T-9, 8, 7, 6

Our plan for five weeks on the hard to get the boat ready for the summer-long trip back to Haida Gwaii has now turned into two months.  We did manage to get her into the water on schedule but now we’ve spent more time than anticipated gathering supplies and materials and doing some more [unplanned] work to the boat – specifically, the engine.

As a result, we have missed the VICE trip and that is a real big disappointment.  Had we been ready to go on time, we’d have gone out the Strait of Juan De Fuca to Ucluelet and then sailed out one hundred and fifty nautical miles with a [planned] fleet of twelve boats.  As it turned out, only six boats made the trip.  The VICE trip is now over and the participants are all, presumably, headed back.  Had we gone, we’d have turned north at the 150 nm destination point and be sailing for Haida Gwaii right now and enjoying twenty knots on our port quarter.  Oh well, maybe next year we can do it that way.

This year however, we still have to get to Haida Gwaii so now we’ve changed course – more about that later.

We are finally moving into the final stages of preparation now. I’m just waiting for our rebuilt injection pump to come back from the shop and I have a couple of other small mechanical jobs to get finished up as well – they’ll be done over the weekend.  In the meantime, we shop, shop, shop, as we have started provisioning for our trip and our next nine month stay at The Outpost.

There’s an older lady that lives on a boat here on B Dock who spends a lot of the afternoon, each day, sitting in the shade of the canopy at the community picnic tables that they have set up at the bottom of the gangway.  She was sitting there the other day while Wendi & I – in a fashion not unlike a pair of squirrels – transferred, first, a car load of building materials and supplies from the car, down the gangway, to the end of the dock and onto the boat; then a spool of nylon mooring line, (six hundred feet); then twelve flats of beer.  The locals have been witnessing this squirrel-like behaviour of ours for the past week, as we’ve been unloading the unwanted from the boat and loading up with supplies.  This activity was preceded by an ant-like behaviour when we first arrived on the dock, where we were busy cleaning, building, painting, fibreglassing, etc.  I’m sure we have provided many a conversation and much entertainment for the residents of B-Dock.  On my last trip past the picnic tables with another cart full of beer, I looked at the aforementioned lady and said, “You guys must think we’re crazy, eh?”.  “NO!”, she said. “Not with how long you’re going for” – You gotta be prepared”.  That of course, is very true and we’d be crazy if we we left unprepared.

I’ve been finding it really hard to keep up with the blog due to all the fixing, installing, building and other preparations.  I’ve sat down to write a couple of times but then put it down to write more later and then forget about it.  So in short form, since we arrived at Shelter Island, we cleaned up and fixed the things that got damaged over the winter, then upgraded a few systems in preparation for our insurance survey.  We had the ship survey on June 26 and splashed on the 27th.  Back in the water, we discovered engine troubles and have been working on those issues whilst preparing to set sail ever since.

By all accounts, it looks like we’ll be ready to sail out of here on Monday the 17th but since the 18th and 19 are the Daughters’ birthdays – and there’s no wind in the forecast anyway – we have decided to stay until the 20th.

As mentioned above, our planned course has changed.  The new plan is to make our way northward via Johnstone Strait.  We’ll probably take an alternate route and do some sight-seeing in some of the channels we have not hither-to travelled.  This route will take us partly through the infamous Desolation Sound.  We will arrive in Port McNeill near the end of July and have my dive gear inspected/serviced by Steve at Sun Fun Divers and then go on a dive with them on the 31st.  After that, we’ll be destined for the open ocean, we will swing around Cape St. James (Haida Gwaii) and begin the trip up the west side of the islands.

UPDATE:  I picked up the injection pump from the rebuilder’s today and tomorrow I will install it along with the new voltage regulator.

I should be updating the blog more often from here on.  I will definitely write tomorrow regarding the success of the injection pump rebuild.

Until next time…

© 2017 Ron Morrison

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