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Laura Domela
Portland, OR
On the road in a 2010 27'FB Airstream International
Recent Activity
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It was a little bumpy overnight last night, and the wind/current/tide/wave combination made it so occasionally as we swung, the plastic mooring ball would bump the hull of the bow (aka the bedroom wall). It might have been a bit quieter on anchor. We grilled some king salmon for dinner, and it turned out great! I made a glaze of maple syrup (3Tbsp), Dijon mustard (1Tbsp) and lemon zest from half a lemon, and brushed it onto the salmon filet, then topped the salmon with some partially cooked bacon (so we wouldn't overcook the fish while trying to crisp the bacon), and then brushed more glaze on top of the bacon...delicious (with a side of asparagus). It's a keeper! View of the cliffs filling the galley window: This morning after breakfast and a bunch of work (and a quick copter flight for some Watmough Bay aerials, coming soon), we took the dinghy to shore for a little hike. From the trailhead you can actually hike up to the top of the cliffs on the north side of the bay, but we only had a bit of time to play around since Kevin had a call he needed to be on... Continue reading
Posted 10 hours ago at Riveted
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We left Port Townsend on the early side today (after grabbing breakfast at the Hudson Point Cafe, filling our water tank, and a quick stop at the pumpout dock) and headed north for Lopez Island. We're now moored in Watmough Bay on the southeast corner of Lopez, surrounded by clear turquoise water, tall cliffs on one side, rocky tree-lined shore on the other side, and a nice sandy beach for the dinghy (once it stops raining). For now we need to be working anyway, so whatever...the rain is kinda nice. Looking out from the bay, that's Boulder Island: Cliffs and clear water on what is presently the port side: Here's today's route (23.7 nautical miles): Related articles Lakebay, WA Filet-O-Fish and Portrait Photography Sunny Seattle in February (again) Kingston to Pleasant Harbor Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Riveted
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This morning's sky: The trail around the point: That little trail winds around in just in front of a bunch of the waterfront RV spots and campsites (all with spectacular views). We love this location! Airship from the RV park: Today was another full work day at the boat. We took a break this afternoon to run some tax stuff up to the post office and grab some lunch (and get a walk in). Luckily the post office is up a ton of stairs and a big hill so we got a little more exercise than just a walk to town and back. The post office building is very cool (built in 1893). I'm not sure why I didn't snap a shot of the exterior, but here are some details from inside: We had to sign and mail a tax thing, so we waited in line to buy stamps and borrow a pen. (Note: get a pen for the boat.) Here's a good example of how we amuse ourselves with silly dialogue in public (but this time, we were whispering because this post office felt more like a library): Me: I'll distract 'em by buying stamps while you borrow a... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Riveted
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Yesterday on our way to pick up some groceries in Port Townsend, we walked past a McDonald’s. In the window was a large poster advertising the Filet-O-Fish® sandwich, two bucks on Fridays. Admittedly, I’m not the target demographic for McDonald's (at all), but I was mesmerized by this photograph. I said to Kevin “Could that food look ANY more processed!? The plastic bun, the machine-cut square of fish, the crayon-orange cheese, the marshmallow tartar sauce with perfectly placed pickle bits….” “You know It took a photographer, a huge team of food stylists and art directors (and likely an enormous budget) to make that Filet-O-Fish® photo happen.” As an advertisement, this felt like a total fail. I couldn’t imagine a Filet-O-Fish® looking any less appetizing than it did on this poster in the window of its maker. I assumed that the photography/money/art/food styling team would have instead aimed for creating an image depicting…well, something more appealing, organic, delicious, and less processed, plastic, precise. On the other hand, as an editorial photo (or art!), this photograph of the Filet-O-Fish® sandwich was PERFECT. The factory-fabricated Filet-O-Fish® in this photo looks exactly like what it is. The photographer had somehow managed to even amplify... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Riveted
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Today's gonna be just a regular work day for us, but it's gorgeous out and we have a killer view, and look!!! Otters to keep us company!! Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Riveted
