June 22, 2010, Cap Sante Marine, Anacortes, WA
You know you are poor (or losing all your money to boat repair) when you are eating condiment sandwiches. Mustard is our favorite!
There are two constants when sailing in the Puget Sound and San Juan Islands: #1 The wind will always be on your nose, and #2 You will always be fighting the current - ebb tide or flood tide, it doesn't matter. These rules are especially true in the San Juan Islands. The weather forecast yesterday was for winds out of the Southwest at 10-15 knots. We thought this would be great for our southeast trek from Sucia Island to Anacortes. We should at least have a close reach most of the way. Well, wouldn't you know it, the wind was southEAST at 12 knots ALL DAY LONG!!! So, we sailed for a bit, tacking back and forth all the while fighting the current that was technically supposed to be going the other way. This pretty much kept us in the same spot for about 2 hours. Oh, don't get me wrong, you can sail downwind if you'd like or drift along with the current, but I'll bet my next paycheck that you won't be headed in the right direction.
Anyway, we motored most of the way to the Cap Sante Boat Haven in Anacortes arriving around 1600. The marina there is great! The staff is nice and the moorage was relatively cheap (about $1 a foot = $43). The weather was nice and we enjoyed a quiet, still evening in the slip.
This morning, we motored over to Fidalgo Marina and the Cap Sante Marine haul-out and boat yard facility. Like clockwork, the guys running the travel lift expertly maneuvered our boat into the slings and got the fat girl up out of the water. Tami hates watching the haul out. All she can picture is our boat falling from the slings and plunging 30 feet straight down into a complicated insurance claim. The guys did a great job, got the bottom washed down and blocked in no time at all. They even put a nice set of stairs in place for us to climb up and down (for the kids and all) since we will probably be staying on the boat a few nights while it is in the yard.
So, on to today's progress...After a quick evaluation of the damage and situation, we deftly removed the very complicated Maxi-prop (with some expert help, of course) and placed it aside. We then loosened the coupling and shaft seal and banged the 8+ foot drive shaft out of the boat. It took a little coaxing but slid out without incident (the sucker is a monster!) We then went to work cleaning the stern tube and prepping the cutlass bearing for removal. Cutlass bearings either fall out with no effort, or require dynamite and jack hammers to set them free. Ours is the later type. A combination of age, the heat caused by the melting line, and just plain stubbornness, is causing ours to put up a great fight. It's pretty mutilated, but we are allowing it to spend one more night aboard. We'll get it out in the morning.
Tomorrow, in addition to the final round with the cutlass bearing, we'll dial in the drive shaft to see if it has been bent and needs to sent off for repairs. We are also sending the prop down to The Prop Shop to have it serviced before we put it all back together. Hopefully, the shaft is still good and we won't have to sell one of the kids to replace it (a new shaft for our boat could easily be a couple thousand dollars!) After a new cutlass bearing and shaft seal have been installed and the drive train has been re-assembled, we will tackle the new engine mounts. Hopefully, that will go smoothly. The boat yard employees have been great. All of them have been more than willing to help and provide sound advice. Perhaps they know something I don't, but you don't find this kind of service just anywhere, especially in a boat yard. With any luck, the repairs will continue to go smoothly and we'll be back in the water by the first of next week.
Since we lasted blogged, we've gone from Friday Harbor to Sucia Island, spent 3 nights on the anchor, and then to Anacortes - about another 45 miles or so. We'll update the actual log soon. Photos of the project and repairs to be posted soon. We all still have smiles on faces, so there is still hope!
June 19, 2010, Sucia Island, WA
Today I wake up excited to share coffee with good friends but also sad to see this day come. Today will be the last time for a long time that I will have with my dear friend Shari aboard our home, Andiamo III. Though we will see each other again in August for a day or two, this will be the last time our homes will be so close.
Shari has lived aboard their boat Pearl (not The Pearl, and definitely not The Black Pear, just Pearl) for four years. She, like me, has 2 children and has been there to share in all my trials and my victories. She is a strong Christian mother and wife and we have so many values and interests in common that I feel she is a sister and always will be dear to me.
