Friday, June 22: Underway at Last!
It has been a busy and hectic 19 days since we arrived in Anacortes on the 4th but we will leave tomorrow - a week after we had planed.
I removed and replaced the oil and transmission coolers. (Sea water flows through inner tubes and cools the oil/tran fluid which flows through outer tubes.) Also removed the heat exchanger for cleaning and pressure testing. (Like a car radiator except sea water does the cooling instead if air.) These jobs require the draining and replacing of the antifreeze. During testing I discovered one of the two hoses on the transmission that circulates the oil to the cooler was leaking so had to go to Piston Service to have a replacement made.
Also, replaced the forward manual head with an electric fresh water model. Required extensive replumbing and wiring and about 5 more days than I thought it would take.
During the above we discovered that the house water pump was not working properly. An air leak on the sucking side meant that it would not stay primed. Found the leak and replaced cracked fitting. Still didn't work. Replaced pump. Still no work. (Needed a spare anyway.) Replaced all hoses and fittings between pump and water tanks. Now it works. A perfect example of Anderson's Third Nautical Law - If you have a problem there is more than one reason. But if there is only one reason then you have more than one problem - you just don't know it yet.
Last Friday we had an appointment to fuel the boat from Reisner's truck (local fuel distributor). This has to be done at Cap Sante Marina which is about a mile away. So, we arrived at the appointed time and place to meet Rusty, the driver. An hour or so and $1900 later and we had 571 more gallons of fuel. We pulled away from the dock and got about half way out of harbor we lost the transmission - i.e., no forward or reverse motive power. I used the bow thruster to point the bow and let the wind push us into a conveniently empty slip reserved for a 100' tour boat. As I had surmised, the second transmission hose was also leaking so we had lost enough transmission fluid to make the trany inoperable. (This hose didn't leak at idle like the other.) So, Rolynn got on the radio to the harbor master while I beat feet to Piston Service to have another hose made and buy some transmission fluid. By the time I returned to the boat three hands from the marina had pulled the boat into an adjacent slip since the tour boat was due back soon. Twenty minutes later I had the hose and fluid replaced and we were on our way back to Anchor Cove.
We departed Anacortes at noon and made our way in the rain to Montegue Harbor on Galiano Island in Canada about 6 hours distance. We like Montegue because we can clear customs by phone with our NEXUS cards. We do have to pay the markup, PST/GST taxes and duty on our adult beverages. We (Rolynn) have 37 liters of wine and 9 liters of gin which came to $522.03 CDN on top of what we paid for it in the first place!! Anyhow we spend an uneventful evening in the drizzle.
Saturday - Nanaimo
Every year I forget how things work. I always have to relearn how the computer navigation program works and I forget which systems to turn on and off when we switch from shore power to generator to inverter. This morning I fired up the engine and checked the Link 10 battery monitoring system to make sure the battery banks were charging. Opps! The alternator does not appear to be working (batteries not charging). I charged to the engine room and checked the fuse and for loose connections. No change. Then I remembered. I had looked at the Link 10 voltage instead of the amp input. It's the latter that tells me if the alternator is working. I have come to the unhappy knowledge that I am failing faster than the things around me.
We pulled up at 09:45 to make the 13:00 slack at Dodd Narrows and grabbed a mooring buoy behind Newcastle island by 14:00. We had a G&T on the back deck. Later I called our satellite phone service provider because it wouldn't link up. They change the frequencies every year, it seems, and the phone has to be reprogrammed. That was accomplished in a record of only 8 phone calls. We also called Verizon because Rolynn's phone was not receiving data property. Our IT problems now resolved we are ready for dinner.
It looks like mild winds tomorrow so we will likely make straight for Cortes Bay in Desolation sound - about 10 hours distance.
|Balenas Island Light - Straits of Georgia|
Monday we departed Gorge at noon to time our arrival at the Yuculta Rapids at 15:30. It was a sunny and warm (75) with flat water. We made about 50 gallons in transit which brings me to:
The Water Maker Report - As many of you will remember I made a water maker (desalinization plant) for "Intrepid" last year. I will not regale you with all the fascinating details now. I wrote an article describing its design and construction which Passagemaker Magazine may publish. If they do then I will put a link to the article here. But, it works by forcing seawater through a reverse osmosis membrane under high pressure. The pores in the membrane allow water molecules to pass through but are too small to pass salt molecules. The pure water goes to the water tanks and the rest is dumped overboard. Simple enough but the devils are in the details. The system pumps 216 gal/hr of seawater through the membrane of which about 8% is recovered as fresh water so that's about 18 gal/hr of potable water depending on water temperature and salinity. We consume about 20-25 gal/day so we have to run the system a little over an hour per day to keep pace. Seawater averages 35,000 parts per million TDS (Total Dissolved Solids i.e. salt). That's 35 grams per liter. You and I can taste as little as 1000 PPM. Your kitchen sink produces water at about 350 PPM. Today, "Intrepid's" system was produced water at 4 PPM.
