Holiday weekends are an opportunity for s/v Don Quixote to attempt to head in precisely the opposite direction as the rest of Seattle. I have become exceedingly risk averse when it comes to occassional sailors with limited experience of their own ground tackle.
This year we popped around the south end of Bainbridge Island and up to a little state marine park called Illahee. I recommend this park to fellow northwest boaters, particularly those with children. Good mud achorage, five mooring balls, beautiful park, great beach, dock to fish off, playground, and everything seeded with clams and oysters. It's not a place to go with strong southerlies, northerlies, easterlies, or any other damn wind. It's just not. It's a place to go when the weather is lovely, the kids want to play, and you want to take a nice walk in the woods. And this weekend it was. Lovely, that is. Perfect wind during the days, perfect calm during the night.
Dr C's parents joined us for the overnight. We've sailed with them enough that this addition to the boat is increasingly comfortable. They fit into the erector set of our lives almost seamlessly. This is good because they are a very active couple, veteran travelers and long term live aboard cruisers themselves for nearly three years. I anticipate we will see a great deal of them on our journeys. The fact that we were able to plug them into the boat life this weekend with nary a pause nor a fuss makes the prospect of routinely picking them up in exotic ports of call an easy one to contemplate.
The girls finally broke out The Island. The Island probably merits an entire article unto itself. Suffice it to say that this blow up structure is nearly as big as our boat and the girls absolutely love it. I have no clue how they can swim in this water which even in late summer is roughly the temparature of a well prepared martini. They emerge from their abulations with blue lips and splochy skin and grins so wide their ears disappear.
And last, but not least, we started school again this weekend. Officially, that is. We spent the summer successfully strewing crap all over house, van and boat. It is with glee I can refer to this strewing as unschooling rather than simply the actions of a lazy mother failing to pick up after herself. Yet while I am willing to concede that this approach does engage children and they learn oodles, I'm a stickler for a bit of the more formal approach to education. This weekend we dove back into our traditional workbooks, tackling a bit of this and a bit of that... mostly grammar and math. Of course, it was a delight to see that after finishing our “required school work”, Jaime and Aeron pulled out the magnets science lab during “free choice” and went to town making a leaning tower of magnetism and a homemade compass.
At present, my father in law and I are sitting in the cockpit, reading, typing, enjoying the still early morning with the best lattes ever. All I need to feel complete is for an open, unmanaged, wifi signal to drift over my boat entwined in the light morning haze.