Living Aboard

19 December 2011 | still at French Creek
29 June 2011 | French Creek
19 May 2011 | back at NewCastle
08 May 2011 | still on the hook at Newcastle
02 May 2011 | same
02 May 2011 | Newcastle Island Marine Park
01 May 2011 | Newcastle Island
25 April 2011 | French Creek
21 April 2011 | Newcastle Island

Finally another addition

19 December 2011 | still at French Creek
Don
It has been so long since I entered anything in my blog that I forgot I had one! It is the Admirals fault…she hogs the ‘puter every day looking for a bigger boat, playing some stupid pop the bubble game, and of course, working on her on-line farm game. I finally had to rip it out of her hands threatening MUTINY or even worse… refusing to empty the dreaded porta potty!!! I am pretty sure it was the latter that convinced her to release her grip on the computer ‘cause the deed needs attending to today. She is now sitting next to me pretending to read a book. I know she is pretending cause I don’t think anyone is allowed to print the words that she is muttering under her breath through gritted teeth and every once in awhile she looks over the book and gives me the dreaded “STINK EYE”.

We have done some serious sailing (serious for me anyways) going through the Gulf Islands for a couple of weeks then over to Vancouver. English Bay to be exact. We watched the fireworks during the Celebration of Lights from our boat at anchor off Jerrico Beach. We were a bit too far away to really experience the thrill of it all but didn`t get hassled by the water Gestapo as they were busy boarding several of the hundreds of boats anchored closer to the event. I got to have a glass of lunch, snack, supper, and had sundowners before bed.

I guess the weatherman forgot to mention that 30 knot winds from the northwest were going to hit the day we were going home. We no sooner got out of the harbour when the winds started to come up and of course they were right on the nose. I reefed the mainsail and furled the headsail back to half way and continued on our way with a port tack tight to the wind. I did pretty good allowing for drift and set and only missed Nanaimo by ½ a mile. A good sailor will shudder if he reads this because being off by ½ mile in 35 means I would miss Hawaii by at least a half and ocean!!! Well I am not one to make excuses, try sailing a 26 foot boat in thirty knot winds and 6 to 7 foot breaking waves while suffering the effects of the previous evenings liquid meals and sundowners. In other words I was a bit hung under… and steering, manning the sails, and heaving my guts over the leeward side does not make for accurate navigation specially when green water was coming over the cabin top every once in a while.

The Admiral wasn’t too impressed because every book, ornament, dish, mirror, and cooking pot that wasn’t battened down joined her on the bunk while she was doing what most admirals do when they have nothing to do….sleeping. I managed to steer clear of her wrath because the cabin hatch was closed so the green water that I mentioned earlier couldn’t get in. If she had seen me with one hand on the tiller, the other on the safety line, and my half my body over the side while I emptied my system of evil “spirits” I am sure she would have called coast guard on the radio with an SOS Man Overboard and then kick my sorry ass over the side!

We stayed a couple of days in Nanaimo anchored at Newcastle, while everything, including yours truly, dried out and then headed back to French Creek under sail wing on wing with a good following wind. The trip was uneventful.


July sort of came and went the high point being our forty first anniversary. How about that!!!! We’ve been married over twice as long as we’ve been single. One would think that this would have been a night for celebration and….well….U know!!! Unfortunately the Admiral found out about the no fraternization between ranks rule and used it as an excuse instead of a headache and even saluting got me no where!! I guess I’ll have to resort to refusing to empty the porta potty next year.

