It’s been a little while since I’ve updated. There’s been plenty going on, both with the boat and in life in general and some of it was getting in the way of little things like updating the blog.

One thing we’ve been battling this winter/fall is humidity. We run a dehumidifier that does a great job of sucking water out of the air and clearing the windows.

Windows usually look like this in the morning in our stateroom.

Water still gets into out of the way places, like the storage space under our bed or under the spaces where we keep our clothes. So far nothing has molded too bad, except the straps on our travel bags.

To battle this, we use a mold and mildew cleaner that’s fairly safe and have added those annoying buckets of pellets that trap water. To keep our mattresses safe, Chris got us some Hypervent to go under the mattresses (prickly side up) and that has the added benefit of holding our sheets in place.

Non-sliding sheets make me happier than you can ever know. I also got us a mattress cover that zips around the mattress and holds the memory foam topper we have in place. We are sooo snug now.

It’s April, time for #30daysofbiking, which some people like and others don’t, both for good reasons. I signed up because I like giving kids free bikes for something I’d be doing anyway. I’ve biked each day so far (3 whole days!), but days off from work are really the test. Here’s a pic from yesterday when I rode through Maple Leaf Park on my way to work.

No water in that picture! Yet…

Since moving to the boat, my bikes have not been stored in a manner befitting their status in my life. My Bike Friday Tikit has been a little better off, folded carefully each evening and stowed in the cockpit under the waterproof travel bag–thank goodness I bought that thing, even if it’s never been used to actually hold the bike.

My Surly was on deck under a bike cover that almost kept the water out. My saddle still became saturated and I bought a brooks cover for it, which for a while just kept the water in, but eventually saddle dried out enough for the cover to keep water out.

I was so embarrassed by these lowly forms of storage that I never took a picture of either one. I ride to work every day and no longer have a car of my own, so biking is my main form of transportation. Beats getting worked up driving and paying for a gym membership. I definitely don’t want my bikes rusting.

I was on a wait list for a bike locker, and the marina staff seemed to be having a hard time contacting people to see if they wanted one of the several available. A few days ago, after almost 4 months, I was offered a spot at the north end of the marina, with the promise that once one came available outside of our dock, they would transfer it. The Surly finally has a dry home.

And if you’ve ever wondered what the inside of one of those bike lockers looks like, now you know.

I don’t think I’ll be able to fit Lucille in there as well, even folded, but we’ll see. I won’t try until I get the closer locker. Chris found a better way to store Lucille for the moment, in our Dock Box. She just fits and stays very dry. I even leave my helmet in there to keep it from cluttering up the boat. So, bike storage managed! Finally.

President’s Day was beautiful with just the right amount of wind for a first sail. Many friends joined us and helped us.

Here’s a video by Chris that shows what she looks like under sail–we have 4 up, but she actually can use 5. There’s a sail called a Mule that goes on upside down from what you’re used to, from mast to mast to catch light winds.

Most everything down below stayed where it was supposed to be during the sail to Bainbridge Island and back. The deck is large enough for people to be out there while we’re sailing. At one point we got chilled by the wind, so then everyone–all 10 or so people–filed into the cockpit. It’s so different being on a large boat. I’m looking forward to further adventures.

Chris and I are running away from this wet weather for a weekend getaway.  When I went to get our bags out from under our bed this morning, I found this:

Mildew!!! I’ve hated mildew since I went camping as a kid and our tents often smelled terrible. Luckily these don’t smell yet and I think I was able to clean it all off–we’ll find out for sure when they dry. Chris’ bag didn’t get any mildew and my travel bag only got a little, thank goodness. These are just a backpack I used in college and an Arkel Bug that I don’t use very often any more. It’s time I put them in storage.

Raven was previously moored in California and isn’t adapting well to our damp climate. I’m not sure that’s something we can fix, but we are certainly going to try. If you have any advice, please do comment.

On the commuting front, I’ve been riding Lucille to work exclusively, since I don’t have an easy storage solution for the Surly. That’s been working out fine, except that one of my tires is getting really worn. It was on the back, but I rotated it to the front the last time I had to change a flat. I also added a patch over a small crack that seemed to be picking up debris and causing the flats. Now the front has a slow leak and I really just need to get a new tire.

Today though, I decided to take the mile hike from sea level to the nearest bus stop. I don’t know the elevation, but I took this pano (click through for full size) from just over half way up the hill. It’s a nice little hike, although I won’t choose to do it in the dark.

We’ve been on Raven for over 2 months now and we get more and more comfortable there. At the same time, we keep finding things that need to be fixed, finished or could just be set up better. Chris has been revamping a lot of the plumbing and we recently had a wiring setback.

Our panel is old. Original probably, which isn’t surprising on a sailboat. You fix things when they break or you find them inconvenient. We hired a really awesome neighbor to fix it–and that is an awesome thing about boat life. You’re neighbors are often experts on the things you are not. We get a lot of free advice and help and we know when and who to pay when it’s time.

