"Intrepid" is a Kadey Krogen trawler style motor vessel built in 1987 at the Chung Hwa Boat Yards in Taiwan - hull 138 of 206. She is 42 feet in length with a beam of 14.5 feet and weighs 40,000 pounds fully loaded. Carrying 750 gallons of fuel and 240 gallons of water, she is capable of extended cruising. A previous owner cruised her from Annapolis to the Caribbean and Venezuela then through the Panama Canal, the Sea of Cortez and up the Pacific Coast to Alaska over a period of three years (She was then named "Carpe Diem"). We know of no Krogen that has traveled farther on her own bottom than "Intrepid". We purchased her in 1999 and live aboard her four months of the year as we cruise the intricate waters of the British Columbia and Southeast Alaska coasts. She is berthed in Anacortes, WA.

You can follow Intrepid's path at

Check out the story about our grounding in Passagemaker's online magazine at

Take a look at Rolynn's author website at

If you like technical stuff here is the article I wrote about building a watermaker that appeaared in Passagemaker's online magazine:

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Now, let's see who has been paying attention - 

--The Quiz --

In 500 words or fewer, explain why Canadian charts appear to show deeper water than US charts of the same area.  Include in your answer the meaning and significance of "Mixed Diurnal" tides, the use of genital gourds by the aboriginal Dani tribesmen of the central New Guinea highlands, and the role of "Determinism" in the economic recovery of Estonia during the last third of the nineteenth century.  Show your work.  Be complete.  Leave nothing out.  No books, notes or assistance permitted.  You have fifteen minutes.  Post your answer in the comments section below.  Begin now.

August 9 - 23: Sullivan Bay - Pender Harbor
Following Jennis Bay we spent a single night at Sullivan Bay then moved on for two nights with our friends at Kwatsi Bay.  Sunday we fished for crabs at Viner Sound and for prawns in Laura Cove on Monday.  Did pretty well in both places.  Tuesday and Wednesday we hit Pierre's for the prime rib dinner then moved on to Lagoon Cove Thursday.

This area was first explored in the early 1790's by both the English and the Spanish.  George Vancouver and William Broughton captained the HMS Discover and Chatham while Galiano and Valdes were aboard the Sutil and Mexicana.  They encountered each other frequently and even shared the same anchorage on occasion.  Nearly all the place major place names stem from these vessels.  These early explorations were driven by trade possibilities but it was logging and fishing that brought more permanent settlers beginning around 1870.  Small farms also began to sprout at about the same times.  In a few places you can still find the remnants of their orchards.  These men often rowed, rowed, 200 miles to Vancouver for supplies and to conduct business.  A tough living.  By 1892 the Union Steamship Company was making regular stops at the camps, canneries and mills.

Shafted in Lagoon Cove:  We had no sooner tied up to the north dock at Lagoon when Bill asked us to move to the south dock because M/V Dearleap was on its way and Bill needed the space.  Dearleap is a 100 foot, 83 year old, wooden fantail yacht.  It is a common sight in these waters. 

We slowly pulled a way from the dock and eased into a big "U" turn.  As we coasted to the south dock I reversed gear only to hear a God awful clatter and banging from the aft of our boat.  I thought we had caught something in our prop but I couldn't imagine what it could be.  Forward gear resulted in the same noise.  A couple of dinghies then hustled out and pushed us into our slip.  A glance over the stern revealed nothing in the prop but a look in the engine room was a different story.  The propeller shaft is joined to the transmission by two flanges attached by eight bolts.  Four the bolts had failed and the propeller shaft was hanging by the remnants one remaining sheared bolt.  The clattering was the propeller shaft flying around.  The two flanges are separated by a "Polyflex" coupling which was installed about five years ago when we also installed new engine mounts.  The whole assembly looks something like this.

