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S/V Wings and other boats
Leaving soon
10/09/2011, Orcas Island

My whale watching season here is just about over which means it's time to get ready to head south (actually southeast from here) and head back to Wings. The boat's been at Snead Island Boatyard near St Petersburg hauled out for about 18 months.
I'll be doing a road trip down there loaded down with new gear. Our two sons will be flying down before us to get the boat ready. Nate is a rigger and mechanic and Cameron is one of my captains during the Summer. They call themselves the dream team so I'll let them do what they want.
The weather here on the island is very Fall like, calm, cool and really beautiful. But I can see the real changes coming which will include rain, grey skies day after day and gales. It's time!

St Petersburg watching the fronts go by
Tom
12/01/2009, St Petersburg, Fl

The boat is out of the yard and almost ready (is any boat really ever completely ready?). We sailed over from Snead Island to St Petersburg to work on the boat. Nice to be back in the warm weather and blue skies. It's been a couple of years since we've been back and what struck us more this year is the number of homeless, men, women, and families that are here. There is a block near the Salvation Army with about 15 cars that families are living in. In the evening hours there are towels over the windows to keep the night lighting out. During the day most of these folks are standing or sitting on the lawn with a look of numbness on their faces. These folks are just like us, except they are people who got caught up in the credit crunch and lost everything, including their jobs. There are people on most every street corner with signs saying, "need work", "need food". Yesterday I went out to the marina dumpster where two young guys were dumpster diving, not for boat gear or goodies like that but for food.

Anyhow, we'll be here for the next couple of weeks, maybe even through the holidays.

St Petersburg watching the fronts go by
Tom
12/01/2009, St Petersburg, Fl

The boat is out of the yard and almost ready (is any boat really ever completely ready). We sailed over from Snead Island to St Petersburg to work on the boat. Nice to be back in the warm weather and blue skies. It's been a couple of years since we've been back and what struck us more this year is the number of homeless, men, women, and families that are here. There is a block near the Salvation Army with about 15 cars that families are living in. In the evening hours there are towels over the windows to keep the night lighting out. During the day most of these folks are standing or sitting on the lawn with a look of numbness on their faces. These folks are just like us, they are people who got caught up in the credit crunch and lost everything, including their jobs. There are people on most every street corner with signs saying, "need work", "need food". Yesterday I went out to the marina dumpster where two young guys were dumpster diving, not for boat gear or goodies like that but for food.

Anyhow, we'll be here for the next couple of weeks, maybe even through the holidays.

the countdown has begun
Tom
09/04/2009, Orcas Island

My whale watching season has about a month to go before I close up until next season. Jennifer and I are both excited to get down to Wings and do some cruising this winter. In the meantime, we're enjoying the season winding down with less people on the island, enjoying the wonderful weather and the September weather to come. This month is usually the nicest weather month of the year. Sun and about 65 degrees. This weekend we should be getting some rain, the first since late June. That's right, here in the San Juan Islands we get less rainfall than Arizona does during the summer months.

The photo is of Wings hauled out in the hot Florida sun with a really nice full awning a friend gave us and installed for us.

Best Laid Plans
Tom
02/28/2009, Orcas Island

Still here on the rock after an attempt to leave and get down to our boat in Florida. Seems like this winter has been a busy one for us with kids coming back to visit, business picking up, and just plain old procrastination.

So now its back to plan B and make sure our Allied Seawind is ready for here long slumber until next November and get our boat here ready to do some Spring sailing around the San Juan Islands. Kestrel is our cruising boat that we have up here and sail during the summer months. She's a 27' French designed aluminum sloop. I bought her from a lady who singlehanded the boat up here from France a number of years ago. Totally different from our heavy Allied Seawind in Florida. A really good boat to sail up here . She handles the light winds and gales very well, is extremely nimble and easy to care for and can be singlehanded. More importantly, both of our boats have simple systems that I can usually fix myself and not drain my wallet in the process.




Wings
01/02/2009, Palmetto, Florida

S/V Wings

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Tom and Jennifer
Who: Tom Averna and Jennifer Fralick
Port: Orcas Island, Wa.
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