Most of the Summer was cool and rainy so we did not do a lot of sailing; just day trips and the odd overnighter. In late August our daughter and her husband (Sarah and Darin) and our grandkids (Owen and Sienna) came to visit for a week and Darin and I went fishing most every day in the tender. The highlight of the visit (not counting our wonderful grandkids) was when I caught a 21 lb spring and Darin caught a 24 lb spring salmon on the same day within 2 hours. I caught mine first then Low and behold if Darin didn’t hook one that was HUGE but it threw the hook as we got it to the boat. It was getting late so I said we would make one more pass around and catch it again and then head home. I’ll be darned if Darin got another!!!! He played this one a little longer and finally brought it up to the boat. I managed to net it but the fish was only half in the net and trapped against the side of the dinghy. I was half way over the side screaming at Darin to give me a hand so I didn’t go overboard. Darin acted quickly, grabbed the net and pulled the fish into the boat leaving me to fend for myself. Nice guy!! Thankfully no one was around to capture our antics on video. Just picture it. Me precariously balanced on the port side pontoon, Darin dancing around laughing hysterically, a 24 pound spring salmon with plenty of life left in it flopping around swatting me with its tail trying to knock me overboard, and Owen trying to hold this magnificent fish from jumping out of the boat while attempting to avoid his dads size 19 boots from trampling him to death. Well I managed to claw my way back into the boat holding my hand in the air for balance. Darin mistook my action as calling for a high five and slapped my palm so hard that he near knocked me over the side again. It still tingles to this day.

All in all we had a wonderful visit, caught some fish, and enjoyed the company of my youngest daughter (Samantha) who came down from Nanaimo to visit as well. It was Darin’s first fishing trip on the ocean and he enjoyed it immensely. First thing he did when he got home was to trade his quad for a nice cabin cruiser. I expect next summer he will be back fishing in his own boat. Hopefully they will have the time and money to do a bit of traveling with us as our plans are to either 360 the Island or explore the inside passage and take 2 to 3 months to do it… weather, money, and health permitting.

We took off for Desolation Sound on Labour Day weekend. We left French Creek with a blustery Northwest wind on our port quarter and under full sail. It was blowing between 15 and 20 knots and we were making almost 6 knots. The boat was laid over on the starboard side at least 15 degrees. The Admiral felt a little ill from the bouncing around so she decided to lay down for a snooze. It was a beautiful day but I closed the hatches as the waves were building a bit and I didn’t want water to splash in the cabin. About two and a half hours into our trip I hear the Admiral calling me but with the wind and waves I could not hear what she said. I shouted back something like, “I can’t hear you. I don’t talk thru walls!”. Well that was not the thing to say to the Admiral. The hatch flew open and she screamed that we were sinking!!!! “Yea right”, I thought as I slowly made my way to the hatchway expecting that the Admiral was joking or had a nightmare. As I stuck my head into the hatchway I was met by a bucketful of ice cold water right square in the face. I could not believe that the Admiral would go to such extremes to get even with me for some silly thing that I might have done ( or written) sometime in the past. Half blinded and breathless I opened my mouth to scream my displeasure using words sailor type words and received another 2 gallons of water right square in the puss! As I cleared the water out of my eyes I realized that the Admiral could not have possibly filled that bucket from the sink in the time elapsed between the first attack and the second so the thought came to mind that we were indeed sinking! Skilfully ducking another bucket of water I let the boat come into the wind and climbed down the ladder dodging yet another bucketful of water.

The cabin sole was 4 or 5 inches under water and I could hear water pouring in at an alarming rate. The bilge pump was on and pumping but the water was getting higher by the second. The sound was coming from the galley cabinet under the sink! I ripped open the cabinet doors and saw water pouring from a thru the hull fitting. Actually it wasn’t the fitting but the hose coming from the fitting. I realized that the hose was coming from the bilge pump and seawater was both entering from the ocean and the pump was just pumping the water back into the boat. I lay down in 6 inches of cold salt water and reached in to hold the two pieces of hose together so the pump could do its work. It took about 20 minutes before the pump ran dry. By that time I was one wrinkled prune and my male equipment was tucked up so tight I questioned whether or not it would ever pop out enough to work again. I was afraid I would have to take a viagra in the morning so I wouldn’t pee on my slippers.

Water was still coming in a bit but I noticed that there was a ball valve so I shut it off. All this time my sails were flapping around like crazy so I went out on deck and lowered the main and furled the headsail. I then went back down and fixed the hose. I rolled up the carpets and threw them up by the mast. The Admiral was cleaning up the cabin and I stayed out of her way. I changed clothes and checked out my computer. The computer was fine but the charger was done as it was covered by 6 inches of water. I tried drying it out and plugged it in…no go…. just sparks and sizzling.

