• From landlocked Iowa to a Port Townsend boatyard

    It’s not exactly surprising that the new owners of Gold Star Marine, Inc. in Port Townsend have long had a passion for boats. More surprising is that husband-and-wife team Jim Heckmann and Karen Ridings, who took over the business in mid-March, come from landlocked Iowa, ...

Duo dinghy launched!

For various reasons, the last two summers we have been cruising the PNW without a dinghy. We enjoy being on board our Skoota 28 powercat, the only times we usually need to go ashore is to buy fuel. However we do occasionally need to stern tie, and that is a bit tricky to do without […]

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Frame shift

 It happens every three years. For two years and eleven months, we live here in the marina within sight of the boatyard.  But it’s invisible to us – its existence doesn’t rise into our consciousness. Then in that 35th month we do a haulout.  Suddenly, we become painfully and bluntly aware of the yard – […]

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Dodging bullets

Well, I can say this: after last weekend’s triple play smack down, it was hard for this weekend to be anything but better. And it WAS better. The good news is we GET TO KEEP OUR ENGINE! Oh happy day! … Continue reading →

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On the Trail

If you set your mind to it, you could walk from Astoria, Oregon south to the California border. That’s because in 1967, the far-sighted people of Oregon passed a bill ensuring that, “the public has free and uninterrupted use,” of … Continue reading →

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The End is Near

Last night I stayed up well past my usual ninish bed time to finish “The Truelove”; the fifteenth book in Patrick O’Brian’s, Aubrey/Maturin book series.  That means that there are only five more.  And that last one, a posthumously published, uncompleted book? Well they’re all cliffhangers as it is.  What am I to do? For […]

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Swallowing the anchor

The three key ingredients for fire are Heat, fuel and oxygen.  You can rub two sticks together for an eternity but if one of these key elements is missing its all for not.  My cut off date for Alaska has come and gone.  The boats ready, I’m ready, but the third key element is missing. […]

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The journey’s end?

A few days ago I motored Osprey over to the boatyard, where she was lifted out of the water just long enough for some measurements to be taken, from which a travel cradle will be constructed. This week I’ll be removing sails, solar panels, bimini, and dodger. Then Thursday it’s back to the boatyard, this […]

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Wanted: new sailors

Spring has arrived on Lake Union, and The Center for Wooden Boats (CWB) is ramping up some changes in its adult sailing education program, SailNOW! SailNOW! graduated 190 new sailors in 2013. The center has a goal of 260 graduates this year and if the numbers since Jan. 1 are a good indication, it will […]

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Skol!