Mike on his SUP in the San Juan Islands, WA
Limerick at anchor in the San Juan Islands. Mt Baker in the distance.
Minivan Camping near the Seven Mile Bridge, Florida Keys
Cenote Ik Kil, Yucatán, Mexico.
Camille at anchor in Mexico
Snorkeling in Cozumel, Mexico
Camille from above
Mike and Limerick in the San Juan Islands
Mike in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (Camille in the distance)
Verena and Camille in Ensenada Grande, Baja, Mexico
Fireweed in Alaska
Butterfly Fish, Big Island, Hawai'i
Limerick underway in British Columbia
Mike and Dorado, Sea of Cortez, Mexico
Dolphins on the bow of Camille
Ice floes in Cook Inlet, Alaska
Limerick and Chatterbox Falls in Princess Louisa Inlet, BC
Surfboards, Sayulita, Mexico
Minivan Camper near Death Valley
Camille anchored off Isla San Francisco, Mexico
Fire Dancer, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Mike fishing for salmon in Alaska
Cruising down the Colorado River at Horseshoe Bend
Limerick and moon in BC
Limerick and SUPs on Pelican Beach, Cypress Island, WA
Limerick and Mike on his SUP in Reid Harbor, Stuart Island, WA
Bonfire on the beach in Shallow Bay, Sucia Island, WA

Ending the Boat Bunk Battle

Ever try to make a boat bunk or RV bed to which you only have access from one side? It’s not easy! Add to that a mattress which is of non-standard dimensions and it makes for quite a challenging and frustrating exercise.  When we bought Limerick all of our cushions were covered in a palm tree fabric that we felt was just a little too busy. We had most of the cushions recovered in a soft, off-white vinyl. We like how it looks and any stains wipe right off — the engine room is just below the table so stains are inevitable. Here is a before and after.We decided not to cover the V-berth cushions in vinyl because it would not work well with sheets when we have guests staying in our forward cabin. Most times our V-berth ends up being the catch-all for jackets, blankets, tools, parts, etc. When we are doing big projects the V-berth becomes the workshop and I cover the cushions with some old, ill-fitting sheets.I finally found a better solution for our V-berth cushions. Bunk Sox! Yep, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Socks for your bunk cushions. An amazing alternative to the “fitted” bottom sheet, they can also be used to freshen up your look.Bunk Sox simply roll down onto the cushion and do not need to be tucked. Ever. The only seam is at the top, so even if it twists you will not be sleeping on an uncomfortable seam.I start at the widest part and roll down. Bunk Sox are made from a thick cotton/poly fabric, similar in feel to jersey, that stretches to fit the cushion. The remaining open end just folds under the mattress.Bunk Sox come in three different sizes. Our cushions are 29 inches at the widest part and about five inches tall. The small Bunk Sox are a perfect fit. And since they are perfectly washable we can also use them as a bottom sheet when we have guests. Lately we’ve been using the V-berth as more of a lounging room since it’s finally pretty and cozy in there. Oh, and remember the the post I did about ventilating the underside of our bunks to stop condensation?

Cruising BC’s Desolation Sound

After our shakedown cruise in June, followed by another haul-out to fix a few more items, we were finally ready to start heading north. Or so we thought…

While the boat was being lowered into the water we received a call offering work on the Columbia River for a few weeks. The next day, we hauled back out and put Limerick back into storage. Having her on the hard when we are not aboard is a lot less worry. We spent the rest of June and most of July on the river doing dredge surveys.

At the end of July we finally made it back to the boat and launched the very next day. Within a couple of days we were in Canada and on our way to Desolation Sound! We love our flying bridge and spend most of our time underway and at anchor up here. After turning the corner into Desolation Sound we are greeted by snow-capped mountains.Unlimited supply of oysters! After two years cruising Mexico and getting way too much sun, I am obsessed with making shade. The umbrella works pretty well in the dinghy too.Taking trash to shore with the kayak. Everywhere I go I am asked what “sort of contraption” that is. It’s a Hobie hybrid kayak/SUP/pedal boat and I love it! It even goes backwards.Mike loves his inflatable paddle board. It’s faster to set up and get going but not quite as versatile. It is the easiest way to take the stern tie to shore, in our opinion.Much of the water around Desolation Sound is “warm”. Well, not freezing cold anyway. We were able to swim everyday thanks to an amazing, sunny summer. After countless recommendations from other cruisers I purchased some turkish towels. They dry super fast and take up a third of the space of regular towels. 

