Posts Tagged ‘Colorado’

You read that right. Sundown is for sale! Click here (https://boatsforsalebyowners.net/106413) to get details and please pass along the link to anyone you think may be interested in buying her.


Now for the back story…

The last I wrote, Clay and I were beginning our six-week sailing adventure of the summer. True to form, British Columbia was beautiful and we were having fun exploring new-to-us ports and anchorages. We also experienced a series of events typical of boating that I find a bit unnerving, like waking up one morning to a loud thumping noise which turned out to be another sailboat that drug right into us. (How often have you woke up to find your neighbor’s house banging into to yours?)


Another day, with the mainsail and genoa deployed and 23 knots of wind on our tail, we were crossing the Strait of Georgia. The current was flowing in the opposite direction of the wind, so the seas were relatively big and uncomfortable in my definition (8 to 10 feet tall and close together). Sundown is a heavy displacement blue water cruiser, so she and her Captain Clay were loving it. (“This is just good sailing,” Clay likes to say.) I, on the other hand, was terrified as we heeled significantly about every fifth wave (to the point of needing to reef the main so we wouldn’t broach) and my keen imagination could see my husband falling overboard, leaving me to wrestle down the sails, turn the boat around in the steep seas and save his life. Additionally, the motion of the ocean was making me feel horribly sick. (Have I mentioned that I have a life-long history of motion sickness? And that even in our slip when the boat rocks about due to fetch from passing boats I’m plagued by nausea?)

Basically, I don’t like sailing. The best part of a day on the water for me is when we anchor or dock and I can get off the boat to go for a run or hike. I am admittedly and unapologetically a land lubber who will be much happier with a firm, unmoving structure to call home. I also will be overjoyed to be able to have a big dog again, like our beloved Serendipity who we had to leave behind and who has since passed.


How does Clay feel about all of this? I’ll let him speak for himself…

He says, “I know this is just another chapter in the adventures of Clay and Kim! I have already started thinking about the next boat project, and once Sundown is sold and we are settled I can start building a smaller boat, maybe a coastal cruising yawl that I can trailer.”

It’s been a grand four years living aboard s/v Sundown and we don’t regret this experience at all. We’ve made so many friends and seen so many amazing sights. Our lives have been enriched beyond measure, but it’s time for a new adventure of a more terrestrial kind that, for now, will be centered back in Colorado where our parents and all of our kids live.

Soon we’ll be hiking and backpacking in the Rockies, paddling our Wee Rob canoes across fresh-water lakes sans big waves and swell (Clay built them), and pedaling our bikes on the several-hundred miles of trails in NoCo. We’ll also be dreaming up the next grand adventure.


When we began our sailing journey, many people asked how long we planned to live aboard. We answered, “Until the time we don’t want to.” That time has come.

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The last five weeks or so have been non-stop action! First, we sailed (or motored when there wasn’t much wind) from northern British Columbia to Bellingham, Wash., in nine days—two of those days we sat out weather on the hook. So in seven travel days we did about 375 miles. When you go five to six knots an hour, that’s 50-60 miles a day, and 10- to 12-hour days. Whew!

After securing Sundown on Squalicum Harbor’s dock, we took a shuttle to Seattle, flew to Denver and then drove to Fort Collins with one of our sons. We’ll take the traffic in San Juan Channel in July over that on Interstate 25 any day!

The next three weeks was filled with lots of family, friends and fun. We cuddled with our dog; paddled, biked, ran and swam; cooked for dozens of people multiple times; celebrated birthdays; ate at our favorite restaurant, Los Tarascos; worked (yes, that “W” word); and more! While we went home rather emergently, everything/everyone ended up being fine.

Now we’re back in Washington. The first few days here I was on deadline and cranked out several magazine articles and columns. While being home afforded me time for face-to-face meetings and working at Unite for Literacy‘s office with my colleagues, all of which are very valuable, I didn’t get much time to write. So once we arrived in Bham, my keyboard almost ignited I was typing so fast!
On Monday, we had Sundown hauled out, pressure washed and blocked at Seaview North. She sat on the hard in the boatyard for a couple of days while we performed some routine maintenance, such as:
  • Replacing the cutlass bearing on the propellor
  • Making sure the engine was aligned properly (it was)
  • Replacing a couple zincs
  • Re-painting her hull and boot stripe
  • Buffing her topsides
  • Polishing all of her stainless steel rigging, and finally
  • Cleaning the deck and windows.
The pressure wash peeled up the “N” on one side of Sundown’s transom. Clay called  Graphic Partners in Loveland, the company who made our port of hail lettering, and they are shipping another set of letters to us ASAP and free of charge! Thank you, Shavon!
And while we were in Fort Collins, Dave from UK Sailmakers made small adjustments to our mainsail and genoa. He’s also serving as our postbox here in Bellingham. We appreciate him very much!
So, Sundown’s shiny, ready to sail and we’re off to Anacortes, Wash., to meet up with our friends Bob and Sandy. They just bought a new boat and want Clay to do some work on it. We like that town and love “Sob and Bandy,” so it will be a good time. We’re hoping Clay can get more work while there to help pay off the extra expense of our trip home and the boatyard bill. Time will tell.

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Kim and I have just returned from our first extended leave from Sundown since we moved aboard in September. (more…)

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IMG_0029I lived in Colorado the majority of my life, since the age of 7. It’s all I know—till now. Colorado lies in a High Desert climate zone and is basically bone dry. As a result, I am familiar with ailments like lizard skin that I would remedy by slathering on almond oil before ever stepping out of the shower. Or cracked, bleeding fingers from fall till spring that Super Glue would temporarily fix. I used a saline nasal spray to keep my nasal passages moist. A whole-house humidifier would kick on whenever the furnace ran to try to add a bit of soothing moisture to my home’s inside air.

IMG_2762Living on a boat in the Pacific Northwest is a whole different reality. (more…)

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Sunset on Sundown

Our new life continues to provide an abundance of things to do every day. (more…)

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IMG_1854One of my FAVORITE things is lined-dried sheets. They smell and feel so fresh and clean. And soon, I’ll be enjoying those sheets on a new mattress in Sundown. (more…)

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Woot! It’s a day of celebration at Port Sundown. We made our final boat payment! Sundown is all ours. Well actually, we’ve had Sundown’s title since we bought her. We took out a loan against one of our 401k retirement accounts and paid for her in full, so the monthly payments with interest we’ve been making have been to ourselves. Still, it feels great knowing we’re finished paying off that loan, because now we have that much more money each month to invest in refurbishing Sundown and getting her ready for our cruising adventure. Our ticket to ride–or sail–feels that much more real. Yea!


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We’ve taken one more step to launch us in the direction of living full time on Sundown, our Hans Christian 33t sailboat. (more…)

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Sailboat on Grand Lake

Clay and I are celebrating our 12-year anniversary today. In some ways it feels like we got married only a couple years ago. In another, it seems we’ve always been together. Either way, it’s all great! (more…)

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Teaching TS101

While we’re still land locked, bicycling is a big part of our lives. As League of American Bicyclists certified instructors, we often teach Traffic Skills 101 classes. As Bicycle Ambassadors, we give presentations in our community on the same subject. I also am a member of a women’s bike commuting team sponsored by Hottman Law Office. (more…)

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