A Canadian Bayfield 36, two full time sailors/explorers and Puddles, our seafaring chocolate lab.

27 June 2013 | Dartmouth Yacht Club
09 January 2013 | Hong Kong
07 January 2013 | Dartmouth, ns
15 December 2012 | Home in Dartmouth
13 October 2012
17 September 2012 | Halifax Harbour and abouts
15 September 2012 | Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
12 September 2012 | DYC
29 August 2012
27 August 2012 | In the bilge of Karma
17 August 2012 | DYC
15 August 2012
10 August 2012
06 August 2012
03 August 2012
12 July 2012
08 July 2012

A few changes since Hong Kong!

27 June 2013 | Dartmouth Yacht Club
As I effortlessly begin my umpteenth attempt at updating our blog the strong winds of change have swept through our lives. Since our last entry Nancy and I visited Vietnam, spent weeks with our great friend Ron in Cambodia then spent weeks more immersed up to our eyeballs in sunshine ...and a nice pool. We both took a long deep breath in Ko Lanta, Thailand where we hunked down and chilled out... about as much as I have in recent memory. We read, talked, sipped gin (mixed with the nicest orange juice I ever tasted) and we dared to think outside the box....like playing "what if" ...except for real. In that pool we came up with a plan, a plan so fantastic it would surely be the greatest gamble in our lives.... and all we had to do was have the courage to just. do. it..... gitter dun, look forward not back, big dreams unfulfilled.....

Three months since that promise to ourselves we have sold our house in Nova Scotia, visited Vancouver Island, British Columbia and have just returned from our second trip there after obtaining a property on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, Canada. We will pack what we have left by August and drive west some 6000 km over 13 days. So far so good...the PLAN is working!

KARMA IV will play an even greater part in our lives now, as both floating cottage and escape pod, from the madness that exists on todays roads... glad I had the sailor bug.

and now back to our regular programming....KARMA

Just arrived in Hong Kong

09 January 2013 | Hong Kong
Allan and I just landed in Hong Kong and checked in our hotel; Very small room but the bed are comfy with a beautiful view.

Both Allan and I were impressed with the Hong Kong airport. It is run very efficiently and we didn't wait more than 10 minutes at immigration even thought many flights landed at about the same time.

The airport express train was easy to navigate and fast.

Our layover in chicago was OK but due to renovation, no restaurant were available past security. Since we had three hours to wait, we went back out to eat and went through security twice. In addition, there were no free wifi unless you were in one of the lounge or pay for it. The monorail linking the terminal was really good.

Been a long day, 20 hours of flying time, 4 hours layover in Chicago ...

Ready to go!

07 January 2013 | Dartmouth, ns
After almost a week of last minutes preparation, buys, laundry, research, printing, telephone calls ... Our bag is now packed and our backpack is just missing last minute additions. Less than 12 hours to go before we take off to Hong Kong via Chicago.

Allan provided last minute instructions to Ashley and Bradly and made fresh fish and chip for dinner, which was enjoyed by everyone.

Hoping we sleep a few hours tonight as tomorrow will be a long day.


15 December 2012 | Home in Dartmouth
Yes this update is overdue... I will try to do a better job after Xmas.

Allan, Puddles, and I left on our sailboat mid October. We made an overnight stop at McNabb island where Allan worked on the diesel heater. Puddles and I went for a small walk on the island and we saw at least 7 deer in 15-20 minutes. I decided to cut our walk short as I didn't want puddles to run after them.

The next day we motor sailed to Lunenburg. We arrived before dark and took a mooring ball across from Lunenburg downtown. We decided to stay there for few days to work on the heater and a few other minor things mainly because parts would be easier to find there. There were some strong winds which further delayed our departure. Puddles and I walked every day discovering the town. We even pick up pizza via the dingy!

We sailed to Port Mouton where we anchored very close to a white sand beach in turquoise water. Simply amazing. Our trip down was not without issues. The foot of our mail sail came off the boom, we learned afterward that it had not been properly installed/secured. In order to fix the main sail we had to take it off the boom and re-installed it. The port lazy jack and the anchor light stopped working. A trip up the mast is now required. We obviously cannot cross the bay of Maine without some repairs.

After much discussions and in light of the upcoming Hurricane Sandy, we made the decision to return KarmaIV to Halifax for the winter, and used the now free time to travel to South East Asia.

