Thursday, July 27, 2006

Days One and Two: Fun for All Ages

Day One: Everett to Point Hudson

The ‘Hood cared for us nicely on the 30 mile trip from Everett to Point Hudson, which is without a doubt the coolest, most underrated little marina on Puget Sound. We pulled in after a little more than 5 hours of sailing and motoring on what turned into a very nice day, even if the winds were a little on the slim side. Still, the long reach from Double Bluff on Whidbey Island across to Oak Bay was perfect: 6 knots in flat water.

We grabbed the last slip at Point Hudson and set about being tourists in a town we have been to a hundred times.

Right before I went to bed I checked in on the NOAA forecast for the Straits of Juan de Fuca onWednesday. Here’s a bad recipe:



So I “slept” worrying about the next day’s crossing. There’s only one way from Port Townsend to the San Juans: across the Straits. My drowsy plan: get up and out early, before the winds rose and the waves had a chance to build. We’d have a little ebb tide to ride out into the Straits and if the timing was right we would enter Cattle Pass between San Juan and Lopez Islands at slack. Perfect.

Day Two: How to Take a Pounding

Up at 6:30, we were out of the slip by 7:00 and into thick fog in Admiralty Inlet. Smooth water and no wind. So far, my plan was working. We were doing over 7 knots with the tide and only encountered one tug as we crossed the shipping lanes. As we neared the Whidbey Island side of Admiralty, we turned north and made a course for Lopez Island.

Flashback: Labor Day 2005. Cap’n Ron and GVB, aboard Allegro are headed for Victoria BC, riding a big ebb out of Admiralty Inlet on a perfectly calm morning. Then all hell broke loose as the Point Wilson Rip Tide smacked us down. Massive standing waves with no wind pounded us into submission.

So I knew the rip was there. And I knew it was serious, but I didn’t expect it on this trip since the currents were so mild. I also allowed for it by reaching across to the Whidbey side to get away from the worst of it if it was there.

As soon as I crossed the shipping lane the fog lifted just enough for me to see Point Partridge to the north, and sure enough, there was the line of white caps stretching across the channel. With the current pulling us along we were in it in minutes: just enough time for your timid captain to get some foul weather gear on and make sure the kids and the Admiral had PFDs handy.

The Point Wilson Rip isn’t like most others. Most rip currents in the Sound create swirling water that pushes and pulls you. A little slapping chop is the worst wave action you get out of any of them. But the Point Wilson Rip, with the long westerly swell fetch from the Straits and the entire Puget Sound flushing its toilet out Admiralty Inlet, is a different monster. Add a westerly wind in the Straits and it just gets worse. The waves in the Point Wilson Rip stand straight up and bounce off each other. The current drags you into them and they just beat the crap out of you. The waves are STEEP, breaking, and fast. They come one after the other with no rhythm or predictable sequence. For the helmsman, it’s a nightmare.

Regular waves, no matter how big, are pretty easy to deal with on a sailboat, especially under sail. You hit them at an angle off the bow and ride over them. Last time I crossed the Straits on the ‘Hood I was alone, and that’s all I had: a westerly wind of 10 knots and a 5 foot swell. Perfect.

Today we got pounded. Beaten. Battered. Everything was tied down and stowed fine (Lesson #1 from the Allegro Bashing). And I knew better than to turn around to try to get out of it (Lesson #2 from the Allegro Bashing). And we were fine through most of it, even if the Admiral was both a little angry with my decision to go that way and the first mate was a little green from trying to play Barbies in the forward berth while we were rolling 40 degrees each way and pitching almost vertically over the waves.

Then the wind died. Without wind in the sails the boat whipped around even worse with every wave, and it means we had to fire up the Yanmar Wind to get through it.

There is nothing quite like the sound of a propeller, which is positioned well under the boat, coming out of the water as a wave rolls past you. Except maybe the sound of the cooling water intake coming out of the water and sucking air for a second or two.

This is when the skipper starts pleading with the Yanmar to stay alive. “I know you need seawater to live, but please don’t die, dude.”

