A VISIT TO ALERT BAY AND MYSTERY BILGE WATER

A visit to Alert Bay and mystery bilge water.  This morning being Sunday is the system check day, batteries, engine, bilge pumps and everything safety and vital. Upon opening the bilge I found water again. This is a mystery as I had fixed the small water leak. But, the water was fresh water, strange. It had rained heavily the day before – could it be rainwater? Seems unlikely. Anyway I dried the bilge and left it open to air.

Alert Bay Boat Harbour. Port Mcneil Canada. Photo Ray Penson
Alert Bay Boat Harbour. Port Mcneil Canada. Photo Ray Penson

I then hopped onto a ferry across to Alert Bay for a tourist trip. Alert Bay is an interesting place and in the past had a wild west reputation. The town has a major Nimpkish Indian village adjacent and is a cultural centre for the region.

Killer Whales frequent the place and the locals call it the home of the Killer Whales. No Orca’s around today, maybe they take Sunday off. One of the things I wanted to see was the museum (even Oprah has been) but I got talking to some of the locals and completely forgot about it. Maybe next time.

On my return back to the boat I found water in the port bilge, fresh water again. So I had been away for 4 hours and half a bucket of water had accumulated and there had been no rain. This time I dried everything out completely throughout the boat, I checked every fresh water hose and connection for drips, nothing. Four hours later it is still completely dry. I just don’t get it, I will have another look in the morning.

Alert Bay Home of the Killer Whale Port Mcneil Canada. Photo Ray Penson
Alert Bay Home of the Killer Whale Port Mcneil Canada. Photo Ray Penson

Killer Whales frequent the place and the locals call it the home of the Killer Whales. No Orca’s around today, maybe they take Sunday off. One of the things I wanted to see was the museum (even Oprah has been) but I got talking to some of the locals and completely forgot about it. Maybe next time.

On my return back to the boat I found water in the port bilge, fresh water again. So I had been away for 4 hours and half a bucket of water had accumulated and there had been no rain. This time I dried everything out completely throughout the boat, I checked every fresh water hose and connection for drips, nothing. Four hours later it is still completely dry. I just don’t get it, I will have another look in the morning.

The wind has blown hard all day from the NW which is where we want to head. Hopefully tomorrow there will be less headwind and the wayward EPIRB will finally arrive. I am looking forward to getting out of here and heading towards Prince Rupert.

Logged 8th May 2016

WATCHING THE WEED GROW

Still waiting. I expected the courier to turn up today with the EPIRB but he was a no show. Called the dispatcher who sent it from Canoe Cove to learn that he doesn’t work weekends and will be back on Monday.

I am getting so frustrated and stressed by this whole saga. I don’t want to say anything negative so will leave it there.

For the last couple of weeks I have been losing fresh water to the bilge. Just a small amount and its been so hard to trace. Looks like I found it today and fixed it so happy about that.

I hoisted the pig out of the water today and put her on deck ready for sailing. It went quite well and nothing got damaged or bruised. The fresh water got topped up again and the boat has a wash down.

The Pig nested on deck Port Mcneil Canada. Photo Ray Penson
The Pig nested on deck Port Mcneil Canada. Photo Ray Penson

Its Sunday tomorrow and since I will definitely be here until Monday now I will try and have a side trip and take in some culture. Nothing much else going on today.

Logged 7th May 2016

THE WAITING GAME

Once again waiting. The EPIRB was delivered today to Canoe Cove by Canada Post today. Now it’s is on its way to Port McNeil by Courier. Hopefully, fingers crossed it will arrive tomorrow.

It looks like I will miss my sailing window early tomorrow morning and the forecast is now giving 40 knot N W’ly winds for Saturday and Sunday. Oh well that’s life, I don’t mind waiting for weather because that’s just nature and it’s out of our control.

Waiting on man-made delays is not so easy to bear.

This morning I did the supermarket and booze run. We are now stocked up for the next leg. I will try and make the remaining diesel on board last until Alaska as fuel prices are lower there. It should be OK as long as we can do a couple of hours sailing each day.

So we are almost ready for departure. I will take the pig out the water tomorrow morning and put her on deck. This will be another superhuman effort and hope we can get it done without too much damage to body or structure.

I turned the boat around today in the dock so we are pointing the right way for departure. It doesn’t make any difference really, just feels better.

The weather was beautiful again today and I went for a walk to see the famous Port McNeil Burl. There is no doubt it is a seriously big burl, its not an official world record apparently, but I can’t imagine there is a lot of competition for the biggest burl.