So after coffee today, Shari and I will have one more workout together. We will hike around Sucia Island to Ewing Cove. The thing about running or hiking with my sister is it's not only good for your body but it's good for your soul. You get to talk about the things on your heart and mind and when you are done you feel like you are truly renewed and ready for another day.
This hike is going to be a long one since it has to last me until Shari and her family come join us again on the water....wherever that may be.
Until then, I will miss "My Sista from another Mista", but our journeys will cross soon.. I pray for this transition to be easy on us both, and I pray for those of you reading this to have a friendship like Shari's and mine.
June 19, 2010, Sucia Island, WA
So we spent the last two nights in Friday Harbor. The boat sat on the breakwater the first night and then in the San Juan Island Yacht Club reciprocal slip last night. Both nights we slept at our friend Susan's house which looks out over the harbor. She has lived here for almost 20 years.
We saw the new Karate Kid movie last night and it was pretty good. Tami and I are still fans of the original movie but the kids like the new one better. They say the original is too "old school" for them. However, they are still big fans of the soundtrack with "Eye of the Tiger" being one of their favorite! The new one is a bit strange in the fact that it is called "Karate Kid" but emphasizes Kung Fu as the martial art of choice. Also, the actors are much younger (pre-teen). The movie shows 12 year olds kissing! What is this world coming to? Nonetheless, Will Smith's kid does a good job. Jackie Chan is getting old and China is pretty cool. We all had a nice time. Susan even snuck some popcorn over to the kids without us seeing. Afterwards, we went for icecream and went back to Susan's house.
Today, we enjoyed breakfast with Susan and helped her clean up the house. Then we pushed away from the dock and motored up to Sucia Island to join our friends from Pearl. Bob has to go back to work on the 22nd so they have to head home tomorrow. We are now sitting on the anchor in Echo Bay getting ready to join them for dinner. The weather is absolutely gorgeous and the sun and breeze are keeping our batteries topped off. We love free power!
We still have the haul out scheduled for next Tuesday, so we plan to sit here at Sucia until then. Hopefully, we can relax and get some routine maintenance taken care of. We still have lots to do. Sucia Island has to be one of our favorite places to visit. Pictures to follow!
June 17, 2010, Reid Harbor, Stuart Island, WA
Yesterday was Christian's birthday. He turned 9 years old. We ate chorizo and eggs for breakfast, Christian's favorite, and then tuna fish sandwiches for lunch. For dinner we ate Christian's favorite chicken poppy seed casserole. It was all very delicious.
After breakfast Abby and our friends Sydney and Annie from Pearl set up a scavenger hunt for Christian. On the scavenger hunt he got some silly putty and a new yo-yo from the Pearl girls. We all did the scavenger hunt together in the woods on Stuart Island. We were then able to show our friends the "butt tree"
The "butt tree" is a large madrona tree that grows near the water overlooking Reid Harbor. The roots come out of the ground and form a giant butt! Yuck! We found this tree last summer while hiking in the woods and just had to come back again this year to show our friends. So, we have decided to rename Stuart Island to "Butt Tree Island". It will now forever be known as "Butt Tree Island". Christian's last clue and birthday present were actually hidden under the "butt" of this tree. He was very brave to stick his hand and arm all the way up the butt of this tree. Ha ha ha!
We all had a great time. We now back at Friday Harbor getting the boat fixed. We hope to go see the new Karate Kid movie today for Christian's birthday. We are also going to the library and bookstore. We are also going to make driftwood boats. We are having a great summer vacation.
|Blogs by the kids||
June 16, 2010, Friday Harbor, WA
The Non-plan plan
Life is easy when you don't have a plan! You're never late, you're never early, you never show up to the wrong party,
We must apologize to our small fan base for not blogging the past couple of days. First of all, we've been busy and the cell service in the islands is a bit sporadic. Since we last wrote, we spent the night tied to the breakwater dock at Friday Harbor. We had a great dinner with our friends on Pearl (Bob and Shari and their kids Sydney and Annie) and enjoyed some good icecream with the kids on the waterfront. The next morning (Monday) we spent some time with our friend Susan and made some phone calls regarding repairs for the boat.