The worst and only actual moment of fear came just a half mile before we were out of the Rip: a breaking wave (how waves break in 300 feet of water I’ll never fully comprehend) caught us right under the port stern quarter, lifting the stern up and rolling us to about 40 degrees, which puts the leeward rail in the water. No problem. But when a smaller wave came at us from the other side and grabbed that leeward rail and spun us over another 10 degrees, I was pretty sure I had finally found the combination of events that could capsize the ‘Hood.

Hey Cap’n Ron, remember that conversation we had the other night about cockpit scuppers being able to drain fast enough? Turns out mine work ok.

By the time we passed Partridge Bank the water completely smooth out and the wind built to 15 knots. We beam reached toward Lopez in a building sea (but a normal one) and when we found opposing current coming out of Rosario Strait, we pointed up and opted for Cattle Pass and San Juan Channel instead.

Tucked in now at Rosario for a few nights. Kids in the pool, Mac and Jacks on tap, massage appointments already booked for the Admiral, and some trail running planned for me.

Damage report: ouch. The forward bulkhead broke loose of its tabbing and is now rubbing against the hull. Something in the steering quadrant is either broken or loose, which will require me to take apart the entire aft cabin today in order to inspect it.

Oh, and one of my favorite pair of Julbo sunglasses took the big swim.

And the vent on the holding tank is clogged. Yummy.

That is all for now.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Sailing Away

We’re out. The ‘Hood is fueled up and fully loaded. Port Townsend, Rosario, and points north. See you in August.

The kids dragged me to the pool today, on my rest day, but I decided I could still afford a light workout. Ended up doing a 500 and then when the kids weren’t ready to leave, I grabbed a pull-buoy and did another 500 with just the arms. The swimming is coming together, but I still sink. I really do.

The lap pool at the club has underwater speakers. Which is fine but a little over the top. Further over the top in a perfectly cool workout sorta way? Swimming to Guns and Roses “Appetite for Destruction”. As Cap’n Ron said recently, as Quiet Riot played on the ‘Hood, “There’s no music that isn’t good at the right time.”

I hear ya.

However, I have decided that it will be my duty to teach the people of this town a little locker room nudity etiquette. For those who haven’t experienced the men’s side of the locker room, it usually goes something like this: the teenagers (who arguable are the only ones who should be bravely naked) are very modest and usually wear a towel or underwear everywhere they go; the 20 and 30 somethings tend to be unembarrassed but discrete, wearing towels and mostly minimizing the amount of time other men have to spend looking at their balls; and the older men are completely naked before they get all of the way in the door.

Whatever. Fine. Except for the truly gross old dudes, be as naked as you want. But there are rules:

1. The first ones in the sauna or steam room get to establish the cover-up protocol for that session. If you come into the steam room and everyone is naked, feel free. But if you come in and there are four dudes in towels and/or trunks, keep your shit covered. I thought this was common knowledge.
2. Locker proximity matters. If you have to step to the left a few feet to keep from sticking your ass on me while you bend over to pull your shorts on, do it.
3. Dry your shit off at the showers. Don’t drip dry in front of your locker.
4. Look, but don’t stare. Straight or not. Or at the very least, buy me a drink.

More reports from the field. But first, please explain to me how the forecast for Port Townsend can call for northerly winds at 10-20 knots but the forecast for Admiralty Inlet (about a mile east of Port Townsend) can call for southerly winds at 10-15? How the fuck do I plan for that?

Why not push up through Deception Pass, GVB? Good question. Try this on for size: Max ebb, 6.7 knots. Max flood, 7.1 knots. Slack? What’s that?

Weather permitting we will be on a mooring at Rosario Wednesday afternoon. See you there.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

A Lesson in SandBagging, By Cap’n Ron

First, plan a long ride for the following week. Then in every phone and email communication during the preceding week, talk about your lack of training and time away from the bike.

Several times, specifically say, “Dude, you’re gonna have to take it easy on me.”

Then, when it comes time for the ride, tear out of there and average 19 mph as if you haven’t missed a day in the saddle. Oh, but still ride in back and let your partner drag you around the county. “Take it easy on me.” Right.