Chris is working on getting the sink drain fixed in the kids head along with hooking up the manual water pumps. I have been installing little battery powered lights in our dark nooks and crannies. I find that these work well:

They are bright and the batteries don’t need replacing often.

Chris and I also made a template of the area where I want all the spices today and we’re going to get some metal cut to fit the space. That will make all the space in there more useful. I still need to get more spice tins to use with it, and decide if I like the plastic or aluminum ones better. I’m also not sure about the magnets they come with, which seem unpredictable. I can replace them with these:

But I think I want to use the new metal plates first to see how it goes. I find that if I jump the gun on the next step, I often end up back tracking.

I’m also looking at an expensive set of nesting pans from Magma. We could definitely benefit from some more space in the galley, and our old Calphalon pans take up a lot of room with their handles sticking out every which way and need for multiple lids. I want to see the nesting pans first though, so we’re going to go to Fisheries later to check them out.

We are also looking at heaters and stoves. There are lots of things to take into consideration–my biggest question is “can it bake bread reliably?” We’ve tentatively settled on the Dickinson Caribbean 2 Burner Galley Range. The benefit being that 2 pans can fit comfortably, which they do not do on our current three burner range–so don’t even try a third pot.

Isn’t she shiny? It will probably be a while before we take the plunge with a range/stove. Heat should come first, and we still have a few other things to do before that’s top priority.

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about my wish list and what it really means. All of those things are meant to make me and those I care about happier.

Lately, I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting grumpy more often than I did in the past. For some reason being grumpy or unhappy seems like a shameful thing and it’s really hard to admit that it happens. When I look back over the more stressful moments in the last few months, though, I see the pattern. If I hadn’t been in a bad mood, hadn’t been grumpy, those stressful times would not have been so bad. Even though I didn’t actively pursue jealousy and try to take things from others, I was letting my feelings of inadequacy affect my life and the happiness of my family.

There have been times in my life when I’ve realized there is something I need to change about myself, and I went and did it. I needed better self esteem–I went to counseling and worked on changing my attitude. I needed to direct my own life instead of allowing circumstances or other people to guide me–I made that change.

Green Eyed Monster by O-r-c-h-i-d-e-a (cc license)

When trying to uncover the source of my grumpiness, I realized that I was usually unhappy after having some competitive confrontation; something that got in my face and made me feel bad for not being good enough. So I did a Google search: “how do I stop feeling competitive.” I found this article from Life Hacker by Melanie Pinola, which made me realize that it’s not necessarily competitiveness that I’m feeling, it’s jealousy. Whatever issues you find in this article, it made me look at myself in a new way and admit my flaw. And now I’m admitting it on the internet, which means that I have accepted the flaw and I know I have to fix it.

The wish list was my first attempt at fixing my moods, even though I was not thinking about it that way at the time. Now I am very consciously looking at what is making me grumpy, and I found that I was comparing myself to others and feeling lacking. Sometimes this was in social situations where I felt left out, sometimes it’s at work where others are doing good work or I felt my work wasn’t recognized, sometimes it’s on the ride to work where someone passed me. I can see now that this all goes back to self esteem and that maybe instead of fixing that flaw, I covered it up.

My first steps will be to:

  • stop comparing myself to others–or at least notice when I do it and nip it in the bud
  • treat myself well–which will include yoga and morning runs with some rockin’ music
  • and practicing gratitude–reminding myself daily about all of the wonderful people and things in my life. Aren’t they amazing?

Raven has her masts and sails now, but isn’t quite ready to hit the Sound. We’re all chomping at the bit, to mix my genres, to get out on the sea. Just a couple more weeks!

In the mean time I’ll show you the progress of the galley, specifically the spice situation. It’s still a bit out of control,

There are 5 containers of cinnamon in this rack. Five.

Hopefully I can keep this thyme and sage alive for a little while.

but I have a long term solution. This cabinet…

Closes to look like this:

And this Atomic Espresso maker…

Yum.

Fits in here!

So we can keep things nice and tidy. I plan to find more metal that magnets will stick to that is the right size to fit in the nook behind the red spice rack. Chris says he knows someone that can cut it for me. I’m finding that the magnets from the containers magnetize parts of the metal sheet in there now and make it so other magnets are repelled because of the polarity. Anyone know if there’s a trick to that? Thicker metal? Braining the folks that adhere the magnets different ways on different containers?

I went for a run yesterday and was surprised by my stamina. It might have been the magnificent view. Click on the photo for more photos from my run.

We had a few friends over for lunch today and we started talking about my friend’s recipe challenge and sharing recipes. It made me think about my messy ivy patterned recipe box and my online Drive folder where I have my most used recipes. I really need to finish switching those recipes over to Drive not just to save clutter, but to make them easier to update and share. As the rain of winter continues, perhaps I’ll use all my free time (only a little sarcasm) to put those recipes up.