Now I use my computer for navigation. Oh, I have charts but it has been over 35 years since I actually used one to plot a course. I explained this to the Admiral who had enough (somewhat misdirected) confidence in my navigational skills to continue on our way. Following orders I raised the sails once again and we sailed to Scotty Bay and dropped the hook. We spent the next 3 hours cleaning up. I then had a sundowner (just one) and poured over my charts plotting a course for Blubber Bay on the north end of Texada Island. We made it without further incident. We dropped the hook and I plotted another course for Squirrel Cove on the southeast side of Cortez Island. I had a afterthesunisdowner and went to bed. We rocked and rolled all night long and we slept like babies.

The next morning we pulled anchor and headed out. No wind was blowing so we had to motor. Motoring is not my favourite pastime. It’s noisy and sailboats were meant to be pulled not pushed. The alternative was to sit there becalmed and I like that idea even less.

It is getting late and the Admiral’s getting really squirmy so I guess I better give her the computer back before she makes me walk the plank, or keel hauls me, or pours my sundowners down the sink or any combination of the aforementioned punishments. I will bring U up to date at a later date!!!!!!

PU

29 June 2011 | French Creek
Don
Holy Smokes It's Almost Canada Day

If I offended anyone with my previous ranting then I apologize to everyone who took offence except for the damned he/she who wouldn't give me a ride....You know you're a red neck when......:):)

I keep getting Emails telling me to write more often. Well it is not easy to find humour every day ya know!!! Everyone gets down once in a while and it has been my turn to pout. I've snapped out of it now though and look forward to the rest of the summer with anticipation.

I purchased my fishing licence a few days ago and went out in my tender to catch a big spring salmon. No luck! But I did catch a red snapper so the trip wasn't a total write off. I got my brother in law to fillet it as it has been much too long since I have prepared a bottom fish and I wanted to save as much meat as possible. Herb did a great job and after watching him memories came flooding back so I am sure I can do the next ones myself.

So far I figure that red snapper is worth about $ 20,000.00 if you include the cost of the boat, getting it in the water, licensing, mooring fees, fuel, taxes, and everything else that goes along with owning a boat I probably owe my Dad half that amount at least so Thanks a million Dad for all your support.

I am sure that you all know what B O A T means...."Bring Out Another Thousand." Anyway, I figure that I need to catch at least 10,000 fish to break even. Whew...at the rate I am going that will only take about 600 years!!! I think I should sell the boat and buy shares in the aquarium...but I can't...or rather I won't because I just love being on the water full time.

I don't sail much right now as my shoulder combined with MS severely limits my ability to do almost anything so I motor or sit at the dock. I am sitting at the dock at French Creek right now but I think I will go back to Newcastle for a couple of weeks. Or maybe I will try Jedidia or Maple bay. It is the difference between living in a trailer park (dock) or living on acreage (on the hook)...with no lawns to cut and no grounds to tend!!!!

I did a cleanup today. Washed the cabin sole, cleaned the counters, and emptied the dreaded PORTA POTTY!!!!! God, that is a horrible job. The odours that emanate from that little tiny holding tank would and could knock over a full grown elephant!!!! The Admiral pulls rank all the time and the crew isn't capable so the DUTY falls on yours truly. So much for being the captain!!!

Any way I have to disconnect the sitting part from the holding tank then carry it onto the deck. I would go farther with it but I can't hold my breath any longer. And that's just the top!! Next comes the smelly part and I don't care how careful you are or what chemicals you use to hide the odour, the thing still stinks. And it is damned heavy 'cause I put off doing it till it is nearly over flowing. I struggle to lift the thing off its brackets (it has to be battened down in a sailboat or it would slide all over the place spilling its less then wonderful contents all over the place) then lift it and run for the cabin hatch. I can't make it out to the deck because the damned thing is way too heavy to carry up the ladder to the deck. And by now I have to breathe!!!! Oh God!!!!Lungs burning, nostrils melting off my face and running down my chin I finally manage to lift the tank out onto the deck. I take another breath hoping desperately for fresh air. It is marginally better but there is a really bad taste in the back of my throat. Like three week old road kill in gelatine form that is stuck to the little hangy down part at the back of my throat. And that's just the easy part.

