Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Start of the F39 Trimaran.

Well folks... we've officially started building the F39! (I say "we" because you know... I kind of help! Ha!) You might be wondering, "what the heck is an F39?!" I've mentioned it a few times on here, but here's a picture to jog your memory.

image via
It's called a trimaran because it has three parts... the main hull and two floats with two tramps connecting it all. They are awesome because of instead of a huge, 6,000 pound keel to give it support it has two very light weight floats. This boat will be significantly lighter than Viking and will go more than twice as fast!

we love you Viking... but monohulls are just SO dang slow and fat
We bought the plans in September 2012... So this has been a LLOONNGGG time coming and we are pretty dang excited over here!

Before we could start the boat we needed a place to BUILD it. Remember when we were trying to find a house with a big yard to build a shop? But then we measured our backyard and figured out we can make it work. So even though we don't have a "real" workshop with hard walls and a heating system, etc... we have a pretty great alternative!

The tent aka the workshop! 
It is HUGE and takes up well over half of the yard (sorry future kids!) Before we could set it up Landon had to tear up our concrete patio. Not going to lie, it was pretty cute watching him be all manly. I also couldn't stop singing, "so cut through the heart, cold and clear. Strike for love and strike for fear. See the beauty sharp and sheer. Split the ice apart and break the frozen heart..."

we call this The Great Wall of Landon. Look at all that concrete!!! 
Landon spent a few days setting the tent up, stringing lights, and we've already spent a few hours at Home Depot and Fiberlay (a fiberglass distributor). I just can't believe we have finally STARTED!!

it's hard to get an idea of how big it is from a picture, but take my word for it! The tent is 40 feet long!

Landon has already started tracing the forms! EEEEK! :D
We have some wood in our front room and we are loving the way it makes our house smells like a lumber yard. Wood smells SO good. Hey Scentsy... there's an idea for you...Lumber Yard :)
One of the questions everyone asks us is when the boat will be finished. If money wasn't an issue and we could just buy all the supplies upfront... maybe 5 years. But considering I won't be working for too much longer and we will be down to one income, it's going to be closer to 10+ years.

About a year ago we sat down and wrote out our life plan. I know that sounds silly... but we literally wrote down what we wanted to be doing in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 25 years, etc. It's weird but ever since writing it all out and giving ourselves a timeline, everything has started happening. Instead of just talking about our dreams... we are actually doing them. It's a really exciting feeling. Some of the things on "the plan" include: 
  • Buy a boat to hold us over since the F39 is going to take a decade to build. (CHECK!)
  • Sail in the ocean and build experience doing longer voyages. (CHECK!)
  • Buy a house to build a workshop (CHECK!... except we decided to just work with what we have and stay in our current house instead!)
  • Build a workshop (CHECK!)
  • Start our family (not quite check... but don't you wish you know what our timeline is for this?! Ahh I love secrets! ;)
  • There's a big gap here but basically raise our kids, build the boat, take our kids on long sailing trips, pay off all debt, sell Viking, etc.
  • Retire as soon as our kids are out of the house and live on our F39! We are hoping to retire pretty young (around 50) and possibly just work odd jobs/part time to support our sailing lifestyle. It actually won't cost much to live on the boat and island hop in the Caribbean... and doesn't that sound like a dream? Oh man...
Obviously plans don't always, in fact they never, go according to plan... but that doesn't mean you should just give up on them! It's SO good to have a plan and a framework for your life. Otherwise you won't really move forward. Goals and plans help us to get going in the right direction and obviously there will be detours... but this is a good start! :)

image via

Building the F39 isn't just a hobby or something that is purely materialistic. It's pretty much our future. I hope our kids love sailing and love this adventure they're going to be born into! I can already picture them running outside to help dad in the shop or hoisting the sails on Viking... they're childhood is definitely going to be unique! 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sailing Trip Part 4: Garibaldi & Heading Home.

Day 4: Monday July 14

It felt SO good to have a day at port to relax! We slept in, had some yummy french toast for breakfast, and hung out in bed reading our books and cuddling with our boys. It was just what we needed.

After relaxing all morning, we took our folding bikes out and rode 9 miles to the Tillamook Cheese Factory.

The views of the bay were amazing!

If you zoom in you can see our boat! Also, I love the cute G on the mountain. Reminds me of Utah :)
We rode up a giant hill, which I named the hill of death, and once we reached the top we saw the factory. YAY! It was actually super packed, which we weren't expecting considering it was Monday... but that didn't stop us from going through the cheese sample line twice :)

On the bike ride back to the boat we passed this sign and I had to stop to take a picture. It's so cute and there's even a sailboat :) We loved Garibaldi!

