Nov 182016

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Her name is Matia — a darling little Ranger Tug boat that I am in no doubt, thoroughly smitten over.  I’ve been wishing for a little tug boat for the longest while (even when we had our last boat) and my tug dream came true late this summer when hubby bought it for me.  For US.

Matia was built in Kent, Washington at the Ranger Tug factory and came home to the San Juan Islands with us.   HOME is here now (we’ve uprooted from Eastern Washington and are selling off some of our property.  Anyone interested in a cute little slice of Heaven in the charming town of Roslyn? Comes with two 30 amp plugins, a historic cabin, fruit trees galore (plum, apple and cherry that bear the sweetest fruit perfect for pies or just plain pickin’ off the branches and savoring the flavor while you stroll around the property).  A golden, sun flecked pasture is your view with the sweetest horses as neighbors – let me know if you know anyone interested.  I’m kind of hoping it won’t sell.  Don’t tell the hubby :)

We’ve been looking in the islands for another slice of Heaven and by golly,  I think we’ve found it!  Keep your fingers crossed for the Bennett’s because if this happens then our Silver Girl will have a new home, situated waterfront along the Salish Sea with views of the strait where orcas and humpback whales come to play and bald eagles soar high above.  Did I mention there is also a beach with the most amazing tide pools (according to our {hopefully} new neighbor who happens to be the nicest fellow) and a boat ramp too? And a nice big patch for a garden (a garden) . . . and, and, I could go on I tell ya.  I’m very hopeful the seller accepts our offer *fingers crossed*  But what shall be, shall be (I shall remain very hopeful!)

Now back to Matia, Hubby and I fondly named her after the island Matia, which just happens to be one of our favorite islands in the San Juan archipelagos.  She’s one of the smallest islands and boasts some of the dreamiest hiking trails that reward with breathtaking views.  It’s a glorious place that holds blissful memories for hubby and I — we can hardly wait until we visit again.

There are so many things I adore about our boat and the galley is tops on my list.  I do only have one little electric burner, which is fine and dandy — but the situation is as such — when we’re under way cruising up and over the waves out on the Salish Sea, or settled in for the night on the hook — that little electric burner won’t turn on due to the huge power draw it requires (we must be plugged into shore power or have a generator on board).  So underneath that electric burner is a place to pour denatured alcohol into and cook over that.  I’ve tried it and well, lets just say I’ve decided that we needed a bigger, beefier cook top.  Enter the Dickinson Sea-B-Que.  Thanks to my friend Laura who runs the fabulous travel (airplane, airstream & boat!) site, Riveted, she told me that the Dickinson grills are by far, the best and can I just say?  I couldn’t agree more.  Thank you Laura! Not only does the Sea-B-Que look stunningly gorgeous mounted on the railing, it’s a powerful workhorse that comes with porcelain grates that will get sooooooo hot you’ll be able to sear anything beautifully!

Thus far I have prepared on the Sea-B-Que, endless pots of coffee, cast iron skillet eggs, toasted raisin bread with melty butter, roasted veggies, Cajun grilled salmon and even boiled about five big pots of fresh caught Dungeness crab.  This grill has been my savior and has completely updated my galley.  Also, compared to the other marine grills out on the market, the Sea-B-Que will never flame out.  It’s very true and you’ve just heard it from me.  I was skeptical but while we were on the hook in Blind Bay (in between Shaw and Orcas), it was W I N D Y !  You could hear the wind angrily whipping around the grill and the flame still blazing away inside powerful and strong like a raging lion that would not give up. I was so impressed it didn’t flame out!  Compared to the previous two grills we’ve had on our past two boats, there is no comparison.  None.  It was quite disheartening because it’s no fun when you’re enjoying life out on the water when you go to check on dinner that should be cooking up nice and hot on the grill to only discover it’s been sitting there getting COLD because the flame, flamed out.  What?!  I’ve been there way to many times, thankfully never again.

Our experience buying Matia with Ranger Tugs has been such a pleasure and believe me, we’re experienced boaters who have been around the block or two regarding boat purchases.  This experience with Ranger was such a breath of fresh sea air!  They care about their customers, just like our friends Nick and Karen at Airstream of Spokane care about their customers.  They really, really give a darn.  They even have an online forum similar to Airstream where boat owners can discuss anything boating and Ranger Tug related.  I want to really thank Andrew for his patience while hubby and I tried to figure out which boat would be ours, and Kenny for his incredible patience with me and always being there and also a huge thank you to Glen who got us up to speed on piloting the boat to the San Juans.  Thank you sweet fellas !!

I also want to say I’m so sorry for not being around here as much this summer (your sweet emails of concern warmed my heart).  For me this summer was a whirlwind – it passed so quickly!  My garden at home did rather well, plenty of beautiful red sweet tomatoes but my poor tomatillo plant, what happened I still wonder?  Hundreds of fruits on that little bush but they never grew into “fruit.”  It’s like they remained so tiny in their papery shells and eventually just fell off.  Zucchinis, collard greens, lemon cucumbers (lemon cucumbers!), and Chinese eggplants all did well.  It’s been a bit of a withdrawl process weaning off the fresh veggies.  But so it is.  

A side note:  A bit of an exciting experience happened, Airstream flew out to film/photograph/interview me in my silver girl over the summer!  I can’t say too much about what’s to come, but it was a day I will never forget.  I felt like a queen :)  Can’t wait to share with you more as it all unfolds.

Wherever you are tonight, I hope you’re snug as bugs in rugs — Autumn is upon us — a new season for new beginnings.  What a beautiful life it is and continues to be ♥  

Warm hugs to you,

Monica XOXO

  31 Responses to “The Little Tug That Could ♥”

  1. Beautiful! Such a heart warming post to see you very happy on the waters in the islands…not Hawaii but still beautiful! B is getting so big. Cheers to a wonderful holiday season and new year ahead!