The fair Cap’n and I did a nice long ride from Stanwood to LaConner today. We really have exceptional luck with these things. We managed to leave Stanwood with a northerly headwind and then turn around at LaConner with a southerly headwind. Try to plan that.

The ride kicked ass. On the last 13 miles or so we averaged 22 mph and then replaced all the burned calories with a late breakfast, complete with a breakfast drink containing tomato juice, celery, olives, Tabasco, and some magic mystery ingredient that they wouldn’t tell us about. Yum.

On another front, can someone please tell me why Snohomish County insists on “repaving” all of the rural roads with tar and gravel? It’s killing me. And the A3. And the Fuji. Ever hear of asphalt? All of my favorite riding and driving routes are now riddled with loose rock and oil. F Word.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Random Blog Content. Try to Keep Up.

Ok, first, it's hot. I'm on the 'Hood right now at the marina and the strongest breeze is coming from the fan that cools my laptop. I just flipped on the instrument panel. Here are the data:

Wind Speed (True): 1 knot
Wind Direction: WNW
Air Tempurature: 91 degrees
Water Tempurature: 61 degrees
Speed: 0 knots

Oh, and the temp down here in the cabin? Don't ask. Still, it's better than being in the basement of the In Law House where Mrs. GVB is pretending she is fine after suffering through gum surgery. Ouch.

Second, Cap'n Ron and I have planned a long ride for tomorrow.
I hit the bike shop today and spent my kids' college fund on some new clothes and tools to get the Fuji back in line. 800 miles into her young life and she's starting to complain about a few things. Has anyone seen the new Giant All Carbon race machine? Wow. Dear Cap'n, I need a raise. Or a job. bike. The Fuji is getting nervous.

The Seattle SuperSonics are sold. Hmmm. Does anyone care? I couldn't resist turning on sportsradio this week to listen to Bill from Tukwilla vent about how Howard Schultz has sold out the city of Seattle and how we should boycott Starbucks. Duh. I was pleasantly surprised by the caller from Everett who blamed the democrats for the Sonics impending move to Oklahoma City...Sure, if Dino Rossi had won the election the Sonics would be playing in a new crystal palace. Right.

Professional Basketball is the worst of the worst. As entertainment it is akin to watching reruns of MASH: interesting and nice as a diversion when there is nothing else to do, but really not something you go out of your way to do. The game has devolved into thuggery. It has lost all drama. The players are mostly distant pricks that you couldn't even imagine saying hello to. The salaries are obscene. The tickets are unaffordable. But mostly...who fucking cares? We live in a world where the New Orleans Jazz became the Utah Jazz. Jazz? In Utah? The Charlotte Hornets became the New Orleans Hornets. What? Now the New Orleans Hornets play in Oklahoma City? What? I am actually hoping the state and city tell the new Sonics' ownership what they want to hear: Fuck You. We're not building you a new arena. Go back to Oklahoma. We have MLB, NFL, and NCAA Division 1. We don't need your shit.

The Good Ship Parenthood sails again on Tuesday for waters north. A couple of days at Rosario, where it appears The Colleague and her family will be recreating as well (small world, much?) and then off to the Gulf Islands for the remainder of the trip. This means a blog blackout, of course, but the training will continue. Trail shoes and swimming trunks. There are lap pools at Rosario and Poet's Cove, and great running routes on all the islands. Updates to come.

The Math Dude and GVB will hit the links in Portland at the end of August.
In theory we are there for a college-related retreat. In reality it is 36 holes at Heron Lakes and Pumpkin Ridge. And, it looks like a dinner and many cocktails with Ralph-o-Matic are in the works. Add a screaming southbound trip in the A3 and the end of the month is looking good.

RPD is still alive.
He was last seen moving into the high-rent offices on campus. I hope the neighbors (me) don't piss him off too much. You know how much I like to listen to my 50 Cent while I grade papers, right?

