Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Single Hand

Its actually more like single legging, because my right leg is still really bothering me. But I am doing quite well other than that, in terms of sailing. I made it 71 nautical miles (about 85 normal ones) yesterday, from Port McNeill to Safety Cove, on Calvert Island. Its north of Point Caution, which I gave a wide berth and had my Achtung on full. My Quota right is now 60 nm per day, which is pretty far, but not impossible, so I’m in a hurry in general. I’ve set my shrimp pot a few times, but so far no shrimp have been caught. I think I am a bad shrimper. Maybe I need Forrest to help me out. I’m typing while underway, and I’ll post this when I get the chance, so who knows what will happen in the mean time. My fuel supplies are holding out well, but I wish I had a bigger water tank. I didn’t fill it in Port McNeill, and I’m going to stop at a place in about 4 hours, but I ran out of water, except for what I have in my water bottles and the spare tank. I don’t like that. I’m also burning through these butane canisters for my stove quickly. They just don’t last very long, and I don’t do any cooking onshore on fires now because I’m in a hurry. My autopilot is working out well, so far. I have installed the wind vane, but I need to get a little less friction out of the main rudder bearing in order for it to work well. When I first put it in I put a flex into the rudder shaft, so it rubs, and I need to change the mounting so it runs straight. Its really a simple thing, but I need a dock and some time. In the mean time it is dragging behind nicely and doing no harm, except that it makes the boat want to go in a straight line more. Which is fine by me. The newest version of the bowsprit is on and its built pretty strong, but I am taking my time with powering it up, so I’m using the normal jib most of the time, just unrolling the outer jib (on the sprit) when its low wind. I don’t want to break it again, because it was a pain in the ass last time and I was lucky. Also it would be really hard to cut off in the open, so I want to test it out near a dock. (probably in Juneau) Since I don’t have a roller furler that I want to use in all weather, I rigged up a down haul on the normal jib. Its just a line that connects to the sail and runs to a pulley on the front. So when it gets rough and there’s too much sail up and I need to drop it, I just let loose the halyard (the thing that raises the sail) and pull down on the down haul, and the sail will come down. Sometimes the sail doesn’t want to come down, and you have to run up to the front and pull it down by hand, but with this, I don’t need to. So its easier on me, and safer. I still need to go forward to change sails, but I can at least reduce sail without doing that. I’m REALLY happy with my dodger, its been raining a lot and it keeps the companionway (the doorway from the cockpit to the cabin) really dry and keeps the wind off me when underway. The wind is cold, so it keeps me warm. Today looks to be a mostly motoring day, I’m on the inside of an island, and while it may be blowing (though I don’t think it is) outside, on the Queen Charlotte Sound, it is not blowing much inside here. So I am doing a whole lot of putzing around and trying to think of things to fix and mess with. For example: I have a fuel tank that holds a certain amount of fuel, but I can never get the number exactly right, it might be 15 gallons, but it might be less. And how much of it can I actually use? So I measured the tank and did some calculation, and now I carved notches in my dipstick that correspond more to a gallon each. Before they were just random notches, and they didn’t make any sense. I also put this thing on the forestay (the cable in the front of the boat, holds up the mast, that keeps the hanks (the little clips on the front of the jib that hold it to the forestay) from sliding down and getting caught in the threads of the turnbuckle that tightens the forestay. It was a problem before, I had to go forward and uncatch it whenever I would raise the sail, but I think it should be fixed now. Little things that are bothersome but not too crucial. I’m also right now taking all the CDs that I have and making them into mp3s and sticking them on my ipod, so I have time to type. There are a lot of other things I want to do now, like put a water fill valve in a more convenient place than it is right now, maybe install a second tank somewhere, but that might be too much for right now. I’ve discovered that I don’t have any books that I really want to read on hand. I have some books that people have given me, but I can’t find myself in the mood to start them. So if you have any suggestions, I’ll see if I can find the book somewhere. Oh, and another thing. I got the LASIK a while ago, and I’ve had a trial period now, and though it was expensive and it hurt a little, I think my eyes have recovered from being sensitive to wind and dust, and I have decided that I am quite satisfied. Getting up in the middle of the night to look around and see if there is trouble, to be able to see the stars, to not have to take contact solution around with me and be quick to go to bed and to get up, these are valuable things. I haven’t tried to open my eyes under water yet, because the water is cold, but I expect that will be nice too. I kind of got it so I could surf without contacts, but I haven’t done anything in the water since I got it.

I am in Bella Bella now, which has a BC ferries terminal in it, and is a genuine town. Finally the clouds lifted and I can see the sun shine in. It seems that my escape from the USA is not complete, because I have IRS audit troubles. Who would have thought that I owe them 200 bucks from 2007's tax year? I didn't. But its not so easy to just call and figure it out, it seems I need to have a certain form that lives in Seattle right now. Pooh. Well, whats a challenge if not tough?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pick up a pair of $6 plastic swim goggles. In fact, get several and clip a few to the survival suits.
Bella Coola is a bigger town. Probably the last place with ANY road access to the mainland. (long difficult dirt road to Williams Lake, BC).
There is a VERY good bookstore in Bella Coola that is owned by the descendants of an early settler. Loads of local history books there.
Find a book about Ralph Edwards called "The Crusoe of Lonesome Lake". I read it 35 years ago and was surprised when Corey and I found ourselves changing a flat tire in the EXACT spot of the trail to his original cabin some years back.
You're in some beatiful country right now so take your time and smell the coffe. BROWN bears now, bigger than you may be used to, so stay on your toes, and be neat with your food when on shore.