Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pearl Party

Friends join me to learn about pearls and leave sporting their own handmade pearl bracelets. A perfect day.

Monday, December 22, 2008

J Dock Celebrates

J Dock Celebrates Friends and Good Cheer with a gathering around the dock box.

Friday, December 12, 2008

We Did It!!!

December 21, 2008
"Dear Fran,

Due to all of the snow and nasty weather, I really had to rush this past week to make sure that as many things as possible were able to go home with the kids. It was amazing that every time I was worried we might not have enough of something, the perfect amount would show up.

Last Tuesday, when the weather up here was bitterly cold (11 degrees with a wind chill of -2), I was able to divide up and give out all of the gloves. You and your amazing elves were able to collect enough gloves that not only all of the elementary students in grades K-6 got a new pair of gloves, but I was able to give out gloves to all of the Head Start students and to the middle school kids as well!

Then, on Wednesday when the weather was so bad that the kids had to be sent home after just 2 hours of school, I was able to give out a new hat to every student K-6 to help beat the cold. The box that you had ordered of hats arrived at just the right time. Now, when we do get back to school after the holidays, I will be able to pass out the rest of the new crayons, markers, and other gifts as a fun way to start the new year.

Again, thank you for all of your support and hard work to get these things for our students.
It really could not have come at a better time!
Happy Holidays!
Dawn Walker - second grade teacher Lummi Nation School"

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You,
This would not have been possible without each and every one of you. I put 3 huge boxes in the mail today filled to the brim with gloves, hats, markers, crayons, coloring books. I spent your money to fill in any gaps for each grade level.
Every single child will receive gloves, hat and at least one other item.
(crayons, markers, coloring book, books)
As more checks arrive I will continue to order items the children need. I expect to be mailing another big box on Monday from Cedar Wood Elementary, the staff there helped out as well. You have made a lot of children very happy this year.

You did good!!!

Elf Fran

Both of these online companies are the places I ordered from. They offer great deals .

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Santa needs some serious helpers!!!

Dear Friends and Family,
Today I had the opportunity to provide science training to teachers at the Lummi Tribal School. At lunch the discussion led to Santa letters. It seems that many of the children's letters asked Santa for gloves, hats, color crayons (they could call their own) and coloring books. Over hearing this discussion I couldn't help but feel the pain these teachers have on a daily bases as they watch these little kiddos go without so much.

So how about we help them out!!!
The Fred Meyer in town is selling gloves for $1.20. The local Dollar Stores have gloves as well. I would love to get a box of gloves in the mail by Thursday so that the teachers can wrap and distribute the gifts from Santa's helpers, Us.

Here are the needs:

(figure about half boys/ half girls for all grade levels)

Kindergarten- 40 kids, 1st grade 30 kids, 2nd grade 20 kids,- 3rd grade 30 kids,

4th grade 30 kids, 5th grade 25 kids, 6th grade 30 kids

K-3rd grade --children's sizes 4-6th grade-- adult sizes.

  • You can get your items to me and I'll mail them

  • You can mail them to the school yourself

  • Or if you want to make a donation, I'll go shopping and take care of all the details

Think how much joy your small gift will mean to a child of 6 who is only asking Santa for gloves!!!

Mail items to:

Dawn Walker (Santa's Helper)

Lummi Nation School

2334 Lummi View Dr.

Bellingham, WA 98226

What do you say we help these kids out and provide a small bit of cheer.

If you feel you would like to do more think about adopting a full grade level and sending a package of coloring books, markers, crayons, pens, or pencils. Remember if you do this we need to make sure every child in that grade level receives something.

Thank you everyone in advance for your generosity. No money can go directly to the school, only items.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

1/2 Marathon Walk

Overall Place: 563
Divison Place: 54/108
Age: 55
Chip Time: 3:44:37
Official Time: 3:45:13
Split 1: 1:38:54
Split 2: 2:06:20
What was I thinking???

Monday, November 24, 2008

~Start A Tradition~

Here’s a magical Christmas star
With a tradition old and true,
May it bring you warmth and love
From our boat to you.