We are at the Stuart Island dock in Big Bay tonight, the setting of Last Resort. Rolynn sold a few books to the store here. Tomorrow we climb the 4 tidal rapids separating us from Forward Harbor
|Site of "Last Resort"|
June 26: Forward Harbor
So, Mother Nature did not read her tide tables today. The slacks were later than predicted and the following current stronger so we got to Greenpoint a little early and had to pull up just short and wait a while. Nonetheless, we got to Forward Harbor as predicted and dropped anchor in 70' along with four other boats. Forward is just at the head of Sunderland Inlet which joins Johnstone Strait. Sunderland opens to the west just where Johnstone bends to the west. So, the winds and waves that
June 27: Lagoon Cove
Fanny was SE 4 kn early in the AM so we were off around 08:00 for the 4 hour trip to Lagoon Cove. Johnstone was calm all the way to the Broken Islands where we turned right up Havannah Channel. We passed "Pecker Point" where there was once a floating whore house. Soon after we turned west into Chatham Channel. Chatham is narrow, shallow and about 2 miles long. The navigable channel is about 100' wide but it looks wider, especially at high tide. Chatham has reversing currents but we usually go through on any tide except the biggest springs. Today, we were at slack.
|Chatham Channel Range|
A few minutes later we turned into "The Blow Hole", the narrow entrance to Lagoon Cove. On the right is the Minstrel Island hotel and store. There was once a restaurant, tavern and school, too. Its is so named because of the black faced minstrel shows that once came through here on steamships in the late 1800's. Around the corner are Bones Bay, Sambo Point and Negro Rock. I bet Negro Rock once had a different name. In the forties and fifties there were 5000 fisherman, loggers and trappers living in this area. There were canneries, and shingle mills and boat yards. There were Finns, Norwegians, Swedes, Slovaks and Chinese. Back then, the store sold more beer than any other location in BC except one. The site is now long closed and gradually falling to pieces like so many places on the coast.
Bill Barber, the owner of Lagoon Cove was there to help us tie up at his docks. Bill has owned Lagoon Cove for almost 20 years and is near 80 himself. We had to back in making a port turn around the corner of the dock next to the shore, being careful not to scratch any of Bill's rocks. "Intrepid" has a single propeller. The hydrodynamic principles at play are such that she will easily back straight or to starboard, depending on the position of the rudder, but she will not back to port. This made the required docking maneuver difficult. We used the bow thruster to point the bow while dock hands pulled the stern around the corner.
|"Historic" Workshop - Lagoon Cove|
|Happy Hour in "Historic" Workshop|
|Rolynn with "Historic" Bill Barber|
June 29 - 30: Pierre's Bay
3 hours in the drizzle found us at Pierre Landry's place in Echo Bay. Pierre met us at the dock and we swapped lies. Rolynn will probably sell some books to the store here.
For those who have been here the party tent has been replaced by a newly constructed building in the same location wherein we attended the Pig Roast on Saturday. At noon Sunday we departed for Kwatsi Bay to see our friends Anca and Max.
July 1 - 2: Kwatsi Bay
We saw Anca and Max pass us in Tribune Channel as we made our way to Kwatsi. They were returning from Port McNeill. Later, Anca said she had to pee over the side and she was sure we saw her. I told her we didn't just to be nice. Marika had a very good first year at the University of Victoria and is working for the port in NcNeill for the summer again. Russell graduated from high school and is working at the IGA in town. He is a little unsettled about his future but is considering culinary training. Max and Anca will begin construction of their new house in Sointula in January. Jim, from "Anchor" is spending another summer at Kwatsi. It rained for two days.
July 3 - 4: Sullivan Bay
|Rolynn Leads the Parade - What a surprise|
Today there is a mix of clouds and sun but no rain. Sullivan is a community of float homes that have been here in one form or another since the early '30s Most are very nice. There is also a fuel dock, store and restaurant. The whole place is now owned by the home owners as a kind of cooperative.
|The Easy Way to Get Here|
Tomorrow we will begin heading around the corner (Cape Caution) for points north. Below is our anticipated two day route. Queen Charolotte Sound is open to the Pacific so we are exposed to its swells on our beam. We listen to the conditions at an automatic buoy located in the western portion named West Sea Otter. By rule of thumb it is a go if the seas are 1.0 meter or less there. We also check the wind at the Egg Island Lighthouse located just off Cape Caution. The water off the cape is relatively shallow and LOTS of water exits River's Inlet on ebb tides. It can be a trifecta of wind, opposing current, and shallow water which creates high, closely spaced waves. A situation to be avoided.
July 5 -10: Pushing North
Thursday, we started our way around Cape Caution with a four hour run to Allison Harbor. It is a bit of a rock garden getting in to Allison but it is well charted so there is no problem. We have even done it fog so dense we couldn't see our bow pulpit. Once inside it is well protected from nearly all wind and is a good place from which to make the rest of the trip. We were up at 05:45 Friday to listen to the weather. West Sea Otter was reporting seas of 1.3 M and wind of 8 Kn. Egg Island had light wind and rippled seas. The Environmental Compliance Officer (Rolynn) signed off on departure so we were under way by 06:00. It was a quiet ride all the way to Fury Cove in the Penrose Islands.
|Green Island Anchorage - Fishegg Inlet|
On Sunday we moved up Fitz Hugh Sound about an hour and a half to Green Island Anchorage near the entrance to Fishegg Inlet - another pretty spot in which we had not anchored since 2003.
|Hakai Institute - Pruth Bay|
Wednesday and Thursday will find us in Codville Lagoon where we hope to catch a passle of prawns. The 13-15th we will be in Shearwater Marina where Rolynn needs internet connectivity for some of her work.