Port McNiell burl the worlds largest. Photo Ray Penson
Port McNiel burl the worlds largest. Photo Ray Penson

Logged 6th May 2016

 

PROGRESS OF SORTS

Today we had progress, the ships registration documents arrived from NZ along with the graphics for the change of registry. I also learnt that the EPIRB from New Zealand has been released by Canadian Customs after only 28 days in their custody. Now I just need to find a way to get hold of it after its

been delivered to Canoe Cove. This morning I did an oil change on the engine. Not an easy job on this engine and it got very messy.

The old oil has to be sucked out of the dipstick hole with a large bicycle pump type apparatus with a slim hose on the end. Its impossible to do this operation without oil dribbling everywhere. What a dumb set up, the Beta Marine engine on our last boat was so easy, just pump out with a lift pump, stick a new filter on and put the new oil in. I can’t understand why Yanmar are so popular as sail boat engines, they are awful to work on, or this one is anyway.

Later in the morning I topped up with fresh water, which is supposed to be pure with no additives in Port Mcneill, then filled one of the propane bottles which was empty.

This afternoon I started to put the new graphics on the boat, they look very smart and I am trying very hard not to screw it up. I will need to turn the boat around to get at the port side. If it doesn’t rain I will get it finished tomorrow.

Yacht Truce Starboard side Graphics completed.Photot Ray Penson
Yacht Truce Starboard side Graphics completed.Photo Ray Penson

I plan to sail early on Saturday morning to catch a favourable tide up the Queen Charlotte Strait. But if there is a chance I can get the EPIRB on board in the next couple of days I may delay. Its very frustrating to keep delaying progress and seeing other boats all heading out. But this will be the last outstanding item so I don’t have much choice. Total Voyage distance 266.5 miles.

logged 5th May 2016

A QUIET DAY

A quiet day at Canoe Cove.  I paid my bills for work done and my marina berth charges.  I will move out to the anchorage in the early morning.  I am looking forward to getting out of the marina and away from the power tools and constant noise from frantic fitting out work.

I will miss the friends I have made but we will meet up gain along the track in the future most likely.

Just waiting for the EPIRB to arrive before setting off.

Logged 14th April 2016

ALL READY TO GO BUT NOT QUITE.

The boat is ready to go and so am I.  The new spreader was installed this afternoon after which I tightened up the rig and we are all good

to go sailing. Today I have been playing around with the Iridium Go. The first test call home went through without a hitch, followed by SMS and email.  There is still some set up to do and I need high speed internet to complete the set up.  Unfortunately, I can’t get internet on the boat and have to keep trotting off to the laundry – for some reason that’s where the best Wi-Fi signal can be found!

I hope my EPIRB and boat stickers show up with the courier tomorrow so we can get going.

13th April 2016

WET BUT HAPPY

It’s been wet and damp all day today, and still raining.  Never mind we had a good day and after some soldering and improvisation this morning the echo sounder came back to life and is now showing the correct depth as far as I can tell, at least it goes up and down with the tide.

Yacht Truce Echo Sounder
Yacht Truce Echo Sounder

The spreader is coming along nicely and received its last coat of paint today ready for installation in the morning.

I rigged a new halyard on the starboard spreader and have a new one made up for the new port spreader.

I also finished off the installation of the AIS today and just need the services of an electrician to hook

it up to the power.  Electricians seem hard to get hold of this time of year and if I can’t find one may try and hook it up myself.

YACHT+TRUCE+AIS+display+installed+in+the+‘Wheelhouse’

The good thing about dealing with 12 volt it doesn’t bite like the mains power.

Lastly the Iridium Go arrived today.  I will have a careful read of the manual before doing anything, it looks simple though.

Just waiting for the last two couriers with EPIRB and stickers now.

If everything turns up I could be sailing tomorrow afternoon.

But have just realised that tomorrow is the 13th  Mmmm.

Logged 12th April 2016 

ENGINE READY TO GO

Finally, the engine parts arrived from the USA.  Big event, the engine has been serviced and the new exhaust mixer was fitted this afternoon. Engine wise we are all ready to go.  I took a trip into town this morning to pick up some additional antenna cable and connectors.

Back of the depth display Black wire corroded through and blue wire hanging by a thread
Back of the depth display Black wire corroded through and blue wire hanging by a thread

This afternoon I installed the AIS antenna on stern rail and ran the cable through the boat.  All that remains now is to install the head unit and connect the power and we should be in business.

