First thing this morning, I am thinking of my friends -- and my boat -- in La Paz. Tropical Storm Lorena was predicted to arrive around eight this morning, but overnight the hurricane track probabilities seem to have backed away from there. However, strong wind and heavy rain are still expected on the fringe.
I was up at 0530 and showered. I don't usually shower first thing, but it does wake me up. My weight is steady at 230 and my BG is 6.3, which for me is my long term normal. I have to think to feel any pain in my chest. Maybe whatever it was has passed.
I poured a coffee and sat down. I have come to like cold coffee and that really simplifies things. Coffee gets undrinkable when left on the heat and reheating can damage it if one is not careful. If I drink it cold, then I can make a pot and not worry if and how soon I drink it.
Today I have to get ready to go. Tomorrow, I leave at eight for my flight at 11:35. On Tuesday my students board at 3 PM and I am teaching until 5 on Sunday the 29th.Looking at the weather for the course, I see cooler weather predicted during the course.
Am I becoming a stuck record? If we must worry about climate, we should worry about this...
If, and only if, the climate models are correct, which they are not, not nearly so far, the temperature rise will be gradual allowing for adaptation, but a solar minimum comes on fast and worldwide famine is an expected result. The other thing to fear is solar storms wiping out communications. They happen, but just not in our recent memory or during our short highly electrified history.
Checking on La Paz, I can't get a webcam. It is offline. Todo Santos does not move, but this one from Cabo looks live. Click to go to it. The image seems to be from YouTube, but says, 'live'. If it is, the storm does not seem to be there yet. It is cloudy and overcast, so could be live. We'll see. Loreto is live. And, oh! Here is a good Cabo panorama, live. Big waves and wind!
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The doctor's office called and I was told the blood tests all came out okay, so the doctor is assuming that it is some sort of tissue or muscular pain. That has been my initial assumption a month ago, but the pains just got worse. Looking back, maybe the problem was sleeping on a 3' foamy or operating the genoa winches with my left arm. Who knows? I am going back to doing more of the same, so we'll see if it gets worse again.
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I spent all day except when I walked with C and when I drove to town to pick something up searching for the best furnace. I had it all narrowed down and was ready to order when I checked out the supplier and found the supplier is in the US -- and the one review that they had was scathing. So much for that. I don't want to deal with customs or poor customer service. There are Canadian suppliers and now I have to find the products in their list.
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Well, things are going wrong all over. The prop just fell off Cassiopeia and Rick is towing the boat back to Sidney from Poets Cove. This is the second failure in one week and this is with the client who has reserved the boat for a month next year! I hope they don't give up on my boat. The bright side is that the boat will be there tomorrow when I arrive.
I went to bed at nine and set the alarm for three.
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I'm up at 0220 and wide awake. My pains seem to have faded back to where I don't notice them most of the time, for the moment at least. We'll see. My weight is down to228.6 and BG is 6.6, but that is not a fasting reading.
It looks like Lorena is going very close to La Paz. At present it is a Cat One. As at 1 AM today: "The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Lorena was a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (130 kph), and its center was about 40 miles (65 kilometers) east-southeast of the Baja California Sur state capital, La Paz. It was heading to the north-northwest at 8 mph (13kph) on a forecast track parallel to the coast through the Sea of Cortez."
I'm packing to go. Must leave by eight-thirty to make the flight with time to spare.
At 0525, there is still very little info about La Paz. I imagine that when daylight, comes on the coast there will be more.
I was ready to leave when I realised the furnace was on in spite of my having turned it right down. In fact. I had altered the thermostat so it could go to 40°F instead of 55°F as a lowest setting. As it turned out, that alteration had changed the things o it was always on when turned down. I did a fix and was again ready to go, but was now fifteen minutes behind. I drove out the driveway and called Bert to alert him I was on my way. No answer. I tried many times. No answer. By now I was thinking of backup plans as my time was running out. When I drove up, Bert was on the porch waiting and said his phone did not ring. Once on the road, we looked at it and somehow the do not disturb setting was activated.
I cleared security at YYC and went to the Westjet Lounge to have a bite, only to discover there was almost noting to eat. I complained and went to the A&W booth in the food fair. Bummer. A wasted lounge voucher.
I boarded my flight an found my window seat was a actually a middle seat between an older couple who did not talk to me much and passed a newspaper between themselves.
Before we took off, I got an email from Miguel in La Paz. He says that the storm has passed over La Paz and all is well.
We landed at YYJ and I caught a cab to Port Sidney. The driver took me the long way around and the fare came to $15+. $15 usually pays the fare plus a tip. He got the fare. No tip.