Now everyday till Christmas
Find someone in your home
And secretly do a deed of love
So your identity won’t be known.

And when the secret act is done,
Place the star upon their bed,
They in turn do a secret deed
For another it is said.

And like the star so long ago
Lit the sky for all to see,
May this star bring light and joy
To your sweet family.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sailors Make the News.... as Zombies!

Margie Stolsig from S/V Hoptoad

Fran Hartman from S/V Cape St. James

Thrill The World 2008 explodes worldwide!
26th Oct, 2008 at 11:00 AM

With a staggering 93 officially registered events worldwide (and an unknown number of unofficial events), Thrill The World 2008 has exploded around the world for what has been it’s biggest event ever!

With events throughout the world, everywhere from Austin to Hong Kong, from Brisbane to Dublin we’ve stomped all previous events to the ground! As of 6:14pm EST on October 25th we had 3,738 dancers worldwide! That’s double the record from last year!

View the full dance

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pumpkin Science

Scientific Discovery and Investigation with Pumpkins

Sink or Float:
Divide students into small groups. Provide a water-filled container large enough to hold pumpkins, a pumpkin or the students’ individual pumpkins, paper towels, crayons or markers, and pencils. Ask students to turn to a blank page in their pumpkin journals and answer the following questions: Do you think a pumpkin will sink or float in water? Why? Next have them rest their pumpkins on top of the water while holding onto the stems. On the count of 3, have them release their pumpkins. Discuss the results of the experiment as a class. Then ask each student to remove his/her pumpkin from the water and dry it off. Then have each child summarize and illustrate the activity in the remaining space on his/her journal page.

Pumpkin questions to Investigate
1. Predict how much your pumpkin weighs. Then weigh it on a bathroom scales.
2. Name the properties of the pumpkin.
3. How does the pumpkin feel?
4. How does the pumpkin smell?
5. How does the pumpkin taste?
6. What does the pumpkin look like on the inside?
7. Does the pumpkin have seeds?
8. To get inside the pumpkin, cut off the top.
9. Does a pumpkin grow underground--or on top?
10. Does a pumpkin grow on a vine, a bush, or where?
11. Are all seeds inside a pumpkin the same size?
12. Will a small pumpkin have small seeds in it as compared to a large pumpkin?
13. What could you do with the insides of a pumpkin?
14. What could you do with the seeds?
15. Predict how many seeds are in your pumpkin. Count your seeds. How close did you come?
16. Now cook your seeds. Be sure to taste the seeds before you cook them, then taste them after you cook them. Is there any difference in taste? [Cook the seeds in a popcorn popper with butter or oil.]
17. Plant your seeds. Plant some of the cooked seeds to see what will happen. Are the seeds scattered randomly within a pumpkin or arranged in some sort of pattern?
18. Do big pumpkins have larger seeds than small pumpkins?
19. Is there anything in a pumpkin which lines up with the creases on the outside?
20. What does a pumpkin seed weigh?
21. How many seeds does a pumpkin contain?
22. Do all pumpkins have the same number of seeds?
23. Can you tell which side of a pumpkin was against the ground? How? Does the stem help you figure it out?
24. Will pumpkins float in water? If they do, do they float stem up, stem down, or stem sideways?
25. Can pumpkin seeds be sorted into groups?
26. How thick is the skin of a pumpkin? How far in is the meat?
27. Place an empty wastebasket in a dishpan. Fill the wastebasket to the rim with water. Place a pumpkin into the water. Measure the volume of water displaced. This will be the volume of the pumpkin. Find the volume of several pumpkins. What relationship is there between weight and volume?
28. Do birds eat pumpkin seeds?
29. Make a list of the properties of a pumpkin and give it to someone. Can they guess what the object is?
30. Will pumpkin seeds grow if planted right away?
31. What folklore can you find about pumpkins?
32. Where did pumpkins come from originally?
33. What other plants do we eat which are related to pumpkins?
34. What is a pepo?
35. If every seed in a pumpkin grew into a plant which produced one pumpkin and each of the seeds produced a plant which did the same, how many seeds would be produced?
36. What other pumpkin investigations can you think up?

