Today we are under grey skies and enjoying the mild breeze that’s just cool enough to remind us that we’re in Washington State.

The logging/lumber processing plant on the Tlingit Reservation on the opposite side of the channel, which we see from our raised pilothouse looking west across the water, has been busy since about 7am this morning.

The Buenaventura will get her name decal on the transom soon, as we finally arrived at the right font, color and size. Mortenson Signs is not far from here and they’re wonderful people who have been doing this for many years. We’re looking forward to seeing her name and port of call, Friday Harbor, proudly displayed.

The new sink went in the day before yesterday and the plumbing completed yesterday.
So nice to have a big single-bowl sink in place of the old two bowl. It was so user-unfriendly and I felt like a velociraptor when trying to wash dishes.

The broken down electric range is out and the propane gas range has been ordered.
In the meanwhile, we resurrected the Magma grill and attached it to the receptacle on the port side aft railing. We had to really clean it up, but it works and we actually cooked some chicken on it for last night’s dinner. So no, the little Coleman camp stove is going back to long term storage, thank you little Colie.

Our most recent treasure from the Dumpster Gods is a 12 cup Cuisinart coffee maker which we found yesterday. In the spirit of recycling, I took the little 4 cup Cuisinart coffeemaker we had just picked up from the local Kiwanis thrift store and placed it at the foot of the Dupster God’s altar and said “Mahalo”. I use the coffee maker to make hot water enough to wash the few dishes I wash ever day.
Celina will be starting our window-covering project today using some dark blue linen curtains we picked up at Goodwill the other day. There will be a fabric border around the sheets of InfraStop Insulation, wide enough to cover the gap created by the difference in the height of the window and the width of the InfraStop. It’s hard to describe but is not even close to rocket science, so it’ll be a piece of low carb cake.

Howie’s been working topside on the super structure (the fly bridge and upper deck where the dinghy and crane sit). He removed the two large teak cleats that held the life raft which is old and of no use to us. Life rafts must be certified regularly at a hefty cost, about every three years at a cost of several thousand dollars. Since we have a kayak and dingy and will be cruising on the inside, we won’t need a life raft.

We’re also considering a Bullfrog dinghy, which is made of polyethylene with an aluminum bottom. They are tough as nails and that’s what’s necessary when going ashore where there are millions of oyster shells. We’ll probably get some oars and oar locks to be able to have a way to get around is the motor isn’t working or if we want some upper body exercise. Rowing can be such a zen thing too. We both love it.

The new 100 pound Spade anchor has arrived and we waited until high tide to bring it down the ramp, to the boat. We’ve ordered a Wildcat (part of the Windlass that used to bring up the anchor chain) that will fit the 400 feet of 3/8” high test G40 chain we’ll be getting.

With the heavy anchor and new chain, we’ll be able to feel confident when anchoring out in any kind of weather.

Even though the boat is a bit of a mess, because that’s what happens when you’re working on a project or 4, the three of us find ourselves busy and settling into our favorite spots on the Buenaventura.

Stay tuned for further adventures of Dog On Boat with Skylark Musica and Django the Talking Dog.


Ocean Alexander 50 Mk 1 (1981)
The Buenaventura is a 1981 Ocean Alexander 50 Mk 1. It is a 37 year old trawler, with all of the classic old trawler lines that are very appealing to the eye.
She has two new John Deere engines, a relatively new Northern Lights generator, new thruster, new stabilizers, new watermaker, and new electronics.
She weighs over 50,000 pounds, is 50 feet long, 15 feet wide and draws 4.5 feet.
Her main salon is aft of center, with a nice fan tail that is completely covered from the weather and is a nice place to relax.
The pilot house is raised and looks out over the Portuguese bridge and forward deck.
From the salon, another set of stairs takes to the master suite, which has a walk around queen-size bed and lots of storage for clothes, etc.  There are two heads, both with showers and there’s also a washer and dryer!


On this cool, grey Saturday morning we're reflecting on our first three weeks on the Buenaventura.
We’re in La Conner, where we bought the boat, and are awaiting our mechanic’s schedule to open up for a few serious issues that need correcting before we can safely take our boat home to Friday Harbor. Once we’re there, we’ll either be on the hook or slip sharing in Shipyard Cove.
Remounting the new twin John Deere engines, resolving some exhaust configuration, replacing the vacu-flush heads with the macerating type and adding a propane line to the new propane stove are the main things we’ll get done.
Our mechanic, Steve Ibbetson, is a well respected and skilled yacht mechanic and he’s got us scheduled for September, just around the corner.
In the meantime, we have brought all of our belongings to the boat and are puzzling together where to put it all.
To be sure, there are still boxes of things and stacks of hats, books, dishes and tools that need sorting and stowing. But even with this morning’s mess, which looks very different from last week’s mess, our new home on the water is looking pretty sweet!
Moving out of our home with plans to live on a boat meant there was one of four choices to make for every piece of personal property we owned.

1.  Keep and store for the day when we’re again living in a land house.
2.  Take to our new boat.
3.  Sell what we neither wanted for the boat or a future house
4. Give to friends, Goodwill, Salvation Army or Community Treasures.

