About our little wandering family…

Les, Kai (our furface friend), and I have entered into our retirement by trading our Hampton 49, Heron’s Flight, and our San Diego based lifestyle for an ongoing adventure Northwest yachting adventure. We upgraded to a Defever 53 Performance Offshore Cruiser which gives us an additional stateroom, more storage, a stand-up engine room, and a more capable cruising platform. Our new boat was nurtured by an owner who spent a lifetime in the maritime industries associated with commercial fishing, logging, tugs and railroad cars… thus the derivation of it’s name, Great Northern, which harkens back to a famous boat built by the Great Northern railroad to carry freight and passengers after the turn of the last century (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Great_Northern_(1914).

When something needed updating on the boat, it was always done with an eye towards overbuild and redundancy. Example: the bow thruster installed on GN is powerful enough to effectively move the bow of up to a 70 foot boat. It sounds like overkill until you are pinned to a dock by 20 knot winds and really need to make headway against the wind so you can get off the dock. It does just that…  The boats horn is… well… magnificently loud, and sounds like it might have come from a locomotive.  A large locomotive…

Les and I have been boating together for 40+ years.  We have had a succession of sailboats and  two powerboats.  We’ve been living aboard now for the past 13 years and did a 3.5 year live aboard stint in Long Beach, California on a well found Westsail 32  back in the 1980’s..  That bombproof boat took us to Catalina Island and other places in Southern California within the limitations of my full time work as a hospital pharmacist and Les finishing her schooling in commercial interior design, and then starting her career as a designer.

We’ve lived in Long Beach, Laguna Beach, the City of Orange, Valley Center, Ramona and San Diego over the past 40+ years with the last 30 years in San Diego.  I worked for a large hospital corporation, Sharp Healthcare as a pharmacist and middle manager directing pharmacy operations at several of the hospitals, and Les developed a self employed career creating physicians offices, surgi-centers, medical clinics, and office space.  Enough of our pre-retirement history… for now…

Early in our relationship Les bought me sailing lessons in Newport Beach for my birthday.  Most of my boating experience had been in powerboats when I was growing up in the Northwest, and I’d always wanted to learn how to sail.  A wise relative of Les’s told her that she’d better learn how as well so we learned together.  That sparked our long relationship with sailing out of Newport Beach, Long Beach and finally San Diego.  Crusing to Catalina, racing through Silvergate and Coronado Cays Yacht Clubs, and I had the good fortune to crew for a good friend of mine on his 42 foot Cabo Rico sailboat from San Diego to the Big Island (Hawaii). Magic… well mostly.

Having grown up in the Tacoma area, I’ve always wanted to cruise the Puget Sound, Salish Sea, San Juan and Gulf Islands, Desolation Sound the Broughtons, and so many of the other extraordinary cruising destinations of the Northwest.  This blog is about that.  Pictures, anecdotes, musings, best of, worst of, funkiest, memorable and what we’ve found so far up here in the Great Northland. We plan on wintering over up here and will start cruising further North in the spring. Right now it’s 57 degrees, could and windy! This is not San Diego…

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