We hired a diver to take a look at the prop and drive shaft and get his opinion on the damage. Further inspection of the engine and drive train revealed that the engine had been pulled aft on its motor mounts because of the wedge effect of the line wrapping tightly around the drive shaft. We thought the engine could just rock back forward on its mounts, but realized it couldn't because the mounting bolts had actually been bent....UGH! The engine still cranks, and the transmission still goes into gear. The drive shaft still turns, and the propeller still pushes the boat through the water. However, there is some vibration and the shaft and propeller are sitting about an inch and a half farther aft then they should be. We are not sure if any damage has been done to the transmission, cutlass bearing or shaft seal, so we are going to have to haul the boat out of the water. New engine mounts have been ordered as well.
Since we had to wait on parts anyway, we decided to take our crippled boat cruising. No sense in sitting there feeling sorry for ourselves! Our friends from Pearl left the dock earlier in the day on Monday and sailed up to Reid Harbor on Stuart Island. We decided that it would be better to join them than to throw a pity party in Friday Harbor and hemorrhage all our money away while waiting for parts to show up. So, we pushed away from the dock late in the afternoon and sailed all the way up to Reid Harbor. We had a great sail and even got the spinnaker to fly for a few minutes. If we didn't mention it earlier, it was the furling line to our headsail that had fallen overboard and wrapped around the shaft. So, needless to say it was gone and there was no way for us to furl and unfurl our jib. However, we were able to rig a new one and get the jib in and out safely. We arrived at Reid Harbor around 2000 and found a nice place to anchor. After setting the anchor and getting the boat settled down, we relaxed to a nice dinner.
Yesterday, we conducted some boat maintenance in the morning then joined our friends, the Buelts, from Pearl for a nice long hike to the Turn Point Lighthouse. The rain that doused us earlier in the morning had subsided and the sun was making its way out. Everyone including the kids and the dogs had a great day. We hiked about 5 miles and enjoyed a great picnic lunch at Turn Point overlooking Haro Strait and across into Canada. It was wonderful. Yesterday evening found us enjoying a great dinner of chicken kabobs and veggies hot off the grill with the Buelts. The breaze was light and the boats were swinging gently on their anchors. We enjoyed each other's company late into the night. We are going to miss these great friends dearly when we finally part ways in a few short weeks. Leaving the ones you love has to be one of the hardest parts about leaving.
Today is Christian's birthday. He is 9 years old. The girls from Pearl put together a small scavenger hunt for him on shore. After finding several clues, he came to the infamous "butt tree" and found a brand new yo-yo from Sydney and Annie. The kids really enjoyed that. Standby for a blog from the kids explaining the "butt tree"!
Later in the day, we weighed anchor and made our way back to Friday Harbor for our dreaded boat repairs - updates to follow on this. We are praying that it doesn't cost us all of our cruising money! It has been another beautiful day in the San Juan Islands. We are so excited to be together and on the water. In spite of it all, we have had some fantastic weather and great sailing. We look forward to every day and are excited to see what tomorrow brings....other than the shipyard repair bill, of course.
The past couple of days: Friday Harbor to Reid Harbor to Friday Harbor - 20 miles
See you tomorrow!
June 14, 2010, Friday Harbor, WA
Yesterday's blog said something about "leaving is the hardest part about leaving" (I think I'm paraphrasing here). Well, we thought so too...until today. Actually the hardest part about leaving is all the difficulties that come your way on day #2 after bragging about how good day #1 was.
So, day #2 found us weighing anchor from Port Ludlow around 0700. We motored out of the harbor and joined the outgoing tide in Admiralty Inlet. We had good weather and the wind was shifting nicely to the west so we decided to raise some sail. The weather forecast for the Straits of Juan De Fuca was a bit "sporty" with a west wind around 20-25 knots and 3-5 foot seas - nothing too extreme for our heavy-weather boat...or so we thought.