  2. Now this post made me truly happy. That Ranger Tug is nothing short of fabulous and the Pacific Northwest setting is match made in heaven. I look forward to following the modifications and adventures just like I have with Laura and Kevin. It is truly inspiring to sit in my office and follow along. I hope your offer is accepted on the land so that you are ready for Airstream guests by the summer of 2018. That looks like it would be worth a 34 hour drive. Best wishes from the Trout family.

    • Thanks buddy! Thank you for your sweet commend :) I am really in love with our little boat! Also — Laura and Kevin are the sweetest and have really helped me along on product recommendations (like the grill) and advice in general. Very thankful for them. Hopefully it’s not too cold in Ohio — sending you and your beautiful family {{{{{HUGS}}}} and happy holidays !! XOXO

  3. Am over-the -moon happy for you & your family Monica! “Matia” is as charming & salty a vessel as your Silver Girl is as the sweet casita over hill & dale. So looking forward to hearing about & viewing those drool-worthy photographs we have come to enjoy & be inspired by, from you. Best thoughts go with you at this time of transition. Cannot wait for the next installment, as we also look forward to the posts from “Airship” & her incredible crew. How delicious!! PW

    • It was so nice to read your comment PW, thank you!! Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy knowing I’ve got such sweet followers as yourself. Thank you for being here!

  4. Beautiful! Can’t wait hear about all your new adventures, and of course all the new foods⚓️

  5. What wonderful news…I can tell you are more than excited. My very best wishes and hopes for you in this new journey…whether by land or by sea…it will be an adventure. I will also be looking forward to hearing about the interview with you and your Silver Girl. My best to you!

    • Thank you for your well wishes Janel — means so much :) I look forward to sharing more about the Airstream interview, SOON ! Wishing you a happy holiday season :) XOXO

  6. My favorite blogging hero is BACK. YEAH!!

  7. Fabulous post. Missed your frequent over the summer. We love Friday Harbor. Best wishes on your selling….buying possibilities.

    How does one ‘vote’ for you?

    • Thank you Carroll and thank you for your wishes on our property — still crossing our fingers ! Oh and I apologize, I neglected to update my eblast form where I was asking for votes to hopefully become Seattle’s A-List Best Food Blogger. The good news is that I won :) Wishing you a happy holiday season XOXO

  8. Hi Monica… SO happy to see a new post… I guess I knew you were ok somehow, I think you told me you got a tug so I knew you were ok and just having fun with your new boat… And she’s a beauty!

    So did you move to Friday Harbor? Or just keeping the boat there? That’s a long commute.

    Or are you just making changes in your life?

    I love Friday Harbor and loved seeing the photos of the Dock I walked so many times. And the hikes up to Lime Kiln and the light house. I think I’d like to visit up there again. Perhaps bring the Airstream on a Ferry. Is there an RV park on San Juan Island to stay at. I know you’ve brought yours there many times. I just didn’t know if you camped on private land.

    Happy Holiday trails!
    Love, Rainey

    Now I’m so excited to see what you and Airstream have brewing! Can’t wait!

    • Hi honey! Thank you!! We’re keeping the boat in Friday Harbor and paying weekend visits to her :) I think about you quite often when we are there, how much fun you must have had. If you ever do come back, you should most definitely bring the Airstream! There are a few beautiful places to camp in the islands. On San Juan Island there is Lakedale Resort, on Lopez Island there is Fisherman’s Bay (across the street from the marina) and on Orcas you have Moran State Park as well as West Beach Resort. I wish I could have both Airstream and boat up here, hopefully one day.

      Sending you and your family happy holiday wishes and big {{{{{HUGS}}}} xoxo

  9. Congrats!!! And looking forward to many more adventures of tug and stream!

  10. I swear I love you. Your photography transports me away and is like therapy. It’s been so long, so glad to see you back. Congratulations on your adorable boat. Can’t wait to see what kind of feasts you will cook up on that grill!

  11. Thrilled is not a big enough word to describe what it was like to see you posting again. have missed you! How is it possible that you can make everything you touch look so gorgeous? Your new little boat fits you so much, how cute she is! Also very happy to see you posting about cooking – what a beautiful grill and setting to cook up your menus! Looking forward to following your ocean adventures.

  12. Glad to see you are back here and what a great boat, congrats! Wondering if you’ll be posting before Thanksgiving? Would be grateful to know what your menu will be like and will you be on your boat this year or silver girl? Please keep posting recipes, have missed them. Wishing you, hubby, B and Oliver a warm holiday season.

    • I am such a doof! So sorry for taking so long to respond! We spent the holiday on our boat and I cooked up a turkey breast, will share more on that very soon. Thank you for being here and sorry again for being so late!

  13. Unbelievable photography!! Surreal.

  14. So very happy for you and the crew ! What a great tug. You’ve planted a seed in my mind- hmmn six months on water, six months on land-what do you think ? It is just gorgeous, can’t wait for the posts that you will generate while aboard. Safe travels, fair winds and following seas….Love, Sandy

    • Thanks honey! I’m lovin’ on that idea — six months a pop — not a bad way to go if I do say so myself ;) One of these days we’ll have to either RV it or boat it over to see you ♥

  15. Wow, congrats! Sounds like you may be moving to my island! I look forward to seeing you around if/when the sale goes through? Sounds like a spectacular piece of property (little bit jealous!)

    • Hey Heidi — can I just say :) How fortunate you are to live in the gloriously beautiful SJI’s — count me jealous! Really enjoying our time there with our little boat and hopefully piece of property (we visit it everytime we are there and just DREAM about the possibilities) ♥

  16. I love how the simple yet most beautiful moments are captured in your photos!

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