The "Polyflex" is a disk of heavy plastic about 4" in diameter and an inch thick.  It is attached to the transmission shaft by 4 bolts and nuts.  The propeller shaft is then joined to the "Polyflex" by four more bolts threaded into "nuts" which are imbedded into the body of the "Polyflex" coupling itself.  The whole thing is designed to reduce stress on the transmission.  It is also supposed to dampen vibration some.  Well, we had not hit anything and we had just completed a four hour trip from Pierre's.

I had noticed slightly more wobble in the shaft lately and made a note to have the shaft/engine alignment checked when we haul out for bottom paint in a couple of weeks.  The disk was still attached to the transmission shaft properly but three of the prop shaft bolts had sheared off and the remaining bolt had pulled its imbedded nut out of the coupling.  I theorize the following.  The coupling failed* over time causing a crack adjacent the imbedded nut that later pulled out.  The weak spot caused continual flexing and weakening of the other tree bolts until another failed thus creating even more stress on the other two which sequentially failed too.  When we were in forward gear the prop thrust continually pushed the sheared bolts into their respective flange holes keeping them engaged.  But, when we shifted into reverse the prop caused a pulling force and yanked the prop shaft flange away from the coupling.  That's when the imbedded nut pulled free as well.

The Culpert
 After removing the coupling I rejoined the two flanges directly together in their original fashion using the bolts I had saved from five years ago.  We went out for a little test cruise and there was no problem - the shaft ran true with no visible wobble - in fact less than when the "Poly-Flex" was in place.  Of course, we are happy that the shaft did not fall off at some less convenient time - like in the middle of a sea way.  "Intrepid" has always been a good boat which means that she breaks down, as all boats do, but in safe places.  This is the first real breakdown that we have had in about 10 years.

*Anderson's Second Nautical Law - All things nautical are in the process of failure.

Friday:  We made an easy 4.5 hour hike down Johnstone Straits to Forward Harbor where we tried for more crabs.  But, the commercial guys beat us there so all we got were smalls and females. 

The Tug Moved the Raft So We Could Exit Forward Harbo
Saturday:  From here we need to traverse six tidal rapids to get to the Octopus Islands.  These are spring tides now so the windows are narrow.  But the slacks start in the north and move south so we chase them instead of them coming at us as happens when we are moving north through here.  We can make them all in one day but not in one tide.  But, we have two days to get to our destination so we will pass through the two northern rapids today then overnight at Shoal Bay and get through the remainder tomorrow.

By mid-afternoon we were at anchor just off the little government dock in Shoal Bay.  After dropping the anchor I shortened the scope to about 3-1 because I did not want to interfere with boats at the dock.  I set the anchor alarm for a radius only 120 feet.  There was a little breeze from the east so we were stern to the dock with our anchor pulling up the slope of the bottom (That's why they call it Shoal Bay - the water is deeper in the center of the bay but near the shore it gets shallow (shoals) rapidly.)  During the night we heard the anchor chain growling over the rocks on the bottom - a common sound.  At about 03:00 the anchor alarm sounded - also a common occurrence when on a short alarm radius.  Rolynn got up to check and found all the lights and other boats where they should be.  About an hour later she checked again and all was good.  At about 07:00 she got up to begin writing, her morning ritual.  She soon nudged me awake and calmly said, "Um Steve, we are adrift in 330' of water."  Sure enough we were in the middle of Calm Channel with 150' of anchor line hanging straight down.  The water was so calm we hadn't detected  any movement.  We should have figured this out when we no longer heard the chain growling.  Anyway, we started the engine, winched in the anchor and sneaked back into the bay hoping no one had noticed our "departure". 

During the night the breeze had shifted to the west, away from the dock.  So, the angle between the anchor rode and the bottom increased dramatically, lessening its holding power.  We drifted away from the shore until the anchor just fell off the slope of the bottom and we were officially adrift.  We were in little danger of grounding because the anchor would likely have caught again in shallower water.  Its the first time in probably 1000 anchorings that we have drug.