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We woke up to some gorgeous light at Port Ludlow this morning. We headed north toward Port Townsend and decided to stop at Mystery Bay (on Marrowstone Island, just across the way from Port Townsend). Mystery Bay has a state park dock, and guess what they also have? A public beach open for oyster (and clam) harvesting. And hey, it's almost low tide! In we went. Map for reference: Avoiding the naval ammunitions restricted area: Docked at Mystery Bay: Oysters at low tide: I gathered good-looking oysters and brought them over to Kevin for shucking. The rules are that you have to shuck the oysters on the beach and leave the shells, so we came armed with an oyster knife, a couple of bowls, and a ziplock bag. Kevin found a little "table" spot on the piling under the pier to use for shucking: After shucking and rinsing and counting and tupperwaring our 36 oysters (18 each), we chatted for a few minutes with a woman digging for clams, and another guy shucking oysters. It's a pretty rich spot for shellfish, open only in the off season (October 1 through April 30) and honestly, there were only four people there... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Riveted
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Our original plan this morning was to hang out at Pleasant Harbor until a little before low tide and then book it out to Duckabush in the dinghy for some more oyster gathering. It was pretty windy this morning though, and we decided to walk up onto higher ground to see what it looked like outside our little pleasant harbor, and whoa! It was WAY whitecappy. We decided to bail on the Duckabush plan and head for Port Ludlow instead (and maybe find another spot for future oystering). When we first left Pleasant Harbor, we were met head-on with some pretty hefty waves. The forecast this morning said 15-25kt winds and 2-4 foot wind waves (upgraded from "less than 1 ft" forecast last night to a small craft warning today). But we've been in 2-4ft waves several times before and the it's no big deal for the Nordic Tug (it's always us we need to worry most about). I'd say our first few miles today were solidly on the 4 foot end of that spectrum, and it was dramatic but FUN! Nothing rattled or creaked, even when we were slamming down pretty hard (not even the non-plastic dishes, mom!) Kevin... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Riveted
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Yesterday was pretty cool...getting our own Pacific oysters from a public beach in Hood Canal, shucking and cleaning them right there in the dinghy, coming back to Airship and cooking 'em up all yummy! Here's the messy, "during" photo: This is how we prepared them. First, I made some hot sauce for dipping: 1/4 c light mayonnaise 1 Tbsp horseradish (I used the small package of prepared wasabi left over from the supermarket sushi we grabbed a week ago or so...I knew that would come in handy!) 1 tsp Dijon 1 Tbsp lime juice a tiny bit of sugar about 1 tsp. chipotle tabasco Into to fridge with that until we need it. Next, we mixed up in Bowl 1 - an egg dip (egg, milk), in Bowl 2 - a flour dip (flour, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder) ... (I would have used cayenne instead of the paprika/chili powder but we apparently don't have cayenne on the boat...yet.). Then, Bowl 3 was the panko coating (panko breadcrumbs, with some dried oregano and basil). I rinsed and patted the oysters dry, then did (1) egg dip (2) flour dip (3) another egg dip, and then (4) panko coating. Coated... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Riveted
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This is the best feeling, gliding across a wide expanse of calm water, with no one around for miles. Sometimes I let myself imagine that the water is land, and the feeling is surreal because you really can't get this experience driving a vehicle across land. There may be a few middle-of-nowhere on a motorcycle spots that get close, but it's probably not quite as peaceful as being on the water. We left Alderbrook this morning around 7:30am. We thought we might head up to Quilcene Bay where I found a couple of public beaches open for oyster harvesting. We stopped in Hoodsport again at the public dock (which was much, MUCH calmer than it was a few days ago) and walked up to the Shell Station next to the Hood River Market to get ourselves some shellfish licenses. Today was cloudy with some occasional sun and blue sky, and water that was calm as can be for our cruise back up the canal. I was browsing the good, public, open oyster beaches, and found one just south of Pleasant Harbor that looked easily accessible by dinghy, so we headed to Pleasant Harbor again. We arrived at about 11:30am, and... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Riveted
