Mar and Gar's Adventures

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Redneck Yacht Club

Last weekend was the Des Moines Yacht Club annual trek to Fox Island for a big raft out.   We joined the club in 1982 and the raft out had been going on long before that.   It is always the same weekend as the Fox Island Yacht Club Commodore’s Ball.     The first boat to arrive at Fox Island determines the raft location, but basically there is a spot between Tanglewood Island and Fox Island that is ‘our spot’.   As boats arrive, about every 4th boat a front anchor goes out and about every 6-8 boats and stern anchor goes out to stabilize the raft from winds and currents.   It doesn’t always work so good,  so there is usually at least one or more anchor drills over the weekend.   With a raft out, the only way to get to boats to visit each other is by crossing swim steps or by dinghy.   As the weekend progresses and the beverages flow, there is often a chance of someone ending up in the water and earning a Duck.  (Note:  NO ducks this weekend!  Very unusual! )  On Saturday night, our Commodore and various other people who have signed up head off in a boat to the Fox Is Commodore’s Ball while the rest of us stay to party on our raft.

Years ago the Commodore’s Ball was held at a great building on Tanglewood Island.  Here is a great web site that gives the history of Tanglewood’s lighthouse and building:   http://www.foxisland.net/tanglewood_island.htm.   The Dr. Schultz mentioned was the father of our friend, Bob Schultz and his wife Barbara, who still reside on Fox Island.   Our raft location is usually right off their home.  Unfortunately, the building on Tanglewood is in disrepair.   Plus the Fox Is YC built a great clubhouse so the Ball is now there instead of Tanglewood.

Lighthouse and Clubhouse on Tanglewood Island

Schultz home on Fox Island

This year we left for the cruise on Thursday and spent that night on the city dock in Gig Harbor.   Theresa stopped by after work and we took her to dinner at the Tides Tavern.   Gotta say, we were slightly disappointed.   Their prices are higher and the quality was not up to par.   We rated our dinners at a C+ or B-.    But we had a good time with Theresa.    The Boondocker and Double Eagle also spent the night in Gig.

Friday mid-day we headed down to Fox Island to join the rapidly growing raft.   I think we were about boat #9 when we arrived.   By Friday night we had a total of 16 boats, and by the end of the weekend we had a total of 23 boats come to the cruise.  A couple of those were only there for a little while but that counts!   The weather on Saturday was pretty interesting.   We had wind, rain, sun, wind, rain sun…  The raft would swing wildly in the wind and currents, but anchors held and all was well.   Early Saturday evening there was a wonderful double rainbow.

Double rainbow

There are a couple of big traditions on this cruise.   One is that while the Commodore is at the Ball his/her boat is transformed in one way or another.   Sometimes it is re-decorating the boat, sometimes it is physically moving the boat, sometimes it is fun booby traps on the boat.   When the Commodore gets back around midnight in the pitch dark a surprise is always waiting, though.   This year our Commodore was treated pretty kindly.   Not too sure the significance of flamingos but it looked cute.  I kinda thought that the flamingos sitting on top of the fenders looked like something out of Dr. Strangelove – ready to shoot off into space.

Schatzie's decorations on the bow

Another great tradition is the Sunday morning Dinghy Bar.   Bloody Mary’s, Screwdrivers and pastries are delivered to the boats.   This year we were happy to see George Hiatt and Darrel Miller with the Sunday morning treats.Dinghy Bar on Sunday

The final tradition of the cruise is the infamous un-rafting.   Usually a boat or two in the middle of the raft want to leave first, so we start doing line drills and anchor drills.   This year 5 boats from the middle left at the same time so we ended up with 2 separate rafts.  The gap was so large we just left it at two rafts and used dinghies or kayaks to get back and forth.    As the group continued to depart, we had one bow anchor issue when Lattitude Adjustment’s anchor got caught in another boat’s anchor, but that got sorted out.   Then the most fun was when our stern anchor (with Boondocker’s line) got stuck on something.   2 1/2 hours later and lots of shouting and maneuvering we got it up.   It was stuck on an old line to an old herring pen.   Thanks to Fansea Nansea pulling one way and Randy, Jeff, Todd, Darrel and Gar on the back of our boat pulling we were finally able to get free.    The whole experience was sooooo exhausting that we decided to go back to Gig Harbor Sunday night and recover!   Boondocker and Fansea Nansea recovered with us there.    After a leisurely morning in Gig, we meandered home  –  a successful end to a great cruise.

