September 12, 2015:

Hello from Colorado!  I am currently in Grand Junction, CO for a family reunion and it’s beautiful here!  In addition to the family gatherings and catching up, I have found some time to go and explore… Just a 15 minute drive from town is the Colorado National Monument, with amazing canyons, views and rock formations. Drive just about an hour in the other direction and you’re at the top of Grand Mesa, the largest flat-topped mountain in the world, covered in pine trees, aspen and over 300 lakes.  It was so beautiful and I wish we had more time to explore it.

Overlook at the Colorado National Monument
Overlook at the Colorado National Monument
Looking out over Columbus Canyon
Looking out over Columbus Canyon
Taking in the scenery at Mesa Lakes
Taking in the scenery at Mesa Lakes
So many butterflies. Lots of chipmunks, beaver dams, crickets and grasshoppers too.
So many butterflies. Lots of chipmunks, beaver dams, crickets and grasshoppers too.
 My Dad and I in the Aspen trees..
My Dad and I in the Aspen trees..

Anyways, we’ve been doing lots of researching and learning more and more.  Last week we got to go on an evening sail with Dee, our ASA 101 instructor. It was another beautiful evening out on the Columbia River and we had another great sail!  Even better, we spent the entire evening picking Dee’s brain about cruising, buying a boat and her experiences.  She is just a wealth of knowledge and experience, we are SO grateful to have met her and that’s she’s been so helpful!!

The evening was spent discussing boat makes, surveys, cabin layouts, spade vs skeg rudders, water makers, solar panels, sailing with a dog, budgets for food and maintenance, and so much more.  We were able to get so much great advice and information!  After the sail, we went out to grab some food and drinks and keep the conversation going.  We were sorry to have to leave, but had such a great night and learned so much!

We’ve also been spending a lot of time checking and searching various sailing forums, looking for crew opportunities.  I’ve been pursuing two different boats looking for crew to sail from Puget Sound down to Mexico, and have been emailing back and forth with the boats owners.  Getting on one of these trips would be a great way to get some real, open water experience.  I’m also excited about these because they’re starting close to home, which allows me the opportunity to meet the owner to discuss plans and logistics as well as see the boat ahead of time.

I’m meeting up with one of the boat owners in Seattle this coming Sunday, tomorrow, hoping to learn more about his plans, experience and see if it’s the right fit!  I’m super excited, but nervous too… From what I’ve read, the passage from the Straight of Juan de Fuca down to San Francisco can be quite difficult, depending on the weather, and we’re nearing the end of the right season to make this passage.  So I’m excited to learn more. If it’s a good fit, he plans to leave as soon as there’s a good weather window, so I could be on my way to the open ocean very soon!  Eeek! 😬😯

More updates coming soon.. As always, thanks for reading!

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