After gagging, choking, drying the tears from my cheeks and reshaping my nose more to suit my face I manage to get the tank to the dock and begin the long trek to the public washroom (they have no pumping facilities here). Of course it is low tide and I have to balance my cane, the holding tank, and myself while I practically crawl up the ramp connecting the dock to dry land. Of course forty-eleven people gather to pass me on the ramp...poor souls...ya know it is truly amazing the amount of people who still carry hankies and bring them up to their noses as they pass. One woman lifted her blouse and stuck her head in the neck opening. I don't know why; she was down wind. Counting her blessings I guess.

At last I am at the top and stop to catch my breath. I look down and discover that the slide valve has somehow pulled out a bit and I am standing in a small but gross puddle of U KNOW WHAT!!!!!! Not only that but my whole left pant leg is wet and beginning to rot right off my body. No shower for me when this is over...sandblasting might work.

I close the valve and throw the aromatic tank in the van to drive the 200 yards to the public washroom. I am too embarrassed and out of good breathable air to walk. And that's when the real fun begins.

Thankfully the can is empty so I grab the tank and step inside. Someone was obviously there just before me and must have had pizza or Chinese the night before. Anyway it was roses compared to what was about to happen next.

Taking a deep breath and holding it I unscrewed the cap from the holding tank and turned the unit upside down over the toilet and flushed simultaneously. Out came a whole weeks worth of business all at once. GLUG! Unfortunately I forgot to loosen off the breather valve and so the contents sort of exploded out then sucked in some air then exploded out then sucked in some air etc. etc. I would say I got at least 99 percent in the toilet before it plugged up and threatened to overflow and by overflow I don't mean like a regular toilet plugs up and over flows where all there is is a few turds and lots of water.....Oh No!!! I mean overflow with a whole weeks worth of brown, evil, semi solid, oozing sludge. I panicked as the slurry lapped at the top of the toilet bowl.

IT STOPPED!!! It didn't go over and I suddenly realized I was still holding my breath and, without thinking, I took a big breath. Mistake. Up came breakfast as well as last nights supper...right into the almost overflowing bowl. Yup, You guessed it...just enough material to break the surface tension and down the side of the bowl it rolled.

If the last few paragraphs grossed you out, tough tittie! Think of what I had to go through cleaning the mess up. I won't go into any detail because you've probably had enough but I want to add one thing. When I stepped into that washroom I weighed 187 pounds...when I finally got out I weighed 173 pounds so I'm thinking of patenting the process as a quick way to loose 14 pounds in less then one hour!!!!!!!

Adrian, if you read this, all I can say is I hope you have a proper marine head. I can think of no better deterrent to living aboard than having to deal with a porta potty! If the boat you have recently purchased has one, then don't even empty it. Just sink the boat and buy a new one....take my word for it

Any hoo everything is OK now. The pot is back in the boat with a quart of "smell nice" in the holding tank. The only thing is the "smell nice" label says it contains formaldehyde....
.....isn't that what is used to preserve dead body parts??????

Till next time.......


And I thought the Admiral was CRANKY

19 May 2011 | back at NewCastle
Don
So its been awhile and lots to catch up on. We left Newcastle after a couple of days and headed through Dodds Narrows and off to ladysmith for a couple of days. Then on to Chemainus, Walace Island, Saltspring Island, Montigue Harbour, back to Walace Island, then Ladysmith again, and finally back to Newcastle spending a couple three days at each place.

It was an enjoyable trip except it rained alot and I ran out of cigarettes... on the first day....NOT GOOD!!!!!! The Admiral had the good sense to stay the hell out of my way and that's hard to do on a 26 foot sailboat. She deserves the NAVY CROSS for above and beyond the call of duty. By the end of that particular day I was fuming....and ready to commit a mutiny. And I didn't catch her laughing at me once. I threw little temper tantrums all day....I AM ADDICTED!!!!!! What can I say???