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After breakfast we set out to hike ALL the trails. There are over 3 miles of trails here at Alderbrook, and they're beautiful...hilly, green, forest, streams, birds, ferns, squirrels....it was a great hike! Not today: But, this: And we learned some stuff along the way: These guys REALLY wanted a house with a view, I guess. Walking back to the boat at low tide today (underwater). There are SO many oysters (most not in bags) here on this beach. I just did some research on the public oyster beaches in Hood Canal where the season is open, and there are a bunch of them that are open! Hmmmmm. There's a mixology class up at the lodge this evening I think we're going to attend (you know, to learn some more stuff), and then I think it's dinner on the boat and an early start tomorrow back north up the canal. We may stop at Quilcene or Dabob and give the oyster harvesting a shot. Related articles Hood Canal - Alderbrook The Walrus and the Carpenter Oro Bay, Boston Harbor, Hope Island Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Riveted
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This morning we left Pleasant Harbor and headed further south into Hood Canal to explore a bit. Sunrise light was pretty this morning: We really wanted to stop for an oyster lunch on the beach at Hama Hama Oyster Bar, but we couldn't figure out a way to get there by boat. In front of Hama Hama it's super shallow and covered in oyster beds and stuff, and on either side of the shallow parts it looked like private property. Unsure about the anchorage and after a bunch of research, nothing really gave us that "go" feeling. Plus, motoring the dinghy over oyster beds might not be cool, and when I called to find out their hours and told them we were trying to come visit by boat, they said they had no facilities for that...so, bummer. It was pretty choppy out today too, so if we'd found a place we thought we could anchor...there was the super-chop to contend with. Maybe we'll work out a plan for when we're heading back past on the way north. And maybe it will be calm. Here's a link to the entry from our previous Airstream trip to Hood River, and the Hama... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2015 at Riveted
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We left Bell Harbor/Seattle this morning just after 8am. It was such a beautiful day (again) that we wanted to spend most of it on the water if possible. Passing a couple tankers anchored in Puget Sound: We stopped in Kingston to grab some breakfast/lunch. The Port of Kingston is a very well-maintained, attractive marina with guest moorage free for 2 hours (and cute picnic areas right there on the dock): We walked up to a little spot called J'aime Les Crêpes and ordered two different savory crêpes: (1) "Chicken" -- grilled chicken, provolone cheese, spinich, toasted almonds, with artichioke pesto, and (2) "Special" -- black forest ham, swiss cheese, sauteed mushrooms, spinach, green onions and dijon mustard. These hit the spot! We walked around a bit and then hopped back on Airship, fueled up, pumped out, and continued on our way. Our initial plan was to head north toward Port Townsend, through the Port Townsend canal, and stop in Port Hadlock for the night, but as we passed Point No Point and were approaching Foulweather Bluff, we thought it would be a shame to miss (this time) Hood Canal, so we rerouted on the fly and headed toward Pleasant... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2015 at Riveted
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Last night we went to The Walrus the the Carpenter over in Ballard for dinner. It was SO good. We started with some oysters (Hama Hama and Blue Pool...both from Hood Canal). Next came a perfectly spaced series of small plates to share: fried Brussells sprouts, beef tartare with egg yolk and rye toast, grilled sardines topped with walnut pesto, octopus ceviche with fennel, red onion, and cilantro, and the most surprising dish of all...a chicken liver mousse with fennel mustard and spiced prunes. This was incredible. I'm not a big liver fan (even the really good pate and stuff is often a bit of a challenge for me) but this dish was amazing. The spice prunes had a sweet sauce that swirled around the fennel mustard and the combination was crazy good. Anyway, yum! (We tried the cocktail called "mustache ride", which was bourbon, cynar, lemon, allspice dram, maple...also very good.) The sunset was gorgeous again tonight. Here are two shots: (1) from the marina and then (2) from the car (Uber ride) on the way up to Ballard: Related articles Sluy's Poulsbo Bakery Working on the Water (Day Job) Lakebay, WA Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2015 at Riveted
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Today's blooming trees on Bainbridge Island: Last night's sunset in Seattle: Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2015 at Riveted
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It was another beautiful day in Seattle today. Perfectly clear skies and bright sun...warm, even! We had some more visitors (hi Rebecca and Brian!) mid-day today...we hung out on the boat and visited, grabbed some lunch up at Anthony's, and then hung out on the top deck soaking up the sun and visiting some more. This is Jackson, their son, working on his sketchbook/journal: Today's entry so far: "We went on a bot with frends" complete with cool drawing of a boat with lots of portholes! So sweet! I can't get over what a gorgeous day it was/is today! We walked up to the market this afternoon to get some fresh oysters for dinner tonight (a friend from art school who now lives in Seattle is coming over...someone I haven't seen in way too long!) We got six Kumamotos, six Kusshis, and six...oh shoot, I forgot the third kind. Bah. Anyway, tonight we're having oysters, and then Cubano sandwiches (with Kevin's 72-hour pulled pork). Looking forward to another fun evening with good people! One more shot of the pretty blue sky! Related articles Seattle Public Market Sunny Seattle Downtown Seattle by Boat Seattle Valentine This Morning in Blakely Harbor Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2015 at Riveted
