Thursday, May 23, 2013

Anchoring, Sweet Salem, and TJ's

We had planned on anchoring out last Friday night, but the weather was shitty, and we still hadn't solved the riddle of the engine.

Jake worked more on the engine Sunday morning. Feedback to Jake's Cruiser's Forum post informed us that Yanmar engines are known for intermittent starts. The feedback suggested two work-arounds: 1) increase the size of the wires to the solenoid, or 2) add an additional relay to the system to increase the current. Jake opted for fix #2. Installing the additional relay went fairly quickly, but realizing that the relay was polarized took a bit of brain-crunching. I heard quite a few mentions of "Jesus Christ" as Jake was working on the engine; the engine dilemma either converted Jake or convinced him to remain an atheist.

With the engine finally working (it now reliably starts with every push of the button!), we set out Sunday afternoon to spend a night at anchor. The winds weren't exactly fabulous for sailing, and we knew we needed to motor back somewhat earlier in the morning--after all, it was a "school night." So, we only ventured about a mile east of the marina. Even though we didn't do a whole lot of sailing, we had a really great time.

We sailed for awhile alongside our friends John & Debbie on
their beautiful ketch, "Midnight Sun."
Jake on the bowsprit. This is definitely an OKCupid-quality photo. :)
Me, walking around the deck, doin' somethin' very important, I'm sure.

We watched the sunset up on deck, underneath Jake's stinky "bachelor blanket."

As you may or may not know, we have a kitty living onboard with us. Salem is an adorable tortie. She's truly a great cat, especially when she "makes biscuits" (does her cat kneading thing) on my back. When she gives me a back rub, I join Salem in a delightful "feel good" purring duet.

Sweet Salem.

Jake's parents graciously offered to take care of Salem while we are away, and so we drove to the grandparents' house (Salem's grandparents, that is) to drop off kitty and her belongings. We made the three-hour drive to Crooked River Ranch (where Jake's parents reside) last night, and then we made the trek home this morning.

Jake's parents live very near to Smith Rock. How heartbreaking to have been so close but not be able to climb! I have not yet climbed at Smith Rock. Be not concerned, my friends, it is on my Conquer List.

During the entire ride (or at least the portions where I wasn't fast asleep), I was imagining that I was biking the route, rather than zipping along in an automobile. My imagination had me slowly taking in the views of Mt. Hood, the rivers, the basalt columns. Breathing the fresh air. Feeling alive. The drive was absolutely gorgeous--I look forward to exploring Oregon on my bike.

There will be about two and a half weeks that will pass before Jake and I meet up in Minneapolis. I asked Jake if he was going to miss having his two girls around (Salem being one girl, and me being the other). Jake said, "No, I'm looking forward to skipping my daily push-ups, eating lots of shrimp, watching tons of porn, and farting often and loudly." Though this is a typical response for most guys, it was hilarious coming from the mouth of my dorky Jake, who is just about as software-nerdy as they come.

These "Milk Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Pretzels" are Jake's favorite Trader Joe's item. I affectionally refer to them as "shrimp" (mentioned above),
as I think the packaging looks pretty shrimp-like.

And while we're on the subject of Trader Joe's, I'd like to take this opportunity for an advertisement. As a minimalist, I hate everything and anything that reeks of product promotion. So, my desire here to actually promote a tangible good is a pretty clear indication that the below product is a damn good one.

My dear cycling friend, Cassie, who lives in Vancouver, BC, turned me onto Cookie Butter. Better known as Speculoos, this spread is made of crushed biscuits and reminds the tongue of gingerbread. This stuff is the bomb. T. H. E. B. O. M. B. Think not peanut butter; this is essentially cookies in a jar, ladies and gentlemen. I eat this stuff with a spoon, and I can easily finish off a jar in x days, where x represents a number for which I am quite ashamed.

My favorite item at Trader Joe's.

Wow, it's a truly rare blog entry that makes mentions of "biscuits" twice--in two entirely different contexts! Go biscuits!


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