Return to Seattle

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In late July, we left the boat in Trondheim, checked Spitfire into “the resort” at the beautiful Pusehuset Kattehotell, and returned to Seattle for a couple of weeks. While James spent all day and most evenings in meetings, Jennifer picked up our mail at the UPS store, sourced some other parts and spares locally, and prepared air and sea freight shipments with our new steering pumps. But we did find a little time to enjoy the beautiful Seattle summer weather.

Below are trip highlights from July 19th through Aug 5th, 2018 travelling to and from, and in Seattle, WA. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at

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Entering one of Norway’s many, many tunnels en route from Trondheim to the airport for our trip to Seattle.
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Pusehuset Kattehotell
The beautiful Pusehuset Kattehotell. Sptifire will be staying in one of the green ‘suites’ on the top right while we are away.
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Spitfire checking out his new digs. His ‘suite’ has a second floor above with a cat door leading to an outdoor balcony.
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In Hell
The Trondheim airport is, quite literally, in Hell. The word means prosperity in Norwegian and is the name of the town next to the airport.
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Radisson Blu
Having a glass of wine overlooking the runway at the airport Radisson Blu. Overnighting at the airport simplified catching our flight early the next morning.
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We’re checking two bags with us on the way to Seattle, and will check five on the way back. The bag Jennifer is working on is a large wheeled duffel bag with a smaller suitcase inside we’ll use to carry valuables with us on the way back. The bag on the right is a large scuba diving gear bag that contains two more large bags.
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Collect the Set
We departed the Schengen Area in Amsterdam and James got another stamp in his passport. Looking at some of his earlier Schengen stamps we noticed he had an entry with a train logo from London to Paris, an arrival by boat into Harlingen and a departure by plane from Tromso. We have to rent a car and cross the Schenger Border to complete the set. :)
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Bell Harbor Marina
Looking across our old home port of Bell Harbor Marina with downtown Seattle in the background. It was an awesome place to call home.
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While James was at the office, Jennifer went to our UPS mailbox to pickup our mail. All those packages are for us, plus a load more behind the table.
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We managed to condense the contents of most of our packages into four large suitcases, a cardboard box with several items that were too long to fit in the suitcases, and a carry-on for small, valuable items we don’t want to check. That was a load to get back to the hotel, and will be a big job to get through the airports and back to the boat in Norway.
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Spitfire enjoying some down-time in his poster bed at “the resort”. The Pusehuset Kattehotell is among the nicest place he’s stayed at so far.
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At MFCP (Motion Flow Control Products) in Ballard to purchase some bulk hydraulic host and field-serviceable fittings, plus have them make four new hoses to replace the crane hoses that failed while we were in the Lofotens.
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Steering Pump
One of our two new Accu-Steer HPU 200-24 steering pumps at our UPS mailbox in Seattle awaiting pickup for air freight. We’d ordered two new pumps weeks ago from Emerald Harbour Marine in Seattle after our primary pump failed. We’ll air freight one to Trondheim, Norway and ship the second by sea freight to Amsterdam. We were hoping we might bring the first pump back as luggage, but it weighs about 92 pounds with packaging and our checked bag weight limit is 70.

The Emerald Harbour Marine team did the commission work on Dirona for PAE and did all the original installation work for us. Most of that equipment is still running strong, 10,000 hours and 9 years later. What’s more amazing is they continue to help us to this day. Difficult-to-find parts or getting things to us in remote locations is Kelly Maxson’s specialty at Emerald Harbor Marine. EHM also installed the furnace on our first boat back in 1999. They’ve been helping us for nearly 20 years and we really appreciate it.

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Norwegian Bliss
We love grabbing a drink on the deck at the Edgewater Hotel to watch the cruise ships leave Pier 66 bound for Alaska. Here you can almost touch Norwegian Bliss as it pulls off the dock.
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Torchlight Run
Several downtown streets were closed off today for the Torchlight Run preceding the Torchlight Parade, part of the annual Seafair celebration in Seattle.
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Relaxing street-side at, Rumba, one of our favourite Capitol Hill stops.
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Old Stove
At the recently opened Old Stove brew pub in Pike Place Market, with its great view across the Seattle waterfront. It was actually too hot today for us to sit outside.
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Spitfire enjoying the view from the balcony attached to his suite at Pusehuset Kattehotell just outside Trondheim, Norway.
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In addition to shipping one steering pump air freight to Trondheim, Norway to keep Dirona underway, we’re shipping the second pump by sea freight to Amsterdam where we’ll be staying this winter. We also included a few bulkier or heavier items that we didn’t have space to carry back with us on the airplane, including a replacement upholstery set for our Stidd helm chair, a spare Lenovo monitor, an water pump accumulator tank, an LED deck light, a loudhailer and two axial engine room fans.

We brought everything together at our UPS mailbox, who built the pallet for us. We’ve arranged to have it sea freighted to the Netherlands and stored there temporarily until we arrive into Amsterdam later this year. We’ve been doing business with the UPS store on 1st Ave in Seattle for more than 10 years now and we just love them.

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Checking In
At the airport checking our bags through. Hopefully they will all arrive safely in Trondheim when we do. On a return trip from New Zealand, one of our bags went missing. It was full of spare parts, plus a couple of cameras. It might have just been coincidence, but we’ve since carried any valuable consumer items with us instead of in checked luggage. Hence the carry-on bag Jennifer is holding, containing two new navigation computers and a backup laptop.
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James was invited up front to see the cockpit of the Airbus A330-300 and got a chance to sit in the pilot seat. Modern glass cockpits are really nice. The last time he was in a cockpit was a 747-400 with row after row after row of analog guages and switches.
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Looking east from the plane to the sea locks that protect the waterway leading to Amsterdam. We’ll land in Amsterdam and then connect through from there directly to Trondheim.
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All our bags came through unscathed from Seattle to Trondheim. It’s great to be back—we’re ready to board a taxi, pickup Spitfire and return back to Dirona. We’ll need a big taxi for this load though.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at


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3 comments on “Return to Seattle
  1. François says:

    Saw your boat in Alesund….
    I was following the construction and your aventure years ago, planning for a new life… But family decide on other project…
    ( I. Am airline pilot)… Flying sas for the time,… Stop over in Alesund… Walk to the Arbor…MV DIRONA.
    She look beautiful after all these miles around the globe.
    The seed is once again into my brain…
    Let’s see …
    I will have a look tomorrow morning before getting airborne.
    Thanks for your passion.

    • That’s great. Thanks for passing that along Francois. We’ll be on the boat until around 10am this morning so if you feel like stopping by and having a look around before you fly back out, send me email at

      • Francois, it was GREAT meeting you yesterday and thanks very much for the cat toys for Spitfire. We normally store them in the container with the zipper open and, when he feels like playing, he digs out what he’s interested in and bats it around the house. A great success. Thanks very much.

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