Physical science: Investigation and experimentation: sink/float, color, shapes, sizes, textures, # seeds, line up with ribs? and much more.

Monday, October 13, 2008


There's an effort to elect an unknown random person as President... and it's someone we know!

Watch this online video about the surprising new nominee:

Saturday, October 4, 2008

How to Download from YouTube & Google Video

This tutorial will help you download YouTube and Google Video and put them on a thumb drive or CD.

Most of the on-line video sites want you to view the videos from their websites (hence viewing their advertising on the page) and do not show you the actual URL of the video you are viewing. There are now websites that will reveal the actual URL of the video file and assist you in downloading it to your hard drive.

First, locate the video you want to download. Copy the URL.
Opent he video you want to download in your browser, select the URL in the addressbar,
right click and choose copyf rom the popup menu. Now you’ll need to browse to a website that will reveal the actual URL of the video and allow you to download it to your hard drive. Click the following URL to get started: http://www.videodl.org/
A page will open up that looks similar to the following:
Follow these steps to download your video:
Paste the URL you copied above into this line (use CTRL-V to paste, or right click in the box and paste. )
Click the Get It! Button. This will find the actual URL of your video.
Click “download link” to start the download to your hard drive.
A dialog box will open. Click the Save button to continue.
When prompted, select the location you want to save the file.
In looking at the file you’ve just downloaded, you’ll notice that it ends with .flv, which is a Flash Video File. You won’t be able to play it until you download and install a Flash Video player. VLC Media Player seems to work well. Using the URL on the right, download and install this player on the computer on which you’ll show the video to your class. Once you’ve installed the VLC Player, you can just double click on the video to open it and show it.

Or try this site.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Getting Closer!!

We are actually making progress toward our departure. The "List," page after page of "things to do" is now down to one page.
I spent the morning with my doctor who was a great help with updating our medical kit. When we set sail in 1997 both Jim and I had taken first aide classes, stocked the medical kit on board and created a notebook filled with disease information on countries we thought we might visit. Today Dr. Coles and I revisited the medical supplies. In the process she gave me this web site as a travel resource. Worth checking out.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

S/V Illawong

Jim and I had the privilege of meeting Phil and Julia on our circumnavigation. We first met in Richards Bay, South Africa, we became fast friends. Although we had lost track of each other for many years a recent Internet search put us back in contact.

It was a pleasure having them aboard Cape St. James again.
They have been out cruising for 16 years.

See a few, very few of their stunning photos.

Cheers Illawong, we hope our paths cross soon.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Tips and Tricks I used sailing around the world.

It's that time of year when boats are getting ready to sail offshore. I'm often asked for last minute advice. These are the top tips and tricks I found useful during our circumnavigation. I'm sure another sailor would have different ideas to add to these.

Smooth sailing Scott, Mary, Timothy and Finn Malone of s/v Whisper, I hope you find something useful here.

  • Before setting sail, think about grab and go food. Cheese and crackers, peanut butter and crackers, anything so the cook does not have to be depended on. I get sea sick and it takes about 3-5 days before I feel like cooking. I often will cook a big roast, or something that can be used for quick sandwiches. I have everything in baggie ready to grab.
  • Take US stamps, I wrote letters put stamps on them and handed them to tourist from the US to mail for me when they got home. Cheaper, and faster. People loved mailing them for me.