We both were tired from our 18 mile bike ride, so we ate lunch and took a nap. Have I mentioned how amazing it was to have a day to relax?! Oh man, we needed it! :)

That night we walked into town to get internet so we could check the weather. It was looking great, but the bad news was we would have to leave at 2 a.m. to reach the Columbia River Bar during the flood tide (between 2-4 pm). I wasn't too excited to sail in the dark, but we had to if we wanted to have a safe bar crossing.

I wish I had my camera with me, but it was so fun to walk around the cute, little town. We walked along the water and climbed over rocks finding tiny crabs. They were stuck out in the low tide, so we rescued them and put them back in the water.

image via
I really wanted to find a heart shaped rock, and I found one that sort of resembled a heart and showed Landon. He told me it looked more like a sock. So now it's my sock rock and I love it :)

We went back to the boat and tried to go to bed around 8. It took us forever to fall asleep, especially after our long nap earlier!

Day 5: Tuesday July 15

It was not very fun to hear our alarm go off at 1:50 a.m. We put on our 5 layers of clothes and quickly pulled out of the marina to head to the Tillamook Bar. We got out into the ocean and I steered while Landon hoisted the main. We decided to put two reefs in. A reef makes the mainsail smaller and is something you have to do when the wind is stronger. Here's a picture to explain :)

See how the main doesn't go all the way up the mast? 
We also reefed the jib so we had two smaller sails instead of using the full sails. Even with all the reefs, we were killing it through the water! We were sailing up into the wind, which meant our boat was heeled over and we were heading into the waves. You have to remember it was pitch black too. So heeling over in the wavy ocean in the pitch black is also on my list of "not favorite things." Landon had to go down below to get something so I was at the helm basically freaking out. We were moving so fast and I didn't feel in control because I couldn't see how much we were heeled or basically anything around me. The wind was also pretty strong... 20-25 knots which is a lot when you are sailing upwind! I felt like every wave that came was just going to push us all the way over, since we were already tipped over a lot! At least it felt that way to me as I had a mini-panic attack...

I felt much better when Landon came back and took the helm! :) It was cool to see the coastline and the lights slowly disappear behind us and to be sailing in the ocean again. However, the rest of the day was complete and utter crap. I got SO sick. For some reason hitting the waves from this direction was SO much worse than on the way down. I had to sit facing forward, clinging to the boat for dear life (remember it was tipped over), with my face directly in the wind. I was freezing, but it was the only way to make it somewhat better. After about an hour of that, I decided to go down below and try to take a nap to see if that would help. I laid in our bed for less than 30 seconds when I realized that it wasn't going to work out and tried to run upstairs when I threw up... Not fun :(

So the rest of the day was spent outside, staring at the horizon, trying not to move or talk. It was a LLLOOONNGGG 13 hours... The only other time I went back inside was around noon when I had to go to the bathroom after attempting to hold it all day... Landon got sick too so both of us were just miserable!!! Not to mention we only had about 3 hours of sleep!

We wanted to go inside and turn on music, or grab our camera, or our sunglasses.... but neither of us dared to go below. So I have zero pictures from this day. Which is lame, but oh well.

We had a really strict deadline to make to cross the bar between 2-4 pm, so after about 7 hours of sailing, we turned on our motor. We were closer to the coast at this point, and even though it was cloudy and freezing, there was a break in the clouds and we could see the beautiful coastline. Oh man, I really do wish I would've been able to take a picture.

This part of the trip was definitely the worst and Landon and I decided we might like sailing more in a place like the Caribbean--warm and sunny! We also joked that we might be river sailors not ocean sailors! ;) It really wouldn't have been so bad if we had been prepared with some anti-nausea medicine and if our boat could move a little bit faster than 5 knots an hour. Luckily, the boat Landon is building will be around 15 knots an hour... which makes a big difference! Our 13 hour sailing day would've only been a 5 hour sailing day on our new boat. So we are pretty dang excited for that :)

We have officially started building this guy... well kinda :) We have the temporary shop set-up in our backyard and are in contact with a supplier to order the foam and fiber glass! YAY! More on that in another post :) Image via 

Finally after 13 hours of misery, we crossed the Columbia Bar! It was warm and sunny and we were just SO happy to be out of the waves and the freezing cold ocean :)

We docked in Astoria and then went on our nightly walk along the river. We went to bed early because we had to wake up at 1:15 am to head home...

