Thursday, February 16, 2017

Our Story or How We Got Here

I have been asked to write up a short synopsis of "Our Story" for the Eagle Harbour Yacht Club.  This is our second year with the EHYC.  We joined because of our friends and fellow Ranger Tug owners that vouched for our integrity.  These friends are Allan and Yvonne, Janeane and Lyman, and Maureen and David.  I hope we can live up to their opinions of us.

The short story starts in Port Isabel, Texas.  One of my favorite expressions is from a boat dealer in Friday Harbor, WA.  He says "You live on an island, you need a boat".
Well, Willie and I bought a water front lot in Port Isabel, Texas.  Sometime later we built a home with a boat house on the water.  So my friends said "You have a dock, you need a boat".

We made a couple of exploratory purchases before we determined how we liked to use a boat.  Our first boat for Port Isabel (Not our first boat, but that is another story) was a SeaDoo. It was a great boat, 50 MPH across the bay in front of our home, open to enjoy the elements.  Herein the problem, Willie did not like to get wet while boating.  So the search continued.  We met a neighbor, Jim Bathhurst who owned a C-Dory 25.  He took us on a ride around the bay during rainy weather.   Willie did not get wet and stayed warm.  She said now THIS is a proper boat.  So many searches later we find a Ranger Tug R21 in North Carolina.  We drive out to look at her and bring home the first Willie's Tug.  She was and is a great boat.  A cabin to keep us dry and warm and a very salty look to meet my approval.  We spent many hours playing among the dolphins (the live ones, not the posts). and enjoying the shallow bay waters in front of our home.

After cruising with our local yacht club to a neighboring community for dinner and an overnight, we found that we lacked a bit in creature comforts for anything more than day cruising.  Alaska mosquitos do not hold a candle to South Texas mosquitos on a hot summers night with not a breeze within 200 miles.  So we went to Bremerton for the Ranger Tug Rendezvous and bought a much larger Ranger Tug R27 which we also christened Willie's Tug as our R21 was now "Hercules" and had a new owner.
For a few years, we trailered our R27 from Texas to the PNW in the spring and back to Texas in the fall.

For many years, since taking a motorhome trip to Alaska several years ago, we have wanted to visit Sitka Alaska.  Sitka has so much history and is even part of our Louisiana heritage.  So we traded our R27 for a new Ranger Tug R31 feeling that we would be more comfortable in the larger boat with our golden retreiver Jake.  We planned to make the trip in 2014, however I had to have surgery before we could leave Seattle.  The larger R31 was perfect as we secured moorage at Stimson Marina in Ballard, just a short 40 Bus ride away from Virginia Mason.  After being released from the surgery, we were able to give the R31 a good check ride into the Broughton's and Hood Canal making good use of our shortened cruising season.
Finally in 2015, we were able to take our Willie's Tug all the way to Sitka, Alaska.  For us it was a dream come true, 3 months from Anacortes to Anacortes with over a week spent in Sitka.  The trip itself is another story, and more details can be found on Willie's blog at andwilliesaid.blogspot.com 
Our new friends Diane and Riley stated that they have moved up to a larger boat as they age.  That seems to be our MO as well.  We have downsized our home, but hope to upsize our boat a bit for more comfortable living during the 5 to 6 months a year that we spend in the PNW.  This year we hope to make at least a couple of the outings with the Eagle Harbour Yacht Club.  Thanks for welcoming us to your group.