  • We took $500 in ones and 5's stashed away. The debit card is the best!! It is taken in every small country- better than American Express(which we had and paid for- many countries would not even take it) In addition we had a Visa and Master Card. But debit was the one used most. We would pull into a country and go to the machine- get what we thought would be just enough to get us through, countries will not take back their money unless it's a big amount and you never get what you paid for it and they don't take back any coins.
  • Get a boat stamp! Some officials want you to have one. Cheap and easy to have made.
  • Guest book, many boats have a scrape book/guest book for others they meet to write a message or sign in .It's great fun. Many Yacht clubs will ask you to fill out a page as well, great art project for the kids to get involved.
  • Boat cards, everyone exchanges them, cruisers will know you by your boat name, not your name and will want to keep in contact. I bought a card holder and as we meet boats put the cards in order and wrote on the back when we meet- we are still in contact with most of them. Blogs make that much easier now.
  • Free boat cards at Vista.com- you can pay a little more and get your boat photo on it- the cards we liked the best had the type of boat on them.
  • Don't worry about the pressure cooker- if you aren't using it now you won't use it sailing- you will cook just like you do now. Do you need to save fuel now- it's cheap, you can get it in all countries.
  • I did not label, varnish, oil, Vaseline any cans of food. I did buy 6 months of extra food- on board at all times, just in case something happened. Every inch of the boat had stores of food. Food is easy to get here, cheap and better to carry than once you leave because you have a car.
  • REMOVE ALL CARDBOARD FROM PACKAGES IN OTHER COUNTRIES!!!!! Do this at the store!!!!!!! People will look at you funny-- DO IT!!!!!
  • GET ROACH KILLER STUFF NOW- gross as it is you will get them, so be ready to act fast.
  • Stainless welding rod on board, 6 or so, a must-- many countries can weld but don't have the rods.
  • Nylons shorts for everyone- they wear nicely, wash quickly. You will be hotter than ever before, and the cost of laundry is unreal- I did it in the cockpit, nylon washes with little water dries quickly.
  • Spare parts- lots of, you'll never get them cheaper than here and they are easy to get.
    Take email addresses for all major part suppliers- much cheaper than the phone call home for the spare part and I assure you you will be calling home for parts.
    When buying parts now, see if the part has any substitutes, or other part numbers. Many countries do not use our part number system but have the same item- just under another number.
  • Extra long swage-less rigging terminals- would be great but we don't have them for all of our rigging.

    Crew Morale
  • Don’t forget the crew, its fun to have surprise packages for all on board. Simple finger puzzles, a candy bar, jokes, cartoons, a book about birds- wrapped & given for a special occasions- first rainy day at sea, crossing the equator, stuck in the doldrums, have fun, be creative.
  • MP3 player- I have the SanDisk because it uses an AAA battery which was important to me.
  • Wildlife books. We enjoy keeping a record of what we see on the water and in the air. It was wonderful having resources to identify the creatures.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Departure Date? When the work is done!

Jim has worked hard all summer long. I on the other hand have played hard.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The End of the Year!!!

We decided to celebrate the end of work with many parties. One of which the entire city of Fremont took part in. See all of the folks that came out to help us celebrate now that we are officially sailors once again!!!

Carol and I thank the staff for a wonderful send off with a Photo Story of what's to come in our lives.

A Retirement Party to Remember!!

Monday June 16, 2008 the staff of Cedar Wood Elementary out did themselves for both Carol McKissick our reading specialist and me. There were friends, family and fellow educators from around the district. A Hawaiian themed dinner, cakes, drinks and even leis were provided for the crowd. Speaking on behalf of Carol was a former now retired principal Larry O’Donald and speaking for me was my former principal and the person responsible for the vision at Cedar Wood Jim McNally, who is now assistant superintendent. Jim reminisced with the crowd of over 100 folks the many memories of opening Cedar Wood and my part in them. Given an opportunity to speak and wanting to keep things light I surprised everyone & choose to show a Year Book instead. Here’s to you Cedar Wood staff for many devoted years of excellence in educating children.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Part 4 ~ Circumnavigation~ St. Helena to Seattle ~Scroll down for Parts 1, 2 &3

James Town, St. Helena
Fortaleza, Brazil
Scarborough Harbour, Mt. Irvine Bay, Tabago
Chaguaramas, Trinidad
Colon, Balboa, Panama
Hilo, Hawaii, Neah Bay, Washington,United States
Dodger Channel, Barkley Sound, Canada
Neah Bay, Port Angeles, Seattle, United States