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On The Road (Again)

The following is a post about the Portland Swap Meet that I started a long time ago and never finished.   So, I’ll post it with just the following comment –  The more interesting things I won’t post as I don’t want to incriminate anyone who was there.   It did end up to be a successful test of the motorhome and a laundry list of things to finish..

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Getting ready to sell good stuff

We departed for the big Portland Car Swap Meet on Wed at about 1:30 p.m.   Not too bad considering we were still loading the motorhome in the morning and Garry decided to build just one more shelf and install it.   We also realized we had better fill it with water and add propane to the tank since we didn’t know it’s capacity.   Anyway, off we went on down I-5.   At the Ground Mound exit he decided to pull into a place and get a cup of coffee and also thought maybe we should check our headlights…    Guess what… No headlights!   But we had brake lights and turn lights, thank goodness.   We beep-beeped Richard in his motorhome and pretty soon he beep-beeped us back, laughing so hard I couldn’t understand him.   Turns out that when David was wiring for our new stereo, etc., he forgot to hook the headlights wiring back up.     Well, we were lucky – or should I save David was lucky – because he had been to Oregon in the morning for service calls and was almost back to where we were so we all met up at the closed down Rib Eye Restaurant in the Chehalis area and he got us all hooked back up.   So, then back on the road again.

We stopped in Woodland for gas and groceries (Richard, not us, on the grocery part) and got into Portland around 6:30 p.m. and eventually found our way into the PIR racetrack to find our stalls for the weekend.   Gar had done something to his sciatic nerve on the way down so while he was hopping around and moaning we all set up camp and I started bbq-ing.   Other than the pain that Gar was having, it was a peaceful night in the motorhome.   Well, it was except for the wildlife.    The raceway has a huge wetland area in the middle and the frogs/toads croak up a storm.    It was really cool.   Even Garry could hear it sometimes.    Then in the morning there were tons of Canadian geese who make it a stopover to wherever they are heading for the summer.    They are super loud!

The swap meet started Thursday morning at the raceway, and Friday at the Expo center, so our stalls were pretty busy on Thursday.   They guys take off and go looking and I man the stalls.  Thank goodness for the beep-beeps (2-way Nextels) because I can always reach someone if there is a customer who wants to barter.   Thursday weather was cold and rainy and sunny at times but we sold alot of stuff.   Friday’s weather was crazy!   Sun, wind, hail, wind, rain, sun!

Check out the hail

Bundled up to stay warm


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Fast Forward

OK – 3 days ago I started to tell the story of going to the Portland Car Swap Meet and it got really boring.  The more I wrote the worse it got.   I saved it as a draft and will finish it later.   It was boring because some of the best stories cannot be printed.  What happens in Portland stays in Portland (or Vancouver, apparently, person not to be named!)

So, I am writing about tonight.  It is 8:00 p.m..  The Mariner’s just scored in the 3rd and are ahead.   The sunset was beautiful.  They boys are all here  working on Dale’s boat,  my Chevelle and Brian’s truck.

And the bonus is that Garry’s shoulder is OK!   We thought he had messed up his right shoulder that he had surgery on 9 years ago and found out it is only bone spurs.   A shot of cortisone is helping and the worse case scenario is minor surgery  (can’t spell arthroscopic or whatever).

So, life is good.  Even great.  And you will have to read the boring story about Portland later.  I won’t delete it, but I’ll try to make sound a little better than it does now.   Until then, enjoy these pictures.

Sunset Friday April 16th 2010

Putting the boat together

Brian's truck

1969 Chevelle - new rear end in place


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A Man Possessed

Garry has been working like a man possessed to get the motorhome finished enough that we can take it to the Portland Swap Meet for our first sleep-over in it.      Actually,  I am writing this after I got home from Portland last night, but I will leave that part of the story for a future post.    Right now you need to see all that has been accomplished.

The dash looks awesome with all the new fancy stuff the boys put in.   And it all works great.   I picked up the upholstery and it looks wonderful.  While I was doing that Garry continued to staple more carpet (really!!),  get a faucet in the shower, figure out the furnace and hang mini-blinds.

