Wednesday April 1st 2015
I woke up at 0100 or so, after a good sleep. I had been down for only about three hours, but I found I was awake and refreshed. I realised that I would not sleep, and also realised that I planned to be up at three to get ready for the day. After lying there for forty-five minutes, dozing, I got up and had breakfast.
I am off to Sidney for a week on Cassiopeia. My plan has been to join the Cooper Easter Flotilla as I have for the past two years. It is a habit now, and I have not gotten around to rethinking the plan until after I committed to going.
Today will turn very windy with rain, but the next few days and nights will continue above freezing except for a few hours some nights. The moisture and confinement should help encourage brood rearing and the rain will bring on pollen soon. We expect crocus bloom around the twentieth.
Around 0600, I found I was tired and with extra time on my hands, so I decided to have an hour's nap. Also, my left eye felt a bit sandy and watery, as from lack of sleep, so I thought a nap would help that, too.
At 0601, I set my alarm and lay down. At 0700, I opened my eyes, a minute before it was scheduled to go off. I am always amazed at my internal clock. It runs with complete accuracy, but I have no reliable conscious access to it or control. The subconscious runs our lives, but seldom are we aware of that fact.
Ruth had promised to be over this morning early to get Zippy before I left, but at about 0900 texted to ask when I was leaving. I said, 0930. She had just gotten up and there was no way she could make it over by then, so I left Zip with Carolyn.
From there, I drove to The Mill. Fen had some curtains for the boat. I had coffee there, then drove to the YYC Budget Lot. It turned out to be full, so I switched to Plan B: Park and Jet.
I saw employees organizing the entrance and asked if they were open. They had to ask around, but yes, they were, so I was one of the first cars onto the huge new lot. I parked by myself at the end of Row #1 and a brand new shuttle bus was sitting, waiting.
I got in and was at the airport moments later. I'm going to have to update my less than enthusiastic Yelp review.
WS449 took off at 1240 and landed at 1311. I was at the marina and my boat fifteen minutes later. As it turned out, the boat was not ready and so I'll be here tonight at the dock. The new step was still being installed and a clutch had to be screwed down.
I went shopping, snacked for supper, and am enjoying the evening here on the boat, after a brief nap following 'supper'.
Never let your
persistence and passion turn into stubbornness and ignorance.
Thursday April 2nd 2015
After going to bed early, at 2100, I awoke around 0300, got up, had breakfast and read a bit. I'm still behind in my sleep, so I think I'll go back to bed for a few more hours.
I slept until 0800 and got up again. I unpacked, tidied and went to the office. Dawn had recruited me to be the lead boat for the flotilla and I guess I am going. We chatted and I got some supplies, then returned to the boat where I discovered the freezer to be not working and called Callum.
He did not have much of a clue, except to call a refrigeration expert, who happened to be busy and did not know the unit anyhow, so I pulled out the thermostat, drowned it in WD40, and cycled it and multiple times while observing the resistance with my multimeter. The resistance dropped to zero and now, at 1310, I am testing it to see it it works properly.
So, one day after arriving, I am still sitting in the marina.
* * * * *
It was after 1600 before I finally pulled out from the dock. It took the assistance of two passersby to hold the boat near the dock as I untied, the wind was so strong. With four ropes to untie, and a forty-two foot boat, one end or the other wanted to leave while I was dealing with the other.
I pulled out and ran downwind to round Dock Island, then ran down at 160 degrees to the wind to Beaver Point.
The wind died as I rounded the point and I motored the rest of the way, travelling south of Provost Island and across to Montague, arriving just before sunset. I considered James Bay on Prevost Island, but decided to press on.
I chose an open spot, clear of other boats, near the southeast end and dropped the hook in 10 metres of water and let out my entire 165 feet of chain and a bit of my 200 feet of new nylon rode for good luck. The anchor set quickly and convincingly. I expected this bay to be sheltered as SE winds are predicted overnight
I made soup of turkey necks for supper, watched video for a while, set the anchor alarm, and went to bed.
not change the past, but it does enlarge the future
Friday April 3rd 2015
The night was quiet and I awoke at 0522.
Today, I sail up to Telegraph Harbour to meet up with the flotilla.
I did just that, and arrived at Telegraph Harbour before the others. I tied up and Corus arrived shortly after and, eventually, Corinia. It is a small group this year.
Some of us walked over to Thesis Island Pub for a pint or two. Then Nigel, my new first mate, an instructor from Cooper Boating who had ridden over on Corus, and I talked a young fellow into riding us back in his tin boat.
We had supper and by the time dishes were done, it was 2100 and time for bed.
