Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A look back at our 2015-2016 Cruising Season

A fun look back on last years cruising adds anticipation for the upcoming season and all the new adventures in store.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Hurricane season in Mexico / Fire season in Southern Oregon

 Summer is hurricane season in Mexico and Fire season at home in Southern Oregon. While the Liahona is on dry dock for 3 months we are home trying to earn some money for the cruising kitty. We own 2 1960's military 6x6's that we use to deliver water to wildland forest fires. 

We shared the closest water source with the helicopters. Amazing to have these guys fly so close over head and dump their buckets while I have my draft hose in the same pond waiting for my truck to fill.

Cleveland Ridge fire. Our view from the pond as we drove to and from the fire.

 Dozers were sent in to build roads up the side of the mountain. Our old military 6x6's go anywhere. Our job is to haul water up to portable tanks closer to the fire.

One of the portable tanks I filled.

The professor fixing a radiator leak on the job. He wears many hats and the hat of boat captain comes in handy when needing to fix things with what you have on board.

Like living on a sailboat, it is important to keep up on maintenance. Its a little easier crawling under the truck than into some of the places Bret crawls into on the boat.

First fire under the belt and completed safely by all.

As we are now 3 weeks out to departure. We have turned our attention from the local fire website to the national hurricane website. Our beautiful Liahona is dry docked in San Carlos. Newtons path crosses just north. We are sending good thoughts to our friends in the area, and hoping the best for the Liahona and all the other boats.

Saturday, July 30, 2016


   July 15th I got to celebrate 3 years of sobriety with my Southern Oregon AA family. What an amazing gift this life is! We are everywhere. I love my tribe!                

Its been an amazing ride. I am so full of gratitude. 

This was a Birthday well wish from a friend. It was way to funny not to share! We are so not a glum lot!

Brets daughter Tarren turned 23 this month.
Happy Birthday T2!

Bret, myself, Tallen( Bret's youngest T3), Tarren, and Tanner( Bret's oldest T1).
So grateful to spend time with family while we are in Oregon and love these kids. Thanks Tarren for having a birthday so I could eat cake!

If you ever get to Ashland Oregon treat yourself to breakfast at Morning Glory. Seriously it is the Willy Wonka's chocolate factory of the breakfast world! Its like walking through the doorway into Willy's candy room and taking a delicious bite out of your candy coffee cup.

Breakfast with Bride to be Aven, her mom Karla and Grama.

Ok so I fell off the sugar wagon. Ricotta cheese stuffed french toast with lemon butter and raspberry syrup!

View of the Table Rocks.
Leaving the boat for the 3 months of summer isn't so bad when we get to come home to the beautiful Rogue Valley. 

Looking across the valley. Mt McLoughlin in the background.

Summer hikes with friends from home are part of the many things we enjoy during the summer.
The view is amazing from the top of McLoughlin. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

June marks the end of our cruising season

We watched hundreds of Rays slapping the water on our last morning sail. I was told by a fisherman that the females jump straight up and slap the water, while the males do flips. It is quite a mating dance. Better than any Vegas light show!

Made the passage from the Bay of LA to San Carlos with our friends on SV Terrapin. Having been a boat kid himself, Bret loves meeting new kid boats.

Sailing through the largest pod of dolphin we have ever seen. It was a river of dolphin stretching for miles. Even standing on the bow I could almost not believe how many dolphin there were. 

Another first for SV Liahona and crew. An albino dolphin swimming off the bow.  

A friend on another boat told us that dolphin like high pitched noises and lots of movement. I looked like an entire kindergarten class on the bow clapping and jumping and squeaking. 

Fisherman down from the US were limiting out on yellow tail and gave SV Terrapin and the Liahona each some fish. We had sushi 2 nights in a row and sashimi on passage. Doesn't get any better.

The cruising community is always willing to help out a fellow cruiser. Haul out day was no exception. 25 knots of wind made it a bit more hair raising than I prefer but with 2 dinghies in the water and extra hands on deck it went off beautifully. Thank you to SV Discovery, SV Desert Find, SV Windcharmer, MV Capo Doste and the guys at Marina Seca for another safe haul out.

Bitter sweet.

For those who have never seen a ship yard. 

Heating up the lead keel to try to bend back the damage from the reef.

Feeling a bit like the Karate Kid...wax on wax off. Being budget cruisers we chose to clean and wax the hull ourselves. Doesn't sound like much....but 45 feet of all overhead shoulder work is not for the light at heart. 

Nothing  on boat is easy to get to. Bret is wedged down inside the lazarette ( a locker accessed from the cockpit) changing the oil in the generator. Amazing how he contorts his 6ft frame. I should add that the outside temp is 99. The locker is a deep fryer. So grateful for everything Bret does to keep us running.

The back deck becomes an auto garage when the dinghy motor needs servicing. 

 Last couple of nights we had dinner with friends. SV Cake, SV Milagro, and SV Harmony. Making new friends is a big part of the cruising life. People from all walks of life. What a blessing!

Dinner with friends on SV Fan. We met under emergency circumstances. Diede got her hand caught in the windless. Long story short... we were there and heard the call. Bret speaking fluent Spanish was a great help in taking Diede to the hospital. As you can see by the smiles all is well and new friendships were formed. We look forward to sailing with them next season.

Tomorrow morning we start the 1500 mile treck back to Southern Oregon. What is normally broken up into 3 days will be spread over only 2. I have barn syndrome and am ready to see family and my home town tribe. Hasta luego Mexico. See you in October.

Ciao for now,
Marne and Bret
SV Liahona