Week Two

Monday September 5 –

Up this morning a little later than usual.  08:45 for me but Wendi had been up since before daylight. I did my trek out to the generator shack straight away.  Need coffee!  The weather is flat calm and foggy.  The fog is heavy enough to be a mist but still light enough that visibility is still about three kilometres.

From this point forward my entries will be of the week starting Monday and ending Sunday.

After brunch we took a stroll out to the internet tree to retrieve one of the battery packs.  They don’t seem to be doing much good so I will investigate one of them in the comfort of the lodge. Maybe I’ll read the instructions this time.  They seem to be providing adequate power to keep the modems alive but not to transmit/receive.  Doesn’t seem logical but I know little about them.

Getting on the internet this morning (Tuesday) is not possible.  Well, I am connected but my bandwidth has been restricted due to the limit being exceeded yesterday. My bad!  I watched a couple of short videos on Facebook.  It would be ten more hours before I could post my morning countdown pic of the day.

Tuesday and Wednesday went by fast.  I can’t believe it’s Thursday already.  We had a couple of nice days, weather wise.  Tuesday, we brought a bunch of firewood in from the basement to the dry room. Next I can transfer the firewood that’s under the deck into the basement.  Then when the work crew gets here at the end of the month, they can buck and split some more and stack it under the deck.

I have made a proper dip stick for the generator fuel tank.  Now I know exactly how much fuel we have and how much we’re burning on an hourly basis. 0.44 Gallons (Imp) per hour to be exact.  Obviously my estimation from a few days ago was way off.  Now I can relax a little and I’ll cut my dips back to every second day and run the generator a little longer each day.  The boiler uses next to no fuel at all.

I had run the generator a total of 15 hours on Tuesday and made sure that the back up battery packs were fully charged.  I found two more in Jordan’s room so had three to charge and test.  All three have failed.  The best one lasted about 15 minutes with only a Sirius radio running off of it and the other two took no charge at all.  There’s still one more out at the internet tree.  It looks like I’ll be asking Jordan for some new batteries for them though.

another-excursionYesterday (Wednesday) was a leisure day.  I didn’t even get out of bed until 09:30ish.  Wendi went out and started the generator at 09:15 and that’s what woke me up.

I spent the rest of the morning compiling a little video from the clips I took during the last week of preparations and the trip up to Haida Gwaii and posted it to You Tube and shared it on Facebook.

There were some decent swells hitting the South face of the closest of the Solide Islands out in front of us and what appeared to be probably 20+ knot winds pushing the tide in, so after lunch we took the GoPro down to the beach and mounted it onto a rock, just above the water level.  We started recording and went for a walk in the woods — This time on the South side of the lodge.

During our walk, I took several pictures — mostly of mushrooms.

We started out from the lodge on what appeared at first to be a flagged trail.  It didn’t take long before we gave up even looking for more flags and just found our own way through the tangled mess of moss-covered blow down.

The atmosphere in the forest is amazing — The moss covers everything and is probably four to six inches thick.  Seldom do you hear your own footsteps.  It’s so moist — nothing is brittle — dead branches only bend.  If they do break, it’s because they’re rotted, so break with no sound.

 The only audible sound is the wind whispering through the tree tops.  Occasionally we heard some debris falling from the trees above.  We observed some deer droppings and two skid marks where something’s foot slipped off the logs on their way through the forest.  My guess is either bear or human.

It’s hard to tell how old anything is in this environment. It’s so moist that everything looks fresh and we have no idea how fast the disturbed moss will regrow and cover things over again — Weeks, months?

An hour picking our way through the woods and we’d hardly gone anywhere.  I could still see the lodge through the trees.  Then I remembered the Gopro.  Shit, we better get back!  It was in a waterproof case and tethered to the rock it was mounted on but still, it’d be under water by this time so we better go get it.

