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.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

And the dream gets MUCH closer!

Addendum 2/24/17 - Here is the REALLY BIG NEWS - today we met one more time with our retirement advisor and confirmed what she had told us tentatively several weeks ago which is that we can afford to retire early!!!!

Our current plan is to leave soon after out daughter and her family join us for their summer visit in July.  We are expecting to head north and end up in SE Alaska for the winter (likely in Sitka or Petersburg).

We are VERY excited but were keeping a bit of a low key until we had our meeting today.


Addendum 2/16/17 - Hi to Kansas State University HAM Station W0QQQ who were able to talk clearly with us from Manhattan Kansas while we were out testing the new HF radio modem.

Folks sometimes ask what Norman was like as a child when they hear about his crazy interest in tearing things apart and putting them back together. Perhaps an exchange with our daughter concerning our 8 y/o grandson who seems to have the "Norman Gene" will give a bit of a picture:
TEXT MESSAGE from daughter: H definitely your grandson, I am letting him replace a light switch tonight and he's super excited. We are discussing the history of aluminum v copper wiring on the way to gym.

Henri fixes his sister's light switch.
TEXT MESSAGE from daughter: Success all by himself.

TEXT MESSAGE from daughter: V [H's little sister] is super excited to have a not-broken switch and H is making plans to change every switch in the house.

The story is told that at 12 years old I flew back to visit my Aunt Daisy, the closest person I had to a living grandparent by that age.  To keep me entertained she put me to work wiring some lights and outlets in the basement of her very old house and then paid me for the work (as I recall it was during that job that I learned to quickly whip my hand past the wire to see if it was still hot as the fuses were poorly marked - I have since found much less painful and safer methods).  Anyway, my dad (who was trained as a commercial electrician but worked for a major airline) immediately flew back when he heard about his sister's house being wired by a child.  Turns out that he approved of all of the work I had done as being done as safely as possible when adding on to existing wiring. So I'm very excited about H getting some observed training before he starts rewiring the house (or my boat!!) without asking first.

I write this blog to a great extent because I enjoy writing.  It also serves as a way to keep in touch with friends and family as well as being a narrative ships log of sorts. It is fun/interesting to me to watch the statistics and get email's from folks who have a comment or question. One of the interesting statistics is that much of my "audience" is from Russia - hmmmm.  I'm not sure they buy many Nordhavns there so I have to assume (unless someone from that part of the world sets me straight with an email!) that perhaps the bots are watching!  Anyway - again we do love to hear from folks with pleasant comments and questions SalishAire ampersand gmail.com .

Monday, February 13, 2017

Early February update

We have decided its time to finish our ToDo list so that we are ready to sail away when the opportunity arises (which according to our retirement adviser may be sooner than we had planned!)

Shiny new water pump behind the Lugger belt guard.

One of the items on our list was to get a spare water pump for the main Lugger/John Deere engine. The basic engine was manufactured as a tractor engine by John Deere in Wisconsin and then marinized by Lugger in Seattle for use in the maritime industry. Previously when I had looked into getting a spare I was shocked at the price of about $1000 from the local Lugger/John Deere parts place.  I was also told that the water pumps were designed to be rebuilt if you could find a casting in good shape. In trying to be as frugal as possible I discovered that by entering the part number from my Lugger manual into Google that a brand of aftermarket pumps popped up as available. I took the photo of one to the engine room and used a flashlight to look behind the belt guard which fits over the outside of the water pump to see if it was a match. To my chagrin what I did see were signs of coolant leakage. Initially I assumed I had a leaking hose but it turned out to be the main seal on the water pump. I was no longer taking my time looking for a spare pump but rather a replacement pump that I could hopefully install before the next weekend Clarice and I had off together with the plan of taking a short trip on the boat. It turns out that removing the pump that weighs about 60 lb requires taking a whole lot of the front of the engine apart to get to it before the new part (which we didn't have yet) could be installed.  To make a long story short, I found out that I could get industrial John Deere parts from the local John Deere tractor outlet if I had the specific part number (rather than the engine model number).  They ordered up the part with their normal order from Portland along with the parts I needed to rebuild the old pump and we were able to get the engine up and running in time for the weekend outing with a new pump on it. I was then able to use Clarice's dad's press to rebuild the old pump for a spare the next week.

Chain before re-galvanizing

We've also been grumbling about the mess our rusty chain makes on the deck every time we pull it up. Our options were to replace 400 ft of 3/8 chain or re-galvanize it.  We did some research and learned that chain from all over the USA is sent to a little place in Seattle that re-galvanizes for about 1/3 the cost of new.  We loaded all 600 lbs of chain in the back of the Prius and headed to Seattle with it. About 11 days later it came back to us looking just like new and I didn't have to go to confession about sending the metal to the waste bin.

Re-galvanized chain

My latest challenge is integrating a newly purchased SCS brand Pactor 4 modem with our high frequency (HF) (AKA Single Side Band Marine / Ham) radio.  It was a rather expensive device at $1300 but it should enable us to download weather charts much more easily AND send email while we are out of internet / cell phone range.  As of yesterday evening I was convinced that I have it connected to the radio correctly now I just need to get it and the computer working in sync. One frustration with trying to learn the ins and outs of the HF radio (on top of the expectation that you understand radio / electronics so documentation is minimal) is that they don't work well in a marina environment.  It seems that every refrigerator and fan motor in the marina puts out radio frequency noise in the frequency range you are trying to receive / transmit and then the sail boat masts reflect the signals too and fro. We are always surprised when we turn on the radio away from the marina and hear the difference.

Even "small" projects seem to always involve a big mess and some remodeling.
 As part of the installation process I moved the control panel for the radio down where it was easier to see and put the modem in its old spot.  I still need to finish a wood covering to make it look better. (We are now recognizing that it is time to re-build most of the dash panels after 20 years of upgrades and remodels - another project for another day.)

We spent last weekend at our son's house in Portland, Oregon.  I only mention it as we went down to help him install a new instant hot water heater and it turned out to be fun for me as I got to practice some plumbing, sheet-rock work, and electrical skills while someone else paid for the parts! I really do enjoy working with my hands, especially when I don't have to contort into a strange position in the engine room to do so.