This is the first year we have had a real tree on the boat. This was nice for me as Clarice banned real trees from our home several years ago when it became apparent that tree + Norman's allergies = annual sinus infection. The 3 ft tall noble fir fit nicely on our cockpit table and provided just enough scent as I walked by to make it enjoyable but not so much that my allergies were triggered. We were very basic with our outside decorations with a star on the top of the mast and lights trailing down from it with icicle lights around the top deck. Even though it was very basic it really stood out visually from the cliff above the waterfront and was very visible from the hospital where Norman works so he could show folks where he lives from the windows. Clarice decorated the inside of the boat, as she has in past years, with a garland decorated with ornaments we have collected over the years which have special memories attached to them (including the partridge in a pear tree Hallmark ornament from our first Christmas 40 years ago).
|Our "basis" outside decorations turned out to be very visible from the hillside above the waterfront.|
|The garland around the salon. The ornament from our first Christmas is on the far left.|
Our credit card company was very happy with us this year as I decided to purchase a very expensive stabilized binocular just prior to an unexpected expense with our salon heat pump. We use the heat pump (referred to as A/C by warm water boaters who are often unaware that you can make it work as a heating furnace) as our primary means of heating the boat when we are at the dock as it is very economical and works well (with the diesel hydronic furnace as our other option). The unit had gotten noisier over time and was driving Clarice nuts while Norman was fine as long as his hearing aids were out. Finally the high pitched noise got bad enough that both decided that action needed to be taken. Step one was to isolate the noise using the old screwdriver to temple stethoscope trick. The bad news was the noise was clearly from the compressor. We then held a cell phone up to the compressor so a friend in the refrigeration business could listen to it. His evaluation was that the compressor would die sometime within the next hour to 5 years but that it was definitely not sounding healthy. Long story short (and about 3 "boat units" later) we ended up replacing the whole unit and upgrading the ducting when we realized that the original compressor had a manufacture date of 1996 when the boat was built. Now we only have one original unit left and we are hoping that with the parts we scrounged we can keep it going.
|Grandson H tests out the new stabilized binoculars.|
|Our shiny new heat pump / air conditioning unit under the salon seat.|
Christmas Day was very slow at work so I took time to read the old blogs from when Salish Aire was Duet ( http://mvduet.homestead.com/index.html ) . It was fun to look at the old photos and see the changes that had been made over the years. I was also able to get some clarity as to when repairs and upgrades had been done the last time. When Salish Aire was known as Duet she was owned and lovingly cared for by the Goldbergs whom we are still in contact with. Ron Goldberg loved to add expensive toys to his boat and we are the happy recipients of many of his choices which tended to be very high quality and are still enhancing the boat today. The Duet blog also mentioned the name of the original owner several times and indicated that they lived in Florida. With the help of Google I managed to find an email address and sent off a note asking if I had the right person. Mrs. Lynn phoned me later in the day very excited to hear about "her favorite boat". It turns out that Rapture (Salish Aire's first name) was purchased at a the Newport Boat Show when they walked on board and fell in love with her. Mrs. Lynn also talked about how she remembered Ron Goldberg "jumping up and down he was so excited when he took ownership of her". The Goldberg's have also told us about their many fond memories of Duet (they now are in Mexico on their Nordhavn 50 also known as Duet http://www.mvduet.com/ ). Clearly she is a very special boat that has an effect on everyone who travels on her.
We realized that we have some interior photos of Salish Aire but not a lot on this blog. Norman decided to try his hand at making a video and came up with this: December 2016 video tour of Salish Aire.
And finally the photos of our daughter's family enjoying Christmas with us.
|C takes the wheel as we head out the river (yes, he really is steering the boat).|
|A short walk from the boat is a submarine factory. The owner was very accommodating with the only request that we not touch the view port as it had taken 300 hours to polish|
|A new Christmas Dragon "Stuffy" (AKA stuffed animal) keeps C safe in his sleep.|
|The kids check out the scenery before watching the Pacific Northwest Ballet version of the Nutcracker.|
|A visit to a local camp's lights of Christmas was a big hit.|
|V enjoyed her pony ride at the Lights of Christmas.|
|H shares his puzzle book with his Great Grandmother at the Gregory family Christmas gathering.|
|Finally; Santa did make it down Salish Aire's stack to fill the stockings on Christmas Eve.|