At about 10:30 Sunday, we left, again.  We needed to transit the first rapids at Dent before slack in order to have enough time to make it through the fourth rapid at Hole in the Wall after slack.  Hole in the Wall is one of three entrances into the Octopus Islands Marine Park.  All of the entrances have rapids so getting into the park can be challenging because all of these rapids are preceded by others which also require timing.  On spring tides, like this, it is hard to hit them all in a slow boat like ours, especially coming from the north, as we were.  By the time we got to Hole in the Wall the current was running 5-6 knots against us but is was not too difficult.  It is actually easier to run against the current, within reason, than with it since the water runs faster over the ruder allowing for better steerage.

Monday:  Octopus Islands is a pretty complex of rocks and islands that is a popular anchorage.  We were there to meet up with old friends of Rolynn's from her Juanita High School days.  The five of them had chartered Black Swan a 52' Grand Banks and it was there first day.  They pulled in about 13:30 after making the slack at Surge Narrows and, after a little maneuvering, rafted up to our starboard side.  We helped with a few boat issues and spent a nice afternoon and evening with them.  During the nice part we discovered that our generator decided that we were having too much fun so quit on us.  It runs but will not produce electricity.  It has happened before and I thought I knew the problem but I turned out to be wrong.  (That's the third time - I was wrong in 1974 and 1986, too.)  This will be item 31 on my "Boat Do List" when we get back.  Anyway, we now have to proceed south by going from marina to marina or by anchoring for single nights after long runs which recharge our battery banks.  That's OK because it does not present much of a change to our present plans anyway.

Tuesday:  We cast Black Swan adrift and headed south through Surge Narrows to Lund which is a little community on the BC coast.  It is far north as the coastal road goes.  From here you can drive to the tip of South America.  There is a small but nice marina, a couple of small but good restaurants, a store, and a great bakery.  We have not been here for years and we like it so much we will stay two days then head south along the coast to Pender Harbor, then to Bowen Island in Howe Sound to meet up with friends who live in West Vancouver.

Thursday & Friday:
  It was a 5 hour run from Lund to Pender Harbor on the "Sunshine Coast".  The tide and wind were behind us so it was a pretty smooth ride.  Pender Harbor is actually a complex of islands, bays and coves studded with homes, condos and marinas.  It has lots of room in the inner bay for anchoring, too, which we did.  On Friday it was 5.5 hours to Snug Cove on Bowen Island in Howe Sound just north of Vancouver city.  Again, the wind, what there was, and tide were going our way and it was a very pleasant ride.  As is our habit, we listened to an audio book on the way to help pass the time.

We are here at the Union Steamship Co Marina on the south side of Bowen Island.  It is a cool, artsy-fartsy, retro funk/hippie, cum nouveau riche kind of place.  It is served by a ferry from  Vancouver so it has long been a popular recreation and commuter destination for Vancouerites.  It also has the world's best fish and chips at Doc Morgan's.  As we were walking back from dinner we saw the coolest watercraft.  It was an amphibious, ridged bottom inflatable with an outboard - about 20' in length.   As the guy approached the beach he simultaneously lowered wheels for and aft (hydraulic, I think) and raised the outboard.  The wheels had some kind of auxiliary power and he just drove it up the beach, across the resort lawn and into the parking lot.  It must cost a bazillion dollars, but our beach combing friends would love it.
Amphibious Dinghy - Cool!
 Saturday:  This morning was the Bow-Days parade and art fair.  It had a very "home town" feel to it.  The amphibious I described above was in the parade.  It was full of cave persons.  "Dinosaur Days" was the theme.

Bow-Days Parade
 Later in the morning we took the water taxi to Granville Island in downtown Vancouver.  Granville has a large public market with every kind of food court, vegetable/fruit stand, kitchen gadget and gourmet condiments under the sun.  Its the kind of place that gives me the hives.  Anyway, it was also the wooden boat show, which was cool.  We saw Deerleap and Waldaron a couple of woodies that we had seen farther north.  It was sunny and warm and a nice day over all.  We were back at Union Steamship by 19:00.

