Friday, March 9, 2012

Epilogue: This Cruising Chapter of Our Lives Comes to a Close

March 7, 2012
CAPAZ is no longer our boat.  She has new owners.  People keep asking how I feel about the sale and the answer has been that I feel like it hasn't hit me yet.  However, as I opened my long dormant Blogger Account to write my final post, the real answer that I think always I knew was underlying my apathy is already starting to well up inside of me.

Brad and I are quickly approaching the 20th anniversary of our first date.  I don't remember talking about cruising that night, but the first conversation couldn't have been too long after it.  "Going Cruising" has always been a part of our relationship.  It was a constant but dymanic dream and goal that evolved as our lives unfolded.  There have been many relationships and decisions over the years that have been touched by its presence with us. 

I am so greatful that I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to take the time to have a great adventure with my family aboard CAPAZ.  I have learned so much, made such great friends and experienced so many things that would not have been available to me had I not followed this dream.

Part of the reason that I don't feel a huge loss with CAPAZ's sale is that we bought her almost four years ago knowing she would not be in our lives for a long time.  Don't get me wrong, CAPAZ was a great boat, in so many ways, really the perfect boat for us.  But our goal was never to sail away or live aboard forever.  I have told many people:  Brad and I figure that we will probably working in some capacity for the rest of our lives, so we might as well take a year or two of "retirement" when we can really enjoy it with our boys.  That was our goal.  We also said that if we had to sell our house to make it happen, we would do that too.  So, for me, CAPAZ's sale was just the next step along the path.

I had fully intended to write a few blog posts about the re-entry process, but it seemed like the time I had been using for keeping up this blog while we were cruising was taken up by other landbased activities.  We have lived on land for close to a year now after being "live aboards" for almost two and half years.  While I love being home in Seattle, back near family, friends and familiarity, there are so many things about a simpler, slower paced cruising life that I try to keep with me.  There have been challenges along the way, for sure, but they are far out weighed by the richness and flexibility that I gained from stepping out of my "regular" life and doing something out of the norm for awhile.

"Going Cruising" is still and will continue to a be part of Brad's and my lives in our work and even looking toward another adventure in our future.  It is not clear when or how it will happen, but then again it wasn't ever very clear how the first 20 years were going to work out.  So, I hope that CAPAZ takes care of her next owners as capably as she took care of us and the two families who sailed away aboard her before us.  For me, I am ready for the next step . . . . . . . .whatever it might be.

PJ Baker

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Roll Credits

Seattle, WA, USA

If it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes something else altogether to make an adventure like ours possible. . . . . . .

Primary Capaz Crew:  Brad Baker; PJ Baker; Bryce Baker; Austin Baker

Hawaii to Seattle Leg:  Brian Trautman; Kurt Hoehne; Eric Rone
Port Townsend to Seattle Leg:  Abby Hoehne; Erin Russ; Ian Hoehne
Seattle to San Francisco Leg: Curtis Edwards; Ryan Malmgren
Baja Ha Ha Leg:  Mary Murphy
Mexico to Marquesas Leg: Tim Larson
Tahiti to Rangiroa Leg: Lon Volberding
Tahiti to Honolulu Leg: Lydia Volberding
Honolulu to Victoria Leg:  Dave McWhirter; Harold Beard; Randy Holbrook
Victoria to North Saanich Leg:  Mary Tennbrink and Ray Harker
Princess Louisa Leg: Rose Custer
Immediate Response Water Based Support (aka Buddy Boat):  The Crew of Totem
EPIRB Monitor:  John and Vennessa Austin
Alameda Dock Based Support:  Jim and Diana Jessie; The Crew of Evergreen
San Diego Land Based Support: Dave Rowe
Cabo San Lucas Land Based Support: Stuart and Pam Burnell
La Paz Land Based Support:  Tiff McNamara
La Cruz de Huanaxastle Land Based Support:  Ron and CJ Anderson; Amy Martin; Bob and Kris Ridenour
Bucerias Land Based Support: Jack and Ellie Austin
Victoria Land Based Support: Ruth, Lecia, and Mylan Ilnytsky
West Vancouver Land Based Support:  The Crew of Mulan
Port Coquitlan Land Based Support:  The Crew of Blackdragon
Lopez Island Land Based Support: Becca Galfer and Derek Bottles
Seattle-Mexico Couriers:  Mike Spear; Lynn McNulty; Ty Burks
Seattle-Marquesas Courier: Kelly Scholl
San Diego Moorage Procurement:  Barbara and Harry Lee
Sail and Racing Support: Chuck Skewes
Cat Care:  Carrie and Rex Rice; The Harang Family
Mail and Business Support:  The Crew of Charlotte
Marine Biology Consultant: The Crew of Io
Math Tutoring:  The Crew of Bella Marina
Entertainment Coordinators:  The Crew of Delos
Mexico Child Interaction Support: The Crews of 4 Pack, Ceilydh, Ohana, Evergreen and Blackdragon
South Pacific Child Interaction Support:  The Crews of Stray Kitty, Silver Lining, Victoria, Oso Blanco, Nika, Riga, and Mulan
All Around Water Based Support:  The Crews of Oso Blanco and Jarana

