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Monday, June 21, 2010

Interim Preparation Step - Boatyard Blues Or When Will It All be Done?

 Sailing, sailing over the ocean blue... Yay!!  We are sailing!!!

Okay, I'm joking... but Bill insisted we post a photo of us sailing just to remind ourselves that this is why we are doing all of this!

 Waitin' for the boatyard...
Waitin' for the workers...
Waitin' for the work done...
Oh Yeah!  

(A song composer I'm not  however all this waiting does tend to drive one to strike out into new projects...)

I must say one has to take a different philosophy when one wants to have work done on ones boat... ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm (picture the two of us sitting cross legged with tip of pointer finger and thumb of each hand lightly touching and making that weird humming noise) ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ...

No - that would not be an activity that would suit Bill and I...

... so instead we decided to work on readying our new anchor rode that we just purchased.

Approximately 50 fathoms (or 300 feet) of combination of chain - not just any old chain but Hot Galvanized Grade 43 High Test 5/16" Windlass Chain with a working load limit of 3900 lbs chain and 25 feet of heavy duty nylon line. 


Bill lost a few nights of sleep trying to work out how we can mark it so that when we let it out when we are anchoring we will know how much has gone out (i.e. how close to the "end of our rope" are we anyway?? heh heh)...  We finally came up with the idea of spray painting marks (colour-coded) to indicate depth.  Now the big question was - which colours?  I insisted that we need to be colour coordinated with our beautiful hull of black, burgundy and off white... so off to Home Depot we went and came out with... red, dark green and bright white!! - hmmmm... not quite what I had in mind...oh well, close enough since it will spend most of its life hidden deep in the anchor chain locker or in the depths of the ocean!

Off we went to the boatyard and started our painting project:

A view from the bow makes that heavy duty rode laid out in 3 fathom lengths look like a fragile chain necklace!!  And that is what our lives will depend on when 'hanging on the hook'?  Gulp!  Good thing we know just how skookum it really is :-)

Enjoying a 'cold one' ...well, more like lukewarm... in the cockpit after all that hard work! 

Lucky thing we have had beautiful sunny days so we could get this work done - and it turns out that when it is sunny in this area of the world the wind dies... so not great sailing weather, anyway (I don't think that reasoning will fly with Bill, but I try!)...

Okay, I promise, my next posting will describe what we will do for our denaming/renaming ceremony (of course I am hard at work searching out our appropriate wardrobe for this auspicious occasion)!

Soooooo... see you when we see you!!
... and fair winds...

Cath and Bill

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Preparation Step #6 - Waiting, Weather, GRIB files and Dreaming of S. Pacific Anchorages

Sigh!  I guess what people say is right - when your boat is out of the water and getting work done - your guestimation for end date needs to be double what you think it might take (although Kerri, our ever optimistic April Point Marina manager says "Double the time you think it might take and triple the cost") YIKES!!  We seem to be pouring money into our lovely Lady and our big day is still a year away!  It's been over two weeks now since "Lively Lady" went on the hard and yesterday when I visited her in the yard and saw that they had painted red anti-fouling paint instead of the black that we asked for (think how cool that will look with our burgundy boot stripe and sheer stripe and the Black Cherry Sunbrella sail covers and dodger) my heart sank... more time needed...

...and the other day we were trying to figure out how much time we have over the next year to take her out to put to test much of what we need... testing out our new anchor and snubbing system... practising heaving-to... testing out our para-anchor...not to mention just a few times when we just want to sail into Desolation Sound to enjoy ourselves!!  Not a lot of time since we will be in Calgary for much of that time so that we can both work and save up our pennies for our 6 month hiatus! can we do it all??!!

Oh well... we are nothing if not busy in our preparations, I must say!  Co-Cap'n Bill is now busily studying anything and everything about weather. 

We have now have Airmail and applied for and received our callsign for Sailmail... have everything loaded on our super duper laptop now installed in the nav station (Bill, my sweet ludite, keeps saying he can't believe he bought yet another computer!) and now need to learn how to use it all so that we can receive Grib Files showing weather patterns when we are in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and not having CBC weather reports to listen to. 

Since you may not know what Grib files are (I sure didn't until launching on this little project I can tell you!) here is a litte explanation from one of our weather gurus, Frank from Frank Singleton's Weather and Sailing Pages, ( ):

GRidded Information in Binary (GRIB) files are output direct from Numerical Weather Prediction programs and provide an extremely useful and cost effective tool.
GRIB forecasts are particularly useful for planning purposes for the next few days ahead. There are finer scale, meso-scale, forecasts that can add value in the form of more localised detail but, again, these should be used with care and in the light of hard won experience. 

