|"Our home away from home!"|
|The name puzzles some people,|
until they see the French flag attached to the mast...
We are off, floating about on the salty and frigid waters of the Pacific Northwest, a summer tradition for this family (and many others around us, judging from the number of boats docked at local marinas.)
My faithful readers already know the crew (minus the Yellow Dog, who stayed home with a house guest.) I am happy to introduce our new sailboat, "Pardon my French." You may remember when we said goodbye to her predecessor, Mistral, in the spring. "Pardon my French" rocks. She is 20 years old, but you would not know it. Le Husband has spent many hours making her look good. She is his new mistress, one I approve of. We have enough room to store all our gear, and can finally go to bed without actually crawling in... Preparing for a three-week cruise was no small feat, as all of you with boats, RVs, vacation homes, realize. It took a few trips to the marina to bring it all on board.
|Essentials... such as French wine...|
We made it in time, though, and took off as planned on Saturday morning. The weather has been a bit off these past few days, chillier than normal, while the sun plays hide-and-seek with us (and the clouds.)
We will be gone for three weeks; dock or anchor out in quaint coves and harbors; shower on the boat or at local marinas (the campers among you know what a hurried and drafty experience that can be...) We will cook dinner on board often - grilling is always a popular option - and will make the most of restaurants we can walk to from the boat when we are too tired or too rained out to figure out what's left in the fridge. If we are lucky, we might be able to catch crab, served that evening with aioli and lemon.
The weather may or may not cooperate. This is the Pacific Northwest, folks, not the Mediterranean. Today, in the charming town of Port Townsend, it was so damp and chilly everyone was wearing their finest fleece apparel and rain gear...
|Summer fashion in the Pacific Northwest - no kidding!|
We will enjoy exploring; revisiting old favorites; or discovering new islands as we make our way North in Canadian waters. Nature will be everywhere around us, mesmerizing...
|Port Ludlow, WA|
|Port Ludlow, WA|
(American Frog Photography)
We will enjoy meeting the locals; the two and the four-legged ones...
|Pirates everywhere: We are in good company!|
There will be a lot of time for relaxing, reading or playing...
|Junior, practicing the "Vessel-Assist style docking"|
(you don't know what it is? Neither did I until he showed me...)
|The crazy French skipper enjoying the best seat in the house!|
My trusted sidekick [the Panasonic Lumix LX5] and I will spend hours shooting away: There are so many photo opportunities just a few feet away from the boat...
So far so good... well... except for that torrential downpour tonight (we survived, and I am typing this story comfortably tucked in bed, with the heater on...)
Oh, and this morning, we had our first mutiny on board when our hard-headed dinghy (a French-made Zodiac,) decided to leave us and head South on its own. If the skipper had not spotted the stubborn skiff, drifting away in the surf...
It took ten minutes to capture the little rascal - a good opportunity to practice our "man overboard drill," as the male sailors reminded me...
|- Dinghy: "Let me go. I REFUSE to go North. The sun is shining South!"|
- Moi: "As if!"
We will be fine, and log in the [nautical] miles, until we return home, tanned [I brought spray on self-tanner - just in case] and rested. We are lucky, and we know it. Happy July, wherever you may be!
|We feel safe: The Sea Gods and Captain Haddock are watching over us!|
All photos unless otherwise noted by French Girl in Seattle.
Please do not use without permission.