Oh, and the youngest GVB child turns 3. Happy Birthday you little monster. Now stop hitting your sister.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I'm So Hot, Baby


Nice. This is what we need. Stale air and heat. And of course I have a long run planned for Friday and a decent ride with Cap'n Ron on Saturday. Go early and avoid the heat, I say.

Logged some pool time this morning. Did a 500 before cashing it in and hitting the steam room.

Oh, and by the way, I don't really like hot weather.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

FPP Was Here

The mysterious FPP emerged in Seattle, beers and various foodstuffs were consumed, and then FPP vanished via airliner back to Colombia (via Canada? Odd.)

I know he was here because I was out all night in Seattle on a Monday night and woke up somewhere near Westlake with a headache and a mostly empty wallet.

I also know he was here because my "Recent Calls" log includes several friends from NYC and New Hampshire.

I also also know he was here because at some point we were asking our waitress about her underwear choice (nice, sexy, dirty, or filthy sexy?) and which of the Friends girls she would sleep with.

Oh, and since Mrs. GVB has said to me twice in the last two days: "You're not in Grad School anymore, you know" I know FPP was here. Nothing will provoke an eye roll and dismissive hand gesture from Mrs GVB than the arrival of a Grad School friend in town.

So FPP is gone with a suitcase full of Victoria's Secret panties (ostensibly for his girlfriend back in Colombia, but I think we know better). Good to see you, brother. Don't get dead.

Where's my car?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Like Riding. A Ride Report in 2nd Person.

Start the day being dropped off, with the Fuji, at the marina. For 3 hours, pull wire, change engine oil, clean bilge, check hose clamps on cooling system, install remote for stereo, offload the beer bottles from last weekend (and realize that you may have found the source of Cap'n Ron's headache from last Sunday)…then lock up the boat, clip into the pedals and start north.

But the thing is, the best route north starts out going south to pick up Highway 2 across the river, then east to the far side of the valley, then north. 12 miles in and you are only as far north as you started 35 minutes ago.

You’ve done this much of the route with Cap’n Ron before, but when you hit Marysville you stay east and head up toward Arlington.

This is when you start to really notice the signs along the road:

Jesus Has Risen. Eternity? Where?

Help Wanted: Portable Toilet Technician.

Refuse Center Next Left.

Dump No Refuse.

Manure/Compost $10 a load.

Grandpa’s Fresh Oysters. Open Daily.

Pavement is Forever.

It’s Grandpa’s Oysters that get you. Fresh oysters in Arlington, purchased from the back of an old Chevy? You’re not so sure. And you like oysters. You really like oysters. Ask anyone, they’ll say you really like oysters.

Just before you head west on Highway 530 toward Silvana and Stanwood, the obligatory Ford F-150 pulls alongside you, slows to your speed (22 miles per hour, you notice) and does the little fake-out swerve trick like he’s going to run you off the road. After three or four of these moves, you reach out and bash the side of his truck with your water bottle, prompting the tiresome and predictable, “get off the road, asshole!”

“No,” you say. “You get off the road. I was here first.”

Your wannabe redneck then steps on the gas and you laugh as it lumbers down the road, imagining what that would look like in your own car.

The real fun comes when you catch up to F-150 driver at the stoplight. You’re stupid but not suicidal, so you stop next to his rear bumper rather than pull forward to his passenger window. People out here don’t shoot each other much, but just to be safe….

West now on Highway 530 into the teeth of a surprisingly strong westerly wind. It feels like 30 knots, you realize. A lesson in apparent wind speeds. It IS 30 knots. A 15 knot wind and 15 mph of speed.

Silvana, though, is where your thinking starts to fail you. Tired of the headwind, you just can’t stomach the thought of riding west out the river delta to Stanwood, straight into the breeze. So like an asshole, you turn left on a road that will shorten your distance by 5 miles or so. What have you done? You traded a long flat route into the wind for a short(er) hilly route. Duh. When given the choice next time, take the flat road.

As your Garmin beeps at you for passing the 40 mile mark you are on the last stretch to the house, past the lake that you will start swim training in next week. And you think as you ride past the little boat launch, “If I had to stop here and swim across this lake, I’d die. Truly die.”