When I finally got to Ladysmith and set the hook I jumped into the tender (15 foot inflatable) and headed over to the marina to buy some smokes....Much to my dismay and frustration there is no place, and I mean NO PLACE on the shore to buy any cigs!!!!

I pulled into the Yachet Club marina to find out where the closest place was. This effeminate male (I think) was on a big cabin cruiser tied to the dock and I got his/her attention and asked where to go to buy smokes. He/she told me to go back to the fishermans dock....about 1 mile.... where I could tie up for free for 2 hours. Then I would have to make my way on foot into town.

Turns out Town is about 1000 feet above sea level and I have been aboard a sailboat for about a month. I looked like an old drunk walking up the dock as my sea legs were not acclimated to dry land. At the head of the dock I met an old Native person whose sea legs were the same as mine only his breath indicated that alcohol was probably to blame. Anyway, he gave me instructions to get to a gas station which was the closest place to the dock. I was told to walk up the road till I saw some steps, go up the steps (50 of the buggers) then take a small trail to my left which would take me to a road, cross the road, find a trail to my right that will take me up to a set of tracks. Cross the tracks and walk for about 25 or thirty steps and look for a little trail that will lead to a big trail that that has a little trail coming off it that leads to the hi-way.

Now this is all UPHILL and I mean UPHILL!!!! And I smoke!!!! Get the picture??? The trails were wet and muddy and I had to do some serious backtracking because, as I have probably mentioned before, I have MS and my short tem memory isn't the greatest not to mention the fact that I was still staggering like my Native friend and there were numerous trails leading all over the place.

Anyways, to make a short story long, I finally made it to the hi-way only to see the gas station was 3 blocks away...UPHILL!! I leaned up against a tree to get some breath back. I can only imagine what people driving by were thinking. I finally staggered the last 3 blocks to the gas station. And you'll never guess who pulled in just as I arrived.

That's right!! The effeminate he/she that I spoke with at the yachet club! So I staggered up to him/her and asked why the hell he/she didn't offer me a ride as he/she knew he/she was coming up here anyway??? His/her eyes got as round and as big as a toonie as he/she stared at this old guy with 3 days growth on my face, hair uncombed and wind blown, huffing and puffing, staggering all over the place, with a look on my face that showed my EXTREME displeasure. He/she replied in his/her effeminate voice, and I quote, "You looked awfully dangerous looking."
Can you believe that???
Dangerous??
Me??

Well I called him pretty much every thing but "white" which probably gave him/her good reason to be very afraid because at that point I think I was ready to remove from this world a totally useless poor excuse for a human being...However being the passive person that I am.......... I turned and went into the gas station. I do not know if he/she stayed to get gas or not but he/she wasn't there when I came out flush with a couple of packs of smokes, a smile on my face and a chocolate bar for the Admiral. I headed back to the tender. At least it was all DOWN HILL!!!!

When I told the Admiral about what had happened she laughed and laughed calling it my just punishment for being such an dinkfor all day long.
If you have to ask what's a dinkfor then you shouldn't be reading this!!!
I growled at her and went out on deck for a smoke.

I ran out a couple of more times on this trip but not for a whole day and a half! And I ended up repeating my trip up to the gas station at Ladysmith on our return. I remembered the way up and He/she wasn't there when I arrived. I still walked funny and huffed and puffed but I made it up and down without having a heart attack!!!!

That's it for now. The Admiral and crew are off with our daughter and I am sitting aboard at Newcastle Island making sure everything is OK....It isn't but that's another story.....

Till next time.....feel free to leave your comments

The Admiral is CRANKY today

08 May 2011 | still on the hook at Newcastle
don
The Admiral is CRANKY


Well here it is Saturday May 7 so a few days have gone by since the last entry. Wanda, the Admiral, has been aboard for 3 or 4 days now. It took a day but she is now used to the rock and roll and tiny quarters of her marine home for the duration of the year. We missed each other while we were apart for those last few weeks. (I know I did anyways) Nobody to… bit#@%n at …make me laugh… make he happy… and make life wonderful… Nobody to share the day with.