Day 6: Wednesday July 16

We left Astoria in the middle of the night because the tide was coming in, which meant we would get a speed boost to help us get home faster. It was hard to wake up so early for the second night in a row, but having the current push us along was SO worth it! I also went back to bed for a few hours and then Landon went to bed after my turn. So it really wasn't too bad.

The sunrise was unreal! 
While Landon slept, I turned on the autopilot and sat on the bow. It was so quiet, so peaceful, and so beautiful. I feel closest to Heavenly Father outside in nature than any other place (other than the temple). It was a really amazing experience to pray and ponder and I just felt so happy and grateful.

As we got further up the river, the sun came out and it was warm. It was crazy to feel warm after being so cold all week!! The river is also so smooth compared to the ocean! :) It was great to be back on the good ol' Columbia!

We motor/sailed all day to help us get home faster. We had our music going, we laid on the bow, we were warm, and loving the day.

My favorite place to be is standing in front of the jib on the tip of the bow. It really does feel like you're flying :)

We made really good time and made it back to our dock at 5 pm...after 16 hours of sailing. We were SO happy and ready to be home. We had a track on our GPS to see our route and see how far we went... In 5 days we went 297 nautical miles! That is a LOT on a slow sailboat! ;)

Honestly, this trip wasn't the most "fun" week we've ever had... but it was a great learning experience and confidence booster. I mean, we're pretty bad-a now... we've sailed in the ocean! :) However, next time we go on a trip like this we are going to do things a lot differently. For one, we are going to keep our boat down at the coast so we don't have to spend 20 hours each way going down the river just to get to the ocean. That way we can spend more of our time going up and down the coast and going to different ports.

We are both SO happy that our next vacation is on an actual cruise and not a cruise on our sailboat! We were feeling kind of guilty for booking our cruise because we were only supposed to take vacations on our boat this year, but now we are so happy that we have a real vacation to look forward to.

If you read all of these posts, you get a gold star! I'm sure they weren't the most exciting things to read... but I wanted to document all the little details of our first big trip on Viking. I know that one day I will look back on this trip with fondness. I'm glad that I have this blog to record things like this because my memory isn't the best :)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sailing Trip Part 3: Sailing in the Ocean!

Day 3 Continued: Sunday July 13

After crossing the bar successfully we were SO relieved and couldn't believe we were finally sailing in the OCEAN! Ahhh! I kept asking Landon, "are we officially in the ocean yet?!" We couldn't believe it! I told Landon we were playing with the big boys now and we both broke out in song (name that movie!)

It was seriously the weirdest feeling to be out there and have nothing around you. Surreal for sure. But I actually wasn't scared like I thought I would be.

My super-excited-can't-believe-I'm-sailing-in-the-ocean face! :)
We were both wearing wetsuits, jeans, long sleeves, jackets, and our foul weather gear... You would never know it was July! We were freezing! It was super cloudy and at some points really foggy too. The waves were relatively big, but pretty far apart. I got a little bit nauseous but took a nap and woke up feeling MUCH better!

This picture doesn't do the fog justice. Looking at the horizon usually helps me when I'm getting sick, but there wasn't really a horizon... so that was lame.
We were able to sail downwind for a few hours, but then the wind got pretty light and we had to drop the main sail and just sail with the jib. The waves were so big and without wind, the boom was slamming around too much. 

The jib is the sail in the front :)
Then the wind completely died and we had to motor again. Where was all that forecasted wind?! Boo! It was okay though, because we were just hanging out, enjoying each other's company, and jamming to The Beatles :)

Oh man, are you ready for the best story ever? I still can't believe it really happened. It gives me chills just thinking about it. Landon and I have been on too many cruises to count and basically we never see any wildlife. Ever. Landon's favorite animals are whales, specifically orcas. So we've been talking for months about how cool it would be to see a whale on our trip. We didn't ever think it would really happen, but it was fun to talk about... Well Landon was down below taking a shower when I saw a crab pot (more on those later...) and realized I should probably pay more attention. So I stood up and I saw water spout!! A WHALE! I started screaming "LANDON THERE'S A WHALE! THERE'S A WHAAAAAAAALE!" at the top of my lungs. Landon threw on some clothes and came up just in time to see a black fin right by our boat! We thought it was a humpback or possibly a porpoise. But then we saw the WHITE part of the eye and realized it was an ORCA! There were at least three of them!!! Oh my gosh. I started tearing up and Landon was seriously in heaven. It was a real life miracle. We were both in shock and just so happy. 