The statistics on
sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some
form of mental illness.
Saturday April 4th 2015
I woke at 0438 and got up. I like to have a few hours to regain full consciousness and plan my day.
Cassiopeia is the lead boat in this small flotilla, so I went over the route in detail looking for hazards. Last year one boat ran aground, in an avoidable incident (I was not in charge that time).
We cast off the lines just after 0800 and ran downwind to Dodd Narrows. The wind was light, so this was a perfect opportunity to fly my cruising spinnaker. We got it untangled and hoisted it, then ran wing on wing to the Narrows, arriving right on time for slack water. Dodd is one tricky narrows that one does not want to run through at any other time.
We sailed right into Nanaimo harbour, snuffed the sails, and motored to the docks at Newcastle Island. We backed in, tied up, mounted the outboard motor on the dinghy, and visited with the gang. A fourth boat, Patience, joined us at that point as well. They had come in earlier.
Three of us decided to go to town, and I stepped into the dinghy. Normally, I am very careful and tie it tight to the dock and stay low, but this time, I was distracted by the location of the fuel tank which was right in the bow where I normally step.
At any rate, I made my first step, then the dinghy squirmed out from under me and I went, slow-motion into the frigid water.
My PFD inflated instantly and immediately, I reached for my phone and passed it to the guys on the dock. Then they tried to lift me out. It took three of them and out I came. What a laugh!
Anyhow, my new phone was now history and I had wet clothes to deal with. I returned to my boat and rinsed my clothes, had a shower, and changed. By the time that was done, it was raining, so we caught the water taxi over to town.
In town, managed to call Koodo on a borrowed phone at the Rogers booth, but Danna at the Koodo kiosk somewhere on the other side of town was unable or unwilling to help me and, apparently, I have to phone another number and wait for an exchange. Since the phone is my lifeline and my Internet, I am disconnected...
My new friends, Jackson and Mark, and I bought some groceries, some wine, and wandered back to the water taxi. Along the way, we found a bar and had a beer or two. As much as I had found the unexpected dip into the water to be a hoot, I had to adjust to being without a phone, and I suppose I was still a bit in shock.
You can complain
because roses have thorns,
Sunday April 5th 2015
We did some serious drinking last night and I slept in, but got up in time for the Easter egg hunt in the quarry and and scored some chocolate, which I did which I not really want, but felt obliged to find.
After that, I decided to do a thorough boat inspection and checked the transmission oil. It is a little hard to reach, but when I pulled the dipstick, I found the level was down, off the stick.
We went into Nanaimo and added a quart of fluid and the noise went away.
Nigel is getting good at handling the foresail.
At the north entrance to Silva Bay, we snuffed the sails and motored in through the narrow opening into the bay, found our dock and tied up. The others came in shortly after and we gathered in Cassiopeia's cockpit for drinks and popcorn.
When the others left, I stewed some chicken legs for supper and soon it was 2100 and time to call it a day.
No one has ever
become poor by giving.
Monday April 6th 2015
This the last day and all boats return to Vancouver. I return to Sidney, but have a few more days and think I'll go across, too. I enjoy Nigel's company and I need to talk to the fleet manager face to face.
First, I Skyped the insurance people for a new phone. That took about an hour, but they promise to send a new phone by UPS to arrive at Port Sidney Marina tomorrow. I'll believe that when I see it. My deductable was $49.95 and the shipping is free.
After that was done, we cast off for Vancouver at about 1000 and are currently entering English Bay on a beam reach at 6.7 knots with about 7 knots of wind. We should be tied up at Granville Island by 1430.
I'll do a little business in Vancouver and maybe cross to Snug Cove for the night. I also might stick around Vancouver. I have no definite plans, except that I do have to be in Sidney by dark on Wednesday to fly out -- unless I change my plans.
We arrived as planned and I met with the maintenance manager about some issues and then had a nap. I was tied up on the outside so I can leave early tomorrow, but another boat is now rafted to me and I am stuck here until they find another spot.
I'll worry about that tomorrow.
Love yourself first
and everything else falls into line.
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Tuesday April 7th 2015
I got up at 0800 and had breakfast. I'm trapped here until the staff arrives to untie me.
They showed up around 0830 and I cast off at 0900.
English Bay was calm and I anticipated motoring all the way to Active Pass, but once I got out into the Strait, the wind picked up on the starboard beam and Cassiopeia sailed at up to ten knots, aided by the outgoing tide.
I entered Active Pass just after the turn, and by the time I made it though, two knots of current were running against me. Trincomali Channel was almost calm, so I had to motor and decide on a destination -- Ganges, Montague Harbour, James Bay on Prevost Island or continue to Portland Island or even to return to Sidney.