I had to put the above in there ‘cause she is going to read this and I will payyyyyy big time if I don’t say something nice.

Today is the Admirals CRANKY day. The synonyms for cranky are as follows: eccentric, odd, quirky, peculiar, bizarre, strange, and idiosyncratic. I don’t even know what idiosyncratic means but I’m sure its applicable today.

It probably all started yesterday when I left the Admiral in the boat and took the porta potty away so I could empty it. I left a bailing bucket just in case she had to pee and anything else would just have to wait till I got back. Trouble is I didn’t get back for 7 hours and……You guessed it. Yup, I hadn’t even got out of sight and “anything else”, in the liquid form, came rumbling along….fast!!!!!

Now the bailing bucket is too small to sit on so to start everything has to be done while standing over it. A real problem manifests itself when “anything else” in the liquid state is the function to be carried out…. How in hell do you aim it…The answer is simple… YOU JUST DON’T!!!!

“Anything else” in the liquid form tends to re-occur a number of times and the Admiral tried valiantly to point and shoot. She actually did quite well with a score of 70 to 80 % on target. Dish towels and tea towels conquered the rest (they are now in the garbage)….

GOD ALMIGHTY; I am glad I wasn’t there!

By the time I got back to the boat the target practice was pretty much over. I just had to deal with the target and I did that the very first thing, without comment, and as fast as possible. All I got was the evil eye….but I had had the presence of mind (an instinct of survival) to stop at Timmy Hortens and get her a extra large coffee double cream and double sweetener that I handed to her before I even climbed from the dinghy into the boat. The Admiral HAD to smile and say “Thank you”…..which really made it difficult to holler abuses at me afterwards…But those eyes….cold as an Antarctic wind during a blizzard in the middle of the worst cold snap on record…. Brrrrrrrrrrrr!

If target practice wasn’t enough then a seasick crewmember, one of the Admirals’ dogs, elected to heave up everything except her puckered parts right onto her (the Admirals) only nice warm jacket rendering the aforesaid unusable till washed. Not a good thing!!!!!!! We called it an early evening and went to bed for the night.

I knew things were not going to go well the following morning when, at 4:30 AM the Admiral turned in the cabin light and started making coffee. She could not sleep and couldn’t stand to lay there and be forced to listen to a mere captain snoring up a storm. The captain (me) rolled over and went back to sleep while the admiral had her coffee and breakfast. I finally got up and scooted out to the cockpit to have a smoke and keep some distance between us…no telling what might happen next and distance was my best shot at surviving the day.

As the day progressed the Admiral, bored with everything, decided to fire up the old computer and play a few games to cheer herself up….Wrong! She brought up the game Mahjong Titans and it seemed to frustrate her to no end. The Admiral finally called out to me that she was going for a nap!!

Well it seems that one of our crew members (the Admirals dogs) had, just at this time, decided to have an “anything else” of its’ own on the puppy paper that was laid out on the cabin sole for just this type of occasion. The dog then decided to join the Admiral under the covers. Unfortunately one or two little hard balls of “anything else” must have caught up in the cute little hairs around its firing mechanism and jammed… only breaking free while navigating under the Admirals covers.

I ripped open the cabin hatch at the sound of EXTREME growling and howling. Turned out it wasn’t either of the crew but the Admiral herself as she rolled on the hard little balls and discovered them to be what I can only describe laughingly as the peas under the princesses mattress. Sheets and Covers were flying everywhere and the crew bailed out to join me on deck as I tried as quietly as possible to close the hatch….to no avail!

Acting on direct orders I entered the cabin and gave her a hand collecting the bedding, removing the little round “anything elses” and stuffing the bedding into the laundry sack with the nice warm puked on jacket. I had to bite my tongue till it bled to stop from saying something cheery or even smile politely. I just did what I was told then joined the crew for awhile on deck. The crew were so worried that they wouldn’t even come in till after supper!!!!!