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Great Wheel on the Seattle waterfront, with Valentine's Day themed light show, reflected: Yesterday our friends (Lisa and George and their girls Maya and Lily) came by to say hi and check out the boat. We grabbed a bite up on shore and then we took 'em for a quick cruise out to Alki Point and back. It was a gorgeous afternoon and a fun little cruise! The other day when we realized we were going to be in Seattle for Valentine's Day, we decided we felt like going out for dinner rather than cooking. I did a little research on Open Table to see if there were any nearby (decent) restaurants with availability, and found a 5pm slot at Roberto's Venetian Trattoria. The place sounded fun so we went for it. Roberto's is kind of buried in the layers of the Pike Place Market, but it's a cool spot. Casual but nice, and the food was good! We shared some carpaccio and a caprese salad, two half orders of pasta (spaghetti carbonara and a papardelle with cinghiale). As a main, we split an order of the pesto halibut, and then shared the recommended tiramisu (which was much more like... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2015 at Riveted
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This morning (after a cute sendoff from these two friendly ducks) we left Arabella's Landing in Gig Harbor. We made another stop at the guest dock of the Tides Tavern and had a "brunch" of fish tacos before heading north to Seattle. A bit of fog coming in: Heading out of the harbor: Visibility in Colvos Channel was pretty limited, but it cleared up after not too long. Nice view of Mt. Rainier: Gorgeous sky behind us: Just as we were nearing the tip of Vashon Island, I got a text from our friend Sam (he's got a Nordic Tug 37) who saw us on AIS. I had just opened my vessel tracking app and seen him around the west side of Blake Island, and I texted back "We see you too!" and then pretty soon we saw a little boat speeding toward us fast, and guess who it was?? Sam and his girlfriend Anna coming all the way out to say hi. We slowed and chatted for a few minutes and then they took off back to Blake. Fun! There they go! That's Blake Island in the background: On our way into Seattle, right off of Duwamish Head, we... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2015 at Riveted
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Another gorgeous sunrise in Lakebay! We left our mooring buoy at Penrose Point State Park this morning around 10:30am and headed toward Gig Harbor. In this shot below, you can just barely make out Mt. Rainier through the clouds, to the left of the trees on the point: It was a beautiful, quiet cruise over to Gig Harbor. Here we are just outside the harbor: We stopped first at the Tides Tavern, tied up at the guest dock, and then headed up to have lunch. We both had halibut and chips and it was very good...we rank it right up there with the best we've had (and the tartar sauce was crazy good...they wouldn't tell us what made it so good/different though). Airship at the guest dock: Tides Tavern: We took advantage of the 4 hour guest tie up and walked up to West Marine after lunch to pick up a few things (another fender in case we end up going through the Ballard Locks, so we now have a set of three for port and three for starboard). Then, we motored down to Arabella's Landing and got a nice spot on their guest dock for the night. We put... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2015 at Riveted
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This morning we got up, did a bunch of work, had some coffee, and then headed out for a hike to Penrose Point. It was foggy on the water, but still beautiful. There are several miles of trail here at the Penrose Point State Park (and a campground plus a bunch of day use areas), and the trail meanders through some gorgeous forest with occasional peeks out to the rock- and shell-covered shore. Oysters on the beach: Also, I learned (from a helpful sign along the trail) that sand dollars live in communities of up to 500 individuals per square yard. (!!!) Related articles Lakebay, WA Working on the Water (Day Job) Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2015 at Riveted