And this is where you almost really die. You forgot about the Big Black Dog. This dog, one of these days, is going to get a size 10.5 Shimano right in his grill, if only you can get your foot out of the pedal in time…

Home. You find on the counter three new arrivals from Netflix that you put in your queue over a month ago. Among them is “Jack Johsnon: Live in Japan” which you immediately pop into the DVD player and watch as you update your blog. Not a bad day.

Before you fall asleep on the couch, the last thing you remember thinking is “Where should we go out for dinner? Because I’m not cooking anything.”

Friday, July 14, 2006

Welcome Home Heroes! You're Fired.


Rome, Italy: Italian Serie A football clubs Juventus, Lazio and Fiorentina have been demoted to Serie B after a massive match fixing scandal has come to light. 13 of the 23 players from the Italian national team that just won the World Cup are on those teams.

For the socccer-impaired, European soccer leagues have a demotion system in which the team with the lowest point totals in Serie A gets moved to Serie B and the highest Serie B team gets moved up to Serie A to play with the big boys. Imagine if the last place team in the American League was moved to Triple-A at the end of the season and the winner of the Triple-A world series took its place. Cool system.

Italian soccer is hosed. These world-class players won't play in Serie B and Juventus and Fiorentina can't afford them with all of the financial hits they are taking in this scandal. And if you figure that not only has Juventus been moved down to Serie B but ALSO been penalized 30 points AND barred from European play for a year, the club is in serious, serious trouble.

The sentence for Juventus marks the first demotion since its founding in 1897. The Turin-based powerhouse has won 29 league titles - including the 2005 and 2006 titles stripped by Friday's verdict - two European Champions League titles, four Italian Supercups, two European Supercups and two Toyota or Intercontinental Cups.

1897 and they have never been demoted.

I am reconsidering my subscription to the Fox Soccer Channel. With out Juventus and Italia, I will be forced to actually pick an English Premier League team to root for. And no, it will NOT be Manchester United.

Right Turn!

Yesterday I snuck out for a nice 40 mile ride. I was distracted most of the time playing with my new Garmin, but when I was paying attention there were cows and tractors and Ford trucks.

There was also a golf ball-sized rock at the bottom of a nice tight downhill turn. Front wheel hit it first, bounced sideways, and by some divine miracle caught traction again before I went tits up into a corn field.

Here's the fun part of wearing a heart rate monitor: I was riding at about 160 BPM most of the day. The "High Heart Rate" alarm on the Garmin is set at 190. Beep Beep Beep.

I really can't believe I didn't go down on that one. 25 MPH downhill. Sharp turn. Damp pavement. Big round rock. Scary.

Also scary is that my forks have developed a little carbon-fiber crackling sound that is most noticeable when I am climbing. Hmmmm. Someone tell me this is normal.

Anyway, I arrived home from the ride to be told that I was taking the kids to the club to swim. Ok. While there I decided to get a few laps in myself. Turns out that after a 2 hour bike ride, 10 laps in the pool hurts.

Who knew?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Oh the Weight of it All!

On a recent long ride I made a startling revelation. I have arms. And they aren’t in shape. Why didn’t someone remind me that cycling, especially climbing hills, requires upper body strength?! Al, I’m looking at you.

The last long push back to the temporary residence is a low-grade 3 mile climb up from the Stillaguamish Valley to Lake Goodwin. Legs? Fine. Lungs? Fine. Heart rate? Fine. Arms? Gassed. It actually felt unsafe there for a while: standing and pushing up the last hill I thought I might just drop the damn bike on its side.

So I have added a little more weight training to the old regimen in hopes of combating this. Is there anything as boring as lifting weights? I really don’t think so. Except maybe the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which I Tivo’d to watch Jason Bay’s at bats (1 for 3, btw) and then promptly deleted.

The worst part of the weights? The meatheads who come in and groan and grunt while they do nothing but bench press. That top-heavy Mark McGuire look? Not good. I keep waiting for their tiny little ankle to snap as they walk to the dumbbell rack.

