After 33 days, I’m back in the USA. Just checked in through customs in Port Angeles, which is the chillest place to check in through customs of the 3 locations I have done so by boat. I am pretty sure the customs official was in training as he had a silent partner and was double checking his checklist. It’s cool, I wasn’t smuggling anything. When(if) I arrive in Port Townsend I will have tied the knot on a circumnavigation of Vancouver Island. It’s pretty exciting and has been a liberating trip. A friend just turned me on to this quote. I feel it worth repeating.
To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
e. e. cummings
Sunset from Dodger Channel, the night before I left for my transit of Juan de Fuca Strait.
Sailing across the shipping lanes in Juan de Fuca Strait. If anyone tells you steel doesn’t float, they are not doing it right.
That would be a male Orca in Juan de Fuca Strait. As usual, many whale sightings.
Not much time for blogging on the go. Taking care of the boat and myself takes everything. I’m in Westview, BC, my first rest stop in a week. My goal is to circumnavigate Vancouver Island. There are no guarantees, and many potential pitfalls. My first night at a dock. I ducked in here to get out of the mighty Northwest winds. I beat up Malaspina Strait yesterday against them, with current against wind. I read about how it could be. Now I have proof. Very intense and wet, rolling between 10 and 30 degrees of heel. It makes you feel alive. Sampaguita is in the lower left and the mighty Island is in the background.
I replaced the neoprene/epdm seal on the removable cockpit sole lid. This lid exists to access the inboard motor of Pacific Seacraft sailboats. Since I have an outboard, this space is for storage. The previous neoprene seal was completely compressed and the lid was bottoming out on the base. I replaced the seal with a 1″ wide and 3/8″ thick neoprene /epdm blend strip, which is about as thick as I could go and still bolt the lid on. Finding the right seal was a challenge. Most ship-chandlers don’t seam to stock a diverse supply of neoprene hatch tape. However, there is a local supplier/wholesaler here in Ballard called Gardico and they were able to supply me with exactly what I need. The crux, of course, was I needed to buy 50′ of it. I only needed 10′. The adhesive only has a shelf life of one year before it specs out, but I am hoping for longer since I have a lifetime supply. I bet it will be fine for my purposes with no sheer. It’s just under $1 per foot, so it’s OK. The project took a couple hours with most of the time going towards scraping off the old seal with a putty knife and cleaning the surface for proper adhesion. The seal was backed with adhesive tape and took about 5-10 minutes to apply.
A new propane solenoid and rewired stern light. The project is not completely done in this picture but it is now. You can see the jug of distilled water as I was doing battery maintenance too.
Here we have an auxiliary set up. This little 17 amp battery will charge my phone and other USB devices. It will also run the DC to AC power inverter if I need to charge the camera battery or VHF. It might not be so good for the Mac though. The solar panel isn’t much but I will use it to try to keep the battery topped up. These are all loaner items and the set-up will be ad hoc as opposed to well spec’d.
Here I added a Sta-Lok fitting to my starboard shroud. The T-bolt was bent so I sawed it off at the swage and replaced it with a new one and a toggle, which doubled as a spacer. This was my first Sta-Lok installation and I feel good about the result. It was also an easy and inexpensive fix that I was able to manage at the dock.
This is the stern of the boat backed up to the dock. This is how I am able to remove the motor easily.
I then take the motor to the storage unit where it is much easier to perform maintenance.
This morning I had a haul-out for the Flicka scheduled at the Yard in Ballard at 9am. It started snowing at about 7pm last night and the temperature dropped below freezing overnight. I awoke this morning to an inch of snow at 27 degrees. The heat was on overnight so there was chunky layer of ice between the deck and the snow. I went and got some coffee and stopped by the boat yard to make sure we were still on. They were gung ho. The business must go on. So back to the boat for last minute preparations. Brush off the snow, pack for the day, throw out the garbage, start the motor. The motor started well enough though it took a bit extra time to warm up. I excused it. I warped the boat from the slip and made the short trip to the Yard. A bit of extra caution was needed walking on the decks with the remaining ice and snow, but our arrival was uneventful. I watched the yard hoist the boat out, took some pictures, talked to the yard manager and went to about my day. I would be awaiting an estimate for various requested items. More on that on a later time.
And Up Close
Pressure Wash That Turns to Blue Ice
My View From the Veranda. Very Cold with a Halogen Glow. Surrounded by Fish Out of Water.
Little Boat in a Big Tent. Not Sure Why I Ended Up in Here. The Yard is Pretty Full. A Ladder to Board and Shore Power for the Heat.