As we arrived, Rick was coming up the ramp on his way to lunch, so we stashed my bags in the office and went to the sandwich shop.
Coming back, I boarded Cassiopeia and got out my underwater camera to check the saildrive. The camera battery is down and the shots I took are poor, but it appears the prop came off, but the shaft is still there. That is a good thing.
Next, using the dinghy, Rick towed me around to the usual spot on the main dock and I tied up. I'm back home on Cassiopeia and it feels good. Even if I can't go anywhere.
I settled in and made beans and rice, watched a bit of Borderland and went to bed around nine-thirty.
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I woke up at six after a good night's sleep. I'd have liked to sleep on, but I was awake. I got up and made coffee. I heard rain on the skylights during the night and the forecast is for rain to continue all morning. The pain continues to fade and seldom demands my attention now.
I started with a bit of early morning reading to wake up. I get tired of the mainstream Pablum "news" served by Google, MSN, Yahoo, etc. and scan Zerohedge from time to time for a more eclectic and challenging assortment of ideas and views.
Here is an example: Trump's Real War Is With The Deep State, Not Iran
It's seven now and I have to plan my day. Finding more about the missing propeller is number one since, without a prop, I can't use this boat and I'll lose the income for the boat charter for the C&L I teach starting Tuesday. Complicating things is the fact that our diver, Bert, has an ear infection and Rick will be off Monday and Tuesday.
I had beans and rice for breakfast, but I doubt that will hold me. I'm hungry already. Eggs work better for me than carbs.
I lay down again at seven and slept until eight, dreaming lucid dreams, the sort that merge with consciousness in a way that, on rousing, makes one say to oneself, "Hmmm. I thought I was awake, but I must have dozed".
Rick's knock on the hull roused me from my dreams -- I was awake and not awake -- and I popped my head up through the hatch above my bunk to greet him.
I had texted him earlier before I lay down and he was going to check a boat in and then go for breakfast. I said I'd join him. We have to solve my prop problem and although I'm not hungry at the moment, an omelet will go down well and I'll get some provisions on the way back.
We went to Third Street and I bought breakfast. Bert, the diver, is coming at noon and we'll see if he can dive the boat and get a good image. Then we can decide on the best way to go. Right now, I am thinking we should borrow a prop from the nearby boat while we get a new prop.
C says my house is at 68°F and that makes me wonder. The night went down to 5°C so I would have expected the house to be colder. I don't want the furnace to run except when it is really cold, to conserve coal. Although furnaces have been my prime study the last week, today, a propeller has demanded my attention and furnace questions seem far away.
In the short term, we'll borrow one From Happy Hour Too since that boat is not going anywhere for the next two weeks.
Now I have to turn my attention to getting ready for the cruise and learn.
I walked uptown again and bought some items including coat hangers and clothes pins.
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It's another dull day. I have a busy day ahead, with Bert coming to change props and a few small fixes to do. Then I have to refresh my memory in advance of tomorrow's arrival of my students, introductions, and the coming days of intensive teaching.
My pain is down to almost nothing and my BG is 6.4 so I am almost back to normal.
Good question. We are wondering the same thing. I'm sure nobody stole it. The charter clients were planning to tie up to a mooring buoy in Bedwell Harbour, so they approached one ball and came to a stop by shifting into reverse and then decided that it was too close to shore and motored over to another where they again came up slowly, then shifted into reverse to stop. Nothing happened.
They thought the transmission had failed, and called in, but from the base in Sidney Rick guessed the prop had come off. However, nobody wanted to dive in the 60 degree water to find out and nothing could be done at that moment in that location anyhow. So Rick took the chase boat, ran over there and towed them back. (right)
We did not know for sure that the transmission was intact until I took a fuzzy picture with my Finepix on a stick and then Bert dove and got good pictures and was able to shake and twist the shaft to verify its condition. There was a chance the whole bottom end of the Saildrive had been broken, but as it turned out, everything was just fine.
This is not the first time a prop has come off a Volvo Saildrive. They are held on by nuts screwed onto the end of the shaft (left) and our best guess is that, unbeknownst to the crew, the boat had wrapped a crab trap line and it had provided enough rotation resistance to screw the prop off when shifted to reverse.
This encounter could have happened at any time earlier and shown no symptoms until that moment when shifting to reverse unscrewed the nut and the prop pulled itself off and flew away, spinning as it went all the way to the bottom. The water is deep there and diving could be a practical idea, but finding the prop and small parts is uncertain and divers cost money. Interestingly, I have an outboard on the bottom there in the mooring field, too, dropped by a previous client back in 2014.
