago. (April 19, 1995) In some way, it has been dwarfed by 911; but it really was the beginning of terrorism for the United States. The shock and horror of the event and its recovery are etched in our memory. The National Monument is an amazing work of art; an amazing memorial. The reflecting pool, the empty chairs, the gates and the fence are inspiring to experience. There is so much symbolism in each aspect of the design. Esther and I appreciated the experience of spending the morning at this unique site. We are heading home now with just a couple of anticipated stops. Tonight we are in Santa Fe, NM. It is much cooler here so it’s back to the RV.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Texas Adventure - Day Eight - Big Cowtown

Southworth Cowgirl
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
Motels are easier to sleep-in at than rest areas and Walmarts, so we got somewhat of a late start this morning. Our first stop was Dallas Theological Seminary. If I would have been a good evangelical dispensationalist, I would have attended here. I have long been familiar with this school and was anxious to see the campus. It is located very near downtown Dallas in what once was an upscale neighborhood but has now deteriorated. But the seminary determined to stay and built a huge student housing complex across the street. The campus was very nice; our favorite building was the bookstore, which was a tastefully converted small Greek Orthodox church, adjacent to the campus. Next, we headed for the Museum of Biblical Arts in North Dalllas, only to find that it had been detroyed by a fire recently ;( We debated about whether to do anything else in the Dallas area and thought it would be a good chance to see Fort Worth. We thought we would swing by the historic stockyard area and were immediately drawn to an extended visit. We enjoyed about four hours looking at the shops, eating Texan barbecue and watching the cattle drive. This was true Texas tourism and we ate it up. We remarked that we probably wouldn’t have stopped in Fort Worth had the museum been open. We were glad for the change in plans. Such are the advantages of ‘by the seat of the pants vacationing.’ We drove to Oklahoma City in the evening and checked into a motel. It was over 100 degrees today, and I don't think we could survive the night in the car. How did the cowboys do it?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Texas Adventure - Day Seven - President's Day

Mecca for a Republican
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
We started with the LBJ museum and library in Austin. There were lots of interesting things to see. I enjoyed a presentation of LBJ’s humor the best. Next, it was off to Crawford. I was a little apprehensive about going with the Cindy Sheehan ordeal. We arrived about noon and were shocked by the lack of people. The streets were basically empty like most Texas small towns. There were a couple of tourist stores that were suprisingly tasteful, and Esther enjoyed several conversatons with the proprioriters and visitors. (One family was from Germany for the second year in a row) We drove out towards the Bush ranch expecting hordes of traffic and people; instead, we found ‘Camp Casey’ with less than a hundred people and half a dozen news trucks. Esther was anxious to get out even though I told her she might be mistaken for a protester. We sheepishly walked around a little and took pictures of the crosses. We didn’t see Cindy Sheehan, but walked by her booth. We also drove out closer to the ranch until we came to a blockade. There was nothing unusual looking about the ranch. You would never guess that the leader of the free world lived down that dirt road. After Crawford, it was off to Dallas. We arrived in time to go to the Sixth Floor Museum in the Texas School Book Depository Building. The museum of JFK’s assassination is pretty impressive. Standing by the window looking down on Elm Street is quite sobering. We also walked through Dealey Plaza. We found a reasonable motel for tonight. The one big disappointment of the day was that all the pictures we took are lousy because I forgot to switch the camera back to auto after having it on manual. But it was a great day of seeing interesting things that we have heard about for many years.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Texas Adventure - Day Six - Austin

We left our beachfront hotel near Corpus and headed north using country highways rather than the freeway. We enjoyed seeing some smaller towns. Most of the towns that we drove through seem economically depressed while the cities seem to be booming. The area around Austin is an example. If you drive fifteen miles east of the city, you are in a cowtown with hardly a new building in the last five years. If you drive fifteen miles west in the hill country you are in upscale suburbun towns with new contruction everywhere. Esther and I checked into a real motel in the early afternoon and went to check out the capital grounds. It is all done in true Texas style, bigger than everybody else. After a Texan barbecue we drove out to Lake Travis. We will be enjoying air-conditioned sleep tonight.

Texas Adventure - Day Five - Corpus Christi area

After a stop at Goodwill and a Starbucks (first decent coffee in four days) we left San Antonio and drove south to Corpus Christi, arriving around noon. We enjoyed the waterfront area with the city skyline, local crabbers and sailboats. Catfish Charlie’s was our lunch, highlighted by seafood gumbo, fried catfish and fresh jumbo shrimp. Next, we headed for Padre Island, where we were lured into the warm waters of the gulf. After some debate, we decided to spend the night on the beach camping at Mustang Island State Park. Having spent one night in Texas outside in 90 degrees we weren’t sure that the ocean breezes would keep us comfortable. The park ranger (who was from Salem, OR) convinced us it would be fine. We took a short trip up to Port Aransas to see the ferries. The ferries were very differnet from home. The channel was only about a quater mile across and they run tiny ferries with about twenty cars. But they have six slips on each side, so ferries are taking off every five minutes. We spent the evening at our ‘campsite’ ,with the beach to ourselves. Weeknights in August leave a deserted beach. The gulf water is about 87 degrees, so we enjoyed a few dips in the ocean, one at ten oclock, with a moon reflecting on the waters. It was a surreal experience for this northwest couple. We hauled our cushions and sleeping gear on to the beach and slept outside. The breeze blew all night and kept us relatively cool. We both enjoyed the Corpus Christi area more than we thought we would. It reminded us a lot of Florida.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Texas Adventure - Day Four - San Antonio

Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
From Kerrville we drove to Fredericksburg (German tourist town) and had breakfast at at bakery. An hour into San Antonio brought us to the Alamo. We enjoyed it a lot, learning some Texas history. (Sorry Pete, there was no basement) We spent the rest of the day on the river walk. We walked over six miles, hitting every part of the river walk. It was very hot, but we enjoyed it. We stayed in our first motel. We weren't too anxious to spend a night sweating in the back of the van.

