Thursday, September 23, 2010

Latte time!

As I sit here in the middle of the Pacific I'm sipping my first Iced Dirty Chai Latte.  ?Que? you may be asking?  Well, well, we have a Starbucks onboard!  It's pretty cute, called "Jittery Abe's," and serves a sampling of the beverages available at your favorite Starbucks back home.  The bonus?  Funds raised go towards MWR.  So I've tried this Dirty Chai at the recommendation of one of the AG's in our shop.  I was a little skeptical, but it's not bad!  Kind of spicy, but still with detectable notes of espresso.  Suffice to say, quality of life has changed quite a bit from my days underway on SHOUP.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My underway soundtrack

I hit "shuffle" on the ipod today.  I got Rusted Root, then P.O.D., then Princess Tiana (Disney), then Nelly.  At that point I started laughing out loud.  Folks, this is what happens when you inadvertently combine the iPhone profiles of someone who likes alternative rock and singing with her daughter with a heavy-metal redneck that sometimes has a hankering for rap.  Do not try this at home.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I love penguins!

I'm on my third busy day away from home.  I think I've just about gotten back into the routine of being out at sea, but boy I miss home.  The BEST thing I did while I was home this time was get some new stuffed friends for the kids and I.  Trent and I had a date day at Toys-r-Us where he picked out a huge stuffed penguin to be our new hug buddies.  I had this idea that if the kids and I each had the exact same stuffed animal, we could all hug our animals and it would be like we were hugging the person we missed.  So Trent and I walked out with 3 big penguins.  One went to the ship, and the other two headed back to the boat to make their homes in the kids' rooms.  I told the kids that I'd hug mine every morning and night, and that if they did, too, it would be like we were hugging each other.  I've hugged that penguin about 70 times since we got underway and somehow, it helps! 

Monday, September 6, 2010


So of course we had tons of chores to do when we got back (clean the boat, pump tanks, fill water, laundry, take out the trash and recycling, get groceries), but Frank was really wanting to change the zincs while I was home in case he needed any help.  So he suited up and dove in the chilly water on a rainy day!  Go Captain Frank!  He was done in no time. 

Home and away

There is something sad about rushing home from a wonderful trip with the family just to pack for the next journey. We are motoring back to Everett now so we can wrap up some chores and get me all packed up to leave on deployment tomorrow. I'm lying in my daughter's bed, soaking up every bit of princess perfect that I can before the morning comes.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

One last trip (again!)

Friday morning we left Obstruction Pass and headed toward Massacre Bay, the first place we visited in the San Juans last year.  We figured why not end it like it began!  On the way we slipped into Deer Isle for some gas--great marina there--and made it to an anchorage right off Skull Island State Park in the early afternoon.  We paddled around a bit that afternoon, but the tide was high so it was tough to get at the critters.  Instead we decided to explore on foot.  The kids entertained themselves by hauling around a piece of driftwood!

Saturday we had a great paddle around the tidelands, playing with all kinds of starfish!  I love seeing the kids get excited by the stuff we find.  On the beach they would scream out "holy cow" as they'd flip over rocks and send baby crabs scurrying in all directions.  They both got cut up pretty good by barnacles, but they were having fun.  After lunch we hiked again since the tide was up and then made a little sand (a.k.a. barnacle shell) castle on the beach, complete with driftwood bridges and buildings.  It was pretty breezy and chilly, so much to the kids' dissapointment I did not let them splash around in swim suits. 

Today we had to start heading back home sadly.  We went through the Swinomish Channel this time (way less scary the second time around!) and are now anchored in Coupeville.  We had hoped to get on the dock, but there wasn't room.  We made a fun trip, all 4 of us in the tandem kayak, to town for ice cream, playing in a park, and dinner on the pier.  Of course we had Penn Cove mussels since we were in Penn Cove and I was thrilled that Katreina ate some, too! 

I've had such a great time these past few days.  This is what I love and I can't say that I'm thrilled to be heading back home now, then back to the ship, then off on deployment.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!

After a slight delay in starting my leave yesterday, I got off work around noon and managed to knock out pre-underway domestic chores in just a few hours.  We've talked about getting me a computer to take on deployment (I really just wanted Frank to get a new one and give me the old one!) so that I can try to send pics home so Frank and I did a little shopping on base before picking up the kids.  Nothing there, so we hit Best Buy with the munchkins and got hit with TONS of options!  Frank ended up going with the newer version of what we have now (faster, thinner, lighter, sexier) and the kids scored new movies for enduring the trip with us.  And then we were off for a weekend in the San Juans!

We made it to Coupeville last night.  Based on the amount of motoring we may have to do (no wind) and the cold temps at night, we decided to hit their fuel dock to try to top off this morning.  The fuel dock wasn't open and wouldn't be for over an hour, so instead we fueled up on caffeine at Local Grown, a great little cafe right on the town dock.  Next up was slack water at Deception Pass.  While we were heading through we saw EA-6B Prowlers, F-18s, and P-3s flying around Whidbey Island.  Add in the whale and porpoise that we saw after the pass and it was almost like a day at the office! 

Tonight we are on a mooring buoy at the Obstruction Pass Recreation Area.  The beach here is really pebbly, but after kayaking ashore and going for a nice walk in the woods, the kids had a blast splashing around at the water's edge.  It was very cute.  Frank headed back to the boat to prep and drop a crab pot, and the kids and I came along in the tandem in time for dinner.  After birthday burgers Frank made a smiley face out of candles in a little cake and the kiddos helped me blow them out.  It was perfect!  To top it all off, we all paddled ashore again and Frank built a little fire in one of the campsites so we could have s'mores.  While it was getting fired up Katreina and I went on a little walk and found an awesome, west-facing beach.  The sunset was spectacular and I loved my time alone with my little girl.  It was so nice that we went back to get her brother so he could see it.  S'mores weren't really a hit with the kids, but marshmellows were!  It was a fun experience nonetheless and really made me want to go camping!

Frank did a great job finding this fun place to spend the night.  It has been a great birthday!