I made an omelet and coffee and then, first thing, I got a call from Olympic Propellers asking for more info. I'll have more once Bert comes. For now, I have sit still and organize my thoughts.
I suppose the weather this week is a good place to start. We board Tuesday, go out Wednesday, and finish Sunday. It looks like cool weather with some cloud and little rain and mostly light winds. I have to decide whether to install the enclosure or not and plan the lessons and anchor nights around the weather.
The guys who were supposed to be on Cassiopeia were instead moved to Happy Hour Too. They are leaving this morning and dropped by to give me their leftover food. They are a great bunch, taking the sail issues and the prop problem in stride. We exchanged contact info and may find ourselves sailing together in future.
My Corus group broke a cheap thermometer I lent them to check water temperature and after the cruise, I was told by Cooper that there was a package waiting for me in Vancouver. It took weeks before I finally got it, but guess what? They had sent me a new and better one. I am finding charter clients almost without exception to to be top class: generous and patient.
I drove to Sea Power and asked for a quote on props, then bought some groceries and went back to the boat.
Mid-afternoon, I decided to test this prop and cast off for The Spit. This prop allows the engine to rev to 3200 RPM which is higher than the redline at 3000, so this prop is a little small. Good to know when ordering a replacement.
At The Spit, I dropped anchored and set an anchor alarm, then spent an hour or two trying to repair a broken door latch. I eventually discovered an internal part was broken and un-repairable. Time to order another.
I ordered one online and will correspond with them tomorrow about the delivery method.
The Android anchor alarms I am testing woke me every hour and I finally figured that after the recent upgrade to Android 10 apps are restricted from GPS access when in the background. My eTrex alarm worked perfectly.
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I'm anchored at The Spit. I plan to be back at my dock by nine when people get to work. Between then and three, I have to get ready for the course.
At 0809, the sun is coming out, so maybe the day will brighten. There are no rain clouds in the near forecast. (right)
I arrived back at the dock around nine and found my shore power 110 volt electrical panel would not work. I spent the next five hours trying to figure why. Finally, I borrowed a cord and a charger and charged that way, and figure that MacGyver fix will have to work for the next few days.
My students arrived at three and we went over the boat on deck from bow to stern over the next three hours, then went to The Surly mermaid for supper.
On returning to the boat, I went to bed. They stayed up until about eleven. I got up shortly after eleven and checked things over, then went to bed again. The fridge had already frozen the celery, so I turned both fridges down.
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In the morning the batteries were at 100%, which was a relief.
We spent the morning going over the safety equipment and generally settling in. We plotted a course on the charts, then got underway around noon, headed for Bedwell Harbour.
There wasn't much wind, so we motored to Bedwell and caught a mooring ball for a lunch break. My crew are all keen and get along well.
Once at Bedwell, we did slalom and docking, then anchored. Everyone did well. It's overcast and cool, but morale is good. By then it was six. The guys just naturally divided tasks so things are flowing well and supper is almost ready now at 7:20.
No one wants to go ashore, so we'll see what the entertainment is tonight. I got out the crib board...
The batteries are staying at 100% which is a bit spooky. I wonder if using this little battery charger put a greater more complete charge on them that the boat charger. The alternate view is that this meter is wonky. It stays up when I would expect the battery to go down, then goes down more than I would expect later. It is self-learning, so I gather it is learning the characteristics of the new batteries and that may explain the seeming randomness.
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Overnight, the wind picked up and at five the anchor alarm went off. The wind had stretched out the chain enough and the tide had dropped enough that were were moving, without dragging anchor, and we are now closer to a little sailboat on a mooring nearby than I like.
I went out in the dark and took up fifty feet of chain, and that increased the separation enough to keep us clear. We had put out 175 feet for the night and that took us down to 125 feet of chain in 10 metres (33 feet) of water and what would soon be about eight with the falling tide. That gives a scope of about four to one which is okay since I am up.
The guys slept though, except Roger, who woke enough to ask if things were okay.
Now, at five-thirty, first light is an hour away and sunrise is at 0701. The forecast is for a high of thirteen and sun all day. Very little wind is forecast by Weather Underground, but three of Windy.com models predict 15-20 from the northwest. Environment Canada on the other hand says:
Who can I believe?
We left Bedwell and sailed out and around to Plumper Sound where we tacked all morning and hove to for lunch, then motored up to Montague where we tied to the dock and caught the five o'clock bus to The Hummingbird Pub.
