BACK IN THE USA

I feel exhausted, what a day – I am checked into the USA and have been granted a six month cruising visa.  This morning I departed Canoe Cove at ten in brilliant sunshine and a cold crisp air.  There was no wind as I motored out and across Haro Strait towards the US.  At just after eleven I entered USA waters.  An hour later I was visited by three US Coastguard guys in a flash rib, they had all the gear strapped on.  They were doing a boating safety check, very courteous and polite but they were very business-like.

Clear sky, bright sunshine and crisp air
Clear sky, bright sunshine and crisp air

At three in the afternoon we arrived at Friday Harbour and I tied up at the customs dock to check in.  After a call on the free phone on the dock I was invited to the Boarder Protection office in town.  Off I trekked with my passport and ships papers.  An hour later, after a bit of to and fro I was in possession of a cruising permit valid for six months. 

At each place I stop in the US I have to call in my position by phone and provide my cruising permit number, this is a bit of a chore, I suppose I need to buy a USA sim so I can comply.  The penalty for non-compliance is potentially life changing.

I need some refreshment and feed, this evening I will head up the road and find a suitable watering hole.  After all I need to celebrate breaking free of Canoe Cove and starting my journey south.

READY TO DEPART CANOE COVE

Well, I am not really ready, I still have a heap of small jobs to complete before Truce fully is ready for sea.  However, all the big jobs requiring shore support or access to chandlery are complete.  The remaining small jobs I can complete as I head south.

Windvane Sail Rigged, ready to go
Wind vane Sail Rigged, ready to go

The rig has been checked over by a rigger and some minor repairs made to the headsail furler.  The new lifelines look good and strong with plain wire for both upper and lower lines.  I have made up new halyards and sheets, fingers are a bit sore from splicing.  Sails have been rigged and the outside of the boat is now looking good.  I need to rig new reefing lines on the mainsail in the next few days then its all ready to go.

On Tuesday I picked up the Viking 4 man life raft.  Its in a soft valise as I don’t have anywhere on deck to stow a hard case life raft.  Really a bulky item, is living in the quarter berth at the moment as it won’t fit into a cockpit locker.

My other main works have been electrical.  I have surprised myself with my success rate.  The new solar panel is installed and works well.  I now get double the power coming in to the batteries each day and so far have not needed any shore power at all.  The Icom M324G VHF radio is fitted and working well.  The Aussie Yakker Wi-Fi router is sending GPS and AIS data to my laptop to work with OpenCPN navigation software.  Three maintenance free flooded batteries have been installed and after taking the greatest of care connecting them together it all works correctly.

This evening I have topped up with fresh water and done the laundry.  A late morning departure should make for a good trip on the tide with an afternoon check into the USA in Friday Harbour.  I am looking forward to being mobile again.

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A QUIET SUNDAY AT CANOE COVE

I had a lie in until seven thirty this morning, the rain was dropping onto the cabin top so I decided to roll over for another hour.  After I dragged myself out of my bunk I applied the final epoxy patch to the fresh water tank.  It’s not easy when you can’t see what you are doing and applying fibreglass and epoxy upside down and by feel is challenging.  To see the results, I stick my phone in the tank and take a photo.  It’s not pretty but I reckon it will hold.

ICOM VHF waiting to be fitted
ICOM VHF waiting to be fitted

Then I spent a couple of hours fixing the stern light that had some corroded wiring, one of those simple little jobs that take forever and use every tool in the box.  Then it was onto the wiring of the charging station at the chart table.  From Aliexpress I got a 12 volt USB charging rig, only cost a few dollars but could be a great buy.  Charging laptops, phones, cameras etc from 12 volt uses much less power that using the inverter as I have been doing to date.  Before I can finish that job I need a switch.

Then I set about installing the VHF Radio, didn’t get too far as I need an antenna joint.  So then it was onto the cabin light, this I fixed but need a cable joint before I can box it up.  I then measured up to fit the new solar panel, I have the spot marked out and have drilled a pilot hole for the cables, but of course I now need 5 metres of cable to complete the job.  So I now have a heap of electrical jobs half-finished waiting on little bits to connect and join.  Of to the electrical supply tomorrow morning.

Getting fed up with electrical work and the brain power it takes, I spliced up a new halyard for the staysail.  We now have renewed halyards all round.  Truce is looking quite fancy with all this new rope dangling from the mast.

I am getting anxious to leave Canoe Cove now, the days are flying by and I am not moving forward towards my destination.  Of all the items I need only the electrical bits, batteries and headsail furler repairs remain outstanding, these are the must have items.

Everything else can wait.  Hopefully by the end of Monday I will be able to call USA Boarder Protection and give them 48 hours’ notice of arrival.

My Loot from the Marine Garage Sale
My Loot from the Marine Garage Sale