|What's up of late? We're so far behind on the site, we've decided to post more recent developments here!|
|July 3rd 2008
After a fun and relaxing hot week on the boat at the marina at Trites, we are on our last (we hope) trip back to Alberta. Mostly to pick up the rest of the "stuff" for the boat, but also to bid farewell to friends and family, get things in order, and finish moving out of the house.
We thought we'd be seeing the mast going onto the boat this trip of 1200 kms each way through the mountains, but as luck would have it, nothing progressed. The riggers only tool for swaging the big ends like ours broke mid-job, so he had to order another. This normally would only take a couple of days, but once again, as luck would have it (I hate that idiom!) the 4 day Canada Day weekend followed shortly thereafter.
To top it all off, we had to return to Alberta for several reasons, by Friday night, but the crane wasn't available until Monday. Oh well, that's boating! We're getting used to it believe me.
We should be heading back out to the coast in about a week, and the launch may be the 14th or 15th, but then who knows?
| July 26th 2008
We're back at last! The past 2 weeks seemed like a decade without the boat. I still found myself going out of the house expecting to go up into the boat only to find she's gone!
When we arrived, the mast was the first thing we noticed, and now she looks like a sailboat. After some modifications to allow the boom to swing, then lots of unpacking, re-organizing, and throwing away, she is now ready for launch!
|July 30th 2008
She's in! This is the landmark of the whole project, the moment we have anticipated since we put up the first frame. The champagne left after Dulcie-Darlene had some across her bow helped calm the nervousness we both felt. After the boat was lowered, I anxiously watched as she went in, lower and lower. The water line fell out of view aft, and my heart sank as well.
It turned out the weight aft needed to be shifted forward, even though she still sits quite low. Lesson learned: Don't trust the design water line. Most people put the boat in to get an idea of where the "real" water line is, but being in Alberta we didn't have that luxury. Oh well, a little paint will fix that problem! The level is about 6" over the bottom of the red line, so only the top thin line shows.
After sailing her, we can determine if, and how much, lead should be removed from the trim ballast collection. I know we will be removing some, and changing position of more.
per request, here is a quick video of the whole launch!
Click Images for bigger
Today I got to try out the desk/ electronics workbench. Even though the main test set is incomplete, I had no problem designing a new level sensor sender unit for the septic tank. The other had to be removed as the giant doughnut magnet was messing up the flux-gate compasses above the tank. ( duh!)
Without getting too technical ( unless you like technical in which case check out level.htm for an update) the unit now uses capacitance rather than magnetics to measure the level.
It was actually easier to use the "floating shop" than the one I had at home! It was a close tie with the business shop we had, probably because everything is organized now. I just had to mention this as it was really cool to do!
Click for bigger image
|August 13th, 14th & 15th
Since the launch we have had a couple of outings, to try the sails, and check the balance of both sails and lead in the bottom. She seems pretty balanced for now, although the wave heights were 6 feet at best, and the helm is not too weight to weather, even though we only felt 20 knot winds at best. The heal angle is exceptionally small. 10 degrees with 15 knots abeam, and even the mast rigging guys said she feels more solid than usual when going aloft.
The only real issue, which presented some inconvenience while out there, was the exhaust system. The waterline being some 6" higher on the hull than the designer proposed, created a potential danger for the dry exhaust system and the engine. I estimated that beyond a 30 degree heal, water would enter over the "loop" and flood the engine. We had installed a remotely operated butterfly valve at the hull fitting, but this was only to act as a splash guard. If we were healed to 45 degrees and wave buried the exhaust "hole" the butterfly valve would limit the surge of water that would ensue. Now, because of the new waterline, the whole thing would constantly be underwater and eventually the loop would be flooded.
The only solution, albeit ugly, would be to redo the whole exhaust system from the hull to the muffler. After some delegation and consideration, we decided it should once again be done in stainless. Because we no longer have welders, cutters, and material, the local welding shop's services , right here in the marina, were requested.
They estimated, with materials, the job would cost about $1200. That's not bad, but Gena wouldn't have it! She marched of to a local scrap dealer and found all of the pipe, unions, couplers, and elbows we would need. She then cut and fit everything and took sections in for them to weld. Over a couple of days the job was done in time for our next outing. She toiled late into the evening to get the insulation on, and make the aluminum casings for that out of duct aluminum. Perseverance!
The exhaust works great! No more smell from the leaky flex pipe, and we can rest comforted that only a knock down would allow water into the muffler's catch...if the compression allowed it that far.
Click HERE to play in Windows Media Player
..or youtube1.htm#exhaust if this won't work for you
Click for bigger images
Anchors away! Even though the boat needs to be hauled out for a good anti-fouling bottom coat, we have had it in our agenda to take her out and try our anchoring skills.
voyages1.htm for a "log" of our first anchoring experiences.
Don't worry, everything went well with only a few minor snags!
|September, October, November 2008
Trips back and forth from Alberta to the coast and back have taken most of our time, and kept us busy with little projects also hauled back and forth.
See "Finishing Up" and "Projects Aboard" for lots of details on what we've been up to during the fall.
|October 8 2008
|February 26 2009 - on a sad note..
|March 18 2009
As I have mentioned in the forum, for the past month I have been undergoing vision correction surgery. At last no more glasses!! I have been planning this for some time, but had no idea how expensive and time consuming it would be.