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This is one of our new favorite spots in the South Sound: Lakebay and Penrose Point State Park. This is where we moored last night, on a marine state park buoy, and it looked JUST LIKE THAT. Amazing isn't it? It is so very still here. We took the dinghy into shore (past the marina and cafe, closed during the week in the winter) and tied up to the state park dock so we could go take a look around. That's our dinghy out there at the end of the dock: Before we went to the dock, we headed for a shallow cove, but it proved too shallow (and too COVERED with oysters and shells) to nicely beach the dinghy. We walked out on the beach a ways and I've never seen so many sand dollars (alive!) in my life. I think I only recently learned what they looked like when they're alive (at an aquarium on the Oregon Coast)...they're dark purple and covered in fuzz. Here's one: (Though I can't be certain of its aliveness since it was on the beach, and not underwater.) Many sizes of sand dollars (those little ones are about the size of a quarter):... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2015 at Riveted
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Jarrell Cove, Harstine Island, WA Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2015 at Riveted
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Sometimes when I'm driving the boat and Kevin's working on his laptop next to me in the pilot house, this is what he's working on: Most of his articles are written for professional engineers and fall toward the more tech/nerdy side, but this one will be accessible by many, so I thought I'd share it. Related articles Blurry Wildlife Quirky Olympia Poulsbo: Little Norway on the Fjord Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2015 at Riveted
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After we left Allyn, WA, we headed for Jarrell Cove on Harstine Island, with an ETA of about 5pm. So, let's talk about this island. I'd been writing it "Hartstene" when emailing with friends, but then on the chart I noticed it said "Harstine". Oops. My bad. So Harstine it is. Wonder how that happened!? Then today, on one chart (the Garmin on the boat) it says Harstine and on the other chart (on the iPad) it says Hartstene. When Kevin checked us in with a photo earlier, it pegged us at Hartstene Island. But when I looked something else up, it was Harstine Island. WTF? I Googled it, and look what I found on its Wikipedia Page: "For most of the island's history, there wasn't a single standard spelling of its name. Even today, several different spellings are used. "Of the several possible ways to spell the name of the island, Hartstene and Harstine are the most used and most popular. Both have been used nearly interchangeably in many published references including Wikipedia, and (http://www.co.mason.wa.us/). Alternate spellings of the name include Hartstene, Harsteen, Harstein, Harstene, Hartstein and Harstine. In 1997 Washington State Legislative action resulted in the name officially... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2015 at Riveted
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This morning we left Olympia and headed north toward Harstine Island. The sky was beautiful and the water was calm, and it only sprinkled a little bit during our cruise. Our original plan was to moor at McMicken Island on the east side of Harstine, but en route we decided we couldn't pass up a stop at Allyn, WA for one of Big Bubba's Burgers and to check out the George Kenny School of Chainsaw Carving, LLC (listed on Yelp under "Art Schools"). We docked at the city dock and walked the block into town and stopped first at Big Bubba's. 103-year old church across the street from Big Bubba's: Big Bubba's is a walk-up, roadside burger stand (since 1966): Happy Motoring Begins Here! They have outdoor (covered and non-covered) seating in the way of picnic tables: We tried today's special, the chipotle burger with bacon and roasted jalapenos and it was delicious! Just down the road a bit on the same side of the street (you can't miss it) is the George Kenny School of Chainsaw Carving (and wine tasting, and martial arts): Where the magic happens: The yard is open to the public and you can wander at... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2015 at Riveted
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Yesterday morning our friend Cari came into town to see the boat and hang out a bit. We all walked up to the fish market (Olympia Seafood Co.) to stock up before she left. We picked up a dozen Blue Pool oysters (which we ate for lunch), some crab cakes (which we ate for dinner), some smoked salmon spread, some frozen razor clams, and a pound each of fresh Alaskan halibut and king salmon. This market is great! The people are super helpful and friendly and we'll definitely come back here! After our morning visit with Kari, my mom came up from Kelso with her two white shepherds, Pirate and Journey, for an afternoon visit and to see the boat. (Olympia's about as close as we'll get to her for a while...about an hour's drive.) We cleated the dogs' leashes and got them set up on the aft deck and went for a little cruise in the bay here. Here's Pirate at the aft door, looking very at home: It was such a fun visit! After my mom left we headed back over to Swantown Marina for the night, and this morning after we finish up the first round of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2015 at Riveted