The Grand Hawaiian, Howard’s 1914 Steinway is being lovingly cared for in its foster home at Duncan and Traci Wilson’s place in Friday Harbor.

All in all, we’re feeling pretty good about settling in and figuring things out.Figuring things out means different things to each of us. For Howard, it’s working outside on deck and on the fly bridge, going through books and instructional materials for the systems on the Buenaventura and making a running list of equipment, tools and supplies we need to get for the boat.

For me, it’s been about organizing our living space; most focused on the galley, which is undergoing a bit of a transformation – more on that later.

And then, there’s laundry to do, meals to make and making sure Django gets his walks and play time.

The galley is getting a little bit of a make over by way of a new single bowl, stainless sink, a new propane stove, removal of the trash compactor and carpentry work to make drawers to fit in that space.The best news is that Howard continues to feel really good and we know the healing process is moving along with the help of Reiki and Charlotte’s Web. Without his good health and high spirits, none of this would be worth a hill of beans.

Life in the 16’ Casita trailer was simple and intimate and now with more living space on the Buenaventura, it’s beginning to really feel like home.

We’ve already had a few visitors on the Buenaventura. Kathleen, Scotty and Otto arrived on Sunday, August 12, and got the boat tour as well as a tour of La Conner. Howard’s school chum, Gary Groth-Marnat came to check out the boat and have dinner with us in La Conner town a few days ago.
The weather, which had been hot and uncomfortably humid for most of our stay here, has now turned cool with a little bit of light rain. We love the rain and cooler temps, so things are looking up.

We will be playing at Mr. Believable’s – the successor to the old Rumor Mill’s space in Friday Harbor – on September 9th. Joining us will be Doug DeMeerleer on upright bass.

Well, that’s all for now. Fair winds and happy trails to all….


Dog on Boatwith Skylark Musica and Django the Talking Dog

Welcome to our site where you'll find out what the heck we're up to, where we are and where we're headed! Woof!

We finally sealed the deal on a 50' Ocean Alexander Mark 1, the BUENAVENTURA. We'll be moving onto the boat as soon as the money's in the bank and the keys are in our hands. It's been a long and sometimes tenuous journey, but all in all, worth every turn and twist to get this beautiful yacht.

After a long, cold, hard winter with 6 weeks of immunotherapy for Howard's bladder cancer recurrence, we decided we needed to make a change. We didn't want to say that our get-up-and-go had gotten up and was gone! We rented out our home in Friday Harbor on a long term basis and moved into our 16' Casita travel trailer and have been staying at friends' places and in the La Conner Marina RV Resort since June 12th.

We plan to make Ship Yard Cove our home port.

We sold our Nordic Tug, the 32' Compartimos, and since February have been looking for another, bigger boat on which to live. We went to the Bay Area  to look at a Nauticat 42' motorsailer, and flew in nasty weather all the way to the North East to look at another Nauticat 42'. That boat, the Black Cat, looked worth the time and money to remedy the few things that needed fixing, but we were there to see it in very cold weather, just after the 3 Nor'easters.  By the time our boat surveyor got to look at the Black Cat, the weather was warmer and mold and mildew had bloomed into green, white and black living masses in cabinets, wooden floors, the belly of the boat and on her wooden paneling.  Our plan had been to buy the boat and take it down the east coast, hang out in the Bahamas and the San Blas Islands, visit Central America, go through the Panama Canal, hang out in Mexico and then take our time going up the West Coast  and bringing the boat home to Friday Harbor.

Since then, we have realized that what we want most of all is to be living on a boat in the north west as soon as possible and get up to Alaska in 2019 to see the glaciers before they're gone. So, this is where we're at today.

In this blog, you'll see images and videos of our travels, read about how we are building our life on the water, get cooking tips, music lessons, see art projects turn into art pieces and more or less be a part of our boating experience, however vicariously.

You'll also get to learn about our music as we are still playing wherever we can and selling our CD, "She Still Believes in Love". See the music page at this site.

We're excited to keep learning about blogging, learning our boat and her systems and mostly just getting out on the water.


Sunday, July 29, 2018
Now that we've nailed down a deal on our Ocean Alexander, we can begin our blog, to which we will add content as often as possible without going overboard - literally!

Since we're off of Facebook we're hoping we can keep you updated on our travels and boating adventures via this website.

For the last month and a half, we've been living in our 16' Casita travel trailer on San Juan Island, where our home is, and La Conner, where our soon-to-be boat is. Thanks to the hospitality of the Barkers and the Roths we have been able to enjoy our stay and enjoy their company and hospitality.

Tomorrow we leave with the Casita to La Conner where we will, once again, stay at the RV park at the La Conner Marina until we can move onto the boat.

We haven't agreed on a new name for the boat yet, but are leaning towards La Paloma or Skylark. We still have time to come up with a name that will reflect who we are and how we see our boat.

We are stoked to finally get to live aboard, but mostly stoked that Howard is now officially in remission from the bladder cancer recurrence we've been dealing with since December of last year.
Grateful and happy!