24
Nov
16

Escorting Calliste and Captain home

At the end of season 2016, and as we are preparing for a new life in upstate New York, we made a difficult choice of where to store Calliste for the winter. We depart from our playwaters at Cortes Island mid Sept with storing Calliste at La Conner in mind, which of course influence our route decisions to favor the mainland coast.

Travelling separately in a car and in a boat is complicated of course, well this is how we managed.

15th Sep: Calliste depart 0500hrs to hitch a ride on the south flowing current. Doug will take her 45 miles to Madeira public marina in Pender Harbor, which at 5kns will take 9 long hours. So his ETA is 2pm…. Fordie depart on 0750hrs Cortes to Quadra to Campbell River ferry. That’s the earliest ferry, putting us in civilization 0915hrs, but that is not early enuf for the Comox to Powell River ferry. Got to the Comox terminal 1015hrs, just missed the ferry boarding by 15 mins! Drats! Had to wait till 1500hrs for the next ferry! By that time, Calliste was already anchored in Pender Harbor. Giving Doug a chance to snooze eh. Good thing I left my SG phone with Doug, so that we have at least SMS comms, so we can kinda track each others progress…. expensive it is, but very necessary.

Bellingham marina visitor dock. Empty for the late season.

Bellingham marina visitor dock. Empty for the late season.

Got to Powell River 1630hrs, then drive down the coast to Saltery Bay for the ferry to Earl’s Cove. Wish I had more time to enjoy the scenery, but nope I am busy checking the road signs and processing the info with my common sense. No Canadian GPS on board Fordie… Anyway, IMO, the Saltery Bay to Earl’s Cove ferry route is the most beautiful ride that I have been on. Sorry Doug missed this🙂 …. Finally arrived at Madeira 1900hrs, and managed to find a free parking space just outside the marina property. Its pretty dark already, but Doug managed to see me waving on the public dock and came over to pick me up. Happily we spend the night nice and warm on board.

Gibsons Landing marina is business

Gibsons Landing marina is business

16th Sep: Doug put me ashore 0600hrs and went on his way with the same south flowing current, bound Gibsons’ Landing. Its just 30 miles for him, and with the current, I would expect his to make it at 1200hrs… And as for me, its a easy day with no ferry rides, so my drive down is completely free for me to check out the sights.🙂 Got my leisurely Macdonalds breakfast at some halfway town, then found a rest area by the coastal drive to wait and watch Calliste go by. By my calculations, Calliste should pass about 0930hrs, but she only came by 1015hrs… a sign that currents are unpredictable around this coast.

Fordie got to Gibsons 1100hrs, easily found a free parking street just 2 mins walk from the village center. With lots of time to spare, I happily check out this quaint little village. It is very interesting indeed… with a fair bit of Asian presence… Almost did a take out, but guess I didn’t want to be disappointed with the food… knowing that I usually cook much better than most joints. So I just sat and waited at the public marina wharf, where I was told is perfectly alright for Doug to drive by and pick me up. From 1200hrs, I waited and waited and waited… until I finally spot Calliste at 1400hrs. Why so late? Sigh, strange currents. So that’s always a thing about cruising, shore party just have to wait it out.

My 1st big bao since a long time.

My 1st big bao since a long time.

On board and head out to anchor by Plumper Bay on Keats Island. We needed the south wind protection for the next 2 days, a system was coming thru and small craft advisory was issued. Here we rest for the night and whole of next day. Was quite pleasant really, hardly felt the system going by.

18th Sep: A calmer day to travel, before another bad system rolls thru. 0600hrs, Doug left me ashore before heading out. Its 30 miles to Point Roberts (US customs), then another 10 miles to Blaine where we meet again. I am not expecting him to arrive until 1600hrs at least. Long day for him… lots of time for me to check out Vancouver Chinatown🙂

Chinese medical shop like everywhere else. Great supply.

Chinese medical shop like everywhere else. Great supply.

