Thursday, June 30, 2011

Octopus Islands Marine Park: 6/30/2011 11:13 PM UTC

Position of S/V Learning Curve

Local time is: 6/30/2011 @ 4:13 PM PDT

LAT: 50°16.77'N
LON: 125°13.77'W

Octopus Islands Marine Park

Well, as plans often change unexpectedly, we are not in Thurston Bay, where we had planned to be last light. As currents and winds were favorable upon leaving Dent Island Lodge, we decided to go all the way, counter clockwise, to Octopus Islands Marine Park. This is what constitutes the "long way" from Dent Island. A shorter way would have been through the "hole in the wall" but, the way tides were, would could not have traversed the multiple rapids in time.

So here we are. Been here a number of times before. Always a nice place. Even when raining (as it is now).

Today we met Clark and Nina aboard their homebuilt 40 foot trimaran Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. Always nice to meet others who have built their own boat. It gives inspiration to those of us with a similar project (wait, what did he say?).

The dogs really need a walk ashore. I am not sure the rain is going to let up. We might have to walk them anyways.

We will be here at least another day.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Relapse? Regression? Fell Off The Wagon?

After seven days "off the grid" with no access to power, hot showers, laundry services and the internet, we succumbed to the psiren sounds of Dent Island Lodge. A fancy joint with all of the above amenities and more.  Including a very good (and pricey) restaurant.

We were getting low on clean clothes, tired of cooking and doing dishes. Besides, the boat needed water.

Oh did I mention they have a 24 hour hot tub?


Monday, June 27, 2011

Dent Island

Just arrived


Now for a shower, a fancy dinner, and some serious laundry!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pendrell Sound: 6/27/2011 2:40 PM UTC

Position of S/V Learning Curve

Local time is: 6/27/2011 @ 7:40 AM PDT

LAT: 50°16.39'N
LON: 124°43.69'W

Leaving this? Really?


Beautiful day in Prideaux, but we're going around the corner to Pendrell Sound, a new stop for us. Rumor has it that fishing will be attempted along the way…

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Position Report: 6/25/2011 6:05 PM UTC

Position of S/V Learning Curve

2 POB (Persons onboard)
2 DOB (Dogs onboard)

Local time is: 6/25/2011 @ 11:05 AM PDT

LAT: 50°08.66'N
LON: 124°40.80'W

This is an automated posting via WinLink/AirMail

Friday, June 24, 2011

To Prideaux Haven


Left Jedediah in the rain early this morning. Have been motoring all day, and a few more hours to go. Lund Hotel's ATM wouldn't process either of our debit cards for two different banks, so we're not exactly flush with CDN$. Will anchor in Prideaux tonight, we've bee there before. Hope the rainshowers are finished with us for a bit.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Stern Ties Are Always a Fire Drill

This afternoon we dropped anchor in Deep Bay on Jedediah Island after an uneventful motorsail from Nanaimo. This is a compact deep water cove with steep rock walls lining the shore. There are about five boats here and in order to efficiently pack boats within, all boats need a stern tie. On shore, there are a number of chains with rings embedded into the rock to help with the stern tie. Of course, when you are trying to wedge yourself, stern first, in between two boats with a little breeze, it is always a challenge: set your anchor, back down on it, while keeping stern in hoping the breeze does not blow you into an adjacent boat, all while the other crew rows the dinghy to run the stern line ashore through the ring. We were successful after the second try.

We have been here before. The island has a number of recently abandoned ranches and homesteads, which are in relatively good condition. The island is host to a population of goats, though I am not sure they are wild. We will be taking the dogs ashore tomorrow and no doubt they will be excited about the goats.

Tonight will be a test of the HF communications system. As there is no cell coverage for the iPhone, or piratable WiFi node, this blog post will be via WinLink email. Attached will be a graphic of the chart which I hope makes it into the post.

At Jedediah Island

Arrived last night, will probably move on tomorrow, somewhere to the northwest, depending on weather,

...from a tiny keyboard

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Solstice at Nanaimo

Solstice at Nanaimo

Successfully troubleshooting issues with the HF radio, a motoring slog up Trincomali Channel, a grumpy harbormaster at Nanaimo Port Authority (countered by a helpful marine store employee and a bluntly amusing fuel dock manager), hot showers at Newcastle, and dinner at the Dinghy Dock on a warm evening - I guess this is summer!

Off towards Jedediah Island or Lasqueti tomorrow.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Montague Harbor, Galiano Island

We motorsailed from Sucia to Montague Harbor where we cleared Canadian customs. This is a big marine provincial park with lots of mooring buoys. Last we were here, the place was packed with locals. It is a bit quiet today. We went ashore where a small cafe and grocery are located near the government dock and found they closed at 5pm. Only place was open was the Humming Bird Pub a few miles up the road. We could have caught their free "hippie" bus that takes customers to and from the pub, but we had the dogs with us (though I am sure they would be welcome).

