Mike and Jan aboard S/V Rapture

09 May 2014 | Kingston
25 December 2013 | Kingston, WA
07 November 2013 | Kingston, WA
31 October 2013 | Kingston, WA
16 October 2013 | Kingston
11 October 2013 | Kingston, WA
04 October 2013 | Eagle Harbor
04 October 2013 | Port Ludlow
04 October 2013 | Everett, WA
04 October 2013 | Everett, WA

We have moved

09 May 2014 | Kingston
We have moved our blog. It's all about live and learn. This is my first crack at doing a blog so I gave sailblogs.com a whirl. But as it turns out, this place is not for me. Many reasons including poor customer service have lead me to move our blog to Blogger. And as it turns out, it was a great choice! I have to thank Stephanie on Cambria for the lead.. thanks Stephanie! Anyway, the new blog address is:

http://www.SVRapture40.com

No more /member/blahblahblah.. just our own address. Don't forget the "40" after SVRapture or you will be looking at a prayer site. Not too bad of a mistake as mistakes go. Anyway, see you over at www.SVRapture40.com.

Thanks for following!

Christmas has arrived in Kingston

25 December 2013 | Kingston, WA
Mike
This has a been a wonderful Christmas season.

What would we do without moms? My mom has been sending me a handmade wreath for as long as I can remember. This year she wasn't sure if that would work for us given our current living arangement. Well, we really have no use for our throw ring while tied to the dock so I told her that I had the perfect spot for the wreath and PLEASE send one! It just wouldn't be Christmas without it.. and it will look wonderful hanging from the throw ring bracket.



When we first got to Kingston we found a flier in the office talking about a volunteer Christmas light craft class. Jan thought it sounded like fun so she went to check it out. Turns out Kingston has a HUGE Christmas light display and celebration. This craft class runs every year from March through November. Volunteers build Christmas light decorations to be displayed around the port. They put on a huge production on the first Saturday night following Thanksgiving. They provide free hot chocolate and/or cider and cookies, and free live music. Then they throw the switch on the lights and Santa stops by to chat the kids up. I think the port staff works for a solid month putting up all of the lights. It is quite a display. The park has a constant parade of people all through December of people coming to see the lights.

A huge turtle


A whale








This year we decided that we would go to the Trans Siberian Orchestra for our Christmas outing. We were going to go to the Nutcracker but changed our minds at the last minute. And we are so glad that we did! We had a GREAT time! But , for those of you that have not seen the Trans Siberian Orchestra - be forewarned - this is NOT your father's orchestra. This is a full on rock concert. I must say, it was a bit too choreographed for my taste but the music and the show were awesome (brought back some old memories... well, I think I can remember those days). And to make it even more fun, Jan looked up the story and read it to us before we went which made a huge difference. The short version goes like this - LOVE overcomes all and our Lord knows exactly what He is doing. It is really a great story so if you have some time look it up and read it for yourself.

Merry Christmas EVERYONE!!! From Mike and Jan aboard Rapture


Retiring!? Are you crazy?

07 November 2013 | Kingston, WA
Mike
I got very mixed reactions when I started telling people that I was going to retire and go cruising. After all, I am just 53 years old – who does that? A small minority of the people expressed something along the lines of “good for you!”. But most said very little beyond what their face and body language were yelling “you are too young, you can't do that”.

Frankly, I struggled with the idea for quite some time myself. I believe I struggled mostly with the notion that I was crazy for even considering this. We are conditioned through out our lives that we have to work a job until we are 65 years old and then retire to a rocking chair. But my mother will tell you that I have never done things “the way you are suppose to”. I have always done things “my way”. No one has ever accused me of following the herd. I have had mixed results with this quirk of my personality over the years. Some REALLY bad outcomes, and some really good, but always true to myself. So I had an idea of what I wanted to do and started working toward what I believed would get me to that goal.

Another issue with retiring at 53 is “how can you afford it?”. It turns out “affording it” is all relative. If you can get off the American consumerism treadmill, you can live pretty cheap. So save some money and eliminate debt and retiring becomes much more doable. Of course there is always the “unexpected expense”. After all, bad things happen! But here is the reality (read “my” reality) – bad things happen and there is no way to prevent them, retired or not. So we all do the best we can and hope for the best. Eventually something so bad is going to happen to all of us and that will be the end of that. So if you go through your life worrying and planning for the bad stuff, you will miss out on life itself. I would compare this to the people that say you should have at least one spare for everything on your boat. I could push that to the point where you end up buying two identical boats – one to cruise and one for spare parts. So get some spare parts for critical systems and systems that wear out and go sailing! In life that means put some money in the bank, eat healthy and exercise, and always check the weather before you leave port!