Its another ferry ride for Fordie from Gibsons Landing to Horseshoe Bay, but this one is like a shuttle and frequency is very high. Since its early morning on Sunday, it was only half full. Got to Chinatown 1100hrs, perfect time to enjoy Chinese food in this greatest Chinatown in western Americas continent. Note to self, parking is not free even on Sunday. Paid $3 for 1.25 hrs, which is not much for parking in any large city right? I rather not get a ticket …

I am really quite impressed. Lots of Mandarin, Cantonese conversation going on around me, smells like Chinatown anywhere too… not a pleasant smell to most, but its strangely pleasant to me for now. Too much of it is revolting :p . And I hear so much about Dim Sum here in Vancouver, but its not so fun eating all that food by myself, so I contend myself with this gigantic pork bao…. was a good one, but not comparable to my usual in SG… see, disappointed already… better to see, feel and soak in the atmosphere, but not to buy, touch or taste.

The best Asian deli outside of Asia... so far the best I have seen.

The best Asian deli outside of Asia… so far the best I have seen.

Did a long gander down the main alley to the other end of this large Chinatown, where I found this large Asian supermarket. Check it out, a good Asian deli selection awaits me🙂 …  Bought lunch for myself, frozen “little dragon buns” and frozen siewmais to share with Doug tonight.🙂 Fingers crossed that it will taste authentic.

1400hrs, very long queue at US customs, feels as bad as driving to JB. 1600hrs at Blaine Marina. Doug didn’t make it until 1800hrs. Was 1900hrs by the time we were anchored in Drayton Harbor for the night. Yes, the Dim Sum was a nice treat for both of us. Impressed.

Calliste coming thru.

Calliste coming thru.

19th Sep: We decided to send me out to get groceries and 10 Gals diesel. It is nice to have Fordie around to run these errands with, so that we didn’t have to pay high marina neighborhood prices on anything. So there are some pluses for travelling with boat and car alongside. We stayed another night in Drayton Harbor as the 2nd system pass by.

20th Sep: 1000hrs, short day for Calliste. Only 25 miles to Bellingham, so ETA is 1500hrs right? Well, we know better already.

Fordie and Lang arrive at Bellingham Marina 1100hrs. Lots of time to check out this city and very large marina with a lot going on everywhere. Dock walks, food alley walks, marine business walks… all walked out by the time Calliste come into sight. 1630hrs is time Doug pick me up from the visitor dock. 1800hrs is when we anchored out in the opposite bay for the night.

Calliste going under the bridge that Fordie went over.

Calliste going under the bridge that Fordie went over.

21th Sep: 0700hrs, up anchor and headed back to the marina. 0830hrs, Lang ashore, Doug and Calliste heading out. We are bound Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island. Doug will have lots of current going with him on this 35 miles day. Fordie and Lang crossed the bridge over waterway leading to La Conner 1100hrs and decided to wait around for Calliste and Doug to go by. Right on time at 1205hrs is when boat party arrive🙂 Snap

1400hrs, Fordie got us to Oak Harbor. Hang out at the visitor dock until Calliste got here 1800hrs, then we headed out to anchor for the night. Its kinda shallow everywhere in the bay, not much protection from the south, but weather is not bad for tonight.

22th Sep: We decided to make the big jump in okay conditions to Port Hadlock. 50 miles and going against the flow most of the day, will make it 12hrs trip. We decided to do this trip together on Calliste, leaving Fordie in the safety of Oak Harbor marina parking lot for the night. Depart 0700hrs and hoping we be anchored by 1900hrs. Wasn’t a really beautiful trip… overcast and boring. 1630hrs, Doug made the call to take the canal short cut to Port Hadlock despite the 3kns current against us. Was a good move, cause it was a short 10 mins at 2 kns going thru, putting us at Port Hadlock anchored by 1800hrs.  Yay! We are home! Made it before the really bad southerly weather hits.

23th Sep: 0800hrs, seems calm enuf to put me ashore at Port Hadlock public dock, but we were quite wrong. Was iffy just letting me off, waves slapping the dock drama… but we did surprisingly well in those conditions… old salts us eh? Doug and Calliste back to anchor, Lang head to Oak Harbor on bus – ferry – bus.

1000hrs ferry from Port Townsend, watching the really bad sea state. Heard afterwards that the next ferry was cancelled and few boats got washed ashore. Phew! I got to Oak Harbor and Calliste was safe in the Hadlock anchorage.

1 600hrs, Fordie and Lang back at cabin. Property seems ok, no fallen trees and no flooding. … no keys, Lang has to camp in Fordie tonight? Headed out to Port Hadlock with no way to call Doug on Calliste… fortunately weather calmed down a lot… hoping to find someone with dinghy to send a message… so old fashion, but it worked! Kind soul on paddleboat delivered my SOS to Doug. 1900hrs, we are anchored again…. Lang didn’t have to spend a single cold night in Fordie throughout the journey, that’s an achievement me thinks.

30
Oct
16

Working on the driveway

Getting the blocks via my own means.

Getting the blocks via my own means. Driveway 2 low spot only needs to rise 8″. Extra blocks stored on top of the row for now.

Better get in that gravel driveway before the next rainy winter season, otherwise I be sliding all over again after the 1st day of rain, just like I did all of last winter.

Low spot on driveway 1

Low spot on driveway 1, lower end on left will be raised 2 blocks and only 1 block on right.

Here’s the plan, roughly, fill the low spot on driveway 1 to about 2 blocks high, that’s 16″. And driveway 2 only needs 1 block high, so that’s only 8″ and a smaller area.

Gravel delivered by the pros.

Gravel delivered by the so called pros.

Well, I could’ve $2000 on having it done by the contractor for just 1 driveway, instead I set a budget of $1000 for 2 driveways and a parking lot. Sure it meant a lot of menial do it yourself… and of course it meant lots of trips to get the materials that I can haul on the trailer… and sure it will exceed my budget, but it wont be more than $2000 and I would have gotten a lot more done with that money.

Cute little kitty keeping me company while I work

Cute little kitty keeping me company while I work

Ok, so what I did buy is 2 pallets of cinder blocks. That is 150 blocks at $1.30 each. When you buy by the pallet, you get a bulk discount at Home Depot🙂.

3" minus basalt

3″ minus basalt at car park. Notice how its a mix of big rocks to fine gravelly sand.

I could only tow half the pallet or 40 blocks at a time, so I had to make 4 trips to get them all. Still the savings was well worth the gas, maybe not the time. Getting the blocks from the place across the street will cost $2.20 each. Plus I get other stuff too. Like 6 bags of concrete mix, and planks for the camper that I am still building, and I get to stop at Walmart next door to get cheap food and stuff. … well, I make a trip every week anyway just for fun and Home Depot doesn’t limit how soon I must get them all🙂 I like the Poulsbro HD best. Most friendly and accommodating people🙂 , and they help me load block by block🙂.

Driveway 1 open to vehicles, and we used it immediately.

Driveway 1 open to vehicles, and we used it immediately.

Then its up to me to unload and arrange them. I am making a gravel retaining wall for over the low spot at the entrance…. I thought that it would be really expensive to use gravel to fill up a whole 20′ by 40′ by 16″, hence using the blocks to define 12.5′ by 40′. The driveway itself would be 120′, but its only the low spot that would gobble up the bulk of the gravel if I don’t try to contain it.

Driveway 1 leading towards RV tenant area.

Driveway 1 leading towards RV tenant area just after 2nd dump. Will look even better after I spread it out.

Anyway, I took my own sweet time… like 2 months to set the cinder blocks… it was a lot of work building up a leveled base of sand, and btw I was building a camper shell and digging up 2 stumps at the same time. I started months ahead of the rainy season, so I had plenty of time to do other things as well🙂

Looking in at driveway 1. Its done!

Looking in at driveway 1. Its done!

When it was time, I ordered 20 yards of 3″ minus basalt, 10 yards 2″ – 4″ basalt clean and 10 yards 3/4″ minus. Nope, I couldn’t haul rocks, Fordie could probably pull 1.5 yards at most. So I got a dump truck company to do it, but they send out a lousy driver for my job…. His dump was so horrible that it completely closed driveway. Even the driver knew how bad he did, offered to charge 12.5% less… which was $68 savings, but was 8hrs of extra back breaking work for me. Doug help for the critical 1st 4hrs to get the driveway open, after that it was me on my own again.