Thusly it is written that “The Admiral is CRANKY today”. And tomorrow when she reads what I have posted I will be court-martialled, keelhauled, and tied in the scuppers and then maybe, just maybe, she will feel better.

But what the hell…at least I had something interesting to write about.

So hang in there my merry band of land lubber followers as more humour will follow as long as we’re “living on the hook”……

It's not so bad

02 May 2011 | same
Don
Well…………well….well

That’s how I feel right now. New propane tank in line, batteries charged up, heat in the cabin, porta-potty emptied as well as my intestinal tract, tarp is up, anchor is well set in the mud on the ocean bottom, dinghy is bailed out and I fixed the valves so it should stay inflated now. What more can a guy ask for?????

Oh it’s still "Bitchday" but my glass of lunch has dimmed the senses and even the smell of wet socks drying over the heater has its own appeal ‘cause I know this day will be over soon and the socks will eventually dry.

I took the porta-potty out on deck which made room for all the stuff in the bow that I had to move to get at the propane tank so I only had to move the stuff once. Low and Behold I found my rain gear in amongst the stuff so I did not have to change into wet clothes when I went outside. Of course it stopped raining the minute I put them on….but what the heck at least I didn’t have to dry them out when I got back from the potty business.

With the tarp up over the hatchway I don’t get any rain in the cabin. If I had put it up yesterday……….what the heck chalk it up to knowing better for next time. And I do know better ‘cause I used to do a lot of camping with my dad when I was young and he taught me to ALWAYS ALWAYS get your shelter done first….before anything else……I guess I just forgot…I’ll blame it on MS….Mmmm what a great excuse. Of course excuses are like rear ends…everybody has one and they all stink!!!

The rain has started up again so I took a minute and flung open the hatch as wide as it would go. DRY!!!! Great!!! I’ll just leave it open for a minute or two and air out the wet sock smell a bit. I’m so proud of myself that I think I’ll have a glass of snack before supper.

A huge three masted motorsailer just arrived in the harbour. It is so long that the guy at the bow tending the anchor is using semaphore to signal the helmsman/women at the rear. My boat could be a life boat for that one. I wonder if they have “bitchday”….Oh the dryer shrunk my socks…Oh the thermostat is set too low and it’s cold…..Oh I am getting nasty in my old age!!! Or just down right envious!

I’m starting to banter a bit but that’s what blogs are for aren’t they?? After reading my last “deposit” on this page I have to reconcile a few things. If I’d have checked the propane, porta-potty, and clothing drawer, I would have changed the bottle at the dock and even refilled the empty one. I would have found my rain gear. I would have emptied the potty and brought a few more clothes on board. I would have checked the valves in the dinghy and made sure they held air. Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda!!!! Almost everything I complained about previously could have been avoided. So I learned something today……and I’ll probably forget it by tomorrow……….Damned MS!

Besides, looking back it is sorta fun having “bitchday”…..sorta. Breakfast lunch and snacks sure were good!!! Gotta go….It’s supper time!

Into each life a little rain must fall

02 May 2011 | Newcastle Island Marine Park
don
It's official......Instead of Monday I'm going to call this Bitchday.!!!!!!!!!

Today is dedicated to taking all the romanticism out of the live aboard experience. I am wet, tired, and extremely cranky! Wet clothes are hanging from every hook, the windows are fogged up, everything is damp and it is 12 degrees Centigrade in the cabin. I am wearing dirty socks and underwear, 2 shirts, a sweater, old jeans that won't do up around the waste('cause I'm getting FAT), and an Indian sweater (to be politically correct should I say Native Canadian sweater?). And I am still cold.

I am lonely for my wife who is staying on shore right now with my daughter Samantha...lucky witch...she should have been here to help!!!! My Bread is mouldy, my windows leak, my batteries are low, and my porta-potty is full!!! I am low on drinking water but that's all right 'cause I will drink rum all day. (this is not humour...I am DEADLY SERIOUS!!!!)