I was reading a story last night about John Moffitt. He was an offensive lineman for the Denver Broncos. By all accounts, his life was perfect, until yesterday when he called the Broncos front office and told them he was not coming back to the team. Are you crazy!? He had a 6 figure salary and was playing for a team that has a really good chance of going to the Super Bowl this year. When asked why he quit he said “I think it's really madness to risk your body, risk your well-being, and risk your happiness for money”. So was it guts, craziness, or clear headed thinking that lead to this decision? You decide..

To this day I cannot understand people that are worth millions or billions of dollars. I realize this is a generalization, but most of the time these people are the most ruthless and driven people. They have more money than they will ever be able to spend, but they still need more. I am not judging here, I just don't understand their thinking. Isn't there more to life than making more money than anyone else?

So now to the end of my rant. I give you all permission to say “I told you so” when you visit me at 70 years old in a government sponsored rest home without a penny to my name. I really don't expect that to happen, but it certainly is a risk, regardless of when I “retire”.

Excitement in Kingston

31 October 2013 | Kingston, WA
Mike
So now the excitement begins.. who knew, I thought it wouldn't get exciting until we were 1000 miles off shore in a gale with 15' seas.

Here we were safely tied up in Kingston making lunch on a lazy afternoon. I happened to look out the window and notice a VERY large steel fishing vessel (turns out it was 58' and 92 ton) in the harbor in front of our boat. "What in the world is he doing?" I say. He seems to be maneuvering in a circle directly up wind of us and it is blowing 15. I am thinking.. "I sure hope he is on his game". A couple of minutes later I realize the skipper is NOT up to the task! "Jan, he is going to hit us, prepare to abandon ship!".

Sure enough, his stern blows right into our bow. Fortunately our anchor is the farthest end point on our bow and our anchor roller is very strong. A crewman tries to put a ball in between our anchor and their stern. It quickly crushes and then pops out. Now his stern is laying on our anchor. Our dock lines stretch to the point that our stern is pushed up against the dock. Fortunately I had earlier doubled our dock lines because I knew the wind was going to blow.

The skipper in the LouiM from Reedsport Or (in case you want to look it up) powers up and grinds his stern across our anchor until he is free, leaving a big gouge on the side of his boat. The LouiM ends up blown against the end of a few finger piers next to us. About that time the owner of the boat shows up and works to get the vessel off the pilings. It was very interesting to watch.

The only damage I was able to find on Rapture was a chip in the stern where she contacted the dock. But I am going to have a professional look at her to be sure. The owner of the LouiM was very nice about the whole thing and promised to take care of any damage.

But the excitement does not stop there. The next day the wind is still blowing hard. I notice a 26' Bayliner coming around the breakwater. He makes an arc and is finally coming straight toward us going way too fast. He finally turns at the last moment and tries to pull into the slip next to us. He realizes he is nowhere near making a successful landing so he backs out, way too fast again. This time he tries to back into the next slip over - still way too fast and no chance of success. That is when I realize I had better get out there and help this man to not hit my boat! I run 2 slips down and start waving my arms to get him to move down and away from our boat. He follows me and starts heading for the slip.. you guessed it, WAY too fast. To compound the problem of too much speed, the wind is howling and blowing him into the slip. On his 3rd try he got the boat close enough that I could grab a line. As soon as I have the line in my hand he shuts the engine off, OMG(osh)! There is no possible chance that I will be able to stop this locomotive. I am too far past the cleat at the end of the pier so there is no place for me to tie the line off for some help. CRASH! His anchor plows into the power pod and smashes it to pieces. Well, at least it wasn't my boat.

The wind stopped the next day and the sun came out, yeah! There is an abundance of star fish here in Kingston and the seagulls just love them. Every day at low tide there are seagulls all up and down the dock with star fish hanging out of their beaks. Sometimes they are lucky and can just grab one off of a rock on the breakwater, but other times they will actually dive for them. They stand around on the dock with one arm in their beak waiting for the star fish to go limp. Then they quickly swallow them whole. It is quite a sight! It takes a few minutes before the bulge in their neck disappears. There are also a few blue heron around and you find them standing motionless in the morning waiting for breakfast to swim by.












We are finally starting to get use to life aboard. It is definitely a culture shock. We are really falling in love with Kingston. Everyone we have met here has been more than friendly. We took a long walk yesterday and everyone that we saw out in their yard made a point of waving and saying "hi". It is definitely a different culture on this side of the bay.