I ran an easy 7 last night without the aid of a watch, so I have no idea how slow I was. While I was out the FedEx dude showed up with my new Forerunner, which I will break in tonight on the bike. Cool toy. I’ve already found a massive problem with it, though: it isn’t waterproof. Neither is the heart rate monitor, which means it really doesn’t work for a dual or tri sport trainer. I have to switch out to my Polar HRM if I want to record my sessions in the pool. Luckily, I still can’t swim far or long enough to make recording my pool sessions worth it. Mrs GVB, former competitive swimmer, lifeguard, and general water nut, promises to teach me not to sink.

How is it that I can run 12 miles and bike 50 miles but I can only swim 5 laps without getting winded? This is a serious problem that must be addressed. I am guessing it has something to do with the breathing. Mrs. GVB will tell me, as she swims past me laughing at my aquatic lameness.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

They Still Play Baseball?

Got a call from Mom GVB today who is, apparently, in Pittsburgh for the MLB All-Star Game? Pittsburgh? All Star? What? I guess when your neighbor is married to Jason Bay, you get invited to these things. Jason Bay? How can a kid from Trail, British Columbia, who went to Gonzaga, become an All Star? The mind reels.

Aside from Al B, who can't seem to get over his love affair with the Metropolitans, does anyone really care about baseball? Just curious. Not that there is anything wrong with baseball, but I just never hear anything about it anymore. Could it be the mind-numbingly long season? Could it be dickheads like Barry Bonds? Or am I just becoming a lonely cynic here in the baseball deficient Pacific Northwest?

I've officially started working out again. The new gym in the new town where our new house is still unfinished has a triathalon training group, so I am hooking up with them for the indoor work on the weights and in the pool. The swimming will get me. I sink.

Today I am going to do a solo ride to LaConner (50 miles). Wednesday a short run day. Thursday on the weights. I'm in danger of getting in shape if I stick with any part of this.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Now I Can Really Hate Zidane...

The underdog Italians, whose soccer federation is a mess of corruption and dysfunction, hung tough against the French side on Sunday and prevailed on penalty kicks. These are players who likely no longer have teams to go home to in their home country, who were supposed to be soundly stomped by the more technically perfect, more experienced French side. Those fuckers.

Want to know why I was rooting against the French team from the start? Zidane. This prick has all of the talent any player could hope for, but he throws it away at least once per tournament by doing something so utterly unsportsmanlike and mean that even the French press turns on him.

On Sunday, in overtime, tied 1-1, Zidane responded to a comment from Materazzi by attacking him with a brutal headbutt to the chest. The field referee didn't see it, but the sideline referee did. Red card. Buh Bye. You just lost the match for your side.

This from the same beloved player who stomped on the chest of a fallen Saudi player in 1998. Nice. I mean, sure the Saudi player had taken a dive to try to get a penalty call, but still.

When it came down to penalty kicks, the best striker on the team was in the locker room, and the French couldn't match the Italians.

Of course, the sportswriters then jammed their heads into the pitch and voted Zidane the best player of the tournament. Um...really? What about Italian captain Fabio Cannavaro? He played a brilliant tournament and didn't attack anyone as far as I know...

So, good bye to the best French player in history. I hope you stick to your word and retire from international play after this.

Now as for the rest of the World Cup, I hope FIFA doesn't cave into the media pressure to change the game again before South Africa in 2010. The American press especially are calling for the addition of another field referee, automatic red cards for diving, instant replay, and the abolition of the penalty kick shoot out in favor of returning to the Golden Goal overtime...

No. No. No.

Referees should keep total control of the game. Soccer is different because so far it has resisted massively dehumanizing the game with computers and television replays. The referee is a part of the game in soccer, not merely a technician. Teams must adapt to the referee's mood and tendency. Referees make mistakes, and it is part of the game, just as the sporting courtesies even hated rivals afford one another on the field (like putting a ball into touch when an opposing player is down or conceeding drop balls and throw ins back to the other team). I still think we should go back to the extra time being kept solely on the field. Playing past 90 minutes and not knowing how much time the referee is going to add is massively exciting in a tie game when your time is striking.