Here is an
excerpt from the forum:
|April 24th 2009
|May 8th 2009 - Vaccines, Turkey shoot
Just returned from the "drop off last of stuff" trip to the boat. I also test mounted the "new" pedestal computer case and it looks great! (see pro52b.htm for more on that project)
Before we went, we searched around for a place in Edmonton to get all of the immunization shots we require. The price for so many different vaccinations is quite high, in excess of $1k each. Then Gena decided to check Vancouver for places there as it didn't really work into out schedule. The total price ended up being $800, (for us both including some supplies!) so we, of course, went there instead. How can there be such a huge difference? Who knows. Like I told the girl at the clinic in Vancouver, "they must think we Albertans have oil gushing from our ears!"
We purchased some water treatment tablets and more importantly, a bio-filter that will enable us to drink contaminated water in the case our watermaker packs it in. It's a possibility for sure. Also some syringes, and some other bits to add to our arsenal of medical supplies. We're considering purchasing a 1-shot syringe for anaphylactic shock treatment. A really good thing around jelly fish and other such stinging nasties. It's expensive, $100 for a little thing like that, but then how glad we would be to have it should the unfortunate happen?
On another note, provincial health
insurance, albeit very good for anyone residing in Canada, becomes
useless in a very short time once out of the country. Therefor, we must
get health insurance. Probably a good idea, although Gena encountered a
bit of resistance from yours truly. I'm pretty healthy, and plan to stay
that way, but on the flip side, accidents happen. Reluctantly I must
I understand they must protect their
interests, but it makes me wonder what we're actually getting coverage
Shooting to Turkey
Other news this date is we have finally
decided to buy a house on the shores of Turkey. We were going to wait
until we sailed there, but they are about to join the E-U, and the Brits
are poised to buy. With a recoverey starting from the recession this all
can only mean one thing. Skyrocketing prices. We must buy now. Homes are
soooo cheap there it's unbelievable, and near beautiful beaches and
resorts, marinas and conveniences like bars, shopping, & restaurants.
Anyway, that pipe dream needs to become a reality pretty soon or we'll miss out. Gena's on the phone booking plane ticks as I type this. Better learn some Turkish ;)
|June 1st 2009 - Shooting to Turkey...shot
Unfortunately, we were unable to fit the trip to Turkey in. Even once all of the formalities were ironed out, we realized there was way to much more to do before pulling out. Projects abound so to speak. Guess we'll be delaying that trip.
And so the news:
|June 16th 2009 - Back in! ...And Away
At long last Dulcie-Darlene is back in her domain, sitting happily at the dock ready to work wonders and make our dreams come true! I went through my normal stomach cramps and nervousness as time led up to the travel lift coming over and picking her up, but once she went in, I breathed a sigh of relief. It seems we sleep better in the water to, perhaps that gentle rocking motion?
November 30 2009 - Bought an island house!
we were cruising around over summer and fall, we happened upon a small town
on Texada island, a ways north of Nanaimo, called Van Anda. We were
completely taken aback by the wonderful inhabitants, the old style homes and
streets, and the natural beauty of the area. So much so, we started
fantasizing about living here, looking at real estate magazines, and houses
around town with for sale signs. Each of us didn't think the other was
serious until our return trip from Desolation sound ( see
cruisingaround.htm ) when we noticed a
house for a very reasonable price.
Now I know what you are thinking; that we have sold
everything to live on the boat and be free, why would we want to have
Unfortunately, the house was snatched up by a local before the sign was even put up so we left, a little depressed, and sailed to to Nanaimo and stocked the food lockers, fueled up, anchored out, and started to wait for a weather window to head for Hawaii.
| Suddenly, Gena came out from surfing
the 'net below with news that she'd found a nice little log cabin on
the outskirts of Van Anda.
So off we sailed back up to the northern part of Texada to check it out. We also looked at a couple of other places, but they had lawns, which we won't be around to up-keep, and a few other things we didn't like.
At the end of October the sale went through and we are very happy to have a place here! There are lakes, walking trails, beautiful scenery of both the Strait of Georgia and Malsapina Strait, lots of musicians and artists like myself, and lots of garden space around the house.
The cabin is quite small, 3 levels, and needs lots of work as it was never properly finished. Right up our alley as we like to keep busy doing things.
| We hauled the
boat out up north (so we don't have to worry about her in the winter storms)
and after riding bikes for a while decided to buy an older car. I didn't
want to really, but it was cheap, and hauling sheets of drywall, studs, and
plywood on a bike is impossible.
It feels pretty awful having to buy everything that we dumped off at the garage sales in Alberta again at many times the price. All the little things that add up to big $$ together. Plus, as I mentioned the house is unfinished so we must get everything from coat hooks to towel bars to shower curtains. Right now I'm cooking with a countertop burner, the wood stove, and a toaster oven, which is a real step down from the boat!
For the past month we've been renovating, fixing, and making the place comfortable. It's quite a trip to see the boat ( crossing on the ferry and almost an hour drive) but we have managed to get all of the canned goods off so they won't freeze. It gets colder there than here.
Soon we'll be hauling about 1000 lbs of stuff of the boat that we found we really don't need, which will give us more room and perhaps bring her up over the waterline a bit.
The plan is to get the boat back in by April and, instead of Hawaii, we'll be off to the Marquesas after all!
| I'll post some photos of the
house work as time goes on, probably on another page, for anyone interested
in that sort of thing.
So there's the long awaited news to disperse the rumors!
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