Monthly Archives: May 2014

The boating weekend that did not happen

Well, we intended to go up to visit Southern Star last weekend for a long Memorial Day weekend, but it didn’t happen.  We simply didn’t have the heart to go, because only the day before we lost our canine companion of 13 years.  Belka was an awesome dog that we’ll never forget.  She did have a very long life (for her breed), but a cancerous tumor in her leg just got too far along, and we didn’t want her to suffer one bit. The vet we took her to was awesome, and made the process as easy as was possible.  They even sent us flowers the next day and a very nice card arrived exactly one week later.  I would HIGHLY recommend the VCA Redmond Animal Hospital for any of you in the Redmond area.  They’ve always taken great care of our pets and the way they handled this final visit was just extraordinary.  So please give them your veterinary business, and let them know Belka sent you!

Belka never got to ride on Southern Star – she was just too big for such a small boat, but we wanted to share a few pictures of her anyway.  We’ll be back on board Southern Star in a weekend coming up, and our normal narrative will resume then.

Belka was named after the second dog in space.  The dog we had before her was named Laika. You guessed it – the first dog in space.

The first picture is Belka stretched out in the sun, followed by her and Stella at the Redmond off-leash dog park, and finally sitting up in a chair like she’s People. 🙂

Belka stretching in the sunAt the Redmond Off-leash Dog ParkThinking she's People

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Opening Day of Boating 2014

TraileringWell, it finally arrived! Opening day of boating season for 2014! We’re up at Anacortes, at the Cap Sante Boat Haven Marina, putting Southern Star into her new slip. We towed her up yesterday (Friday) morning, taking about an hour and a half to get there. It’s always interesting looking into the rear view mirror to see a large boat tailgating us!  Once in Anacortes, we dropped her off at a marine service center and got her outboard serviced for the season, with an oil change, new spark plugs, etc.

We explored the town for a while until the boat was ready. There’s a Safeway right next to the marina, so plenty of food options.  Around 2:30PM we got the call that Southern Star was ready, so we picked her up, then took her over to the sling hoist at Cap Sante Marina to be splashed into Puget Sound.On the sling
The first real adventure of the weekend came as I was motoring her over to her slip while Stella drove the truck and trailer over to the parking lot near our dock.  All went well at first, but then halfway down the C dock her engine just up and quit. Fortunately, the wind was behind me, and no one else was in the lane, so I had room to drift and try to get her restarted. No joy. So I put her into the last slip, and called Stella. While she walked over to join me, I called the service center that had jut worked on the motor. They sent a guy over who thought (at first) that it was the ignition switch.  Then he suspected the new fuel filter.  He went back to his shop to get my original one, since it at least worked. But while he was gone, I kept thinking that it didn’t appear that fuel was even getting TO the filter.Motor finally running again So I stepped on the squeeze bulb on the fuel line and something gave.  There must have been a clog in the fuel line itself that gave way, because all of a sudden the fuel filter filled up with gas!  I quickly reconnected everything and tried starting her again, and she roared to life! Once the tech got back, he help button everything up again, and we finished the brief trip over to our slip.  We spent a while getting the ‘permanent’ lines in place. We like to leave a set of dock lines at the slip all tied to the correct lengths so that all we have to do to come and go is to hook them over the boat’s cleats. We have another set of lines that we take with us for “foreign” marinas.

Once tied down, we got to work stepping the mast and rerigging all the lines.  We haven’t done that often, and it showed, because we had to partway raise and re-lower and re-raise the mast at least three times until we had all the lines run correctly. Of course, a shackle fell in the water that we had to run to West Marine to replace.  Thank goodness one of those is very close by!  We were exhausted by the time the evening wound to a close, and we settled down to an evening of watching the Hobbit on our new (slightly bigger) TV with much improved speakers.

The PiratesOn Saturday, we attended the Opening Day ceremonies at the marina.  What a blast.  Some pirates fired off a cannon, some local dignitaries talked about how important the marina was to the community, and the editor of Waggoner’s Cruising Guide talked a bit.  Turn’s out that this is his home port. Some “wandering minstrels” sang some sea shanties, and we enjoyed some bowls of really good clam chowder.

So now the mast is up, the canvas cockpit enclosure is all set and zippered and snapped in place, and the cabin is all organized and ready to be or weekend getaway home.  Next time we’re here we might actually get to go out into the Sound in Southern Star!The Marina


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