Jan has been playing her keyboard in the cockpit. She enjoys it, but says it is not the same as her grand piano at home. I have a feeling that she will spend a week playing her piano when we get home. The good news is that she is back at her guitar (which has been collecting dust since the day that we bought the piano). I really enjoy listening to her play.

Jan gettin' down..

We had the grandkids over for the weekend last weekend - what a great time! They really love the boat and were very disappointed that we weren't going out sailing while they were here. They are still a bit young for being in a confined space with limited activities, but they still did just fine.

Jan, Ellia, and Carson wrestling

Exploring Kingston

16 October 2013 | Kingston
Mike
We have had unbelievably beautiful weather so we have been out exploring Kingston for the past few days. We stopped by the chamber of commerce a few days ago and picked up their information packet. It included maps to many different hiking/biking trails so we have been exploring many of those trails. Kingston is a truly beautiful place! It never ceases to amaze me how big the water looks from land and how small it looks while cruising.

We were walking on the beach the other day and came across a man throwing a stick in the water for his dog to retrieve. As we approached the dog brought the stick up to me so I gave it a toss. After a couple of tosses the man said it was time to leave started walking away. But the dog was having none of it! He just kept bringing the stick back to me for another go. Finally we decided we should just walk away so the dog would get the hint and head for home. He wasn't too happy at first, but eventually took off at full speed heading for home. He reminded me of a little boy that just didn't want to leave the beach when his parents said it was time to leave. It was obvious that the man and the dog had been doing this for a long time as neither one of them was worried about what the other was doing.

We found an ad for a "super" market in nearby Poulsbo so we thought we would go check it out today. So far our only grocery experience has been a very small, very old IGA just up the road in walking distance. As you might expect, they have the essentials, but their shelves have a lot of empty spots in them and selection is very limited. Well, what a treat! This market rivals *any* market I have ever been in. It is very big and full of all kinds of custom/organic/natural/farm fresh stuff from the farm. What a real treat!! We spent a couple of hours just walking through the place trying all of the samples. We ultimately bought a small pumpkin and brought it home to put our boat in the holiday spirit. Jan carved it up today and we put it out on the swim step. She did a GREAT job, didn't she.

We have a new home

11 October 2013 | Kingston, WA
Mike / Calm fall day
We have spent the last week discussing our options and have come to the decision that we would be best served by wintering in the Pacific Northwest. The sale of my business took way too long and pushed us pasted Tori's availability. Her next availability is not until the end of October and then there would only be a couple of weeks available. And the chances of getting a good weather window that late in the season is pretty slim. We also figured that even if we got out and started down the coast we would be chasing the seasons for quite some time. And we really don't want to be rushing through this. The idea is to slow life down and start enjoying ourselves.

So we decided to stay in the Pacific Northwest and then we needed to decide where we would stay. It is not feasible to anchor through the winter here (well, not according to Jan anyway) so we needed to find someplace to tie up for the winter. We checked into a lot of options and ultimately decided on Kingston. So today we moved the boat and the car to Kingston and got started on the next phase of our adventure.

We spent a little over a week in Eagle Harbor and absolutely LOVED it there!! One afternoon we were sitting in the cockpit and watched a sealion putting away the groceries right off our stern. There must have been a school of fish below our boat because he was tearing them up. He would come up with a fish in his mouth and thrash and tear at it. Then the flock of birds circling above would swoop in and try to tear it from his mouth. This went on for at least 5 minutes right outside our backdoor.

Eagle Harbor is the home for rowing and sailing clubs. Every day at different times of the day different groups would be out on the water rowing. Everything from 2 man to 8 man boats would come roaring by with the coxswain yelling instructions. Then in the afternoon the kids would come out sailing their small 2 person boats. One couple ended up sailing right up to our boat so we chatted them up. Apparently it was a parks and recreation group. Then in the spring it will be a high school sailing club. They looked like they were having fun.

Unfortunately we didn't get any pictures.. we have just been taking it very easy trying to catch up on some much needed rest.
Vessel Name: Rapture
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau Oceanis 40
Hailing Port: Everett, WA
Crew: Mike and Jan Powers
About: Mike and Jan Powers - children of God, blessed beyond belief. Why our Lord has chosen to bless these 2 sinners - only He knows. But we have chosen to walk face first down the path as He lays it out. This is a chronicle of the life and times aboard Rapture.
Rapture's Photos - Main
The Christmas lights in Kingston are amazing!
12 Photos
Created 25 December 2013
7 Photos
Created 31 October 2013

Mike and Jan's Great Adventure

Who: Mike and Jan Powers
Port: Everett, WA