Is two masts for sailing. ♪♪

Mixing my songs, but you get the idea. We took Raven in on Friday to have her masts put on–she’s a Ketch, rather than a single masted sloop or cutter. And they got on the Mizzen on just fine, but when they went to step the main, it was discovered that the new part that was added to the bottom, to replace the portion that had dry rot, was a bit too big to fit in the slot. We have to go back next week to get the rest done. A bit anticlimactic.

It was a tight fit getting Raven to the pull out area, but Chris is a master.

The masts, almost ready to go on.

Showering has turned into an interesting adventure. I can shower on Raven, but the water pressure is low and hot water doesn’t last long. I tried the shore showers recently and they are amazing–much better than the one at our apartment. It’s always warm in there, the hot water never runs out and the water pressure is good enough to pick your teeth, if you know what I mean. Getting there is ok. I bundle up in sweats and a jacket and take a basket with my shower stuff up there. I can’t quite shake the feeling that I’m doing the walk of shame though, with my hair all messy in the parking lot in my jammies. I know everyone does it, but it will take some getting used to.

The weather has been very up and down lately. Cold and clear (20°F), making me wish for thermal mittens, balmy and overcast or rainy, 50° or even as high as 68°. It’s been hard to figure out how to dress. Today there’s a lot of water in the air and I had to work at a different branch, so I don’t have my usual backup stuff with me. About 2 hours in, my pants ripped in the usual place and I had to put my rain pants on to finish the day. No pics, sorry ;)

The freezing weather is over for now and the rain has begun again. I’ll miss the sun and blue skies, but it’s nice not to be cold all the time and have my hands freeze on the way to work. I’ve brought back Lucille as my main bike to ride and I found that I missed her. I was feeling guilty leaving the Surly out in the cold, but Lucille can be folded, put under the dodger and the soft travel bag can be added over the top as a layer of protection. The cold last week inspired me to buy some really heavy duty mittens.

I might have gone a little overboard.

I might have gone a little overboard. Mountain Hardwear, Jalapeno Mitt

And of course they arrived today when the low is 40° instead of 20°. I’m sure they’ll still come in handy this winter.

Currently I am having a Doctor Who (Season 5) marathon on Netflix. Chris is working late and won’t be home until late. I’m cozy and enjoying hearing the occasional rain on the deck. I did a little sewing when I got home, just fixing a couple of small things in the sewing projects from earlier in the week. A lee cloth for the middle one’s bunk (to keep her from rolling out) and making the waist on my skirt a bit more snug. I also made a yoga mat bag, but that didn’t need fixing.

Earlier today I was at the “What’s New in Young Adult Literature and How to Use it in Your Program” workshop put on by the Bureau of Education and Research (BER). If you are a YA librarian and you ever have a chance to go to this, do. It is excellent. I’ve heard tons of book talks and this is the most useful program I’ve been to in years. My hold list is now 100 items long and I have many new ideas for volunteer projects.

We moved on the boat officially last Saturday and we got a few days in without anything interesting happening. There’s a lot of condensation, so we ordered some small quiet dehumidifiers. They don’t really work though, so we need to get a bigger one. Occasionally the breaker would flip, so we have learned how much we can power at the same time.

Then, the freeze came. The temperature dipped into the 20’s and has been hovering there since Saturday morning. There was snow in my dingy! Click through for more snow pics.

Chris was adventuring in New York with his oldest daughter, so I was on my own. The cold was challenging, but manageable and the sky was beautiful and clear. The wind was a bit rough though, as seen in this video:

The propane to the stove stopped working, so I figured that the tank was empty and I figured out how to switch tanks. It turned out that something else was going on, but I still feel accomplished.

On Sunday, when leaving to pick up the crew at the airport, I had a frantic moment when I thought I had locked myself into Raven. It was so windy the night before that the swinging doors would not stay closed, so I put in the panels and slid the hatch closed. In the morning, the hatch was stuck and there was no way to remove the panels since the hatch covers the opening where they slide out. Finally I got enough friction to move it. What a relief!

Then I went to scraped the windows and heat the car, but when I got back in the door would not close. You can’t drive a car with the door unsecured. Finally that fixed itself after much pushing and pulling of mechanisms and locking and unlocking of the doors.

We had our first visitors that night. First our friends that also moor at Shilshole stopped by to see Raven and say hello. Then some of my family came for dinner. It was a challenge to cook everything in the right order, but I think that it went pretty well, and only 20 minutes behind schedule. I made black cod with basil cream sauce and green bean and cauliflower casserole. I’d also successfully made french bread that day to accompany.

Then yesterday, the water pump wouldn’t stop running, so we had to turn off the power to it whenever we weren’t using it. Chris went and got a new one and put it in and water is now running smoothly again. One thing about plumbing on the boat, everything is a lot simpler than it is in a house.

This morning the breaker kept tripping, even after we went around and turned off everything unnecessary. I finally ran into our neighbor on one of my trips to the breaker and he told me it was happening to him as well, so probably something with the overall power rather than something with the boat. It makes us look forward to wind and solar power.

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