I have passed by James Bay many times and always wanted to stop and enjoy the park, so I pulled in and anchored. This bay seemed like a logical choice since fifteen knot winds from the southeast are expected around midnight and this location is protected from the southeast.
Holding proved to be marginal in what seemed like soft mud, but after dragging thirty metres or so, I did manage to get a good grip in ten metres of water and let out one hundred and twenty-five feet of chain and set an anchor alarm. I'll see what the bottom is like tomorrow when I haul up the anchor, but I am guessing it is buried five feet down in a soft mud bottom.
This bay seems to be home to a group of seals who frolic and chase fish, then cruise around their heads just above the surface, watching me and the people on the only other boat here.
I went ashore in the dinghy to look around. This park seems to be virtually undeveloped rain forest. I stayed a short while, then returned to the boat for supper which was simmering on the stove. In the fifteen minutes I spent on shore, the tide had risen a half-foot making me glad I had pulled the dinghy well onto the shore.
Supper was a turkey thigh stewed in rice and corn.
I am without phone and Internet tonight and that is not a bad thing.
Tomorrow, I return to Sidney, arrange some repairs, and fly home at 2100 in the evening. I have mixed feelings about that. I could stay another week easily, but I have bees waiting at home and trip to Sudbury is due before too long.
Those who tell the
stories rule the world.
Wednesday April 8th 2015
If the winds favour me, it is a two hour crossing to Sidney, but I have to stop at Van Isle Marina to fuel up along the way, so we will see when I get there.
* * * * *
At 0800, I lifted the anchor and it came up easily. The bottom as revealed by a sample captured by the mud remaining on my Rocna anchor from Montague turned out to be coarse sand made up largely of pulverized sea shells. That explains the poor holding. Fine sand and silt are far better, as is most mud.
There was not much wind, so although I did raise sail once, I mostly motored back to Sidney, arriving at 1000, after fueling along the way.
My replacement phone was waiting, and so I am now sitting in the marina lounge going through the process of upgrading and installing. The phone comes with Android 4.4.1 and has to install 4.4.2 then 4.4.3, then lollipop 5.0 and finally 5.1. I have wi-fi in the marina lounge and save $10 by using it for the gig of downloads instead of OTA data.
I did all that in the marina lounge on wi-fi then discovered the phone does not connect to the cell network. I drove to the Koodo shop in town and when I got there, I suddenly had a strong LTE cell connection.
I left the shop, drove two blocks and suddenly had no signal, so went back and bought a new SIM in case this one was damaged. When I left, everything seemed to work, including LTE, so I drove to several supply stores and picked up a few items for the boat, but then noticed that the phone quit showing signal again.
I returned to the shop and learned that the cell tower is nearby and that might explain the fluke that it works at their shop and not further away.
I drove back to the location where the phone works, called Westjet, sat on hold for a while, made the change and now I am here until Friday night.
I had supper, bought groceries, and played with the phone again.
Finally, I decided to do a factory reset and we'll see if this phone decides to work properly afterwards. I'm beginning to wonder if it is defective.
Meantime, I plan to relax here and get to start on a few things tomorrow.
The husband who
decides to surprise his wife is often very much surprised himself.
Thursday April 9th 2015
At 0810, my head seems better although I am still weary, even after ten hours of sleep. I still feel a slight headache when I cough.
I have things to do today, and not having a working phone is making things difficult. I can't even call the dock manager about little issues and arrange meetings, so dealing with that issue is first on my list.
After that, I have the sail and the mirror and the refrigerator to deal with, and my life vest to re-arm.
* * * *
I did not work on the sail, but took the mirror up to the glass shop and re-armed and re-packed the inflated live vest.
I also drove back the cell tower and reported this phone as defective. Another is on the way.
At noon, I had the buffet lunch at the Thai Restaurant on Beacon and it was excellent. The food was good, and the people very friendly.
Callum, the dock manager was supposed to meet me at 1500 on the boat, but stood me up. I imagine he got held up and could not call me. No phone, remember? I had things to do anyhow.
The fridge control did not show up.
At 1810, I am sitting in the cockpit, in the enclosure, enjoying the warmth of the setting sun. Today is mild and beautiful and I wonder why I am going home tomorrow.
The forecast here is for cooler, rainy weather tomorrow and on the weekend. The local radio makes the showers and ten degree weather sound like a coming disaster. In the rest of Canada, that would be one of the nicer spring days spell, but maybe I will be less happy to be here and happy to fly home.
Life is 10% what
happens to me and 90% how I react.
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