I got back to the beach and as I approached the area where we had left the camera, I realized that I should have left some kind of marker pointing at the exact spot where we left it.  The water was a bit higher than I had expected by this time and even when the waves were receding, I couldn’t see the rock it was lashed to.  Wendi caught up and I said that it looked like I would need a pair of hip waders.  I didn’t want to leave it until the tide went out.  Then I spotted the blue line that I had tethered it to the rock with.  Wendi had gumboots on so she went in and grabbed the line.  The water was deep enough by this time that a wave splashed up over the top of her boots and she got her feet wet.  What a trooper!

Unfortunately, we didn’t get the effect we were looking for.  The camera was knocked of the rock by the waves before being naturally swamped by the tide.  Next time, I will securely mount it to a board and then weigh the board down with rocks and I will do it when it is calm so the camera can capture the rising tide and continue recording after it’s submerged.   Small things amuse small minds?  Maybe but I hope to have a collection of nifty little clips and pics to compile into a much larger full length video for You Tube.

After lunch on Thursday, we decided that since it was a nice calm day and the tide was at low slack, we would go ‘yakking again.  I grabbed the GoPro with the head strap and Wendi got the lifejackets.  Launching was easier this time and we took off out toward the point on the South side of the bay.  We followed along the shoreline to avoid the small swells that were making it in.  We went quite a ways further this time than last, about a half a nautical mile out to McKenzie Island.  Landing was also easier this time, I managed to not tip my kayak while getting out.

Again, the atmosphere in the forest was amazing.  We spent a fair bit of time playing in the tidal pools too — planning a menu.

magic-tool-shedFriday, September the ninth was a pretty uneventful day. I spent the morning searching for a better blog site and part of the afternoon trying to organize the toolshed.  I can’t believe the mess in there.

It all started around lunch time when I realized that we had no water pressure.  No wait, it actually started with Wendi complaining that there was no hot water, so I headed for the basement to check the boiler.  She came down after me to tell me that the water did eventually turn hot but by that time I had already found that the boiler seemed to be cycling on and off quicker than usual.  I tried the second boiler — same thing.  I decided to leave it and monitor it for a while.  I went back upstairs to use the bathroom.  That’s when I discovered a severe lack of water pressure.  I went out to check the water level in the creek water tank that supplies the lodge.  It was empty, so I went into the shed where the breaker panel is and turned the breaker on.  Normally, they leave it on but then it just overfills and the pump from the creek runs constantly because it has no float switch.  It seems to me that that is just asking for a premature pump failure problem, so I had turned it off until more water was needed.  Clearly, more water was now needed.  Problem solved!
Note to self:  First ingredient for hot water is… water!

Next I went back to the basement and started once again, poking around through the heaps of supplies and parts, just trying to get a mental handle on where everything is and maybe come up with a plan for organizing it all.  In the process, I stumbled across some drywall anchors.  PERFECT!   I grabbed two and started to look for a Philips screwdriver, as there was a coatrack that needed to be remounted to the wall in the laundry room.   Finding a Philips screwdriver wasn’t that hard, I had one within ten minutes and headed for the laundry room — on a mission.

As I inserted the first anchor into the hole that the screw had come out of, I found a stud.  Obviously, the problem was that whoever mounted the coatrack didn’t use a long enough screw.  So I inserted the anchor into the other hole and screwed it in.  Now all I have to do is screw the coatrack back to the wall.  Then I discovered that to do that, I will need a Robertson screwdriver.  The search begins — back to the basement I go.

Luck was on my side — as I walked into the basement I happened to notice a two inch deck screw laying on the floor.  It was new and unused and had a Robertson head. Other than length, it matched in every way, the screws used in the coatrack.  I picked it up and put it in my shirt pocket.  I continued my search for a Robertson screwdriver, one that would fit the screw in my pocket.  With Wendi’s help I searched the basement but to no avail.  I went to the generator shack — no luck there either.

On my way back to the lodge, I popped into the shed where they had shown me the breaker panel for the guide shack and some oil filters for the generators. The same panel where I had just turned the breaker on for the creek water.