Overtime. If anything, FIFA should extend the overtime to another 30 minute session and allow the sides 3 more substitutes. After the first overtime period, go to Golden Goal. The shoot out is actually not a bad system, and it is exciting to watch, but I understand how some think it is a cheap way to end a match.

And diving...well, it's part of the game, always has been. Is it unsporting? Maybe. But added to the human element comments above, I think it adds drama to the game.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Park the Boat, Lace the Shoes

Let me get this out of the way: I hate the 4th of July. I don't think fireworks are pretty or neat or fun. I don't like crowds on the water or in the national forests. I don't like the maddening lack of awareness of the deep irony and symbolism of fireworks and purchasing them from Indians...But we survived.

We survived:

A sudden thunderstorm opening up over the boat, which was already anchored in a sketchy spot.

Motoring in the dinghy as a squall blew across the bay with 25 knot winds, driving rain, and 3 foot waves.

My pyromaniac father with $1,000 worth of illegal fireworks.

And we survived the above pictured sunset. Not bad.

With the forecast for increasing southerly winds, we decided to move the boat deep into a little storm hole, about 2 miles from where we had been anchored in front of my Dad's house.

Good thing: when we pulled up the anchor we found that it had been hooked on kelp rather than in the mud. Yikes.

This morning we moved the boat up to a slip in Port Ludlow. Tomorrow, with the forecast not really improving, we are headed home, a quick 5 hour trip across the sound.

Since we've been here at Hood Canal, I've logged two pretty good runs (what are you running from, GVB? Your parents? Uh, yeah.)


Averaged 6:53 on the short route and 7:50 on the long one. Not bad.

Time for a beer on the deck, methinks.

Cheers. See you on the water.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


118 minutes of scoreless soccer between host country Germany and Italy ended in one of the most spectacular finishes you'll ever see, with the Italians scoring two brilliant goals in the last 2 minutes of overtime to finally shut up the German fans.

Just as GVB's Mom drifted through the TV room to comment on how boring soccer was (this from a woman who watches every Mariners game of the season...yawn), Grosso put a perfect left footed shot into the side netting, and GVB almost knocked the coffee table over during his "GOAL!" dance.

Then, as the uninterested finally become interested, Del Piero finished it for good with a counter-attack strike.

2 - 0 Italy.

It was good to see the Germans lose. One, no one (except the Germans, of course) wants to see the host country in the finals, in their own stadium, with all their own fans. And B, the Germans were so clearly playing for the tie in the waning minutes, hoping to get to penalty kicks (where they have never lost in World Cup play and Italy has never won). I don't mind ties in soccer as much as most Americans do, but I definitely do not like watching a team TRY to tie when they could be trying to win.

Oh, and three, the German style of play is so decidedly Eastern European (read: boring) that the games themselves are torturous to watch. German club soccer is technically perfect and endlessly boring. The Italians, the Brazilians, the Portuguese, even the French put some flare into the game.

And no matter who wins between France and Portugal on Wednesday, next Sunday's final will be fast-paced and physical. I say Portugal advances but loses to Italy in the final, 2-1, in overtime. If I was a betting man. Which I am.

Oh and by the way, cheers to FIFA for having the most sensible overtime rules in professional sports. I still would favor a play until someone wins system (except that it would kill the players), but getting rid of the Golden Goal (hello NFL?) was the right choice.

Let's Talk About the Weather

So here we are, anchored out in Hood Canal in a bay that is great in a northerly wind. We had a perfectly smooth night Monday and as of noon on Tuesday the northerlies are filling in and keeping the 'Hood pointing nicely offshore in about 20 feet of water. Perfect.


NOAA is giving me all sorts of grief today:


Ahhh, I should sleep well as those southerlies build and swing us toward the lee shore tonight...

Monday, July 03, 2006

I'm out. Again

The 'Hood is ready roll and we're off.

Hood Canal for the 4th. Port Ludlow after that. Maybe Port Townsend for a few. Home soon with details and pics

Be excellent to each other.