What's in her name?

What's in her name (Salish Aire)?

from her new home the Salish Sea

Aire as in a melody of song.

Salish + Aire = The melody of the Salish Sea.

Salish Sea:
In the late 1700's Captain George Vancouver wandered around the waters of what are now known as British Columbia, Canada and Washington State, USA. He did the usual 1700's explorer thing and put names he chose on everything he saw. The names stuck and are recognized and used to this day.

New lines were added to Captain Vancouver's charts in 1872 (after a near war with Great Britain over a pig) which made waters on one side of the line Canadian and those on the other side of the line American.

It wasn't until 1988 (officiated in 2009) that someone finally realized that fish and various critters, (to say nothing of the water itself) were never involved in the boundary treaties and really ignored them completely. (This is best illustrated by the problems that Homeland Security has with Canadian Canada Geese and American Canadian Geese - it seems they refuse to carry passports and have been known to poop on the head of any border patrol person who tries to challenge their right to cross the border when and where they choose!) In reality the waters from Olympia to the well up the East side of Vancouver Island are pretty much one ecosystem.

The Coast Salish are the indigenous peoples who live in southwest British Columbia and northwest Washington state along the Salish Sea and share a common linguistic and cultural origin. The Salish Sea is named in honor of the earliest recorded peoples who plied her waters and learned to live in harmony with her.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

First Week

After bringing the boat home last Saturday we have been in constant motion as we tried to turn her into a home and learn about her as a boat. 

We are quickly being reminded that nothing is simple with a boat.  Our first lesson had to do with the fuel system.  In the Duet Blog (see lower right of this blog) I learned that her previous owners had done some pretty fancy modifications to the fuel system.  The blog even includes a diagram which I spent a fair amount of time reviewing to make sure I understood it.  I didn't bring a copy with us to Victoria and that was our downfall.  We spent Friday evening reviewing the system after the engine shut down with our first test run and had to be bled to get it going again. We also noticed that we had managed to move about 100 gallons of fuel from one side of the boat to the other without intending to. After some study of the system and finding a vital fuel manifold under a floorboard we managed to get the engine bled and running smoothly.  We finally got to bed at about 10 PM. I woke up about 4 AM after our first night in our new home and started running fuel flow diagrams in my head.  By 4:30 I was up and had figured out how to move the fuel back from the port fuel tank to the starboard fuel tank where it had started from.  Don showed up at about 7 AM, the day was beautiful, the engine purred and we headed out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  It took a few miles for the last drops of fuel from the tank I had emptied to get sucked out and the  main engine to stop cold - oops.  Don and Clarice when to the engine room to troubleshoot while I fired up our wing (emergency) engine and felt secure in the idea that we had a backup.  Problem is that unlike newer Nordhavns, ours doesn't have a dedicated fuel supply for the wing engine and it soon sucked its line dry - oops.  About then Don found that the fuel was being pulled from the tank I had emptied and not from the one I had filled.  He quickly reset the valves and Clarice got another lesson in how to bleed a diesel engine. ( For those who don't know Clarice, this really was something she wanted to learn as we fully expect either crew member to be able to do all functions on the boat in an emergency. .... For those not familiar with diesel engines, traditional diesels have an Achilles heal of sorts in that they won't start or run if their is any air in the fuel line.  A basic skill requirement of any ocean going diesel owner is knowing how to bleed the fuel lines.)

Sunday we decided to make short work of removing any doo doo that was in the blackwater (AKA - sewer) tank.  To make a long story short: It took us about 3 hours for a job that should take 20 minutes.  In the process we leaned where our overboard valves were and that we had two rather than one doo tanks.

That seems to be how everything has gone and is likely to go.  We bring stuff on the boat from the storage shed and then try to find places to put the stuff only to find spare parts and other unidentified stuff (probably useful but we aren't sure yet) in the places where we planned to put our stuff that has to be moved to someplace, etc, etc, etc...We spent most of the week trying to make the boat a home and put off her move on water function until later( but I can't resist trying to figure out what makes her tick so poor Clarice puts up with me tearing up the pilot house while she tries to clean and organize).  In the midst of it all we both have jobs that must be attended to (and hers required making some hurried modifications to the pilot house that serves as her office).

So are we having fun yet???? YES!!!! Every evening to be on the water is a dream come true for us (let's hope we feel the same a year from now).  This week our grandson ET came up from Portland and is our first overnight visitor (he is having to sleep on the pilot house berth as the guest berth is covered with stuff).  This evening we decided that since I took tomorrow off from work and Clarice can work on a moving boat we would remind ourselves that this home is also a boat.  We took a quick trip to Langley and are snug in that marina for the night.  The main engine purred, the generator generated, and I was able to get the wing engine back up and running after running it dry last weekend.    I'm also proud to say that after having worked with an excellent teacher last weekend, that our first solo landing went without a hitch (it is really nice that Don taught us right off how to land the boat without depending on her bow and stern thrusters so they become a nicety rather than necessity).