The usual driver was gone for the season and our driver this time was more subdued. We had supper, then returned to the boat and called it a day.
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This was a busy day. I was too busy to post here until now, on Saturday.
We had breakfast, then untied and pulled away, then practiced docking until everyone had a chance. After that we motored around to the north side beach and did practice anchoring.
Next, we raised sail and drifted around, watching a storm cloud to the south and west and staying close to shore in case the thunder we heard became lightening. We did not want to be the tallest thing on a large flat surface.
Then we sailed and we motored to Fulford Harbour. By the time we arrived, it was raining fairly hard and we set up the full enclosure to keep the cockpit dry and warm.
We began anchoring, but found the bottom too shallow for comfort and went to the public dock for the night.
Brad made a stir fry for supper, then we did a review in advance of the exams tomorrow. Brad had a shower. We still have plenty of water.
I was in bed by ten. A while later I heard sounds and it turned out that Mike was ill.
He got over it and now says he has had a headache for several days. Let's hope he is okay from now on and that none of the rest of us catch something.
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We're at the Fulford dock. The morning is overcast and cool, but the forecast is for sunshine. Predicted temperatures are cool and the wind is expected to favour us as we sail back to Sidney.
The winds were strong and we sailed, but had to reef. Once we turned downwind, things calmed down since we were moving with the wind, but we found we were suddenly overpowered as we turned across the wind into Van Isle to fuel up. We had to reef under pressure, and that was an important lesson for the students.
After fueling, we returned to Port Sidney. In spite of the gusting winds, we went to our spot on the main dock. However there was not room and we went to the end of H dock for the night.
The guys then wrote their exams. All passed.
We had massive steaks for supper.
Tomorrow is our last day.
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That graphic is from here. I don't know how authoritative it is, but it does seem somewhat credible and does not seem any crazier than the baloney the Climate Change warriors are promulgating.
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We are up early and about to write the PCOC exam. Then we have to do the sailing circles and man overboard. After that, we will board Magic Moments to demonstrate conventional slab reefing since Cassiopeia had in-mast furling.
We did the Personal Craft Operating Certificate exam and everyone passed, then went sailing. We did sailing circles for a while, then Crew Overboard drills. By then the wind was overpowering and we returned to H dock and tied up.
The guys bought me lunch at the Rumrunner and we walked back to MM. We spent an hour there raising and lowering sails and reefing and shaking out reefs.
Then we were done. We returned to the boat and as we walked, we saw a sailor sitting on the breakwater calling for help. He had the painter of a 22-foot boat in his hand and was holding on. His motor had quit and he had been blown against the rocks.
We lowered the outboard onto the dinghy and I went over an pulled him to safety on H dock.
We all said our good-byes and I am alone on Cassiopeia again.
I called Austin and he said he would be here in two hours. Two hours later, he and Andy and Tristan appeared. They came aboard and settled in.
I had a pound or two of hamburger left aboard from the course and seeing as it was approaching its best before date, I had cooked it while waiting for my guests and added spaghetti sauce to use it up, thinking I'd put it in the fridge. However, that proved fortuitous as no one had eaten and I cooked spaghetti for the four of us. I figured I had cooked more than enough by far, but it all disappeared.
Bt then, it was bedtime and we all retired. A while later, the wind grew strong enough to concern me, so I got up for a few minutes and moved some things in from the cockpit
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I woke up at four and am wide awake, so up I got. The cabin is at 11 degrees and the battery is fully charged according to the SmartGauge.
September is almost gone and there is snow at home. Austin says that Pam told him she cannot even see their truck under the snow at their farm in Milk River.
The weather here (right) is getting cooler and wetter. The next two days should be sunny, but Wednesday looks rainy. I should be packing by then anyhow.
Tomorrow, the propeller has to go back onto Happy Hour Too, so I'll be stuck at the dock or using Magic Memories if I want to sail. Time to wind things down here. I'll see what the others have in mind.
When the others got up, we had breakfast, then set out for a sail. The destination was Ganges.
We sailed and motored, then motored in and tied up at Fishermans Wharf. Austin found someone selling tuna and bought one. It was frozen solid.
Next. we walked to the pub and had one and burger and walked on to the coffee shop. We had coffee while Andy bought a hacksaw to make steaks and returned to the boat. They went for a walk and I had a nap, having been up since four-thirty.
Andy bought a hacksaw and cut steaks from the frozen fish. We had tuna steaks for supper. Most of the fish remains in the fridge. There is no chance we can eat it all, or even half of it.
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