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All Tucked In (but not for long!)

Before leaving Victoria on Tuesday, Kevin and I walked over to old town to get some breakfast at Jam Cafe. A local had recommended this spot earlier in the week, and I in turn had passed that recommendation on to boat neighbors Jeff and Kim a few days prior (hi guys!!). Jeff and Kim went for brunch on Sunday and raved about it, so we really had no choice but to check it out before leaving, and we’re glad we did! The food was delicious, and we’ll definitely go back next time we’re in town. (I had an off-menu special — pulled pork on a crunchy tortilla, topped with poached eggs and some sauce I forgot what kind and avocado and I dunno what else but it was amazing, and Kevin had a “Charlie Bowl”–Jam’s version of a hash with crumbled biscuit, hash browns, diced ham, bacon, corn salsa, peas, green onions, cheddar and sausage gravy topped with two sunny side eggs. I liked mine the best.)

The cruise back to Anacortes from Victoria was foggy then sunny but the whole time calm calm calm!

The forecast for Tuesday for the Strait of Juan de Fuca was spot-on…and a great day to cross back into the U.S. We cleared U.S. Customs easily and by phone (yay Nexus!) and returned to Anacortes right around 4pm.

In the morning, we got up fairly early to start the process of cleaning and unpacking. I began by washing Airship, and Kevin went to see if the truck would start. Unfortunately, the battery was dead, in spite of the solar trickle charger we’d left on it (the one that worked great last summer), so he took it (in a dock cart) over to a local shop to have charged and/or replaced if that didn’t work. (That worked…battery’s great and the truck started fine with it after a couple hours of charging.)

After Airship was shiny, we needed to address the leak in the dinghy. We thought we’d found the tiny pinprick hole (ahem, someone wasn’t careful with their fishhook!) and patched it successfully, but the port side was still slowly losing air. We removed the outboard and took it in a cart up to the truck (we’ll take it back to the shop where we bought it for its annual maintenance) and then pulled the dinghy up onto the dock for inspection. After spraying soapy water all around the area on and adjacent to the first hole we patched, we found TWO more tiny pinpricks that were leaking air. One patch covered them both, and we think we’re good to go. (Be careful of those fishhooks!)

While we were working on finding the leak, we also started a bit of dinghy cleaning…which turned into a whole ‘nother project. We’d never been able to find anything that worked WELL for cleaning the dinghy…everything we tried required SO. MUCH. SCRUBBING! Our dinghy is mounted on a davit off the swim step, and the port bow of it gets a bit of exhaust while under way, and that gray builds up fast. For some reason, we’d never tried (until now) this cleaner that West Marine carries, called (creatively): Inflatable Boat Cleaner (and Protectant…comes in a two-pack).

We used one entire bottle of the cleaner and went back for two more — it worked so well!! We’re going to have a clean dinghy from now on!

So, after washing Airship (which is always a good way to quell any thoughts of a bigger boat…at least for a day or so), scrubbing the Zodiac, removing the outboard, several trips to deal with the truck battery issue, and I don’t know how many trips hauling stuff in dock carts to the truck, cleaning the interior of Airship so she’s all ready for whatever comes next…we were ready to head back to Portland…at 5:30pm. We stopped for dinner at Coa Mexican Eatery in Mt. Vernon (figuring the longer we waited, the less traffic through Seattle we’d hit…plus, those prawns!) and returned to Portland just after 10:30pm. We unloaded the truck, had a glass of wine, and then hit the sack. Long day!

After some work trips and a couple photo shoots in my studio here in Portland over the next two weeks, we’ll be heading back up to meet friends in the San Juans. I already can’t wait. We have a lovely home here in Portland, but my heart is on the water.