I stood there for a moment looking around and for the first time, looking past the mess of assorted gear.  Then, like a coastline appearing out of the fog to the eyes of a lost sailor, almost magically a tool shed began to present itself to me. There was a workbench, complete with a vice. Further in, beyond the sea of boxes full of down rigger parts, outboard engine parts, boat seats, fishing nets, etc, there was a toolbox — a red one! Then there they were, above the toolbox, on the next shelf, was a row of screwdrivers inserted into holes drilled into the edge of the shelf.

Over the past ten days, I had been into this shed more than a few times to access that breaker panel but the mess was so enormous that I failed to even notice that it was in fact intended to be a toolshed.   Now all I had to do was get to those tools.

I spent a couple of hours rearranging the things that were in the path to that toolbox and when I finally got to it and one by one, took each screwdriver out of its hole to see what type it was, to my disappointment there was no Robertson screwdriver there.  However, in the red toolbox, I did find a Robertson screwdriver bit of the right size.  Off I went back to the lodge to get the cordless screw gun that has been sitting on the bar waiting for something to do.  In less than five minutes after finding the bit, the coatrack was reinstalled.  Rather anti-climactic to be sure.

With a crisis averted, a coatrack installed and some progress toward an organized toolshed, I returned to my computer to continue the search for a decent blogspot.


In the midst of my internet searches yesterday, suddenly my computer lost its connection to the internet.  This wasn’t normal at all.  It was not a case of the internet going down.  I was still able to connect to the wifi and load web pages on my phone and on Wendi’s laptop and iPad.  I tried everything from manual configuration to match Wendi’s computer right up to resetting the SMC and finally thought that my air card had probably expired.  After giving up and resetting everything back to the original settings, I ended the night on Wendi’s computer, reading up on ocean kayaking.

I had been monitoring my bandwidth allowance and was planning to start watching videos on kayaking after midnight.  According to Jordan, between the hours of 12:00 am and 7:00 am, we’re allowed unlimited usage.  Well, at 11:50 pm my bandwidth was exceeded and it would be over seventeen hours before it was refilled, so I went out and shut the generator down and went to bed.

At just after 9:00 am Saturday, I got up and started the generator.  I opened up my computer and what do you know?  It connected to wifi immediately.  Never did figure that one out but like they say, “If it ain’t broke…”.

All was not well though.  I checked my bandwidth allowance and even though it had been nine hours since it reported seventeen hours to refill, it now reported fourteen hours to refill.  Something is not right!

I emailed Hughes, the satellite internet provider and was given some polite guidance and insight into how the system works.  Turns out that the period of unlimited bandwidth is from 02:00 until 07:00 hours and that period of time does not factor into the bandwidth replenishment time.  I also discovered that the culprit for using up my bandwidth was my iPhone.  I caught the Photos app red handed as it was transferring 476 items to the cloud.

Weather wise, Saturday was a squally day — Sunny skies with big puffy clouds on the horizon for a bit and then before you know it, it is pouring rain and blasting wind again. The weather forecast is calling for a few showers ending overnight.

Between squalls we went down to the dock to check the crab trap we had set yesterday.  We caught two little red rock crabs.  Both were seriously injured.  We freed them and then reset the trap.

Sunday, September 11

I had a strange dream last night.  Wendi and I were standing on the flat roof of a building.  People were lining up at the foot of the wall and we were dropping bottles of liquor on their heads.    Then new people would line up and we would repeat the process.  Finally, when a new group of people were lining up a young girl with large breasts looked up at me standing on the roof with a bottle of Jack Daniels in my hand.  She lifted her t-shirt for me,   I smiled and gently tossed  her the bottle.

Just yesterday, I commented to Wendi that there doesn’t seem to be much wildlife here.  I specifically commented on how there are no bald eagles.  Other than sea life, we’ve seen only two deer and a dozen or so Canada geese.  Wendi saw some king fishers and some chickadees.  Coincidentally though, today we saw our first bald eagle.

After lunch I moved the last of the dry stockpile of firewood to the side in the basement, to make room for the wet stuff to be brought into the basement to dry.

© 2016 Ron Morrison

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