I almost fell trying to get a picture so this was the best I could do with all the waves and my lack of balance!
Okay so let's talk about crab pots. Fisherman drop these baskets down into the bottom of the ocean and then they're attached with a long rope to a buoy.

Image via
Basically they're ALL over the ocean if you didn't know.  And they're really dangerous for sailboats because the rope can get wrapped around your keel and if your motor is running they can get wrapped around your prop and basically disable your engine. Which wouldn't be fun when you're 20 miles offshore. I can't even tell you how many crab pots we passed. They're REALLY hard to see, especially with the big waves and fog... Well guess what? We ran over one. It wrapped around our keel and completely turned us around. And our motor was running! Luckily both Landon and I saw it at the same time and we hurried to take our boat off auto-pilot and grab the helm. Landon also stuck the motor in neutral to get the prop to stop spinning. Thankfully, we were able to get off the rope--the second miracle of the day! It could have been VERY bad... So the rest of the trip we were constantly on the look out for dang crab pots!

The boys were seriously SO good the whole trip. They're our little sea dogs :)

After over 12 hours of motoring/sailing, the fog finally lifted and we could see LAND! Of course I had to scream "LAND HO!!" :)

The clouds were hugging the cliffs and hills along the coast.
After crossing the Columbia River Bar, every other bar is basically a baby in comparison. So crossing the Tillamook Bay Bar wasn't a big deal. We crossed during an ebb, which isn't ideal, but we did just fine. You can see in the picture below water crashing up onto the rocks that form the jetty. As we got closer I had to put my camera away, but it was actually creepy to see all the waves crashing onto the rocks and picturing what would happen if you got too close... When we hit our first big wave I immediately said to Landon, "so should we turn around now?!" haha I'm a little bit paranoid :)

The rocks on either side of the bar entrance are called jetties :) Image via
We motored through the bay and pulled into the small town of Garibaldi, just outside of Tillamook. It's the cutest little town! We of course went for a walk and then went back to the boat and straight to bed. It was such an exciting day which left us both exhausted again :)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sailing Trip Part 2: Down the River & Crossing the Columbia Bar

Day 2: Saturday July 12 

We left St. Helens at 8 am and planned to take about 12 hours to get to Astoria. Did you know sailboats are super slow? It's actually really amazing how slow they are. You can pretty much walk faster than a sailboat, and definitely bike faster. It normally doesn't bother me how slow we move, but when you have a lot of miles ahead of you... it can be kind of depressing. But, something we learned from this trip is you have to enjoy the journey and make the most of it!

So that's what we did. We had great wind and tacked (zig-zagged) our way down the river and made pretty good time. It was beautiful and sunny, but since we were heading up into the wind, we never felt hot. This was unfortunate because I didn't put on sunscreen (I was wearing a jacket and pants all day) but my face and lips got fried. I'm rocking the raccoon look right now :)

Landon had to do most of the tacking (pulling the ropes to bring the sail to the other side) while I steered because I have weak arms. What the heck! I really am trying to get stronger but obviously it's not working. Poor Landon.

But at least I'm good for something on the boat... I'm the cook! So Landon single-handed the boat while I made some yummy chicken alfredo and green beans for dinner. I wish I wouldn't have made such an elaborate meal because since we were sailing up into the wind, our boat was heeled over. Have you ever tried cooking while your kitchen is tipped at a 30 degree angle? It's definitely on my list of not favorite things (these are a few of my NOT favorite things...) Basically anything you set down will go flying, so you can't set anything down. I learned my lesson the hard way... and now I know only to make simple meals while we are actually sailing!! I ate first while Landon sailed and then while Landon ate, I sailed. I came outside and took the helm and immediately messed up and accidentally tacked the boat and then couldn't get it to tack back. The waves were seriously NUTS, the wind was howling and I didn't have control of the boat. Landon had to hurry upstairs and help get me in the right direction while he finished eating. It was a rough dinner...

We passed this stern wheeler boat the night before, so it was cool to see it during the day too! It's beautiful.
Oh I love you Oregon!
The wind died as we got closer to Astoria and we had to motor for the last half of the trip. The closer we got to the ocean, the more we felt the effects of the tide. The waves were really big and close together, so the bow of the boat would slam up and down. We tethered to the jack lines and sat on the bow--bouncing up and down. It was actually pretty fun! What wasn't fun was how much the waves slowed us down... And it wasn't fun when the waves got bigger and bigger and started breaking over the bow of our boat. It was actually really freaky.

