06/03/2011, Grace Harbour, Malaspina Inlet
We set the anchor in Grace Harbor, Malaspina Inlet after a motorsail up the coast from Westview. Our path today took us right past Lund, Savory Island, and the Copeland Islands. The Copelands look like a great place to explore by kayak! A wiggly path through the islands and then again down into Malaspina, avoiding rocks and shallows.
The weather was dry, none to warm, but comfortable enough to go explore by dinghy. Somewhere in our explorations we bumped a rock with the outboard prop. Didn't seem to be a problem..... wait for it, wait for it........ 3 minutes later, Tom discovers we don't have neutral on the outboard. Forward and reverse work just fine. We idle back into our little bay and continue around the edges.
We're just cruising behind a Beneteau, Gavia, when this man leans out and asks, "We saw all the jerry jugs on your boat, are you headed to Alaska?" We replied, " No, just taking the long way to Mexico!"He ducks back inside his boat, has a quick conversation with his wife, and the leans back out asking... "Do you know Al?" We answered YES! We couldn't stop due to no neutral, said we'd come back in a few minutes after Tom made the repair.
Back to the mother ship we went. Off came the cowling... Tom identified and fixed the problem and we headed within TEN MINUTES back to Gavia to finish the story. Little did we know the story was just beginning!
As we pull up to his stern, he says, " Come aboard, we want to know all about your engine trouble in Princess Louisa and your prawn story!" What? We'd only put that story in the blog at 8 this morning and it's 3:30 and 40 miles away, and we don't know these people? And they know about our engine stuff?
Ken and Carol are 'these people' and are good friends with Al and Louise Hughes, former dock mates of ours from Shilshole! Ken had gone below and called Al to inquire if we were one of the boats he said to watch for in Desolation. Al had read our blog this morning and gave him the complete rundown in the time it took us to fix the outboard and return. I'm sure the looks on our faces was a Kodak moment!
We shared boating stories, compared anchorages, watched the Eagles, Ospreys and Loons, and learned of more places on the way to 'be sure and not miss'! Ahhh, that six degrees of separation is becoming 5!
Jane-Regarding Savory We saw the brown house with the backhoe next to it... you're the blue one next door?
05/26/2011, Westview/Powell River
At the boat show this year we bought ourselves a shrimp/prawn trap so we could perhaps catch a few of the little buggers. Well, here we are in prime prawn area, and I am stuck with a quandary. We have about $40.00 in this fancy prawn trap, but still need to get the line, weights, float, bait box and bait in order to deploy the trap. There is a pretty nice fishing and boating supply shop here in Powell river/Westview where we just happen to be today. So I ambled (that would be a very slow walk) up the hill and had a visit with the guy behind the counter about this gear that I would be needing. He was very helpful, and gave me the complete run down. He had used poly line, at $.08 a foot, with a 450 foot minimum. $36.00 Then there was the cool orange float, strong enough to support all that line, and can be seen in order to find it, and not get run over by other boaters $36.00 Since this was floating line, you have to put clips with weights on it to keep it down, again not wanting to foul somebody's prop. He recommended three of these cute little guys, at $9,00 each $27.00 I already have the trap, but will need a canister to put the bait into, at $5.00. And last but not least, the bait. They sell a commercial prawn bait, for $14.00 a jug that is about a gallon. So that is a smooth $118.00 just to get equipped. Then I got to thinking about the actual act of going after them wiggly little creatures, that taste mighty good I might add. Given that fact that I don't have a clue where to drop the trap, and when I do it is to be in 250-350 feet of water, I started thinking about actually pulling that trap back up by hand from 350 feet down...especially if it were to come back up empty. I had to give this some serious thought!