First of all, it will always be our goal to be honest in our blog. We want to share our experiences, our success, our failures, our good times, and our bad. We want the readers to share in our cruising adventure without being mislead into thinking the cruising life is always a bowl of cherries. Well, the truth is, it's not always sunny, it's not always calm, the wind is not always at your back, the seas are not always following, and the sailing is not always smooth. There are BAD days! But you know what? As long as the good days continue to outnumber the bad ones, it makes it all worthwhile. So this is our first BAD day of our adventure.
So there we were, riding the ebbing tide out of Admiralty Inlet, rounding Point Wilson and setting a course for San Juan Island, a short 25 miles across the infamous straits. Now you must understand that this was not our first Strait crossing. We have done it several times before and don't take it lightly. Boats and crews have been lost because of poor judgment or lack of respect for this powerful body of water. We were confident in our ability and the condition of the boat. Anyway, back to the story....Point Wilson is famous for its tide rips and confused, steep seas. Although we steered well clear, we still experienced the full force of enormous, confused seas and a stiff 30 knot breeze off the port bow. Although we were sailing under a reefed main and staysail, the engine was still running and helping drive through the rough water. We bounced and bounced, buried the bow a few times in the on-coming waves, took water over the boat and into the cockpit, and dislodged almost every item we had stored so neatly down below. It was rough!
At some point, we felt the engine change noise and a vibration developed accompanied by a strange smell of burning rubber. Fortunately, we were making good way under sail so we kept our course and shut the engine down. After some investigation, we realized a stray line from the deck had fallen into the water and had become wrapped around the drive shaft and propeller. After so many revolutions, the friction caused the line to melt and wedge itself between the propeller and the cutlass bearing causing the drive shaft to back out about an inch. Well, this caused a couple other problems, but the major one being our dripless shaft seal was no longer dripless and we were taking on water. We had some decisions to make and some damage control to accomplish...quickly!
The waves were still huge, and the wind was still howling at close to 30 knots, but we were still making good way towards San Juan Island. We didn't know how much longer the engine and drive train would support us so we left it alone for the time being and continued to sail. Fortunately, our big new bilge pump was more than able to keep up with the incoming water so we didn't have any real emergency. We pressed on. Our plan was to continue sailing northwest up Haro Strait and then turn east to run downwind for Friday Harbor. Unfortunately, the wind was slowly shifting to the north which would have made it difficult for us to make any headway up Haro Strait under sail. After checking the tide charts and currents, we turned and made a run for Cattle Pass. In the end, this was the right decision. We sailed smoothly through the pass and up into San Juan Channel. Once we were back into deep, calm water away from any major hazards, the wind died and we began drifting. We quickly took advantage of this opportunity and donned scuba gear and knife to see if we could unfoul the prop. Boy, that water is cold! After about half an hour in the cold water, I was able to clean up some of the mess, but there was still a big blob of melted rope wrapped around the shaft and jammed up into the cutlass bearing.
No sooner had I re-boarded the boat and dried off, the wind picked up nicely and pushed us along our route to the entrance to Friday Harbor. Our friends from Pearl sailed up to meet us and offered any assistance should we need it. We cranked the engine and ran it through the gears. All seamed well and we motored safely to the dock. A detailed inspection later helped curb the leak at the shaft seal so the need for an urgent haulout was curtailed. Nonetheless, damage has still been done, the shaft is riding about an inch aft of where it should be, our zinc is missing off the prop and it all needs to be repaired, so we'll see what tomorrow brings.
In the end, we all made it safely to the dock. We joined our good friends Bob and Shari from Pearl for dinner and later walked the kids and dogs to the ice cream shop. Even our good friend Susan (the first owner of Andiamo III) came down to join us.
So now the boat is a mess but not sinking. We are exhausted but safe and warm. We learned a lot, used our heads, and think we handled the situation as best we could. The boat sailed great in the heavy weather and the Lord looked after us once again as He always does. The wind and waves stopped when we needed them to and then picked back up again at just the right time. It has been a good end to a bad day. See you tomorrow.
PS: Sorry there are no pictures today, my film crew was too busy holding on and throwing up to grab the camera.
The only difference between an ordeal and an adventure is attitude! - Bob Bitchin
Today: Port Ludlow to Friday Harbor - 40nm
Log: 105 miles