Motoring along... Isn't it beautiful though?!
This is how I felt for most of the day...
This is how I felt for the rest of the day...
Harnessed in because of the crazy waves and boat rocking going on!
I went down below to do the dishes and I was almost done when the water stopped working. It was dripping out slowly and I couldn't get it to turn off. I thought maybe I forgot which way to turn the knobs, so I went to the bathroom to use that sink and the water wasn't working there either. So I got Landon and he told me that our water pump most likely burned out. No water pump = no water. No water = no trip. I started bawling. There was no way we came all the way to Astoria to have our water pump die and our trip cancelled. Landon remained calm and just kept telling me we will figure it out once we get to the dock...

We finally got to Astoria after hours and hours of motoring through the crazy waves. The boat rocks SO much and it's really hard to steer and keep control when the waves are so big. This was honestly one of the hardest/scariest parts of our trip. I didn't take any pictures or videos, because it was that bad. We were EXHAUSTED by the time we made it to the dock and both pretty upset about the water not working. Landon immediately took the water pump apart and started figuring out the problem. Somehow, he got our water to work again! I seriously don't know how he does it, but he's really great at fixing things. It was a miracle! We were both SO happy!

But the water wasn't our only obstacle... remember the crazy wind forecast? We both got on our computers and checked the weather. The wind was looking SO much better for Monday! Yay! But we decided that it would be best to go somewhere closer so we could stay close to shore in case the wind did pick up. So instead of going to Newport, we decided we were going to go to Tillamook. The best part of going to Tillamook is that we could get there in less than 16 hours, which meant we wouldn't have to do night shifts. If we went to Newport, it would take about 24 hours, which meant we would be taking turns at night sailing while the other person slept. I know one day we will probably have to do that, but I wasn't ready for my first time in the ocean to be sailing by myself! My confidence was also pretty low from all the times I messed up earlier that day, so it was a HUGE weight off my shoulders to go somewhere close!

Even though we were exhausted and needed to get to bed, we of course had to go on our walk. I forgot to bring syrup and Landon forgot ear plugs, so we decided to walk to Safeway and get a few groceries. Both of us were SO out of it!!

We went back to the boat and fell right to sleep... even though we were both feeling very anxious about the next day.

Day 3: Sunday July 13

Neither of us admitted or talked about it until later, but we woke up at 6 a.m. feeling scared. It's so scary to do something that you KNOW is dangerous and that you don't have any firsthand experience with. It's the fear of the unknown and the fear of just letting it go and trusting that our research and preparation would be enough.

So a little about the bar... It is known as "The Graveyard of the Pacific" because almost 2,000 shipwrecks have happened there. I'm not exaggerating here when I say the Columbia Bar is very dangerous and not something you just willy-nilly cross. Here's a video to show how treacherous the bar can be...  (fast forward to 1:45 if you don't want to watch the whole thing)

Image via
So yeah, I guess you could say we were a little nervous to cross the bar. We did a lot of research about tides and when the best time to cross the bar is. We learned that you only cross the bar during a flood, but preferably at a slack tide (no tide). So that's what we did. As we left Astoria, we had the engine completely idled, but because of the tide current, we were moving at 7 knots! Our fastest boat speed is 6 knots, so it was CRAZY to be moving that fast without even doing anything. It was actually scary because we knew we couldn't turn around and change our mind, because our boat would not be able to go faster than the current. Freaky, freaky stuff. We were basically being carried out to sea and there wasn't much we could do about it. See ya later, Astoria!

As you can see, it was a beautiful day... not! The weather definitely gave the morning even more of an ominous feeling...

Luckily, the waves looked nothing like the video and picture above. I mean it was wavy, but nothing too bad. Our research and preparation had paid off and we crossed the bar during a very safe time! I wish I had gotten pictures or video of us crossing the bar, but I had to be standing by to help if things got crazy... and picture-taking is not a priority when you are worried about your safety!

Also, our boys turned TWO! We sang happy birthday to them and they were extra happy that day. They totally knew it was their special day. I can't even tell you how much we love our boys. They really are part of our family and we love them like they're our kids! They are SO sweet and seriously just the biggest love bugs. Oh man, we are so grateful to have them!

I mean, really? Have you ever seen something so cute in your life?! Ahh I love them so much :)
This is where the boys hung out for most of the trip. They are the BEST sea dogs and just relax and sleep all day, even with the boat rocking like crazy. They're really such good boys.
Stay tuned to hear about sailing in the OCEAN! :)
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