We are sure there are more of you out there who should be on this list and we would really like it to be complete, so let us know ASAP!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

1 Year 1 Month 18 Days 22 Hours Later

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Slip F-39, Shilshole Marina, Seattle, WA, USA (Home)

October 19, 2010

Ready or not, here we come!  RE-ENTRY.

We have officially be ended our adventure this afternoon as we tie up to our home dock at Shilshole.  And so the next chapter starts in our lives: the transition back to a life similar to the one we left at the same dock a little over a year ago.  It won’t be the exactly like picking up where we left off because the experiences we have all had will certainly have changed us to a certain extent.  We all have new perspectives and habits that we hope to bring to our land-based life.

We are houseless having sold our little Greenwood house on Palatine Avenue in part to ensure that this whole thing could happen.  CAPAZ will be our home for the near future and Shilshole is where we will be moored for the most part. 

We are going to try to take this transition period last until about the first of the year, but there have already been indications that the goal of easing into things may not always be on the time schedule of our choice.  Case in point, tomorrow will be Back-to Work day!  It is all a good thing and we will enjoy what we can along the way.

One of the most exciting parts of this transition is re-connecting with all those we left on land (not to mention, maintaining connections with those we left “out there”).  We are reachable at the old contact info and are looking forward to catching up with people.

I am sure time will be bring some interesting perspectives that I will post as they come to me in a sort of epilogue, but this is the last official entry for our big adventure.  Thanks for tuning in, we have loved having you along for our wide ride!


Brad, PJ, Bryce and Austin Baker

The Crew of CAPAZ

Friday, October 15, 2010

Back in the USA

October 15, 2010

Friday Harbor, Patos Islands, and Henry Island, WASHINGTON, USA

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Friday Harbor was our Port of Entry back into the United States.  It really great to be once again plying our home waters.  It is actually bittersweet as our sabbatical adventure draws to a close.  We know that LIFE itself is an adventure and it will continue, but we are little sad to have this chapter of it ending.

Before we return, though, we are still exploring “in our backyard” as they say.  Two nights in Friday harbor got us checked in and caught with our daily and re-entry tasks.  We received the news that West Coast Yachts has been acquired by Swiftsure Yachts and we are now the official dealer for Hallberg Rassy.   This turn of events is fabulous, but will hasten our re-entry process.

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With that in mind, we skipped Matia and Sucia, vowing to return soon so that the boys can check out these favorite local cruising destinations.  We opted for a much smaller spot suggested by a friend.  We had not, one, but two small islands to ourselves.  We explored the trails and the lighthouse and had marshmallows over a campfire.  Even on the “0” tide, we didn’t quite touch bottom.

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Our trip down to Roche Harbor unfolded under typical Northwest gray skies, not too cold and not raining.  As we ate dinner at the dock at Henry Island, we were treated to an incredible sunset out toward Haro Strait with the most definite line of clearing heading our direction.  There is something about the variation of weather or the angle of the sun on a clear day in fall here that is so different from the monotony of the blaring sun of the tropic.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the day after day of clear sunny weather that we encountered over the last year with only a handful of days that would even be considered “inclement” to Northwest Natives.  But I am definitely hard wired to rejoice in day like today here.