This all started at 4:30 AM...yes AM as in totally dark. Rain was hammering against the housework and windows. Temperature in the cabin was a mere 6 degrees centigrade. The piercing sound of my anchor alarm awakens me from a dead sleep. For those land lubbers out there an explanation is in order.

An anchor alarm is designed to sound off when the depth of water under your boat radically changes meaning you are no longer connected to the ocean floor and are drifting aimlessly about...usually towards a reef or big rock. The alarm is very high pitched and loud and brings instant terror to the hearts of even the bravest souls.
I leaped out of the sack banging my head and scraping my left ear on the overhead beam..... again! Heart pounding, I ripped open the hatchway and stuck head and shoulders out to see how close I had drifted to the rocks and was met with an absolute deluge of rain, soaking me instantly. Looking around I could see that I was in the exact same position that I was in when I went to bed! Nothing had changed!! I crawled up to the bow to check the anchor line and all was well except that the alarm was still going off and in my half awake state I had forgotten to close the hatch. So "all" was not really "well". It is absolutely amazing how much rain can find its way through a 30 by 40 inch hatchway and into the cabin in such a short period of time. I reset the alarm and climbed down into the cabin to find all my bedding soaked, a pool of water on the cabin sole, a newly opened pack of smokes ruined, and the clothes I had been wearing the night before literally dripping.

And the alarm goes off again!!!! I cut the power to the damned thing, after sticking my head out once again just to be sure, and began the not so nice job of cleaning up. Of course the wind came up which made for lots of bouncing around during the cleanup. I have clothing and bedding hanging everywhere. If I ever have the privilege of running into the manufacturer of that alarm..........( oops, I don't want to go to jail for uttering threats.......I'd rather go for murder!!!)

It is now 10:30 am and I just finished my first glass of "breakfast". I have to go out and pump up my dinghy as one valve is leaking and I should bail the thing out as well so I will change into my wet duds and tackle the problem. I might even put up a tarp over the cabin hatch to make life a little more tolerable....or maybe I'll have a second glass of breakfast and say to hell with doing anything else.

I guess the breakfast will have to wait. My propane just ran out causing my pitiful heater to stop working. Now I have to change bottles. That entails moving everything in the bow so I can get at the spare propane bottle, drag it out, move everything back, change into my wet cloths, open the hatch, get wet, close the hatch, change bottles, get wetter, open the hatch, get wetter, bring in the empty bottle, close hatch, move all the stuff in the bow, slide in the empty, move everything back again, strip out of the wet cloths, hang them somewhere, and finally put my dry clothes back on . Why move everything so many times you may ask?????BECAUSE THERE IS NO FRIGGIN ROOM IN A 26 FOOT SAILBOAT!!!!! THAT'S WHY!!!!

And now I have to poop......... did I mentioned earlier that my port-potty is full?? So before I can do my duty I have to change into wet cloths pump up the dinghy and bail it out. Then unhook the potty, load it in the dinghy, start the motor, travel to the dock, find a dumping station or preferably a toilet where I can poop first, then relieve the potty of the odorous remains of many meals, wash out the potty, return to the boat, replace the potty securely, strip out of the wet clothes, hang them up somewhere, and finally put my dry cloths back on.

So I had best post this now before I end up posting something else in my pants. I may return later today with another segment. Or I might run my glass of breakfast into a glass of lunch into a glass of dinner and then I just might have a little nip before I go to bed. In closing I have to stress the fact that although today is "BITCHDAY" I would not change this lifestyle for anything else in the world. I am living the dream!!!!! And now I gotta go.......literally.
Vessel Name: Second Wind
Vessel Make/Model: laguna 26
Hailing Port: French Creek on Vancouver Island
Crew: Don, Wanda(taking this pic)&2 dogs
About: Wanda is my wife of over 40 years. my best friend, THE BOSS!!!!! the 2 dogs are shitzu bishon minitures
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Second Wind's Photos -

LIVING THE DREAM

Who: Don, Wanda(taking this pic)&2 dogs
Port: French Creek on Vancouver Island