As I was walking back down to the boat, I struck up a conversation with a shrimp boat Captain, by the name of Brian. A very friendly fella, who was in a mood to chat. He had just come in with a good load of prawns and was off loading them as we spoke. Now I figure that this is a pretty smart guy, he had a good looking boat, well outfitted, and he had a great looking crew as well. You see the bulk of his crew was very pretty gals all about 20 years old. While the crew was unloading his catch we talked about shrimpin' and boats ( yes in the back of my mind, I did feel like I was reliving a scene out of Forrest Gump) and sailing around this area. Just as was getting ready to head back to my boat, I asked him what he would sell me a few prawns for, just to put together a little snack? Well, he reached down into the pot grabbed a big hand full and threw 'em in a bag and said how about $5.00 Well, I couldn't pass up on that, so I gave him a quick $5.00 bill and was off to the boat. Now I know that I will not always get a deal like that, as the going rate up here fresh off the boat, is $10.00 a pound with the heads, and $20.00 with the heads removed, but it got me to really working on that math again. I was going to have to catch 12 pounds of prawns to break even, not counting the extra work of pulling those traps up and down. I have never considered myself the lazy sort, especially when it comes to fishin' and crabbin' and the like, but I am pretty sure this is one place, where we are gonna just buy a prawn dinner every now and then.
By the way...I have a brand new prawn trap for sale, never been used $40.00 or best offer!!
05/26/2011, Princess Louisa
If you have been reading about our adventures in the Princess Louisa Sound, you will begin to understand the magnitude of this place! I know we have a lot of amazing places to yet see on our adventure, but so far this place is truly an amazement. When we sailed in, it felt like sailing up into the mountains, but we never left sea level. On Friday afternoon, we took a dinghy ride over to a medium sized waterfall, that had a neat pool about 100 yards up the hill. The pool is featured in the Waggoner Cruising Guide, as a great place to sit and cool off and take a shower. Well, that wasn't happening as the water in that pool was right out of the melted snow fall. As we made our way back to the dinghy, I caught a movement out of the left side of the hill. WOW there was a huge avalanche starting!! I whipped up the camera and started shooting...and the picture above is one of the shots. This was a huge movement of water and it really did some damage, up rooting and busting off many large trees! That is just not the sort of thing you get to see by boat!! What a place!
05/25/2011, Westview, Powell River
The decision was made about 10:45 this morning to get off the dock. We'd planned on doing some laundry and buying groceries later this afternoon. Tom had purchased a new stock of oil and was able to get rid of the old stuff. But after learning that there was no place to do our laundry, and the next logical stop had that, and a larger grocery store, and the few other things we were looking for, we decided it was a 'go' day.
The forecast was for SE wind 10-15 from right behind us, pushing us all the way to our next stop at Westview, just south of Powell River. Slighlty overcast sky, but brightening.. it looked promising.
We set the main just after leaving the dock and headed out of Pender Harbour.
We were met with about a 12-15 knot SE breeze. Lovely. We set the head sail, keeping some of it rolled up, sort of a reef. We were soon doing 6.7-7 knots. The wind continued to build to a pretty steady 18- with a few gusts in the low 20's. We were flying along at 7.4-8 knots! The boat and her crew were totally enjoying the afternoon! Eagle was humming and in her groove! She's sailing great!
We arrived at our destination over 30 miles, after jibing up the channel, in 4 hours and 10 minutes - dock to dock, and only ran the engine for 20 minutes!
We entered the very, very narrow harbor entrance to Westview in between two shrimp boats. Of course, the local ferry to Comox was just coming in to unload, and we got to dogde around the two log boom tows just off of the entrance also! A call to the harbor master and we were tied up behind a 40' tug. About 5 minutes after tying up, another one came in and we're now 'sandwiched' between the two.
The weather is getting better, although I'm still in polar fleece! Today was the first since we've left that I 've not worn wool socks! There is hope. We'll head out in a day or so for Desolation Sound. A 'local and her dog' out walking the docks informed us of the "prawn festival in Lund' this weekend... hmmmmm... might be our next stop! We had fresh off the boat prawns for dinner last night... so fresh, they were still kicking when I put them in the pan! Yumm, yumm!