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Tour de Vancouver (Part 2)

October 10, 2010

We must call the full Tour de Vancouver a screaming success.  The downtown Vancouver leg has had its uncertainty in the moorage department, but overall it has worked out beautifully.

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Last Monday, we headed south from West Van through the drizzle.  We finally reached a real person at the False Creek Yacht Club and secured moorage.  The moorage manager was off to a meeting when we arrived, so Brad and Austin stayed with the boat at the check-in boat to await his return and complete the process.  Meanwhile, Bryce and I walked to the other end of False Creek to check on the status of Science World particularly enjoying the abundant art along the way.

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Tuesday, we scootered and rode bikes to the Vancouver Maritime Museum.  We learned alot about the history of Vancouver from the maritime perspective.  There was a picnic lunch next to an incredibly tall totem pole.  During our meal, we were joined by a bald eagle who hung out at the very top of the pole.  Bryce and I figured out the short way back to the boat over the Burrard Bridge, but our gelato stop gave Brad and Austin “first ones back to the boat” status as they rode all the way around False Creek.

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Wednesday was an absolutely gorgeous day in Vancouver.  We needed to move the boat from False Creek Yacht Club to anchor in Charleson Bay farther up False Creek.  So, after grabbing breakfast at the Granville Island Public Market, we pulled the boat out and returned to the free three hour moorage right in front of the Market and did a little more exploring before heading up to the anchorage.  We found a nice spot, anchored CAPAZ and then Brad and I had Bryce take us ashore with the bikes.  We took the bike trails to Coal Harbor and then returned to False Creek ending our ride with a pint of beer at a pub under the Burrard Bridge.

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Thursday’s impending weather change made it hard to get motivated to do anything more than get schoolwork done and just hang out on the boat.  At 4:15  pm, we got a call that there was a spot for us at the Vancouver Rowing Club’s docks in Coal Harbor.  We sprang into action, pulled the anchor, proceeded around Stanely Park and were tied up, checked in and on our way to the Gastown Spaghetti Factory for dinner by 6:30!  It was a bit of a walk, but we got to see alot of the Vancouver waterfront. 

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Before the rains started on Friday, I hopped on the bike after breakfast and tried out the Seawall Bike Trail around Stanley Park.  With the weather turning, there were  few people using the trail and the scenery was fabulous.  In the afternoon, we walked back downtown and found the Burrard Skytrain station and caught the light rail out to Coquitlan.  We were met by our cruising buddies from Blackdragon and chauffeured back to their base of land operations in Port Coquitlan.  We enjoyed mocajitos and stevaritas which were followed by cards and guitar hero.  The boys were in Lego heaven with Foster and also went to cheer him on at his first basketball game.

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After cinnamon sticky buns, lattes and a lazy morning, Steve returned us to the boat where we did a quick check to make sure that all was well and hopped on a bus to West Van to share Thanksgiving dinner with the Mulanians.  The bus driver was completely annoyed with us because we didn’t have all coins for the fare and he said we couldn’t use paper money.  Now, I understand not being able to give change, but why should the transit people care if you give them paper money or not.  Anyway, we were saved by a guy with guitar who just gave us the two “twonoonies” ($2 coins, a loonie is a $1 coin with a loon on it).  He wouldn’t even take the $5 bill that I had at first, but we insisted.  He felt bad because he didn’t have another dollar to make it a fair trade.  We insisted that saving our bacon was worth at least a dollar!  Anyway, we made it out to Vancouver where the turkey was already in the oven and there was just enough to make a quick loop around Point Adkin’s Lightouse Park.  We got a little damp, but we were ready for the feast the was just about ready when we got back to the house.

Today is Brad and my anniversary.  After a breakfast of waffles, we hopped on the bikes and rode around the Seawall Trail in Stanely (much more crowded, with the good weather and being Sunday).  After radioing the boys back on Capaz and finding that all was well, we continued south to Jerico and the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club where we had a great lunch.  We sat in the bar and watched a small boat regatta our in front of the yacht club.  We couldn’t let this gorgeous day go by without the boys getting out and enjoying some of Stanely Park.  So when we returned to Coal Harbor, Brad and the boys walked up to check out the Aquarium.