 

To see all of our destinations check out our (free, downloadable, editable) digital log book. We use Google Calendar to track our cruising destinations.

By early September we had to be back in Washington to once again store Limerick and head back to work. Luckily our work is mostly on the water!

For those of you interested in the cost of cruising check out our Cruising Expenses and how we are able to afford cruising well before retirement age.

Not enough photos in this post? Check out our Photo Albums.

 

Shakedown Cruise to the San Juan Islands

After three months of working on the boat we took her out for a week-long shakedown cruise. We have replaced nearly every thru-hull, installed new seacocks, revamped how the heads flush, changed out a lot of hoses, refurbished the anchor windlass, installed a new waterpump (not just an impeller) on the main engine, and generally improved and replaced a lot of systems. We wanted to make sure everything would work the way we hoped. Check out our monthly cruising expenses for more info on recent boat projects.

We provisioned the boat and headed out to the San Juan Islands, which is just a three-hour cruise from Anacortes. Our yard makes it so easy to go in and out of the water that many boat owners store their boats on the hard year-round and just put their boat in the water when they are in town ready to cruise. Much cheaper and less worry than a marina.Lots of space for provisions under the settee (more boat interior photos). I’ve been taking advantage of having our car here and slowly filling this space. That way we just have to stock up on fresh food when we are out cruising and don’t have access to our car.The islands have great docks and mooring balls that are within the Washington State Parks system for an annual fee of $5 per foot. For our first night we went to a dock on Sucia Island because we needed some space to inflate the SUP and the new kayak. We have been waiting for months to try out the new kayak! It is so much better than the old kayak – no more wet behind! Everywhere we go people have been asking “what sort of contraption” it is. It’s a kayak that can be pedalled much like a bike or paddled like a kayak or SUP. The flat bottom makes it super fast and the width makes it very stable. The rudder is controlled via a small wheel at the seat.Shallow Bay on Sucia Island is one of the few places that has a beach with soft sand instead of pebbles. Perfect for a picnic. We usually use ceramic plates on board (more on that here) but I like to take paper plates to shore since we can just burn them. Our boat BBQ has feet and latches so it’s easy to take ashore. For other great products (like our folding chairs shown below) check out our favorite Gear page.We spend most of our time on the flying bridge. It is like a second living room. Nothing like morning coffee with a view.Reid Harbor on Stuart Island has a lot of state mooring balls and floating docks though it can get a bit congested with kayak campers. We often don’t even bother with the dinghy. The SUP and kayak are so much faster to deploy and easy to beach. We just carry them up the beach aways and don’t have to worry about the tide going out and not being able to push the heavy dinghy off the beach. The K-pump is the only pump we have on board that doesn’t have something broken on it. It’s made for whitewater rafting and is bullet-proof. Made in Oregon!  We finally saw orca whales from our own boat in Washington. Along with about 20 boats full of tourists and from a long distance away — I had to use a 270mm zoom. This is nothing like seeing whales in Alaska! Before heading back to the boatyard we stopped at Cypress Island which is managed by the Department of Natural Resources. The area is protected so they ask that you don’t anchor. Instead they have free mooring buoys and amazing views of Mount Baker. Overall everything seemed to work well. Knock on wood. We found a couple of thru-hulls with a slight leak that will need to be rebedded and determined that the outboard engine needed a carburetor rebuild. We had a scare with the fridge which started to cycle continuously and not stay cold. Turns out we had a loose wire.  We are back in the yard finishing up a few projects (painting, varnishing) and hope to get back on the water very soon for more than just a shakedown!

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