It’s officially fall here in the Pacific Northwest. True, autumn may have begun a month ago, but we’ve been in the 70’s here since the end of August. Just this past Friday the crew onboard Coco Mar experienced our first real rain since the beginning of July. Summer is over and dampness has returned. Our first, “off season,” full-time liveaboards experience is here.
Our fall and winter plans changed quite a few times this summer. In fact, we didn’t know for sure what we would be doing in October until the second week of September. This will be our first time as full-time liveaboards in the winter.
Last winter our boys were still in their school program that brought us to the Snoqualmie Valley once a week for a few days. This gave us time to see family and friends, do dentist appointments, shop at Costco, wash laundry, and take showers. We had a few weeks here and there around school vacations where we were on the boat for weeks at a time. However, the majority was going back and forth from land to the boat.
Our 21/22 winter moorage was at Port Townsend’s Point Hudson Marina. Sadly, this year they are working on their breakwater, leaving the marina empty for the season. We loved so much about our time in Port Townsend and will miss the town, sailing, and the adventures around the peninsula.
Having a winter moorage with the ability to liveaboard is so helpful! Last season we saw storm after storm. We like knowing that we don’t have to leave the comfort and safety of our slip when the weather is not in our favor.
This year we’re in Friday Harbor. The ferry ride back to the mainland is longer than when we were in Port Townsend. And, there are no alternatives. However, we won’t be heading to Duvall each week this year. We knew we would only be continuing the homeschool program for one more year. Homeschooling was always going to be the plan for the year, regardless of where we ended up. Almost a month and a half into it and the kids are doing great.
I’ve been trying to get the kids involved as much as possible in programs and activities for youth on the island. The library has been an awesome resource not only for the subjects they’re studying, but also for events. I have a hair appointment this week in town and plan on getting the lowdown on what kids do here when it’s wet and cold out.
The boys have been back to the valley twice in the past couple of months and have seen their friends and family then. They also meet up with them while playing Roblox and Fortnite. Family check-ins happen over Facetime. We’ve been using Starlink for four months now, all over the Puget Sound and San Juan Islands. We’ve watched the Seahawks game live on YoutubeTV from Sucia and the kids can play games online while we’re plugged in at marinas thanks to our fast and reliable Internet connection.
After staying up to date here on my blog through July, I did some updates on Instagram in August. Then, in September I stayed offline almost completely until last week. I focused instead on getting the kids going in school and reading for fun. All in all, Summer was for the most part, a breeze. Living on the boat, while working and exploring – hopping from anchorage to anchorage was a dream. We had the best of both worlds. Our car waited for us in the marina for our monthly check-ins. We could do laundry, do big food hauls, and take a quick road trip with ease.
Now that we’re at the end of October we have a storm forecasted for later this week. We’ve started running the diesel heater at night and using a space heater in the morning. Plus, rocking the dehumidifier as much as possible. The “off season” is coming. For most, it’s already here.
Friday Harbor Marina was a reliable provisioning and laundry destination this summer. We’ve anchored around the island, Shane has circumnavigated it on his paddleboard, we explored the hotspots when we were here last February, and enjoyed nearby restaurants and shops. We are so grateful to be here this winter!