Thursday, October 28, 2010

Weekly Report

This week David is on vacation with his mom.  We miss him!

Mim is doing Preschool though.  Today we spent hanging out with Grandma Debbie and she even got to preside over a reading Lesson for Miriam.  Mim thought that was great.  Tomorrow we start a new FIAR book called Lentil by Robert McCloskey.  He is the author of Blueberries of Sal and Make Way for Ducklings so while I haven't read Lentil yet, I am pretty excited.

Only in Oregon

Today Mim peers up into the overcast Oregon sky and asks "Mama, what is that white thing?"

I follow her gaze to a dim circle high above and answer, "The Sun, sweetheart, it's the Sun".

Fall has returned to the North West.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Foster Lake

Christina, Miriam and I took the "Davidite" (our new-to-us Catalina 22 sailboat) to Foster Lake today to stretch her sails a bit. This was the first time we have sailed her, so it was an exciting trip. The fall weather is moving in, so today was the last opportunity to sail without rain for at least a few weeks - a good excuse to take a vacation day. 

All the reservoirs are draining their water right now, many are closed to boats completely, but one ramp on Foster is still open - though the water is low enough it makes getting down the dock ramp quite interesting. 

The "Davidite" sails great - she was up at "hull speed" a good amount of time, with a fairly gentle wind. 


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hello to 'Davidite'

As you know, we love sailing. It's both adventurous and relaxing at the same time. And you get to be in the middle of God's creation, right there on your own boat. Our daysailer has been a great way to learn to sail, but it's time for a boat we can overnight on.

This week we purchased a Catalina 22, in great condition, and for an excellent price. It was built October, 1976 - the month and year of my own birthday. And it's named the "Davidite" - in honor of the previous owners father (a fellow we know from church!), and fits right into our family as David is the name of my own father and son.

First business was troubleshooting the outboard which wouldn't run past idle. I spent most of the weekend pulling the head off, pulling the valves and giving them a good cleaning, checking all the gaps, replacing the gaskets and putting it all back together. In the end it looks like it was electrical trouble - I have it running better now, not completely smooth, but after a few more parts arrive it should be purring.

After that it was time to practice rigging the boat. Pretty neat boat - Double backstay with downhaul. Folding rudder. Main sail with ratcheting main sheet blocks, reefing system and traveler. Jib halyard lead to cockpit with jack for tightening, and winches for each jib sheet. 150% Genoa, Jib, and Storm Jib. Nice anchor off the front pulpit. Steaming and night lights. And a new paint job that makes running it all look great.

Inside is a tight but practical cabin. On a nice evening we may be able to camp together as a family on the boat. But for the most part I see taking one or two kids out at a time for a night or two together. A pop-top extends the headroom while anchored, and an included boom tent will keep the cockpit area fairly dry as well in the northwest drizzle.

The kids have been hanging out on the boat these last few days while I've been working on the outboard.

It would be nice to get this out on the water one or two times before winter hits, but mostly we are looking forward to the spring and starting some overnight sailing trips on the Columbia or a few long weekends up in the Puget Sound area.

Over the winter we'll be getting our Interlake 18 ready for sale - I'll miss her beautiful lines, big sails, and easy setup - the Interlake can't be beat for a day sailor! Almost everywhere I take her I get comments from total strangers. The Catalina won't bring that sort of attention, but I am looking forward to short "cruises" aboard our Davidite.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Weekly Report October 3-8th

This week we went on our first real field trip - to Bauman Farms!  David, Miriam and I joined 50 other homeschoolers to see cider being pressed (and taste some!), go on a hayride and pick out pumpkins.  After that the group stayed and played.

Bauman has a kid's hay maze, a totally dark maze, a giant tube slide, climbing wall, apple catapult, playground, hay bales to climb and even an acorn pit (like a ball pit).  The zip line isn't open during the week but we still had a great time with all of our friends.

I organized it this year and I think I will do it again next year, but with a few changes.  Now that I know how things go it will be smoother next time.