Monday, May 16, 2016

We finally made it to Seattle!

After four weeks in Sylvia, the camper van portion of the trip came to an end. After a quick overnight in Portland where we visited another one of Jason's high school buddies and his family, we arrived in Seattle where Sylvia and Marinero finally got to meet. Not exactly the quickest way to get to Seattle from Montana but it sure was a lot of fun. Sylvia fits right in with all of the other Vanagons in the neighborhood and should feel right at home for the next three months while we sail through British Columbia on Marinero.

Originally we were scheduled to get in on a Tuesday but I saw that the weather was supposed to be 88 on Monday so I pushed for an early arrival. Mission accomplished. We arrived Monday amidst glorious warm weather. What I hadn't anticipated was how hot I would be as I unpacked the camper van, did laundry and moved everything into Marinero. I was a sweaty mess and, combined with all of the food I had ordered from Amazon, it looked like Sylvia had puked all of her insides into Marinero. I'm not sure what I was thinking.

Jason spent the week in the office and we had a hectic time getting everything ready before Grandpa was due to join us for the start of our trip. We spent our first morning putting up a brand new main sail that we had commissioned over the winter. Hand-stitched by a pair of German sail-master brothers, it's absolutely gorgeous and sails like a dream. That evening we met my cousin and her husband for a lovely dinner in West Seattle. The following day marked the first day of my food hoarding. I like to provision in stages so I can see how much room I have left and then I go buy more. Throughout the week I made three stops at the grocery store where I spent an obscene amount of money. The credit card company even shut down my credit card in an effort to save me from myself. It didn't work. We are now provisioned for forty+ nights of food on the boat.

The next few days were filled with lots of activity: catch-up on school, dinners with friends, a little yoga, putting up the newly-fixed jib, buying a new BBQ since our old one had two settings, off and raging inferno. Literally. People thought our boat was on fire every time we used it. Over the weekend, we spent an afternoon on a test sail to make sure everything was in order. And, of course, we had multiple trips to my favorite bakery for cardamom pretzels throughout the week.

On Mother's Day we had one final Sylvia fiasco. We spent a lazy day at the farmers market followed by a cardamom pretzel run and a stroll through the neighborhood. On the way to dinner at our favorite pizza place in Seattle, Sylvia had some technical difficulties. Her idle had been running very rough since we dropped and the adjustment screw for the idle won't budge so we just dealt with having to feather the gas while we were stopped at a light to keep her from dying. On the way to dinner she had decided she had had enough of that. When I climbed out of the van to reserve a spot in line at the restaurant the air hung heavy with the smell of antifreeze. After Jason drove away to find a parking spot I saw a gigantic puddle of antifreeze on the ground. Doh! I got our name on the hour-long wait list and went back to the van. Isaac and I held the bed up and out of the way while Jason peered into the engine. Turns out that the violent shaking of Sylvia's low-idling engine broke an antifreeze line right off. Luckily there was a ReachNow car just around the corner that we could borrow through Jason's magical ReachNow app so we located the nearest car parts store that he could drive to. Aaron needed a bathroom pit-stop so we decided I would wait with him at the restaurant (while enjoying a glass of red wine) and Jason and Isaac would run to get a new anti-freeze line. I think I got the better end of that bargain. Jason and Isaac returned just in time to order pizza with us and then they dashed off to replace the line. They managed to get it back on the engine and squeezed back in just after our pizza arrived. My heroes!

The day of Grandpa's arrival finally came and Jason received a text early in the morning from him. He had thrown out his back and could hardly get dressed that morning. He couldn't sit and was currently at urgent care. Grandpa wasn't going to make it out :(. Sad. Everyone was very bummed that he wouldn't be joining us on the boat for our first week. We are hoping he feels better soon and the stars will align properly and we will be able to get him on the boat later this summer.

Click here for photos.

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