Part 3 ~ Circumnavigation ~ South Africia to St. Helena

Richards Bay, Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, South Africia
James Town, St. Helena

Part 2~ Circumnavigation~Vanuatu to South Africia

Port Vila, Efate Is (flew to Tanna Is) Vanuatu
Renel Is-Torres Strait, Darwin, Australia
Direction Is, Cocos Keeling
Port Louis, Mauritius
Richards Bay, South Africia

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Part 1~ Circumnavigation~Seattle to Fiji

We set sail August 16, 1997 from Shilshole Bay Marina in Seattle and headed south down the coast to California. Our next leg was into Mexico, then west to French Polynesia and on to Fiji. The last photo is a sad site for any boater. More of our circumnavigation to follow later.

Seattle, Orcas Island, San Juan Island, Port Angeles, Neah Bay, Santa Barbara, Channel Island Harbour Oxnard, Santa Cruz Island Smugglers Cove, Paradise Cove, Marina Del Rey, Catalina Is, Cat Harbour, Dana Point, San Diego

Bahia Tortuga-Mexico, Asuncion, Bahia Santa Maria, Cabo San Lucas, Los Frailes, Muertos Bay, Balandra Bay, La Paz, Caleta Partida, San Evaristo, Is San Francisco, Caleta Partida, La Paz, Balandra Bay, Muertos Bay, Los Fralies, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Nuku Hiva, Marquesas, Apataki, Tuamotus, Papeete, Tahiti,Bora Bora

Suva, Kodavu, Suva, Fiji-

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Virtual Cast Signing!!

How fun is this?? Setting sail soon means getting all of the health issues taken care of now. I had hand surgery (right tendon suspension plasty) on February 4, 2008.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Saying Good-Bye!

Being back on land meant doing all the things that dirt dwellers do, TV, movies, restaurants, internet. Entertaining ourselves while we have to be at work and not out on the seas. Who would have thought that one of the biggest passions developed was the love of the open roads. Sturgis, South Dakota started it all! That’s where I saw my dream bike. One quick trip with good friends and the next thing we know we are the proud owners of not one but eventually two Harley's.

A milestone birthday will make you quickly realize that time is not your friend. So for the big 50 I decided to get my motorcycle license, surprising everyone including myself when I actually passed the Motorcycle Safety Foundation class. Never in a million years believing I would actually ride by myself.

The actual day arrived~50~. My mom planned a surprise birthday party for me (with my help) at the local casino. What fun the day was especially the presents!! Jim gave me the long jewelry box, the one I knew held the diamond bracelet I wanted. It didn’t however, it held THE KEY!! Yes, the key to my dream bike. That bike was beautiful in everyway!! And I loved it.

Many good times resulted in owning my bike. Good friends, good rides, a road trip to Sturgis, yells, hoots and hollers. What fun!! This past birthday was time to say good-bye as we begin the process of getting ready to set sail again. My beautiful bike was snapped up in a flash. Going to a great home, I hope the new owner John has as many fond memories as I do.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Christmas on Board!

Christmas on board Cape St. James is a wonderful time for relaxing, enjoying each other and good food ~ yes, I cook a full traditional holiday meal, turkey included. Sailing around the world brought many unusual traditions to the forefront of our experiences. In an anchorage in Mexico we were welcomed ashore by campers who had twigs decorated with strung popcorn in open fields- where wild burros would boldly help themselves. Folks from all over gathered around a campfire to celebrate with a potluck. In South Africa the beach was a popular place to celebrate Christmas with picnics and swimming. However for me something was still missing. Nothing says Christmas like snow covered evergreen trees. So upon our return to Seattle I began a search for a symbol of Christmas and home that would travel with us from now on. Meeting the challenges of living on a sailboat meant being creative. So I hand quilted a tree. Our ornaments are photos of family and friends . So now when we set sail in June going with us will be a little of the Pacific Northwest.