Saturday, July 4, 2009

At dock

Safely at home dock. Interesting navigating in the dark with fireworks all about - and recalcitrant electronics due to low voltage. Rob did a great job in trying circumstances.


Toasted charging wire from the alternator to the house bank. House bank charges the start battery. We are motoring for home and will likely arrive at our marina just after the Fourth of July fireworks over the bay.

This has not been an easy trip.

image 226

Friday, July 3, 2009

Thetis Island

At Thetis Island. Limited internet. Saw First Promise heading north through Dodd as we headed south. Bummer we couldn't share an anchorage in Nanaimo. More southing tomorrow. Engine troubles are fixed, it's sunny and very little wind.


We are in Nanaimo after a rough day yesterday. Had cooling system troubles with the engine that reoccurred at an extremely inconvenienc time. Rob is working on the engine now and thinks he has the problem solved. Will update later.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Geek Minute: Sailing By Computer

Ok, I know a number of sailing purists will scoff at this (STILL after all these years of marine electronics), but increasingly, I find it VERY handy to plot courses and steer electronically. Especially on those hot windless days in the PNW. When you are intent on getting someplace in particular, who wants to sit there and manage the tiller whilst smelling diesel coming up over the transom? On these sorts of the days the typical method of navigating is:

1. Consult navigation software, plot a route to destination
2. Upload route to GPS
3. Connect GPS to autopilot and activate route
4. Turn on autopilot
5. Sit back and relax (but keep an eye on things!)

The truth is, in calm water on a windless day, the GPS and autopilot can pilot better than any human. The GPS will detect and send any cross track error information (say, due to cross currents) and the autopilot will correct for it. Thus keeping the boat on the shortest course to your destination better than a human.

Now when the wind is blowing, it is a different story. With the short chop that builds in the PNW, the autopilot has trouble keeping the boat pointed in any consistent manner. But, with sails up, that is when it is fun to be at the helm.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Blind Bay

Blind Bay

Originally uploaded by s/v Learning Curve

TIME: 2009/07/01 20:19
LATITUDE: 49-43.66N
LONGITUDE: 124-12.84W
COMMENT: Anchored in Blind Bay

Arrived in Blind Bay Marine Park last night after a pleasant motorsail south down Malaspina Strait with NW winds behind us. About an hour out from Blind Bay, the forecasted winds of 15-20 knots arrived, which made the approach to Blind Bay a little nerve-racking. And, to top it off, it took a couple tries to set the anchor in the rocky bottom once inside the park. Janet says we have been here before, but I don't remember. I had to take the dinghy around the anchorage til I noticed something that jogged my memory.

Today, we had somewhat of a plan to head to Lasqueti/Jedediah Islands across the strait on the other side of Texada, if the winds in the forecast did not materialize. Well, they did. I took the dinghy out and poked my head around the corner to see some nasty whitecaps in the strait. We have been in whitecaps more than once in the Malaspina Strait and it can be quite bumpy. So, we are staying in Blind Bay for another night.