When running the antenna cable I found one of the echo sounder wires had disconnected.  Age and corrosion had done its work and the echo sounder had stopped giving a reading.  Lucky I found it as we definitely need an echo sounder around these parts.  I will get going on a repair in the morning.

IPH ( Back of the depth display – Black wire corroded through and blue wire hanging by a thread)

The couriers with the EPIRB, Iridium Go and boat name stickers didn’t arrive today, they must be coming tomorrow.  The replacement spreader is receiving a second coat of paint and is on track for Wednesday fitting.

Looks like I will only have two more sleeps at Canoe Cove Marina.

A DAY OUT IN VICTORIA

It was Brass Monkey weather this morning so decided to get the bus to Victoria, good decision the day turned out to be sparkling and once I had warmed up really enjoyed it.

I picked up some tide tables and a guide to Alaska wildlife at Munro’s Bookshop, what a great place.  We now have all the charts and books on board needed for the trip north.

Victoria Harbour and Parliament Building. Photo by Ray Penson
Victoria Harbour and Parliament Building. Photo by Ray Penson
Captain Cook keeping watch on the Victoria traffic. Photo by Captain Ray Penson
Captain Cook keeping watch on the Victoria traffic. Photo by Captain Ray Penson

There is a nice statue of my hero Captain Cook on the harbour side.  He looks a bit glum, perhaps because the birds are shitting on him.

But I expect he put up with plenty of that during his voyages of discovery – so more likely it’s because he is facing inland when he should be overlooking the harbour and out to sea.

PHOTO ON LEFT:  Captain Cook keeping watch on the Victoria traffic

I also picked up a carbon monoxide detector / alarm.  The surveyor noted it as a deficiency and the insurance company thought I should have one.  Really it is a good safety measure as we have oil lamps, gas cooker and a diesel heater on board that could all cause a problem if not properly ventilated.

I installed and tested (its loud!) the detector when I returned to the boat this afternoon.

Carbon Monoxide detector installed in the main cabin Its Monday tomorrow and I am looking forward to getting everything fixed so we can get out of Canoe Cove.  The two show-stoppers are the spreader replacement and the engine parts.

The engine parts, EPIRB, Iridium Go and New Zealand boat stickers are all coming by courier, I expected everything by Saturday and can only hope everything arrives tomorrow so I can get going on installation.  If all goes to plan I could be out of here on Wednesday afternoon at low water.  I still need an electrician to complete the electrical hook ups but that won’t hold me back.

Now it’s time for a sundowner.

Logged 10th April 2016

 

MORE RAIN AND PLANNING

It rained all night with some wind and a nice fresh cold breezy day today.  I am trying to get a reasonably priced ERPIB and expected I could get one from West Marine in the USA.  Unfortunately, although the price is great they are only programmed for American boats.  I then spoke at length with West Marine in Vancouver and they say theirs are only for Canadian boats (seems unusual) and their price was double the USA price.

So, eventually I contacted Burnsco Marine in New Zealand, they have an EPIRB at a good price and will ship to Canada.  If only I had known before I left NZ – hindsight is a lovely thing.  Thank you Burnsco.

Got frustrated today with the mobile phone.  The system here in Canada for non-Canadians is pretty poor.  My credit ran out mid call to a supplier this morning.  I then tried to top up with my phone, not possible.  I then tried to top up from my laptop, again not possible as I don’t have a Canadian address.  The only option was to get on a bus down to Sidney and top up at the seven eleven.

An hour later I purchased a top up and it didn’t load, the guy at the counter said that happens all the time and gave me a number for customer service, but this number could only be called from a landline!  Eventually, thirty minutes later I managed to top up.  On the bright side my trip to town was not wasted as I managed to find a coffee plunger and brewed up some decent coffee this afternoon.

I have been in contact with New Zealand’s best sign man, Bryant Thompson, for a new port of registry sign on the transom.  I will also get some signs for the new NZ Callsign and MMSI number which go above the chart table.  All being well the signs will be here later this week and I will try my best to get them applied straight.

During a sunny spell this afternoon I tried to figure out a way of launching the dinghy without crippling myself.  The dinghy is cold moulded and built like a battleship, apparently Ernest considered that it would be his lifeboat as a last resort.  Its heavy.  I may try rigging a spare halyard and using a short spinnaker pole as a davit – needs a lot more thought really.

Off to do the laundry tonight, its nice and warm in the laundry which is a bonus.  Then back for a low flyer and a chat to my neighbour.

Still can’t find long life milk.

Logged 4th April 2016