Driveway 2 is done too!

Driveway 2 is done too!

After 1 week of straightening out the 1st 40 yards, I order the next 20 yards of 1 1/4″ granite from a different company with their own dump truck driver. So I used the larger and cheaper basalt (costlier transport) as the base, and granite for the topping layer.

And I must say I am so happy with the dump by the 2nd company. It was almost perfect. Just 3 hrs of light shoveling and raking, driveway 1 topping layer was spread nicely. Another 3hrs on driveway 2, and my own sweet time on the car park at the cabin.

So a total of 60 yards is what I got, and it leveled both driveways beautifully, made a small berm on each one, levelled a car park/turnaround at the cabin, for a total cost of $1400 (60 yards gravel + transport) and $300 (2 pallets cinder blocks + 6 bags 60lbs concrete mix). Seems like I am still ahead monetary wise, but what a lot of work that was! Apparently, if it was all done by my usual contractor, it would have been $4000 altogether, but it would have been done in 2 days max.

 

16
Oct
16

My 1st attempt at building a portable tiny home

5ft x 10 ft utility trailer bed and my beginning planks.

5ft x 10 ft utility trailer bed and my beginning planks.

I thot I might learnt a little something from Doug…. enuf to run the tools to build a tiny home perhaps? Well this isnt something that Doug would do, build on a tiny budget, small on weight and no resistance to impact. Not a sound building in his opinion, and should not even waste time on it…

My workspace setup next to the power pedestal.

My workspace setup next to the power pedestal.

So it is entirely up to me, if it is to be. We’ll see if what little I know can amount to anything.

Framing the floor.

Framing the floor.

It was mentally strenuous to work out the construction details, but it was harder if I had to start drawing it on paper. I tried, but all I have is just the layout. Making up for the lack of construction drawing is my willingness to just go out, chop up some planks and screw them together and see what I got and then make my next move.

My cute tools. Note the purpil pencil. Fancy eh?

My cute tools. Note the purpil pencil. Fancy eh?

Naturally my construction plans are fluid and changing all the time… even the finished dimensions is not fixed until the last …🙂 heeheehee… That is my way of thinking, why limit myself to a fixed plan when I can change it all the time?

Removing the trailer... camper didnt stay on the blocks...

Removing the trailer… camper didnt stay on the blocks…

And it was all working out just fine, I was able to construct the floor right on the trailer…. then I wanted to remove the trailer so that I can screw in the plywood underneath….

Insulating the floor.

Insulating the floor.

I worked real hard at jacking it up, putting blocks under the floor and then pulling the trailer…. opps…. the trailer is out but the jacks toppled. Its really hard to work on uneven ground and just a little nudge from the rail was going to push it over.

Luckily not much damage… phew… but who needs the extra work to set it up on the blocks again.

Well, at least I recovered and completed the floor with insulation. Yep, I am not skipping steps here. Trying to do a real good job.

 

01
Sep
16

Visitor from way back

A nice photo of us in Fordie

A nice photo of us in Fordie

I am so excited to have my 1st visitor from the orient on my property🙂 In a way, I am wanting to hear feedback on the 2 lives that I lead, that are so contrasting … one as a city dweller and the other being so out in the sticks.

Pretty good selfie I think.

Pretty good selfie I think.

So I am overly eager to please my dear friend Limei, who has made that long journey from Singapore, who has to overcome transport difficulties to get from Seattle to Port Townsend, to visit me.

Tada.... the cabin shall be your abode for a night.

Tada…. the cabin shall be your abode for a night.

Day 1, drive 30 miles to pick up Limei from the Kingston ferry terminal at about noon. She managed to persuade her friend and host in Seattle, Karen to drop her off at Edmonds where she gets on the ferry as a foot passenger for $8.20, so it was not too much of a commute for her after all.🙂

Alder wood BBQ.

Alder wood BBQ.

