Log Boom Up Close!
01 July 2011
We left the little anchorage of Mitalpi mid morning and headed north to transit Chatham Channel. Chatham Channel has a narrow spot that goes for about a mile. You have to stay in the middle of the channel to stay out of danger and there are range markers behind you and in front of you. If you stay on course the range markers are lined up, one top of the other. If you go off course the range markers are out of line. I held the binoculars on the range markers behind us while Ken watched the depth guage and the chart plotter. When I lost sight of the range markers behind us, I located the ones up a head. Easy peasy, lemon squeazy, until we met the tug pulling a huge log boom at the bend in the channel, that is. It didn't look like we had enough room to get by because of the kelp growing right next to our boat. The kelp is backed by a rock wall and then further backed by a mountainside of trees. I called him on the VHF to ask what he needed us to do in order that we get by each other safely (actually, we'd be the only ones not safe because I don't think you can hurt a tug and the logs certainly don't care!) He advised that we pass port to port and that we'd be safe. As we passed port to port we were snuggled up to the kelp bed on the starboard side and had the logs so close to us on the port side that a good jumper could probably have made the leap! All turned out fine but I NEVER want to be that close to a log boom again. Cruising is hours of boredom punctuated with moments of shear terror. I'll post pictures when I have an internet connection.
We anchored near Mamalilaculla this afternoon. Mamalilaculla is an abandoned native village that was fully functional less than 90 years ago. Nature is slowly reclaiming the land but a few homes and fallen totems are said to remain. If this nasty rain ever stops we'll go exploring. It's really a very beautiful spot.
We are currently being entertained by two seals chasing fish around the bay. The fish all come to the surface at once, making a big splash as they do so. Soon after each splash we see a seal enjoying a snack.
We've been going through more water than normal. I thought that maybe we were being careless since we now have a watermaker but something just seemed off. The bilge pump has been going on more than usual but it's been raining and we've been pulling up the anchor a lot. Both of those contribute to extra water in the bilge. We've also noticed that the house water pump goes on more than it used to. Hmmm..... When we checked the salt water strainer for debris this morning, Ken noticed water where it shouldn't be. Upon further inspection he found that the foot pump for the house water was leaking. DRAT! That explains all the water symptoms. We have an extra foot pump so we just swapped the two out and Voila!, no more leak. Cruising is doing boat repairs in exotic locations.
I think we're going to take a break and stay in this spot for a couple of nights.
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