Texas Adventure - Day Three - West Texas

Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
The night was somewhat restful and we immediately found a very nice campground to take showers. It was adobe style buildings and had a neat desert garden next to it. We had breakfast at a McDs in Las Cruces and were shortly in Texas. After connecting to the internet in a motel parking lot, we drove to El Paso. We were quite taken by the sight of Cuidad Juarez, Mexico with it’s poverty a couple of hundred yards across the ravine from the freeway and downtown El Paso. Downtown El Paso with its hills and buildings is impressive, but east of town, it quickly turns into an ugly industrial sprawl. Once out of El Paso it was the barren west Texas landscape with NOTHING for almost 500 miles! We drove all day through thunderstorms, and the desert was really quite green. We reached Kerrville (about an hour from San Antonio) at about 8:30 as it was getting dark and found a real campground on the Guadulpe River. We had the place pretty much to ourselves and slept with all doors open!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Texas Adventure - Day Two - desert southwest

Turret Arch - Arches NP
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
We were wakened by Walmart employees coming to work at 7am. Hit the road and drove for an hour or so and freshened up at a rest area, then on to Moab and the Arches National Park. We enjoyed all the red rock formations and arches. We even took a couple of short hikes. Lunch was at a funky cafe with internet in Moab. The town is very much a destination and has some real nice gift shops and services. We noticed a lot Europeans vacatiioning there. We drove through southeast Utah and into southwest Colorado, going through Cortez, Shiprock and Gallup. The Navajo reservation was interesting to see. There were many thundershowers on the horizons and by the time we got to Albuquerque we were in the middle of a downpour. We took old route 66 through the city and ate at a route 66 diner. We ordered ‘the pile up’, which is roasted potatoes and green chilies covered with eggs and rancheros sauce. It was very good. We ended the day by driving several more hours, stopping at a rest area near Las Cruces. Only 750 miles today

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Texas Adventure - Day One - 1000 miles!

Bulthuis RV
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
We left Southworth at about 7am after dropping the boys off at church for their trip to Mexico. We made a quick pit stop in Tacoma and the next time the vehicle stopped was La Grande, Oregon. We had lunch at a local diner 'the Smokehouse Cafe' while our tires were rotated and balanced next door at a Les Schwabs. (There was an annoying vibration at 70mph) The wheel balance did the trick and we were on the road again within an hour. We zoomed through Idaho with one gas stop at Jerome and it got dark as we entered Utah. I drove until 1am, which put us in Price, Utah. We found a Walmart and made ourselves comfotable! I checked the odometer: 1000 miles!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Finished Deck

Today I finished building the deck for Olanders. It really turned out nice. The Trex railing looks very sharp and polished. They chose a light brown for the deck and balusters, and a dark brown for the posts and rails to match their house trim. I think it was a great choice. Now Dick will never have to paint his deck or railing again. Esther and I are starting to gear up for our 'Texas Adventure'. I pulled some cushions out of the boat for the back of our van. With a modification or two our Toyota RV will be ready for the road. The boys are getting ready for the Mexico mission, and Bowser is already howling, sensing that our absence is emminent.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Sailing with Tim

bow of Tim's boat
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
One of our close friends, Tim deLacy, recently took ownership of a classic little sailboat. He got it from a retired co-worker and has spent the last couple of months cleaning it up and refinishing the woodwork. It is a gaff rigged ketch with red sails, called a Drascombe Dabber. They are popular in the UK and New England. Tim hasn't sailed much and wanted me to show him a few things. I wasn't much help in rigging the gaff sail, as I was unfamiliar with it. There was no wind as we set up but we had a slight breeze for about an hour, so we were able to sail it a little. It is a very pretty boat and I am sure that Tim will enjoy it for years to come.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

What's a father to do?

Bjorn's sissy pants
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
A man does his best to build a sense of masculinity in his son, only to have him buy women's jeans. For some reason my oldest son decided that he wanted a pair of women's pants in his wardrobe. I still don't understand why - something to do with the stretchiness of the fabric and the fit!? The fact that he works on a construction crew all summer helps counteract my misgivings of his gender identification. He and Jenny were down for the weekend, which was nice because we will be splitting up as a family for a few weeks-Bjorn working, Markus and Calvin to Mexico, and Esther and I to Texas.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Esther's very own sailboat!

Esther's first boat
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
It was inevitable that after enduring her husband's love of boats, that she would eventually want her own nautical treasure. She drove a hard bargain and picked up her prize for $15. It is safe to assume that Esther's vessel will not ply the waters of the sound, but will instead provide some decorative purpose. Whether it ends up as part of a gardenscape or modified for furniture remains to be seen.
Ironically, the boat is an 'El Toro', the class of boat that I learned to sail on in a class at Sammish Lake twenty-five years ago! While Esther was checking out garage sales, I was out on my own sailboat, enjoying the unusual southeast breeze. Normally a north wind blows down the sound on a warm summer day. Today it was out of the south. I tried to tack down Colvos passage, but the tidal current and the slight breeze kept me at the mouth of the passage. After about three tacks with little progress, I changed course and went over to Yukon Harbor where I enjoyed a stronger breeze and no current. When I got home, Esther announced her own boating adventure!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Jr Highers at the beach

Jr Highers at the beach
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
Tonight we had the junior highers from church over for a barbecue at the beach. The rope swing was a hit and a few crazy souls went swimming. I finished the decking for Jim and now I need to wait for the railing package which always takes a long time. Olander's rail package finally came, so I can get started on that in the morning.