Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Change In Plans


Well, as I have said before, a sailor’s plans are written in the sand at low tide, and are quickly washed away.

Our late departure from Vancouver left us arriving into Sydney at 10:00 pm under the light of a full moon.  The three hour wiring job for the next day stretched to a three day mast pull and re-stepping. Four days later, north of Nanaimo, our plans were again washed away.

A loud grinding of metal in the transmission set us into a frenzy of damage control. Fortunately, before the transmission went, the wind had picked up out of the NW. We were planning to anchor at Jedidiah so we had continued motoring into the wind until the crunching noises began. We pulled up the stays’l and ran back to Nanaimo harbour, dropping the hook in front of Protection Island. During the run south I had phoned my brother Doug in Duncan to see if he knew of any marine transmission specialists on the Island. With a radio call to his HAM radio associates they had identified Bent Sorensen of Viking Marine as the go to guy for marine transmissions and, shortly after anchoring, Bent had returned my phone call. Not a bad response time for a Saturday afternoon call. If I could get the transmission to him early Monday he would start on it immediately.

So, now let’s set the scene: it was Saturday afternoon and we were anchored in front of the Dinghy Dock Pub, we had all day Sunday to pull the transmission, life was looking pretty good. Clearly the Pub was calling. After a great meal, some good beer and a big Margarita for Mags we returned to the boat to watch the fireworks directly in font of us. This breakdown could have been much worse; obviously Matsu, Taiwanese goddess of the sea, was watching over us.

We ended up spending a week at anchor in Nanaimo. It was Nanaimo’s holiday weekend with a SAR helicopter demonstration on Saturday, fireworks Saturday night, the bathtub races Sunday and a 45 minute Snow Birds aerial display on Wednesday, not to mention some beautiful sunsets and several days of glorious sunshine. It turned out that we had shattered the torsion damper plate and although we had replaced it by Tuesday I decided to get Bent to rebuild the gear box while it was out on his work bench.

The Transmission Magician, Bent Sorensen of Viking Marine in Nanaimo.

After the delays in Sydney and Nanaimo we had missed our scheduled meeting dates on Thormanby Island with Ross and Betty and Port Hardy with Deb and Lotar so we decided to return to Vancouver to continue the fit out of the boat.

Finally the big news: our cast in stone departure date of mid-September 2013 has been postponed to summer 2014. We will continue the finishing and shakedown of the boat and a more leisurely trip through Desolation Sound and the Broughton Archipelago next spring and early summer.

More construction blogs to follow.