We arrived in Anacortes on June 9 at LOW tide after a three-day journey from Arroyo Grande. I mention low tide because this is spring, the season of big tides for which "spring tides" are named. The tide was too low to schlep all our stuff down the ramp to the boat so we just opened things up and turned stuff on. Later we joined friends for dinner.
The following day we began our preparations in earnest. Folks often ask us what we have to do to get ready for a summer of boating. Here is a run down of the work and the costs.
Over the winter we arranged for bright work (varnishing) to be done on a third of the surfaces ($2500). We had also arranged for a total boat wash and detail as well as waxing of the hull ($750). The boat does look good, though.
On Monday we transferred some of our belongings from the car to the boat and confirmed arrangements for a marine electrician to install a replacement transducer for one of the depth sounders. This is the device that sends and receives the sonar signal to measure the depth of the water under our hull. We lost it last year when we nudged a rock in the Octopus Islands. We installed the new refrigerator and freezer doors I had made in AG ($220). (Rolynn looks great standing in front of them.) We also delivered the aft enclosures to the canvas shop to have the plastic replaced. It had gotten very foggy after 14 years. At the same time we delivered a broken
stainless steel "life line" to the rigging shop as a model for a replacement.
Tuesday - more unpacking of the car and the transducer guy arrives at 8:00 AM to begin the installation process. He does what he can and will return tomorrow to complete the job. Rolynn went to Costco in Burlington to begin the provisioning process. (The I-5 bridge over the Skagit River, a block from Costco, fell into the river a month ago and the detour goes right by the store so traffic was awful.) I open up the overhead in the pilot house in preparation for wire pulling tomorrow.
Wednesday - Transducer guy arrives at 8:00 AM but the adhesive has not cured enough so I help him pull wire for the new transducer. He will return Thursday morning. I had ordered a new raw water pump ($550) and starter motor ($450) for the main engine which arrived today. The starter I will keep as a spare but I will replace the water pump and keep the old one for a spare. I removed the hoses and bolts on the pump and arranged for a mechanic to come tomorrow to remove/install the pump itself since there are some gears involved I was unsure about. Rolynn did another round of provisioning from local stores and she planted a crop of leaf lettuce for the containers up on the flying bridge. Important to note: freezing meat is a step-by-step process. She freezes a layer of meats at a time; if she stacks up the meat, the stuff in the middle remains unfrozen!
Thursday - Transducer guy does not arrive. Says he will come in the afternoon because he has been held up by a bigger paying job (my words). Pump guy does not arrive at 10:00 as planned because he got held up too. Pump guy arrives in PM and does the job in 1.5 hrs. ($150) While he works I crawl around in the engine room and open sea cocks, check fluid levels, change filters, and look for leaks, etc. Pump man finishes, we start the engine and one of the hoses leaks. Stop engine, replace hose and all is fine. Rolynn does another store run. I go to North Harbor Diesel to pick up spare parts for the generator that they are holding for me. Parts not there - will order again. We went to dinner at Anthony's (GREAT seafood) by Cap Sante Marina to celebrate Rolynn's latest book contract and saw the transducer man getting off a boat. He promises he will be there tomorrow.
Friday - Transducer guy arrives in AM and completes job. Everything works as designed. ($450). I replace all the overhead panels I had removed earlier. I send emails and make phone calls to marinas up stream for moorage reservations. July 1st is Canada Day and the U.S. 4th of July is a big deal up in B.C., too, so they will be busy. We want to make sure to stop in each marina on the way up so Rolynn can sell books. All week Rolynn has been washing every removable item on the boat and scrubbing cabinets, drawers, etc. We get a letter from the bank saying the branch is closing so we go there to close out our deposit box. The branch manager is pissed because B of A didn't tell them in advance they were closing and she has been facing angry customers all day. So, she did all kinds of things for us she is not supposed to do to help us including refunding a key deposit we never made.
Saturday - I shop for more spare parts and maintenance items at West Marine. There is going to be a swap meet at our marina next Saturday so we go to our storage unit to begin the culling process. We are soon over-whelmed and vow to return soon. In the PM, I restore all the items on the upper deck that had been moved by the varnisher. I pump up the dinghy, install new seat and move the fuel tank forward for better weight distribution. We do more provisioning.
