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!