Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween on Bella Star

DSC_1255_2 IMG_6583Trolling the Craven Farm pumpkin patch for the perfect pumpkin is an annual tradition.  As is a trip to Theno’s Dairy for their famous pumpkin ice cream tucked into a freshly baked waffle cone.

Seeing how we’re fans of all things pumpkin this time of year (and all things in the ice cream/gelato family year round), we recently tried the pumpkin gelato from Ballard’s D’Ambrosio Gelato.  One night this summer while enjoying a deliciously creamy cup with our friends, Jen & Harley, we bumped into the owner outside.  We got to chatting, and I offered up a suggestion for the fall menu: pumpkin spice.  And he scoffed!  Literally scoffed.  And with his Italian accent told me, quite directly, “In Italy, we do not do spice.”  Well, okay…  You can imagine my surprise, then, to find him advertising pumpkin (with spice) as a new fall flavor.  Pretty sure I deserve a cut.  Or at least a free pint.

This year’s pumpkin carving started out innocently enough…

IMG_6587But things soon turned tragic… 

IMG_6720 IMG_6718 Our holiday spirit just isn’t about pumpkins, though.  We have a giant spider on deck, skulls, webs and a spooky skeleton dangling from the bowsprit.  Muah-ha-ha-ha-ha.  DSC_1246And my severed finger cookies are frightfully good.  Aaron’s office mates request them every year.

Have a spooktacular Halloween!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mast is vertical

We were able to finish up our work and get the mast stepped today. 

We replaced the spreader lights and wiring.  We also cleaned up some corrosion on the spreaders where the old lights were mounted.




Removing the mast and stepping it again was a very smooth process.  The guys at the Seaview West yard do a nice job.


We were going to replace the good luck coin at the mast shoe, but decided to leave the old one in there.  Seems like it’s been working pretty well. 

We feel like we’ve turned a corner here since we’re starting to put stuff back together instead of taking it apart.  Our new sails will be ready pretty soon and we’re REALLY looking forward to getting away for a weekend, so we’re focusing on getting the boat back to sailable condition. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Living Aboard Series

The great folks over at Three Sheets Northwest, our local online boating magazine, are profiling a series of liveaboard families this week.  Start with Liveaboards: who are they, and why do they do it? to get some interesting insights into the lifestyle.  If you’ve been following our blog for awhile, you’ll remember Al from our post about his Christmas spirit—he put us all to shame by hoisting a lighted Christmas tree to the top of his mast last year.  Just wait until this year, Al!  :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mast work ongoing

Had a smidge of corrosion underneath the boom vang plate.


Took the Dremel wire wheel to it and got to shiny metal.


Epoxy paint being applied:


The whole mast could use a paint job, but we’re on a tight schedule here.


Did the top while we were was at it.


Nicole prepped it up.



Nice an pretty for any aircraft flying overhead.


And this thing?


It’s shot.  Electrical connections inside are corroded and broken.  A replacement is pretty expensive.  Stay tuned – we going to try to make our own!

Monday, October 11, 2010

And the Thunder Rolls

“At least we picked a good time to be mast-less.” 

The peal of thunder that rolled through Ballard last night woke us from our cozy slumber with the loudest C-R-A-C-K I’ve ever heard.  My heart was thumping, as I waited for the next burst.  But instead, I burst out laughing—at Aaron’s quip about us picking a good time to be without our lightning rod of a mast.

Looks like lightning struck the Ballard Locks (instead of someone here at the marina), knocking out power to the large locks.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Powerboat Mode

We pulled the mast this weekend in order to run the cable for the new anemometer, replace some bad wiring to the spreader lights, and install a couple new halyards. Also the lens on the steaming/anchor light combo is practically opaque.   The good news is, at least for a week or two, I won’t have to be scurrying around on deck in my underwear at 3am securing noisy halyards.



The bad news is that getting wires where we want them in the mast is turning out to be fairly difficult. 

We have always been annoyed by the sound of  wires slapping around inside that mast when rolling at anchor.  One of our primary objectives was to fix this. 


We got all the wire run from the masthead, but now we’re having trouble with the wires for the spreader lights.  It’ll have to wait until next weekend to figure out.