Sunday - Another trip to Costco. In the PM I crank up the nav computer and autopilot to make sure they are working and playing together nice. We bought an Ipad last winter ($700) which has the capacity to serve as backup nav device. I spend several hours over three days getting it to play along with the nav computer. All is good.
Monday - Return to storage and pack the car with swap meet things as well as things to dump. I soak the boat lines in fabric softener to remove the salt water stiffness in them. We have a fuel appointment in Thursday so I dose the tanks with an additive that helps with injector lubrication. I crawl into the engine room to pump out the antifreeze (nontoxic) which is used in the water maker as an over-winter fungicide. Rolynn makes another provisioning run.
Tuesday – It’s finally slowing down a little. Rolynn renews her driver's license and does more boat reorganizing. We take four boxes of novels to the thrift store…books we’ve removed from the boat and storage. Time to let them go to gain more space.
Wednesday - Go to West Marine to pick up spare parts which have arrived. Go to North Harbor Diesel to pick up correct generator parts. Back at the boat I put the generator together and check the water levels in the batteries.
Thursday - The weather has been fabulous but today we wake up to heavy rain and gale warnings. Today is our fuel appointment which means we have to take the boat about two miles away to Cap Sante Marine to meet the fuel truck. We call and reschedule for Monday. We had planned to leave on Sunday but we need to refuel here because diesel is too expensive in Canada. We can only fuel from the truck on week days. The price at the local fuel dock, which is open on week ends, is $0.50/gal more than from the truck. That's $200 more for us so we will delay our departure by a day. That means rescheduling the slip renter who was to move in on Monday and rescheduling reservations up stream.
Friday - Pick up aft curtains at canvas shop ($1950) and life line at riggers ($110). Try to install life line but it is 1/2" too short. No time to have them do it right so go to West Marine to get extra link. All is good. Install aft curtains but discover that one of the straps has been sown to the plastic. Go back to canvas shop for repair. Install again - "We Have Seen the Light" - the plastic is so clear we can’t believe the change! Go to storage for more swap meet stuff.
Saturday - Set up for 9:00 AM swap meet. Sell $75 worth of junk that I would throw away otherwise. I do throw away the rest. The marina's annual bar-b-que is at noon. It’s a beautiful day, the food was great and there was a good turnout. Rolynn passed around some champagne among her friends to celebrate the book contract.
Sunday - Final checks: Run the engine and generator for a long while, check for leaks, etc, and make sure the water maker makes water. Rolynn picks up a couple more small items and makes sure our first aid supply along with other pharmaceuticals are up to par. On groceries, she has spent $1300, to include boxed milk. Since we do quite a bit of socializing at the marinas, we tend to buy more crackers, cheese and other goodies to share. As you can imagine, it’s meat we want to stock up on…we can control cost and quality by stockpiling. We’ll take 10 large bottles of gin for G&T’s which we bought in California for $14 apiece, but will have to pay duty of $40 bottles apiece. Yes, they discourage us from bringing in booze, but we can get a favorite gin in plastic bottles, so this purchase is worth the convenience…we’d have to pay $50 a bottle in Canada, anyway. We’ll be buying wine in Nanaimo this year…Rolynn hopes she can find some stuff she likes. She’s doing her last wash today, having cleaned every piece of clothing (including hats!) in the boat and washed out every single drawer before she replaced the clean clothes. Vinegar is her best buddy for killing whatever lurks on boat surfaces.
Monday - The lowest tide of the year today - minus 3.3 feet vs a high of 8.5. That's a change of 11.8 feet in six hours. Imagine the volume of water moving around. I figure we will have 2 ft under our hull at low tide which is about the time we are to get fuel ($1500). So, we will pull out a little early and leave directly from the fuel truck for points north and west. We will be going against a big flood current so the normal trip to Montegue Harbor where we clear customs will probably take closer to 6.5 hrs, (instead of 5.5).
The total to get out of Dodge? 15 days and about $10,600. This better be fun!