Our big excitement yesterday was finding time to put our new logo on the stern so we look official (for those worried about not having done a renaming ceremony, we plan to ask to have the boat (with her new name) blessed at our upcoming open house).

A final word: I think I finally have the photo thing figured out for the blog so we should have more photos as we go along.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Yesterday after about 4 hours of sleep after arriving in Portland Oregon from Belize we drove to our temporary home in Everett.  Then we quickly grabbed our "go get the boat" packs and were driven to Vancouver BC by Clarice's parents where we hopped a ferry for Victoria and finally slept on OUR boat for the first time. 

Today with the help of Don Kohlmann of Nordhavn NorthWest we headed south across the Strait of Juan de Fuca (with one unexpected stop about a third of the way across to bleed the fuel system after a valve was mis-set).  US Customs were very pleasant and welcomed us back into the country in Port Angelas (where Clarice and I are proud to say our very first landing of a boat larger than 25 feet was an 8 out of 10 under Don's patient tutorage) and then we headed South for our home port of Everett, Washington.  We had a gorgeous run south with both Mt Baker and Mt Rainer out in their full glory along with the Olympic Mountains. 

Finally about 19:30 we pulled into our slip with several friends on hand to help tie us in (and to bring Jarvis aboard for the first time.  We should sleep well tonight.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Arrival in Victoria

We just watched as the freighter passed the Victoria Harbour breakwater.  This morning we received the unloading schedule and we will be in Belize Thursday when Salish Aire finally gets wet in the Salish Sea.  The current plan is to have the shipping company tie her up in Victoria until we return.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Off to Belize with no Boat in Sight

Yesterday we saw a glimmer of hope as the freighter carrying Salish Aire moved past the center of the storm and started to gain speed - then this morning it showed a path that went north then west then southwest.  Something wasn't right.  Sure enough we got an email from the shipping company that the main engine was having fits.

 Getting it here by Wednesday (it is now Monday) wasn't just a matter of convenience but all of our plans had assumed that we would pick up the boat and bring it down ourselves (with some help from a very patient volunteer captain and crew). The problem is we have to leave for Belize Wednesday evening.  The plan is now out the door and our anxiety sky high.

So why Belize, now?  Back in 2004, Clarice and I spent a year volunteering at Hillside Heath Care Clinic in the southern tip of Belize ( http://hillsidebelize.org/ ).  While there we wore our RN hats, teacher hats, pharmacist hats, computer programer hats, etc..  We also met a local Maya woman who was obviously very bright, very dedicated, and determined to become a nurse.  She had gotten some support to start correspondence school to finish our equivalence of high school but that source ran out of money so we asked a couple of churches to help support her. A decade has passed and she is going to graduate next Saturday with her Bachelors of Nursing degree from the University of Belize and we plan to be there to cheer her on.  I'm sure other Mayan women from the villages have gone to the university but I'm also very sure that they are incredibly rare as few young women we encountered in our year of working with them ever even considered higher education (AKA our high school) as a choice they had.  We are very very proud of Margery and look forward to seeing her again.

So back to the boat:  This afternoon we have been on the phone with our outstanding "even after the sale" boat broker, Don Kohlmann, and Raven Offshore Yacht Shipping and believe we have a plan that will get Salish Aire tied up awaiting our return.  Our heart rates have returned to normal for at least a day or so.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Weather Gets in the Way

We continue to wait impatiently for the delivery of Salish Aire.  We have a pick-up team ready to head to British Columbia on short notice, our slip is waiting empty (and paid for) in Everett, but no boat yet.  The AAL Dalian was keeping a very tight schedule all of the way from Florida to Ensedada Mexico but since then the winds of the west coast off California have become a major issue for even an ocean going freighter.  This morning the Dalian is virtually at a stand still with 40 knot winds ahead of it and intermittent gales forecast for the foreseeable future until it gets well up the  Oregon coast (it is currently north of San Francisco).

We are also trying to prepare for a 10 day trip to Belize which we have been planning since 2004 when we left a year long volunteer posting at a clinic in the southern part of the country.  At that time we arranged to be the conduit and conductors of funding from a couple of churches to keep Margery Cho of the Maya village of Crique Jute in school.  Next week she will graduate with a Bachelors Degree in nursing.  I expect this will make her one of only a very very tiny handful of Belize Mayans (ESPECIALLY women) who have gone to college and I would guess maybe 10 or fewer RN's in the country that are native speakers of a Mayan dialect.

We really did not expect the boat plan and the Belize plan to every overlap and yet here we are.  Hopefully the next posting will include photos of Salish Aire floating in the Salish Sea.

In the mean time we continue to be very very grateful of our friends John and Laurie who continue to share their house despite the death this week of Laurie's father providing them with their own "life's challenges".