The Marvin Report:
Slighlty choppy seas, 2-3' about 6 seconds apart, building to 6 foot rollers, right on our beam and aft quarter about 4 or less seconds apart. A couple of good rollers had us screaming down the backside at 8+ knots. Wind was 18-20kt, some sustained 20's and higher gusts. The temperature was comfortable, 60 degrees, high overcast clouds, bright, but not enough to need the shades on!
I know that any of you have been asking about the Google ads that we had in our blog site,and the fact that they are gone. Well, the short version is that Google cancel our contract, feeling that and I quote" They felt the need to protect their clientele from fraudulent activity". What it comes down to was that we were getting too many hits on the ads, and they felt that it must be fraudulent. I have appealed their decision, but my appeal was denied, and there is no further course of action.
So, for those of you that have supported us, and in turn the business that had ads on our site, we thank you.
05/25/2011, Princess Louisa dock
....has been averted! Let me start from the beginning. Tuesday morning when we were preparing to leave the mooring ball in Princess Louisa, I went to start the engine, and it did not start right up like it usually does, in fact it lurched and then had to be cranked a few time before catching. After that she ran just fine for our 1 ½ mile run down to the falls. As you will read in the blogs that update you on our stay at the dock at Princess Louisa, our one or two day stay was extended by incredible weather until Sunday morning, when we would get an early start for the 40 mile back down to our next stop in Blind Bay. Before every run of any length I check the oil, water, and the diesel filters. When I pulled the oil dipstick, the first thing I noticed was that there was too much oil showing on the dip stick. Then I noticed that it was a really wrong color! I have seen this before.....we had a huge problem....water in our engine!! My mind started racing, how do I fix this? Can this even be fixed with what I have on board? Do I really know what I am doing enough to pull the engine apart on make the needed repairs? Where did the the water come from? We are over 40 miles from anything, with no radio or cell phone communication, and stuck behind a rather severe rapid! First things first, I know that a lot of the boats are leaving at the same time we planned on, so I started hitting the boats to see if there was any spare oil that I could buy from them. No matter what the outcome, I was going to need a lot of oil, for repeated rinses through the engine, and only had enough for three complete oil changes on board. I had at least 6 filters so that wasn't a concern. I was able to come up with one full gallon, and three individual quarts. Later a tour boat came in that had 3 quarts in a gallon container he sold us as a well.
Since it looked like we were going to spend at least one more night at the dock, Jeanne made us some breakfast. It did not go down well as my stomach had not really recovered from the initial lurch when I realized what a problem we had on our hands!
Then a couple of huge breaks came my way. Clark from the Trimaran Rickky Tikki Tavi stopped by to wish us well on our way, and after hearing the story, let me know that he had gone through this a couple of years ago on his boat. He said that Paul, off of the sailboat Sirens Song was a farmer and worked on his own diesels! So he rallyed the troops and the brain storming began. By this time I had read every thing I could in my Nigel Calder books about this problem. In order to make this a much shorter story than it is, I will summarize. We pulled the bracket, shield and pulley from the 2nd alternator off. We removed the valve cover, and the heat exchanger. After draining the water from the cylinders, manually, we put it all back together again, and started the oil flushes. One quart at a time, it was poured in and then pumped out. After seven of these we filled her back up, put on a new filter and started the engine.
She purred like a sewing machine!
We are 99 % sure that the problem was the anti siphon break in the exhaust. It was hanging down into the bilge, in case it should ever drip any water. It appears that it got all the way to the bottom, and was sitting in the water in the bottom of the bilge, which filled with with water there for not allowing the siphon to open. This allowed the water in the exhaust to siphon back into the engine! That won't happen again, as it is much shorter now!
As I write this we are just re-entering Agamemnon Passage. The engine was run smoothly for 6 full hours, and for....lets see 37.9 miles. We have bucked a strong tide most of the way. We are going back to Pender Harbor, so we can do some provisioning, especially oil.
It looks like we have been blessed with a huge break!! So...let the adventure continue. Like I read in a magazine some where (LOL)...
The difference between an Adventure and an Ordeal....is your Attitude! We are still having fun!!