Galley Wench Tales

Exploring the world through the people we meet
and the food they eat.

The boat we now call Serendipity is nosing her way past the railroad swing bridge outside La Connor Washington
on our maiden voyage with her.

After 5 years of wandering followed by 2 months of wondering where in the world we were going to live and how, the answer became readily apparent.

Our new master bedroom aboard Serendipity, a Puget Trawler now in Portland Oregon.

Here.  Portland Oregon.

Portland image pilfered from Willamette Weekend Things to Do.

What’s happened this month?  Whoosh!  We feel like the guy in the now vintage Maxell ad!

This is how it feels July’s gone for us (click here to check out this classic oldie but goodie Maxell ad).

  1. A car
    a $480 repair the day after we bought it
    car insurance
  2. A storage area the size of a closet with all our “worldly” possessions
  3. A visit to consider a boat to call home.
  4. A boat we call home – miraculously – given to us!
  5. A gorilla run to Goodwill, the Dollar Store and a military NEX to begin stocking basics like knives, forks, spoons and plates, food (~$600)
  6. A train ride and cab ride to the boat we now call home
  7. Insurance and registration for a boat we now call home
  8. Sage advice from the former owners of the boat we now call home
  9. Just enough time on the boat to feel semi-comfortable taking command of it.
  10. An all-too-brief trip to the San Juans.
  11. Taking our boat into the open ocean and across the Columbia Bar then down the Columbia river to Portland
  12. Two jobs (Wayne and I each getting re-hired by former employers)
  13. Some freelance contract writing projects
  14. Lots of qualification paperwork for a place to potentially call home
  15. A slip (a place for our boat to call home).
  16. A mailing address and mailbox.
  17. A bicycle
    A bicycle lock (both for a mere $25, but a $60 tune-up is scheduled)
  18. WiFi access that isn’t dependent of my phone as a hotspot
  19. Electricity that isn’t driven my our engine, batteries, a generator or a solar panel
  20. A marina laundromat.
  21. A grocery store (among other conveniences)  in walking distance
Moving in is never a pretty process.  Figuring out what goes where is especially challenging in small spaces.

After the last 2 1/2 years of little that required locking, we found ourselves with 5 keys and one marina access key card on my lanyard

  1. 1 car key
  2. 1 boat key
  3. 1 storage area access door
  4. 1 storage box padlock key
  5. 1 mailbox key

All  — except the marina access key card which stayed on my lanyard — dropped into 14′ of opaque water between our boat and dock finger.  Resulting in…


1 day wasted trying to figure out the best way to recover said keys….

  1. boat hook (too short)
  2. magnets on a string (not enough metal on the ring or keys)
  3. a diver that’s not too hideously expensive (we’ll hire one check when going down to put on zincs, do some hull cleaning and a prop check).
  4. 1 hour wasted getting the duplicates we fortunately had to the locksmith so we each are now fully keyed.
  5. 5 minutes — keeping all my keys on a floatie attached to a floating yellow lanyard with a very robust clip

This month wasn’t all work and no play….  We got to

  1. cruise San Juans and catch up with friends met cruising in French Polynesia
  2. in Port Angeles catch up with cruising friends met in New Zealand as well as making some new friends at the marina 
  3. check out Neah Bay’s cool Makah Indian museum and enjoy the present of free crab twice in a week
  4. Make two overnight trips camping aboard our new water home at our favorite beach on the Columbia river
  5. Slowly, too, we’re beginning to catch up with our friends and family, many not seen for 5-7 years.

Tomorrow, I officially rekindle my longstanding gratitude with West Marine, in the form of cetol, and zincs, to start — oh — and work.  Wayne’s already starting his 2nd week back at Horizon Air.

Soon, I hope to make headway sussing out the Rubik’s Cube known as galley set-up, with placement strategies that can keep chaos contained when we venture beyond our slip.

Gumby and his Ozzie sidekick (a gift from Chris & Chris of
s/v Scintilla) aboard Serendipity; these mascots
seem appropriate icons for our lives!

Location Location
We’re now in Portland, Oregon, docked in a covered slip at Jantzen Bay Marina (N45.47.449 W122.47.189).  That’s less than 1/2 mile from West Marine, and less than a 15 minute drive to Horizon Air for Wayne, when there’s no traffic.  The light rail transit line is said to be a 5 minute bike ride away; will test that out soon.

Up Next
Watch for more catch up on cruising the San Juans and Trans-Pacific posts still to come as well as more on Serendipity, the Puget Trawler formerly known as Jacari Maru.  Let’s hope August is half as busy with at least twice as many posts! 

Wishing us all a mellow August — especially Larry and Nancy, we wish you excellent cruising on your new Ranger Tug. We will do our best to love the one you entrusted with us and we now call home.