So Allan and I will be departing, in the new year, for Hong Kong |3 days), Vietnam (3 weeks), Cambodia (3 weeks) and Thailand (1 month). On our return, we will stop by Phoenix to visit Allan`s brother and sister-in-law.

I intent to keep a better log of that trip.

moved aboard

13 October 2012
Yes we have officially moved aboard. Allan and I will be spending our second night on the boat tonight. We are still at Dartmouth Yacht Club however we intend to depart shortly. The winds have been very strong lately. In fact, they were so strong that our boat was bobbing like a corkscrew while tied up on F dock. Ugly weather! Someone asked me if I was seasick:-) while alongside, I guess I am not prone to it since I was cleaning and organizing the boat. We have since moved the boat to another slip on dock E1 and it is much calmer.

BTW I made it up the mast the other day. I had a great view of the marina and of Bedford Basin.

Crew Training, Gyroscopes, waterproofing and rain rain rain

19 September 2012 | Dartmouth
Windy Southerly 20-30 Kts, rain amount warning..crappy
All crew will become familiar with safety and the Puds is no exception.

Nancy has thoughtfully found a great little harness-handle contraption that will make it possible for one person to hoist Puddles aboard should she go overboard. Puds is a lab right and twice has jumped or fallen off the marina dock and almost impossible to get her up and out of the water by oneself.

Also on the fashion scene lately is Puddles wearing her posh new floater coat...also with a handle to help us help her. Puds isn't fond of the jacket, seems to restrict her movement a bit. She will wear it and look happy for the camera for a measly few cheerio's though...

Lot of tough problems were finally fixed on the 18HD radar, all week I've been trying to figure out exactly what I did wrong when I spliced the cat 5 data cable to the scanner. I replaced two sets of perfectly good RJ 45 connectors only to discover, after buying a $50 new cable, that the problem was the feedthrough connector at the mast splice was actually a crossover, problem solved with yet a third new set of rj 45"s. Learned a lot about making RJ-45 connectors and cables. We now have fully functioning radar, another must have off the list!

Also completed was some leakproofing, here we stretched on a new mast boot that will need to be redone when its warmer as the bottom flare didn't seal as good as I wanted. We put white butyl around the top of the boot to keep water out.

Nasty problem with the leaking starboard cabin port was finally rectified with complete replacement of the gasket which became top priority along with the mast boot as high winds and heavy rains are forecast.

Nancy has got the jacklines installed but thinks there is some tweaking to be done as they stretched when it rained today...

What does a boat unit look and feel like?

Garmin Gyroscope and course computer of course...thats a cool grand in my hand..

Whats worst than the sound of a splash when you drop a tool?
The sickening crack you hear when your thousand dollar, super sensitive gyro pops out of its retainer and falls to the floor. I thought we were doomed, trip ending doomed...no autopilot, no starting the trip until we got this disaster straightened out. We discovered quickly that its not a stocked item and it would take a special order from the US to get it here quick. Lot more to this story that gets off track so lets jump ahead a day to where we have a working gyro again...want to see inside the one I took apart?

Lastly, what would a day on KARMA be without lifting the floorboards again?

This last floorboard ordeal was to run the power cable for the auto bilge pump, run a new heavy gauge boat ground cable to service the aft section in prep for the slew of power connections terminating there.

Work continues on the autopilot install, I've measured and had built, a tiller arm that will allow connection of the drive to the rudder shaft. This particular task has been a challenge fraught with problems that took far more time to figure out than we had time for but we refuse to cross the Gulf of Maine until we have Otto working for us.

And now we watch the weather, the next system that comes through as a calm sea or a Nor' east breeze will be our time. Gut feeling.
Vessel Name: Karma IV
Vessel Make/Model: 1988 Bayfield 36
Hailing Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Crew: Allan & Nancy
Allan and Nancy are both retired military folks who wanted to travel beyond the confines of the resorts and the canned vacations. A week in paradise was no longer going to be enough, what was enough were the long cold winters, too few daylight hours and the hibernation from living all year round.... [...]
In late summer of 2009, Nancy and I had the opportunity to visit Newfoundland on the Atlantic east coast quickly followed by a marathon drive around Vancouver Island on the Pacific west coast of Canada. These two trips made us realize that joining the convoys of RV's, campers and cars just wasn't [...]

Who: Allan & Nancy
Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia