A full day's work
Spent an hour today taking spreaders and some shrouds off the mast, labelling everything carefully and prepping for storage, all the time with the Trump inauguration on the radio. Sigh.
So we unstepped the mast and laid it on the deck a couple of months ago at the Comox dock. Now we brought it all the way down to the ground. Some helpful friends have a crane truck so a quick 15 minute job to lift it down and place it on the racks I'd made from old pallets.
Popped over to the yard today to set up the supports for the mast, three pairs of pallets set up to prop up the rig down on the ground so I can work on that much more easily. Prepared the mast for lifting down, which included defrosting the frozen ropes with the heat gun.
Beautiful sunny day here, was in work early, so come 3pm, said what the heck and walked the ten minutes to the yard. Lovely to be able to do that.
Today's achievements. Collecting pallets to make supports for the mast, deliver the stern frame and pulpit to the yard, take the solar panels down ready to be set up to trickle charge the batteries.
I'm going to try to keep a diary entry for each day I do something during this refit, so that I can look back and have a record of some stuff. Much of it is just to jog my memory, but I post it here for anyone who might want to follow along (if you're working on a Young Sun 43, good luck!)
We miss so much by traveling at speed. This area is so beautiful and more so when absorbed slowly and fully. The other day I stopped at the viewpoint going over the Malahat pass; how few of us who live here ever stop to drink in that view as we rush back from Victoria at 100kmh.
|The expanded fleet - Ty Dewi and 'The Pioneer'|
We've been doing great stuff here with Gesa's sister and her two kids, seeing the sights and going to places we haven't been yet either. Mount Washington was awsome. Photos will follow, really.
In the UK we have some sticky stuff used to hang up pictures etc, we call it 'blu-tak', it's usually blue.
Here we are, back and getting ready to move in. In fact, Gesa and I have the magic school bus all loaded up with stuff and are off to collect the keys to the house and unload the first lot into the garage. One more night on the boat then we all go up to Cumberland tomorrow.
Apologies to our regular readers, but we've been a bit quiet on the blog. As usual this reflects the opposite in daily life - things are getting busy as we begin to reattach ourselves to the land. We did, though, have a great trip across to Vancouver where we met up with friends and had a great afternoon and evening with Gesa's sister. It was very good to catch up with everyone, and the anchorage was perfect. We stayed in False Creek, near a place called Granville Island, which is a pretty big tourist and artist place, with markets, studios, playgrounds and other attractions. We had a lot of fun, especially on the hot day when the kids found the water park, and spent too much money - but the food from the market was superb and shows that you really do get what you pay for.
On the way back we stopped for a couple of nights at a nice place called Plumper Cove, a little park accessible only by water about twenty miles north of Vancouver. It was a nice quiet stop and some good walks in the forest and on the coastline.
Back to Nanaimo we made a trip up to Cumberland and Comox to check mail and see that our house is still there - it is and it looks like it will be ready for us in a few weeks time. WE sorted out gas, power, internet and phone - the usual necessities of modern life, although we have eschewed cable TV and will try to get by on dvd's and video over the internet for now. We've also been thinking about stuff we want to have for furnishings and houseware. We have ended up finding pretty much every thrift (charity) store in Nanaimo and Courteny, and there's a superb selection of second hand stuff. In most cases, this ticks the boxes of being more environmentally friendly as well as much cheaper. For example, we all have cycle helmets now, four of them cost us twelve dollars. One new one would be thirty, and have a load of cardboard and plastic packing. So it's thrift stores for most stuff, then if we buy new we buy high quality so that we only buy it once, hopefully.
We then spent time preparing for my parent's arrival on Friday. They are with us for two weeks sailing then another week as we move into the new house, so they will see some of our new life too. We found that the marina has some small storage cages up in the underground carpark, so we rented on for a month and took loads of stuff off the boat - mostly books and clothes - as well as storing our new houseware purchases. There is a lot more space on board right now, many lockers are not even close to full. It's amazing how much can be accumulated even on a small boat.
Mum and Dad's arrival coincided with the start of some superb weather, and we have had a great trip up the coast. Apart from motoring everywhere because of light or northerly winds, it's been a really good trip so far. We've had a couple of quiet coves all to ourself - rare at this time of the year when everyone is on vacation - and are now in the famous Desolation Sound. Poor old George Vancouver was pretty down by the time he got here, and it was raining too, so the area gained it's undeserved name from that. In reality, it is majestic, and, like Princess Louisa Sound, defies description or photography in it's grandeur. Massive mountains rise behind the shore line, and sheltered coves make perfect anchorages. It is a deservedly popular place, and sadly it has some of the features of beautiful places in the Caribbean or Bahamas, it is a spot where the rich gather to burn gasoline. There are quite a few big motor yachts, with powerful dinghies to zoom around the area and even a float plane anchored just next to us, probably to ferry guests in and out and avoid the need to spend a day or two on the water traveling here. Of course, I might argue that when it's so easy to get here, the experience is dimmed and just becomes another neat place you flew to once.
Thankfully, this place overwhelms even the most vulgar attempts to show off. The best anchorages are too small for the big yachts, who anchor outside in the deep water and all their toys don't buzz around where we are. Next to these mountains, even the biggest boat is just a dot on the water and we can all admire and enjoy these surroundings together. It really is fabulous, especially when the sun shines!
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So we got the engine problem repaired, relatively simple once we found the right mechanic - experience and the correct tools make all the difference.
Swallowing the anchor is the cruisers' term for packing ones bags and moving ashore. The term is apt, the process can, at times, be about as pleasant as swallowing a large lump of pointy steel. In our usual way we aren't hanging about too much, choices are thought about, options explored then we go for it in a pretty decisive way.