Okay now won't I look smart when at my next hoity-toity cocktail party (yeah right!) I can drop a few witty tid-bits about Gridded Information in Binary (or GRIB) files.  Of course we now need to study what all of those lines and arrows and numbers mean so that we will be able to decide to skidaddle away from any potential nasty weather patterns coming our way.  That means getting more books to add to the piles of tomes lying around 

we already have in both our teeny-weeny 100 year old (read No Storage) house in Calgary and our little cottage on Quadra Island (that is slowly filling up with sailing parafernalia - the guest suite is now known as the Sail Locker!!)...  

Bill has discovered David Burch's Modern Marine Weather with the accompanying workbook... you guessed it...  Modern Marine Weather Workbook! Required reading for those of us heading over the horizon.

Meanwhile I am still slogging through my celestial navigation course assisted by my wonderful Mary Blewitt book Celestial Navigation for Yachtsmen that I talked about in Posting #1.  I find that I need to study little bits, test myself then read back over it again, make notes, highlight the notes and re-read it all again.  I blame my almost 60 year old brain for the snail like pace of learning this stuff!  (Not to mention my total resistance to understanding anything resembling trigonometry).  I must say though when I leave it for a couple of days and then go back over what I had "learned" earlier I feel a few struggling synapses weakly flashing and it does begin to look familiar :-)

YAY!  Now for those of you worried that we will be trying to find our way based solely on my brilliant navigating skills not to worry!  We do have GPS loaded with all of the electronic charts plus all the paper charts we need (although we are looking for some more up to date ones of Marquesas and French Polynesia)... besides which Bill already knows the ins and outs of taking sights with a sextant and actually getting an accurate fix on our position!  We also have some great books (surprise, surprise) about anchorages in places along the way.  Boy, if that doesn't get you excited about this trip nothing will!  

Two great books that we found are Exploring the Marquesas Islands by Joe Russell and 

 South Pacific Anchorages by Warwick Clay which for the last few evenings we have been reading about and salivating over ...

Hey!  We are getting really close to our big de-naming re-naming ceremony once Lively Lady is back in the water.  Next posting I'll tell you all about it as this stuff is really serious and the gods of the seas (Neptune and Posieden) require considerable attention to these kinds of actions!  

...sooooo, as my sister Carole likes to say,... 

Talk to you when I talk to you :-)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Dates and Destinations

Co-Cap William here.

"Never say where or when you're leaving."  Crusing Rule #1.  And here we are ONE year - and counting - till we sail out Juan de Fuca into the Pacific, Marquesas bound.  Sorry, however, being neither religious nor superstitious, one must be true to one's self and go with it!  And time is short, and here we go.

June 1, 2011... Billy has a six month LOA and we are going.  Hence after 18 months of Lively Lady (and crew) maximum prep, lists counting down and 12 months to go we are on track and able to tell the truth and dream the impossible dream - out loud.

So far so good.  I have pressure of pen, fearful of boring you all with boat details and personal, especially possessive, pronouns.  However, please feel free to skip below details if so inclined.

Lively Lady II of Bellingham will so be Terrwyn of Victoria, BC with proper ceremony to Neptune in her new colours and sheen.  LL is currently "on the hard" having her topsides and decks refinished and boot and sheer stripes painted burgundy to match her black cherry sail covers and dodger. 

This haulout is primarily the cosmetic refit of her refitted ground tackle, wind vane, sails, rigging, upholstery and electronic navigation.  Only electrical solar panels, EPIRB, ditch bag, life raft and batteries to go to complete her 20 year refit and blue water preparation.  (Did I mention new windlass, anchors, Sparrow - our hard dinghy, Monti - the Moniter wind vane, celestial navigation hand held computer and sextant?).  Our goal is to finish her material refit by the end of summer and focus on our familiarization of all systems in the final six months. 

So far so good, Cape Mudge has provided fantastic water and mucho 25 - 30 knot winds sailing and heavy too.  We've spent more time charging about with staysail and double reefed main than full double headsail set. 

I keep telling Cathy after 1 year here we've seen much bigger water and more wind than 12 years of sailing about the Gulf Islands.  The Northern Salish Sea and Discovery Islands are not the Gulf Islands and Southern Strait of Georgia.

It is a standing joke to be fretting about getting our bimini and weather cloths just right to shield the sun to come, while we sneak about under the dodger and duck green water flying by.  Discovery Passage flooding south at 8 knots into a week of SE'erly blowing at 25k and out we go, it didn't matter it was pouring rain - who knew?  Trade wind cumulus here we come ASAP. 

We are also celebrating our First Wedding Anniversary here at Wickininish Inn, Tofino and it's a special time - words do not work.  There are times to grab and times to reach and this day we are reaching and celebrating our lives and this adventure together.

Thank you for reading me

(alias Co-Cap William)