October 2015


Another week on the boat.

-the dog does not float.
-dewalt 20v batteries in your pocket do not float.
-Joker valves are not funny.
-Gig harbor is cute.
-European PEX is 15mm.
-US PEX is 1/2 inch.
-the above 2 points take 3 trips to lowes, 2 trips to Home Depot and mclendons, 1 trip to camping world and finally breaking down to go to west marine.
-French marine cabinetry sucks.


Saturday morning we awoke to smell of our black water holding tank overflowing in the master head. At first, we thought some variety of aquatic life decided to make our deck its final resting place. Ryan got up to investigate and made me aware of the source of the smell with the very appropriate exclamation, “Well sh*t!”

As soon as possible we made arrangements with the bridge tender to raise the bridge so we could reach the pump-out dock. At this time, the Pacific Northwest decided to grace us with a torrential downpour. A long forty-five minutes later, we made our may to the pump-out. Once we cleared the tank, we used a hose and copious quantities of bleach to disinfect. Fortunately, this was easily resolved and the smell dissipated quickly.

Saturday night was our first storm. Wind gusts were clocked up to 44MPH. Note to self: make sure dinghy and halyard are secured before storm.

Yesterday morning was clear and calm. We were supposed to take my parents to Gig Harbor yesterday. Murray Morgan Bridge had other plans. We spent an hour on the Foss Waterway with the engines idling before the bridge tender told us the bridge was just not going to open. There was some sort of malfunction which was preventing the traffic arms from going down. If the traffic arms won’t go down to stop traffic, the bridge won’t open. This is yet another reason we need to get on the other side of the bridge.

It has been just over a week now. We have learned:
1. The heater has a switch that is not labeled that turns the burner on.
2. Calling a guy in Sweden gives you the location of the switch above.
3. The heater is VERY warm – I think we started boiling the ocean through the hull.
4. Our dock neighbor has been licensing captains for ~25 years.
5. Docking is fun and terrifying.
6. Our mast is 69′ tall from the water line.
7. The bridge tender loves working on the bridge rather than doing maintenance on the road. (please call me as much as you want)
8. Fuel is expensive.
9. You have to wait ~10 minutes to remove the air from the propane lines for your oven.
10. India smells in any environment.
11. Manual pump heads create an environment where you are very conscious of what you eat.
12. A memory foam mattress topper is heavy and expands like a blob.
13. Caroline knows how to pack boxes.
14. Caroline knows how to pack a boat.
15. People will commit to renting your home and then back out 15 minutes before signing a lease.
16. We like the still mornings.
17. India likes driving the dinghy to happy-hour Hors d’oeuvres along the waterway.
18. We like the waves that come in at night.
19. The dog does not like the trampoline… at all… not even for food. It is like a begging free bubble.
20. The dog would like to be notified of any future living arrangement changes.

Maintenance (to date):

  1. Replaced gasket on master head
  2. Replaced joker valve on master and port head
  3. Replaced shower/faucet sprayer in master and port head
  4. Installed monitor mounts in galley and port aft cabin
  5. Rebuilt galley cabinet as a result of monitor mount installation
  6. Purchased new monitor speakers as a result of monitor mount installation
  7. Rewired AC outlet in galley as a result of monitor mount installation

Maintenance (to do):

  1. Replace outdoor shower
  2. Thoroughly clean master and port heads
  3. Finish that monitor project
  4. Figure out how to get hot water without the engine running
  5. Rewire and rebuild all the things

Waponi Woo has a tall mast. There wasn’t any documentation about her mast height in the volumes of paper we received upon closing and it didn’t occur to us to measure it before we took off on our maiden voyage from Anacortes to Tacoma. It became glaringly apparent we needed this information when we approached Foss Harbor Marina in Tacoma. Getting to our assigned end tie required passing under Murray Morgan Bridge during an above average high tide.

The Murray Morgan Bridge is a vertical lift bridge which provides a vertical clearance of 60 feet above mean high water while in the closed position and 135 feet of vertical clearance in the open position. It also has the clearance posted on the bridge supports for boaters. The first time we approached the bridge, the posted clearance was 54 feet.  We came close, decided not to risk it and hit hard reverse. I then called the number posted for bridge opening and let them know I didn’t want to scratch their bridge.  Two hours later, they opened it for us.

It turns out we made the right decision. The next week, we measured the mast. We attached a tape measure to the halyard and pulled it up to the top.  Then we measured from that point to the water line. We added a few feet feet for the antenna, windex, and other equipment at the top of the mast and ended up with 68 feet above the water line.  It was at this moment that I took a good look at the boats surrounding us and realized we have a really tall mast.

We are now on a waiting list for an end tie on the other side of the bridge.