Sunday, May 10, 2015

Cruising sailors have the best friends in the world.

Mothers Day, 2015

As continuous travelers we meet the most amazing people... and then, far too soon, we move on tacking in different directions.     The only constant is change, friends and family always in our wake, new adventures on the horizon.

After 9+ years on the go, we were ready to drop anchor and reconnect with family, become active in a local community, plant a garden and recharge the cruising kitty.  At first we thought we'd sell the boat and build something, the mere idea of a grand change was seductive, lots of ideas, but nothing that stuck.  More reflection revealed that we're probably acutely infected with wanderlust and boat people for life, so why sell what we love?

Living in Alameda (East San Francisco Bay) is really nice, similar to Seattle in summer. Lots of sun, not too much heat.  Alameda is an island, so that a natural fit.  The community is really just one big neighborhood and bike friendly.  We've joined an outdoor community pool, so between living on the boat, on a island, and swimming several times a week, it sort of like cruising.  A few miles down the beach from our Marina is one of the better kite boarding beaches, the island of Alameda pretty much has it all.   We feel lucky to be here.

Last week I really put down roots.  Our marina offers garden plots to live-aboards, so we're fulfilling a long held desire to get some dirt under our finger nails and grow some amazing organic vegetables.

We're in transition, but keeping close to our new roots at least until fall harvest...


Garden plot had gone fallow for 3+ years.

 I excavated down 16" then screened all the soil to remove roots and rocks.  Then with laid chicken wire horizontally to prevent moles and ground squires from burrowing under the fence and feasting on all the organic goodness.

Next was some drip irrigation tubing burred in the sub soil.  The idea was to water the plants at their roots to save water from evaporation.   California has huge water problems, so were doing our part.

Perimeter fence is in and I'm now adding the third round of soil amendments to the silty sandy fill dredged from the bay, soil amendments were added to increase water retention and provide plant nutrients. 

 Just a few minutes from the garden is Ploughshares Nursery and the the manager Eric provided lots helpful advice.

 Picking out the plants was the equivalent of shopping for boat bling, but way cheaper.  I think I already need a 3' bigger garden!
 Plants are in!  Strawberries on the left, garlic, onions, lettuce, broccoli and cucumber on the top.  kale and spaghetti squash in the middle, Beets on the bottom.  To the right are tomatoes.  Not pictured, Rhubarb, pole beans and hot peppers. Wish I had more room!

First taste of the fruits of my labors.  To promote root growth and more abundant harvest later in the year, I pinched off  (most) all the flowers, so my plants can focus on root growth over fruit growth... 

Roots are down.