I was sent on a major quest.   We found out the on/off switch for the furnace was broken, so I started calling around and found a couple.   One was up the road at Poulsbo RV for $59.  The other was at Camping World in Fife for $29.   It was worth the trip to Fife and now we have a furnace that works.

One of our big dilemmas was what to do for a mattress.   I want to use our almost new queen size Select Comfort airbed, but when I assembled it I found out that one chamber would not hold air.   After some calls with the company we narrowed it down to the actual chamber, not the pump assembly.   It is still under warranty so I need to arrange to replace it, but that won’t happen before the trip to Portland so my brain started thinking about alternatives.    What I came up with was truly an inspiration.    I sent 2 strong kids to our boat and had them take the mattress out of the guest stateroom and bring it to the motorhome.   It is a little too narrow and a couple inches too long but it will certainly do in a pinch.  They funny part is that the mattress is custom made and angled in the front to fit the “V” at the bow of the boat.   I had to reverse it on the bed so the “V” part is at the foot of the bed.   That way we can still kinda get around the bed even though it is 3 inches too long.   A big plus is that the sheets for the mattress are also custom made to fit that weird shape, so it actually worked our pretty good.

Up until now I haven’t really been able to do any cleaning or packing in the rig because there was too much construction going on, but since we are leaving in 2 days for Portland I needed to shove people out of the way so I could clean the bathroom, the cupboards, the fridge, the microwave, the shower…  basically everything.   Two of the plastic shelves in the fridge are broken,  but the first trip won’t involve much food, so I’ll just make do.   For this trip we pretty much decided to live out of containers and boxes rather than put things in cupboards willy nilly.   This shakedown trip will help us decide the ultimate place for everything.

Tuesday afternoon Garry brought the motorhome to our place so I could start loading things for our departure on Wednesday.    He also got Dale’s car trailer to our place and they guys spent the evening loading it with all our treasures to sell at the big swap meet.     The goal is to leave around noon on Wednesday.   Keep your fingers crossed.


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Did We Make A Mistake?

At first glance, you would think we made a horrible mistake.   I’ve heard Garry mentioned how David got the better end of the deal.  You see, David and Kim bought our old motorhome.    That was good for us because we aren’t two motorhome owners.  And it is really good for Dale since we store them at his place and he was definitely not wanting 2 lovely looking rigs like ours decorating his yard.

The list of things to be done is long.   A complete new shower is needed and the skylight over the shower leaks.   Looking on the positive side, at least the leak went into the shower!   The sofa was tossed out in pieces.   The overhead bunk cushions and dinette cushions all need to be reupholstered.   We need a mattress, since there isn’t even an old one.   Multi-layered floral curtains all need to be gone and replaced with mini-blinds.   The carpet is a definite bye-bye, as is the linoleum portion of the floor.

At this point you might be wondering what does not need to be replaced…   Well, the fridge is fine (but a few shelves need to be replaced), the stove and oven look great, the microwave looks good except you can’t read the numbers.   The generator runs – a little loud since there is no muffler, but that is a fast way to meet your neighbors!  The water heats super fast.   The thing drives great.

While Garry starts work on the major remodel, the boys all got together and ripped out the stereo and started installing a system that does everything!   Radio, CD, DVD, XM Radio, iPod, GPS, back-up camera… the list goes on and on.   I just did the smart thing and pretty much stayed out of everyone’s way and hoped for success.   It took about 3 days of off and on work, but everything works.   We can listen to Willie’s Place on XM, or watch Top Gun, or listen to the nice lady tell  us to make a U-Turn at our earliest convenience.   The hardest part was to figure out how to lock in pre-set radio stations but after much trial and error I was able to do that.   Many many thanks to David, Richard, Dale and Brian for doing such a super job!   These guys really know what they are doing.

The race is on to do enough things to the rig that we can at least sleep and shower in it when we go to the big car swap meet in Portland soon.  But occasionally Garry gets distracted by what I will call add-ons.   He absolutely hates the cheap walls in these motorhomes, so he has actually carpeted some of the walls in the bedroom and main living area with a nice Berber.   It actually looks really nice and makes everything look a lot warmer and homier.  And we now have a name for the motorhome.   It has officially been dubbed “The Flying Carpet”.

Stapling carpet to the bedroom wall

Bookshelf Gar built me

The dash all torn apart for the new super cool stuff