Wooden Boat Show at Granville Island
Sunday:  We had a dinner date with our friends Stephanie and Alan who we met in Loreto last October so we lolled around and did boat chores before walking on the 16:45 ferry to Horseshoe Bay.  There, Alan picked us up and drove us up the hill to their beautiful home in West Vancouver over looking the Straits of Georgia.  We had a lovely dinner on the deck and enjoyed the conversation very much.

Stephanie, Alan and Wyatt at Bowen Island
Monday:  Today, we reciprocated.  Stephanie, Alan and Wyatt, their dog, joined us on Intrepid for an afternoon cruise and dinner.  We toured the three southern bays of Gambier Island in Howe Sound and anchored in Port Graves for dinner.  It was a sunny, quiet, lovely day.  They are interesting, gracious people who we enjoy very much.  Wyatt is cool, too. We returned to Union Steamship in time for them to catch the 19:20 ferry home.

Tuesday - We were up at 5:30 but it was too dark so we snoozed for another 30 minutes.  By 06:30 we were pointed towards the straits and Porlier Passage, one entrance into the Gulf Islands.  There was very little wind and we had a easy crossing.  By 11:30 we were tied to a mooring buoy in Montegue Harbor.  Tomorrow, we will make the 6 hour run to Anacortes.  There, Rolynn's brother, Collin, and some of his work colleagues will meet us for an overnight cruise on Friday/Saturday.  Later in September we will have a group of Rolynn's original Jackson High staff members for a day.  The following week we will head over to Roche Harbor for the Krog-In, a rendezvous of sister ships.

The Welcome Committee at Anchor Cove
We covered 1098 nm in 70 days.  The weather was good and our DIY water maker performed flawlessly.  We made 1886 gal of water at an average of 23 gal/hr and never had to go to the dock just for water.  It will take us the rest of September to perform various boat improvement and maintenance tasks as well as to catch up with PNW friends.  We will be back in Arroyo Grande by the first of October. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Moving South

August 2 - 8

On Thursday we moved from Pruth across Fitz Hugh and into Fish Egg Inlet.  This is another area that was not charted well enough for most cruisers until relatively recently - about 1990 or so, I think.  Deep inside Fish Egg is Joe's Bay which is actually the entrance to Elizabeth Lagoon and which is only accessible by dinghy at high tide.  The lagoon is large with little tidal exchange so its water is brown with decaying matter.  This material gives the water an unusual property - it foams when agitated.  At the head of the lagoon is a waterfall which creates lots of foam.  The foam flushes out of the lagoon at low tide and covers the surface of Joe's Bay in a foot or so of lather.  It's an interesting sight and our pictures do not do it justice.

Joe's Foam

Friday, we exited Fish Egg back into Fitz Hugh then came to the NE into the complex of islands near the northwest entrance of River's Inlet.  We made our way south through "Slaughter Alley", the northern entrance of Klaquaek Channel.  Here, the local Qweekena Indians were massacred by the Heiltsuk of Bella Bella in the mid 1800's.  It's tight with a couple of right angle turns - a good place for an ambush.   By early afternoon were anchored in Little Fry Pan Bay, so named because of its shape.

About noon Saturday we headed across River's Inlet to Duncanby Landing which has been in this location for decades.  River's is s long time sport fisherman's "Mecca".  Major salmon runs populate the several rivers entering the inlet.  At one time there were 18 fish canneries scattered around here making this a major population center.  They are all closed now as the wilderness slowly reclaims them.   Over fishing certainly played a major role in the decline of the commercial fishing industry.   But, there were other factors at play as well.  Commercial air travel made the shipping of fresh and frozen fish feasible so people quickly lost their taste for the canned variety.  Even at it's peak, most of Canada's canned salmon ended up in Great Britain and its colonies.

Apporach to Duncanby Landing

Until recently Duncanby was a kind of rough place.  The docks were in terrible shape but there was a small store and a bar where the locals from around the inlet hung out.  But, in 2005 a guy with some spare change bought it and turned it into a high end fishing resort.  The old cabins were replaced with nice new ones and the bar became a very good restaurant.  Moorage is a little on the high side ($1.50/ft) and power is out of sight ($40/night for 30 A).   We wanted to go to the restaurant but did not want to pay for power so we made sure we were fully charged up before arriving and just lived off our battery banks like at anchor.