The trip here was fairly uneventful. Besides trying to re-aquaint myself with the quirks of the marine electronics, everything pretty much worked.

Tomorrow we head for Nanaimo where we hope to pick up a couple cruising guides to replace the ones we accidentally left at home. Maybe get a new fuel filter for the diesel cabin heater that seems to be getting clogged. I am in denial of this as I dont care to get dirty with diesel so soon after the recent engine maintenance.

[caption id="attachment_232" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="One of the hazards one finds navigating the Gulf Islands"][/caption]

Sucia at Sucia

Arrived at Sucia Island late last night. We made good time motoring, but 20+ nautical miles takes some time at 5 knots, and we weren't off the dock until 5 PM. Snagged a buoy in Fossil Bay, fired up the diesel heater, Rob made a late dinner, and we all crashed.

It's challenging for us to fit 3 weeks of provisions and gear in 28'. I mean, I know many have circumnavigated in smaller boats, and they probably weren't supporting two dogs, two computers, six radio transceivers, and a Coke Zero Vanilla addict. But they also didn't have Kindles, smartphones
and electronic charting either.


Yeah, she's named for the island. We've encountered other canine Sucias over the years. She'll be 10 soon, where does the time go?

Heading into the BC Gulf Islands today. After we clear customs, we'll figure out a destination. Posts by cell data henceforth, so some posts might be a bit terse.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

$200 Paint Job

That is the difference when buying a replacement water pump online versus the local Yanmar authorized dealer. The OEM pump is really one of the common swedish made Johnson Pump brand. But of course there is markup when buying through a Yanmar Dealer. Pump on the left from your Yanmar Dealer will cost about $400. The pump on the right, sans paint job, will run about $200. The pumps are identical in every other aspect. How about them intertubes?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Yanmar 3GM Raw Water Pump... in need of a rebuild. With just a week before departure of course!

Symptom: water leaks from pump housing, near the impeller shaft, when engine is running (we already tried replacing impeller and o-ring to no avail).

Not really a big deal, and it would not sink the boat. However, knowing about it is like an annoying sliver of wood, not in your finger, but in your brain.

Initial disassembly of the pump reveals some rusted bearings. We only have one spare lip seal, but it appears this pump has at least three. I think it will be easier to overnight a replacement pump and leave this one for a proper rebuild after the trip.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Dry weekend

The weather was dry, and so was the keel.

Saturday Rob contorted himself into the engine room to pull the shaft from the coupler. This was a long process, requiring nuts, bolts, hammers, a crowbar, and a fair amount of cursing.

I was on hand to supply tools, retrieve bits fallen below the engine, and assist as needed. Not much I could really do to help. Although I did fix the engine room light (it only needed a bulb) and started cleaning parts of the hull with AwlCare. The stern quarter, which has seen a bit of sooty diesel exhaust, cleaned up nicely.

After a couple of hours, removal of some exhaust hose,  only one trip to the hardware store, and not too much bloodshed, the shaft and coupler were apart. Success! So Rob went ahead and took off the exhaust elbows, which I've been wanting to inspect.  Then he switched to sanding the rub rails, and I removed the PSS shaft seal. Since the shaft can now be wiggled fore and aft a few inches, I cleaned the area of the shaft tucked between the cutless bearing and the Max-Prop - it's a lot easier with a little more elbow room.

Having located the missing PSS maintenance kit (in the garage, imagine that) I got ready to put on the new PSS bellows. Only to find that the new bellows was not the right size. That was a setback.  No way to get a proper bellows until Monday. Sigh.  Varnishing for the day complete, we headed for home for the evening.

On Sunday the exhaust elbows were slowly separated, requiring much use of the bench vise, penetrating oil, and large pipe wrenches. Definitely not something that could be done easily on the boat. Rubrails got another 'hot' coat of varnish. Lower part of hull and bootstripe were cleaned/protected with AwlCare.  I painted the coupler. Monday will be a parts sourcing day - get the correct bellows, an exhaust elbow and gasket, pipe insulation, and boil out the exhaust fittings.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Haul out day

Learning Curve is on the hard tonight, not more than a few hundred yards from her normal wet berth. Even after so many years, I'm still nervous about haul outs and launches. So it was a tense morning, although the lovely weather was much appreciated!

Turns out the speed transducer was just fouled, rather than broken. Good news, as a compatible replacement from UK-based Stowe Marine was 135 GBP shipped (ouch). Still needs a bit more scraping, but the paddlewheel turns, and a signal is getting though to the display.

I got the Max-Prop disassembled and partially de-greased. Then removed the coupler-transmission bolts and loosened up the PSS seal's collar and hose clamps. The coupler is free of transmission, and tomorrow comes the fun of removing the shaft from the coupler.

If only I could remember where I 'safely tucked away' the PSS maintenance kit that I ordered a few weeks ago!

[caption id="attachment_188" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="PSS shaft seal and shaft coupler"][/caption]

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Haul Out Day!

LC comes out of the water for bottom paint and maintenance today.