Limei_pix(5)

Comfy new plastic Adirondacks

It was a Saturday in early summer, so it was busy touristy in the town of Port Townsend. Parking was quite difficult to get, but we did get one that was near to the NW Maritime Center. Did a 2 hr tour of ye olde Victorian town of Port Townsend. Yep, everything seem more pricey in quaint little towns, so we just enjoyed the browsing🙂

Then was time to introduce the Cedar girl to the Cedar tree… and rustic living on my little land, where we still hand split our firewood and heat up our space with the slight fragrance of burning Alder.

Where it is so easy to cook outdoors with a fully loaded Alder wood BBQ for that added smoky flavor. Yes, YUMMY! I am happy that she agrees.

The new funvinyldecals workshop

The new funvinyldecals workshop

And it was a nice evening out, hasnt been raining so the ground is dry and nice. Sun set at 9pm these days, but it does still get chilly as it gets darker. We sat out eating our BBQ on my new green plastic Adirondeck chairs:) Bought just for this occasion🙂

When it got too chilly, we went into the cosy Alder heated cabin, and chatted till we fell asleep. Good old days.

New friends in Seattle

New friends in Seattle

Day 2, visit to the new funvinyldecals workshop. Ok, so we converted the 20ft container that I bought for shipping Eleanor in 2014 into a office for Doug and sticker cutting shop for me. Of course I had to run the laptop and demo the cutting machine. In the end, she was loaded up with stickers as souvenirs for her visit.

Then it was time to send her back to her friends in Seattle. We drove on the scenic route down to Olympia and up to Shoreline. Who would have thought the traffic would be really bad on a Sunday afternoon? Oh well, it was good company so time passes quickly. Anyway, I hung out with the interesting new people and didnt get back till the next day🙂 . Indulgent live of a retiree🙂 Thank God for no schedules.

 

 

04
Aug
16

Miss my cabin

We sailed for about 2 weeks, and hang out with our friends at Cortes Bay for a week… well, I miss my cozy little cabin and wonder how my garden is doing. Is my drip watering working? That, and I am expecting a visitor from the orient.

So I head back home, myself. But, I needed Doug bring me over to Campbell River on Calliste. There is no easy to get from Cortes Bay to Campbell River without a car, and I didn’t want to impose on our friends…. Especially when I am getting on that 7:30 Island Link bus.

We made it to Q-cove in 3 hours, at slack time. Doug anchored and I paddled to the marina and tied up, went to the TruValue store that’s just 5 mins walk up the hill and hurried back. I think it only took me 30 mins at most, including the launching and retrieval of the kayak. By the time with head out thru the North opening to Q-cove, we were fighting a current of 2 kns. Over the 3 miles of getting from Q-cove to April Point, our SOG drop with every min that goes by. At some point, our SOG was maybe just 1 kn, and I was beginning to worry that we have to head back downstream because we simply cant make any headway.

Guess we throttle up and eventually got pass the more difficult parts of the channel and did manage to get into April Point. Phew.

Next day, we had a little engine drama. So we left about 15 mins later than planned… Oh no…. I have plenty of time for the bus, but Doug will be battling the current all the way down to Cape Mudge. He has only 1.5 hrs to make it pass before the current becomes too strong that it is impossible… and now -15 mins.

We continue best we can. Doug drop me off at K dock of Discovery marina in our usual swing by walk off method. 0645hrs. I have plenty of time to walk to the bus pick up point at Java Shack. I watch Calliste’s slow progress as I walk. At 1st it was a tad faster than my walk, but in 30mins it slowed way down, but still he is closing in on Cape Mudge.

0745hrs, watching Calliste from the bus as it moves along the coast. Doug is just about to pass Cape Mudge. I guess he’ll make it afterall. Messing around these high current flow areas are kinda exciting eh? Like sometimes you just don’t make it… ?

1200hrs, arrived at Victoria. Short walk to Coho ferry line. Next ferry 1500hrs. Long wait.

1645hrs, walked out thru US customs at Port Angeles. Had to rely on Google Map to direct me to the bus depot for bus 30 to Sequim. What would I do without my iGadgets?

1840hrs, on the last bus from Sequim to Port Townsend. They only run this bus in summer, so I was fortunate that I had internet in Cortes Bay to plan this route from the 730am bus to the 1840hrs bus. Again, what would I do without my iGadgets and the internet?

1930hrs, retrieved Fordie from Port Townsend Haven marina. Too pooped to have dinner.

 

31
Jul
16

Stretching our sails

A hideaway nook that is not a secret.

A hideaway nook that is not a secret.

We don’t have a sail plan this season… we kinda think we would go the Vancouver route, up around the Redondas before heading into Cortes Bay. Bad weather system was in the area, and we kinda make a new plan as we go along. Its so easy to do that with modern day electronic charts on our chartplotter and Navionics charts on my iP4d that comes with a super good tide program that even shows current direction with little arrows and the intensity of that flow. So long as we can read, we could not go wrong, right? We shall see about that.

7 Jun 1200hrs, Just went to town and got our new depth sounder. Parked Fordie at Haven Marina, Doug pick me up from the fuel dock. Adventure begins…. despite the bad weather reports, we decided to head out and see how bad it is.

1500hrs, its not bad at all. So calm that we went right by the infamous Smith Islands. Doug notice that the whole island is covered by marine birds, a sign that somewhere there is a system going on and birds are seeking refuge.

Doug like this one....

Doug like this one….

1800hrs, anchored at Aleck Bay. There is no other boats here. A few mansions, some kayaks on the beach and lots of driftwood. Overnight we hear the winds howling through, and was a little rolly with waves coming in from the South, but no drag.

8 Jun 0500hrs, Doug decided that he doesn’t like it at Aleck Bay. Winds are not too bad right now, Doug decided to jump over to Mackeye Harbor that is only separated from Aleck Bay by a small sandy strip, but is 3 miles by navigable waters. … And its 3 miles of chopping waters, making only 2 to 3 knots…. it took more than an hour to “jump” over. But true, it was a little better, and we didn’t feel alone🙂 … there is a small private marina and few anchored boats. Winds were up and down throughout the day, just as forecasted.

I like this one.

I like this one.

9 Jun 0430hrs, Winds settled down overnight, now is our chance to make a run to Oak Bay Customs dock.

0830hrs, Checked into Canada! So simple. I went on a walk to town, mission is to get groceries. We bring no vegs into Canada, so all boaters who check into Canada will be looking for fresh vegs, fruits and meats! 1100hrs, made it back to the customs dock with 2 heavy bags. Was a 30 minutes walk!

1200hrs, Anchored at Cadboro Bay. Very sleepy, both of us. Happy for the calm weather for a change.

10 Jun 0500hrs, Heading out. Calm weather for the next few days. We time our leaving to get the maximum current boost… so we made it to Cowichan by 1030hrs. In time to enjoy the free tie up till 2pm at the Fisherman Association pontoon. This is a surprising little harbor, houseboat community and touristy waterfront, but not much possibility for anchoring. We had lunch (it was so-so).

Usual sight cruising in BC. Log tugs.

Usual sight cruising in BC. Log tugs.

1500hrs, Anchored in Genoa Bay. This is really calm and nice. Almost like Annette inlet. We decided to stay 2 nights… partly because wind is up again, and surely we both will enjoy more rest🙂

12 Jun 0630hrs, Anchor was stuck drama. Luckily we were able to dislodge it by motoring to the other quadrant, and lift. Phew, no diving.

1030hrs, Brief stop at Thetis Island Marina, since we are too early for Dodd narrows. Got 3 internet vouchers for 3 devices. Its free, just have to ask. Was pretty good internet too. Decided to have lunch, it was so-so…. but C$50… big ouch for Doug…

1400hrs, We have a system of getting on and off fuel pontoons now. Doug will pull in slowly and I walk off, while he go anchor the boat. He may row in with the kayak, or not. Then he’ll drive by slowly and I walk back onboard. This gives me extra internet time🙂 and maybe shopping time🙂 . So anyway, we are off and headed to Dodd narrows. Made it in perfect time.

Campbell River, as seen from April Point.

Campbell River, as seen from April Point.

1830hrs, Anchored at Mark Bay Nanaimo. Usual spot. Lots of space, maybe its still early this season.

13 Jun, Finally a day to launch the dinghy, so that we can both go into town. We have only 1 kayak this time, sigh…. I need good internet for banking and Doug needs lots of nuts to last him the whole summer. Paid C$5.50 to Nanaimo port authority for parking our 7ft dinghy at half day rate. Good for 9hrs they say. Horrible internet at the marina. Found the bus to Woodgrove Save on foods. C$2.50 each, one way. So it cost us total C$10 for the day on bus, but it was well worth it. I got lots of productive things done on the free Save-on wifi and Doug got more nuts that he can eat🙂

Anchoring hole in Blind channel. This is my next favorite spot after Annette inlet.

Anchoring hole in Blind channel. This is my next favorite spot after Annette inlet.

14 Jun 0800hrs, Started late this morning in consideration of the currents. A full 40 mile day to Deep Bay… Yes, we lazy people consider 30 miles as a full day. It usually only takes us 6hrs to do 30 miles, since we normally time the currents so well, but not today… Arrive Deep Bay 1700hrs. That’s 9hrs! Its overtime!

15 Jun 0900hrs, Lang went ashore with trash. No charge for dumping at Deep Bay marina. No free wifi here… 1100hrs, Doug cant wait to leave this horrible anchorage. Some crazy guy is just zooming around the bay with his 200HP skiff.

1800hrs, Speeding into Campbell River at 9kns. Current around here is usually not slack, highly possibly strong, so there is no way to anchor out in the open roadstead. Upon seeing the whirlpools at both entrance at Q-cove, Doug refuses to go in there for the night. Went further north to April Point. Surprisingly it had no whirling waters and was easy to follow the red buoy. Anchor down at 9pm. That’s another day that’s too long for us.

I find it so peaceful to be tree gawking.

I find it so peaceful to be tree gawking.

2200hrs, Even till today, we were still changing our route plans. 1st we were going to circumnavigate Quadra Island…. Then we couldn’t resist not going further north and see even a little part of Johnstone strait…. but what do we do with the infamous Dent and Yaculta rapids? Could we time it to perfection? Our gadgets and my smarts has worked very well so far…

16 Jun, Motor over to Q-cove at morning slack. Was hard to find a good place to anchor, but we did anchor just 500ft north of the public dock. No we didn’t want to tie up even tho 2 hrs is free. So Doug is on anchor watch while I take the ferry over to Campbell River for groceries and internet. I managed to get back in time for the next slack tide to North flowing ebb current.

Yaculta Rapids... we have seen worse.

Yaculta Rapids… we have seen worse.

1545hrs, Depart Q-cove, bound Blind channel anchoring hole via Seymour narrows and Johnstone strait🙂 . Made it to anchor at 9pm. Still plenty of daylight to enjoy the views. Love the long days.

17 Jun 0710hrs, Up anchor 1 hour before current change to flood. Flood current is the one that we want a ride on today, but before that we want to be at Dent rapids at slack and hopefully 1 hour later at Yaculta. Just as we planned, the infamous Dent was quiet and despite having 3.5 kns going with us at Yaculta, the whirlpools are not even comparable to Kanmon Pass in Japan’s inland sea… That was the most scary ride ever.

Well… we were prepared to stop at those little pocket coves before these rapids if the situation feels too dangerous..

1200hrs, Made it thru the east opening of Hole in the Wall. 1300hrs, Too early to try exiting the treacherous west opening, so we anchored at Florence Cove and snoozed.

1545hrs, Going thru the west opening of Hole in the Wall was another anti-climatic experience. … After reading so much about how dangerous the rapids and whirlpools are, we sort of were looking for a little glimpse, but nothing! Perhaps this is proof that I timed our cruising day to perfection? Well, not so at Surge narrows. By this time we are 1 hour late and fighting the ebb flow. It took us a long while to pick our way thru a winding passage of rock islets till Whiterock passage.

1700hrs, Made it thru the Whiterock passage. Other that the very narrow and shallow dredged waterway, it was not difficult to go thru this pass as there were no significant currents here.

2000hrs, Anchored at Coulter bay on Cortes Island. … and fouled the anchor trip line on the prop. Drats! … Doug had to dive, otherwise we couldn’t trust the anchor to set. 2200hrs, re anchored. Terribly late for us, but we were feeling pretty good about hitting all the highlights in that route that we picked, all in 1 day🙂 What would we do without the electronics!

18 Jun, When we look out over the stern this morning, it was low tide and gulped! Calliste stern was 30ft from a rock! Doug had wanted to anchor further in and I said no to it. Lucky me, and good thing Doug listened to me this time. Got the anchor up and left.

1300hrs, Arrived D&M’s dock in Cortes Bay. Phew! That was some journey🙂

 

 

 

 

29
Jun
16

Getting power and water on my lot.

Right across my south prop line is the transformer

Right across my south prop line is the transformer

Now that the power situation in my SG flat is taken care of, I am back to work on my US prop. Time for the crew to come in for power and water installation.

View of the conduits going in at my South prop line.

View of the conduits going in at my South prop line.

There is a sequence here that we must follow. 1st, I pay the water connection fee $1755 to the city water department and the power connection fee $520 to the power utility department. Then I had to dispute where they had wanted to install the water meters (I paid for a dual tap) and which box they were going to tap power from. If I left it to them, I would have to pay a lot more $$$ for trenching these onto my south property line. So I learn to be very careful when dealing with them.

My favorite little tool... only if I can afford one myself.

My favorite little tool… only if I can afford one myself.

It was a few weeks before the water department came out to install the 2 water meters on my south property line, as I dictated it.

My work wagon with little spare conduits

My work wagon with little spare conduits

Then my contractors come in to install the power conduit to the transformer box and hook up from the water outlet to my pedestal. Of course they had to dig up the driveway to do that, so it was no driving out for a day.

Setting up the base, soon to pour concrete.

Setting up the base, soon to pour concrete.

The guys with that little excavator are back. With their help, Doug set the power pedestal upright. By the time they were done, we have water at the pedestal. Hurray!

This was such a simple job, they were done in 6 hours, but still it cost me $2100…

Me churning the concrete with a rake.

Me churning the concrete with a rake.

Then its our turn to complete the electrical work. Well, most people would have hired a electrician, I suppose. But hey, I was an engineer, I suppose I could do this as a property owner and save me some $$$. Plus Doug is there to assist🙂 …. in theory only, as he broke his back on the day we were going to pour concrete.

Me working on those stiff 10 AWG wires!

Me working on those stiff 10 AWG wires!

Ok, so I learned how to glue those conduits together, set them up before pouring the concrete in. Lucky me, hole for the concrete base was already dug before his back went out…. 1 less thing to do for me.

PUD at work. Cool little wire spool trailer.

PUD at work. Cool little wire spool trailer.

But its up to me to lift those 60lbs bags into the wheel barrow, and mixing it up with water to the right consistancy. Then shoveling it into the form that he built on the day before. 1 bag at a time, 4 bags of 60lbs premix was what it took. Now to wait for it to set… I am pooped. My turn for a bad back…
Next day… look! its me working on the circuit breaker connections. Think I got it all right? Even Doug is impressed that I did the wiring so nicely.

Thats it, meter is in!

Thats it, meter is in!

When thats done, went online to apply for an L&I inspection for a new service, $97. PUD would not come until inspection is done. We were pleasantly surprised that the inspector came within 12 hours of the application. Well, he must be happy with what I have done, cos I got the yellow passed sticker🙂

Back of the pedestal, 3 30 Amps and 1 50 Amp.

Back of the pedestal, 3 30 Amps and 1 50 Amp.

Was surprise that the PUD guys showed up next day to tie us in. In just 2 hours, they installed the underground wire thru the conduit and to the meter. We are powered up!

Thats it folks. Was it that difficult after all?




Sailing 2015: Port Townsend(WA, US) -> Costes Island (BC, Canada)

Sailing 2013: Singapore -> Okinawa -> Kobe

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