Sunday, we move to a small nearby anchorage with the intent of going south around Cape Caution early Monday.  EC was calling for smooth sailing and we were up at 05:30 Monday to listen - west wind 5-15 Kn, West Sea Otter 0.9 M and conditions at Egg Island were nice.  So, we were off by 06:00 for a smooth trip around the Cape.  The last third or the way the fog was pretty dense.  In these conditions Rolynn is on radar watch for boats while my eyes are ahead looking out for timber in the water.  We always know where we are within a couple of feet because of the GPS.  It's the things we might hit, or hit us, that keep us alert.  By noon we had pulled into Blunden Harbor, a well protected bay with room for nearly 100 boats.  There were four counting ourselves.

Tuesday, we made the three hour trip to Wells Passage, the northern entrance to the Broughton Archipelago.  We had hoped to make it to Jennis Bay Marina near the entrance of Drury Inlet for their Tuesday night Cajun feed but Stuart Narrows lays just inside the entrance and the timing for slack and dinner didn't work out.  So, we anchored just around the corner in Carriden Bay.  Tomorrow, we will go to Jennis for the night but, alas, no Cajun.

Jennis Bay lays about 30 minurtes inside Drury Inlet whose entrance is guarded by Stuart Narrows.  Currents run to 7 Kn so passage has to be timed with slack water which is 15 min after slack at Alert Bay.  Today, that was noon.  Just inside the narrows is Helen Bay where there is a memorial to the men of the tug "Nanaimo".  In 2001 the two man tug was found circling at full throttle inside the inlet with no one on board.  The cause was never determined.

"Nanaimo"" Memorial - Drury Inlet

We saw a shake barge on the way out on Thursday.  The coastal red cedar is long gone but it is so valuable that there are operations which come into old logging sites and reclaim cedar stumps, etc.  They cut them into standard lengths, helicopter them to the barge where they are packed onto pallets.  When the barge is full it is taken to a shake mill.

Shake Barge in Drury Inlet

Outside of Drury, we picked up the prawn pot.  60 big ones.

Good Morning Class - Put away your Ipods and cell phones, now.  Sue, you're tardy.  I need your admit slip - Thank you.  Bonnie, please turn around.  Rich, keep your hands to yourself.  Mark, give Joel his hat back.  Fran, put away your make-up, please.  Thank you for your attention, Sandy, you are always my best student.  OK, today's lesson is, "Why is the Water Deeper in Canada?".

There are places along the Washington/BC and Alaska/BC boarders that are covered by both US and Canadian charts.  A close comparison of two charts for the same area shows that the water is "deeper" on the Canadian charts than on the US charts.  And  this has nothing to do with feet vs meters, etc.  (Bridges are also higher in Canada.)  How come?

The depths are based on a reference point called the chart's "Datum".  To be safe the charts show the average least expected depth i.e. average low tide.  But, in this part of the world the tidal pattern is called a "Mixed Diurnal".  There are two high tides and two low tides each day (24 hours).  One of the highs is higher than the other and one of the lows is lower.  Like this:

So, which low tide to use for the chart's datum?  In the US the datum is based on the average of both of the day's low tides or "Mean Low Water".  But in Canada, the datum is the "Mean Lower Low Water" or the average of just the single lowest tide of the day.  Thus, the Mean Lower Low Water is lower than the Mean Low Water so the water appears deeper in Canada.

There will be a quiz in the next blog.

We will poke around the Broughtons for the next ten days, or so.  We plan to hook up with our California friends, the Minors, aboard "Seeker" who will be in the area as well as visit our customary haunts.  We will move down Johnstone Straits around the 17th with the intent of meeting up with some of Rolynn's old teaching friends from Jaunita HS in the Octopus Islands.  They are chartering a boat for a week.