Still Life on a Mooring

So we’re on a mooring.

As much as we dissed it last summer, having a 400 pound anchor with battleship chain makes for a restful night under all conditions.

(You got me tied down with battleship chains, 50 foot long with a 2-ton anchor…)

We were at anchor here for a while – you may remember our account of the storm.  Then we went into the dock for a little while. During that time, I started some projects.  The cockpit coamings were due for a new coat of paint.  But the big’un was the jib sheet winches.  Whew.  We hadn’t done a cleaning and regreasing yet – 4 years in with pretty constant use, and it was time.

After struggling with the retaining nut at the top for three days – soaking the bronze/stainless mating surface with Liquid Wrench and hammering at it (in the process, smashing my thumb and losing our mallet overboard…grrr, argh) – I separated the pieces and went to town on cleaning them up.

A lot of grease where it belongs and none on the pawls and springs (machine oil for those), and they went back together easily.  Now the motion is smooth and the pawls click into their teeth, making a nice crisp snapping sound.  Just like new.  Goes to show the quality of Barient winches.

And now we’re at home for the summer.

The up-sides:

The sunrises have been breathtaking and they are unencumbered by the structures of shore.  Since James leaves the boat at 6:15, I (Dena) get in the little boat with him and blink sleepily at all the beauty.  He gets up a little earlier in order to have coffee, and he gets the real glory.

Then I row back to the boat and have my own coffee before starting my day.  This rowing back and forth is only the beginning.  Our little commuter vessel is getting quite the workout.  There’s ferrying James twice a day, plus my trips to the grocery store and/or gym.

As soon as we got on the mooring and Dena took off to Montana, in classic New England fashion, it got cold and rained for a week.  Me (James) and the cat were struggling to keep each other warm and dry.  More testament to our fine equipment buying skills – the Cozy Cabin heater worked wonderfully.

Though the rain has passed over for now, we are getting daily doses of heavy fog – once again, in best New England fashion.

Just in case you’re wondering, this is all up-sides.

The star of these photos is the wooden schooner that showed up this week.  It’s from Port Townsend, owned by Anacortes natives, and being suckers for schooners, you’re bound to see lots of shots of it throughout the summer.  It’s also our nearest neighbor and does lovely things for the view.

Leaving you now, we present a Reflections shot of our new neighbor.



  1. Great to read that all is good. I hope your summer goes well. The title and the last pic are a great combo. Once again and as always, Aloha my friend.

  2. Nice photos. The last one looks like a surrealistic oil painting.

    It’s nice that the weather is so agreeable. It is getting rather nice on the Chesapeake.

    Cozy Cabin heater: I googled and found two made by Sig, one propane and one solid fuel (wood, charcoal, pellets, etc.). Just wondering which you have. If solid fuel, what do you like to burn in it?

    It had been a while since your last post . I am glad to hear that everything is going well . . . except for leaving for work at 6:15am, ha!

    James and the cat keeping each other warm and dry. That would make a fine picture. Is Dena jealous, and if so, of which one? 🙂

    Alan Gilmore

  3. Hahahaha, right Alan? Which one?
    I’m jealous. Of the rowboat.

    Missed you, friends. I’m jazzed to hear about your day to day beauties and fogs, rowing and greasings. There’s nothing too mundane for you to report as far as I’m concerned. Your intrepid spaceship is full of curiosities, pleasures, and dilemmas I could never imagine without your lens.
    Enjoy your isolation on the mooring and the quiet of pre-season calm. I reckon private and still won’t last too long.

  4. Hey Tom,
    Indeed all is good! When I was working at Koyo in Kona I had almost the very same distance of bike ride in the morning (8 miles) but that was all flatland riding, this ride is through the hill country of New England and is a much bigger deal… It also might be the fact that I’m a little now… Neh!

  5. Hey Alan,
    Taking beautiful pictures of life on the water is about the easiest thing in the world… Just point and shoot! But thanks.
    We have the propane Cozy Cabin and it really works well. This is our 4th winter using this heater and we don’t have any complaints. On the high setting (it has two settings) it will heat up the cabin to a pretty comfortable level in about a half an hour after that we leave it on the lower setting to maintain the temp kicking it up to high every hour or so… I think if I was to spend the money again I’d go with the “burns anything” style simply because you can’t get propane everywhere and that is kind of scary if you think about it…

  6. Kate,
    …You got that right about the peace and quiet. It is now Memorial Day and there was a constant wake beating at our topsides at 5:00am this morning. Ok, summer has begun.

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