I would like to say we have “done” Vancouver, but I know we have only scratched the surface and will have to return explore it more.  Luckily, we have the excuse of the friends that we made while cruising to do just that! 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tour de Vancouver (Part 1)

October 3, 2010

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The West Vancouver leg of our Tour de Vancouver has been a success, but not without its challenges.  Moorage has been incredibly hard to come by in this neck of the woods and there is no place to anchor due to the “inflow/outflow'” weather pattern in Howe Sound.  After striking out at West Vancouver Yacht Club, Eagle Harbor Yacht and the Thunderbird Marina, we finally found moorage for the weekend at Sewell’s Marina in Horseshoe Bay.  We are right next to one of the busiest ferry docks in Canada, maybe the world.  We are getting used to the BC ferries as we have also moored or anchored very near them in Campbell River, Snug Cove, and Drew Bay.

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After securing moorage, we met up with our fellow cruisers from Mulan at their land base of operation in Fisherman’s Cove in West Vancouver.  They were completely welcoming of us into their home including a trip to Costco and making us in a part of a reunion barbecue that they hosted for everyone who had bee a part of the Mulan adventure!  It was great to see those that we had already met along the way again and meet the others who had served as crew on Mulan at various times.  Finally, even though it was actually Susan and Andrew’s wedding anniversary, they gave us the gift of an evening and most of a day without kids.

When the Mulan crew returned the kid half of the Capaz crew to the boat, we were all joined by the Blackdragon crew for a Sunday afternoon and early evening of catching up and dinner.  Both of the newly land based cruisers commented that even though hanging on the boat was familiar, it was also a bit weird for them.  There was alot of discussion of the process of “re-entry”.    We are all in different stages and it was nice to hear the insights of those a little farther down the road than we are.  One CLOD (cruiser living on dirt) told us that rum helps – I think that has been the best advice thus far – especially when shared in the company of friends!


Just to alleviate any confusion when I mention “painkillers” during our transition time!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Waterfall Wonderland

Princess Louisa, British Columbia, Canada

September 25-27, 2010

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Why “Waterfall Wonderland”? Well, it was! The up side of having some rain fall is that it makes for absolutely spectacular waterfalls. They were so numerous that we lost count and then the centerpiece of Princess Louisa Inlet, Chatterbox Falls was pretty amazing when we arrived. After Saturday night’s torrential rainfall all night long, the Falls were a once in a lifetime sight for us.

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We were very lucky to have our good friend, Rose, along with us for the trip up Jervis Inlet. She arrived late Friday night and did not complain at all when we left at 7:00am to time the slack tide at Malibu Rapids. The trip up was uneventful and we only saw a few minutes of bumpy water right where the locals had said we would at Egmont, the opening to the Skookumchuck Narrows and Sechelt Inlet. After that, it was smooth motoring. The trip through the Rapids was also, uneventful, thankfully.

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There were only two other sailboats at the dock when we arrived and they were very welcoming. Our first night brought the above mentioned torrential rains, but Sunday dawned misty and beautiful although, this time of year it takes until mid morning for the sun to peek over the tops of walls of the Inlet. Rose and I explored the Beyond Malibu site which is pretty well boarded up for the season. After lunch, Brad and I climbed the near vertical “trail” to the mythic trapper’s cabin. Convinced we had made a wrong turn, we stopped about a hundred yards from an impassable waterfall only to find out upon our equally grueling return that we were “there”.

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Monday, we had a relaxing morning before leaving for the early 9:00am slack tide at the Rapids. Just back into Jervis Inlet, we answered the call of a small powerboat that had been on the dock with us the night before and had apparently run out of fuel. We caught up with them after about an hour and towed them back to Pender Harbor (about 30 miles). They offered to take us out to dinner, but all the restaurants were closed because it was Monday!

While we were away from Garden Bay, the resident bear has continued to enjoy the apples that are on the ground at the neighbors’ house. The caretaker and another club member snapped some pictures of what we are supposed to be looking out for!


Re-Entry Update: We are chipping away at our re-entry tasks. We have bought a car. We have secured moorage and live-aboard status at Shilshole. We have laid the groundwork for our return to skiing after two years of not being on or near snow.