We are still in Blaine, still trying to complete the remaining projects. The weather here has not been cooperating. It has been pretty much continuous rain and also cold. There has been record rainfall, even for Seattle. I am taking my accomplishments as I can, and trying to not get too discouraged by the amount of time required to get some of these projects done. It is also tough to do some of this work alone as it requires, almost always, a second person on the other end. Below is the new forward housetop Butterfly hatch deck box. It weighs over a hundred pounds and has a huge capacity for deck gear, dock lines and fenders. We will mount it next Monday as we are supposed to have some sunshine. After it’s attached to the housetop I will varnish it and install latch hardware.
I am also nearly finished with the propane stove installation, just waiting for a custom made one-piece hose from the propane tanks located aft on the flying bridge to the galley which is situated forward of amidships. I will try to install the new stern anchor chocks on Monday also. That will give me two more completed projects. Anyway, back to this rainy Thursday.
Well it has been a long cold and eventful winter so far. I seem to be experiencing a lot of failures. First the wiring was replaced and completely upgraded, then the charging system off the main engine took a dump, so new high output alternator and regulator/ACR systems. New main engine pre-heat components and main engine ground circuit. All systems now are breaker and fuse protected or both, positive and negative legs.
Then we had a really cold snap and the Webasto furnace quit working. The Shore power can’t keep up with the demands for power out this far on the finger, so the three space heaters can only be run at half power to prevent blowing circuit breakers due to overload. With temps in the single digits, 2-7 degrees Fahrenheit, for a few days I resorted to using the generator and electric galley stove for extra heat. Then the stove blew the 220v resistor and quit working. So now I am still in the throes of repairing the furnace and am installing the new galley stove and propane system for it.
The Water maker still need to be installed, the cabin side port lights sweat like mad in the cold weather. I need to figure out how to cure that problem as they drip water almost as much as if the were leaking. I think it must be the moisture from my breathing and from cooking below that puts humidity into the air and the cold transference from the glass and metal frames that causes the condensation. There still is a need for touch-up paint and lots of varnish also. It’s so wet all the time that I can’t even clean the exterior very well.
Hopefully the weather will improve soon so I can really get at some of these projects and finally get underway! My neighbors, this eagle couple, don’t really seem to mind the weather as much as I do, but then all hey really need is a belly full of fish or other prey.
Still working on systems, New water-maker, and new cabinetry to accommodate it. Also still in the process of rewiring and adding an isolation transformer to handle all possible electrical inputs. I’ve installed the new ladder to the Fly-bridge hard top and now am designing a new Kayak deck chock to carry both kayaks on the forward house-top. I will be back in Santa Ynez for Thanksgiving and a couple of medial appointments. It looks like I will be able to take off for Alaska right after Jan. 1st.
Above are some Great Blue Herons. They sit here waiting for the tide to go out so they can forage for clams and other crustaceans. Sometimes there are bald eagles sitting here as well.
We’re heading back to Blaine tomorrow (Monday 9/29/’19) having completed some more work on Hydraulics, electronics and new battery charger and new larger inverter systems. Still in process of installing the Cruise RO water-maker and some other electronics functions, but definitely closer to leaving Washington for B C and Alaska.
I will miss my slip neighbors here at Cap Sante’ Marina. They’re actually very quiet and seem to want to keep to themselves. Good qualities in neighbors.
Took on Fuel yesterday and topped up the tanks Diesel in Wa. is a much better deal than Ca. I paid $2.30 a gal less the road taxes (don’t know the exact amount until I get the state rebate check) probably a couple C’s.
looking forward to a nice trip back op to Blaine tomorrow, the weather is supposed to be moderately sunny and no rain predicted.
Heading to Anacortes for a few days to complete some more work and get a couple more projects started. I still will be based in Blaine with a slip there, but the work continues. Also while in Anacortes I’ll take on some fuel, probably over 1200 gallons. The trip down has been uneventful, averaging 8.2 knots through the water and about 6.5 over the bottom due to tidal head current. The trip took about 6 hours, about 50 miles and used just under 6 gallons of diesel. So far all systems are working well.
There was no slip available in Anacortes, so we are in Blaine Wa. I will eventually get back to Anacortes for completion of work, but I needed a place for Caroline and Blaine Harbor is reasonable and a pretty harbor. The trip up from Bellingham was fairly uneventful except for the crab pots completely blocking all navigable waters between Bellingham and Blaine. There were thousands, as far as the eye could see and anywhere from three to twenty feet apart leaving no real maneuvering room. It was insane! I can’t believe the inconsideration of these crab fishers for other boaters.
We will be completing some more projects while in Blaine before heading over to Anacortes to finish up some of the others.
The town of Blaine reminds me of a New England fishing village small quaint and pretty, right on a shallow bay. Lots of tourists though, as the Canadian border is 100 yards away.
We’ve been in Bellingham for two weeks. The engine work is finished. Both the main (Caterpillar) and auxiliary (Northern Lights 20 kw) are in great shape. All new hoses, belts, water-pumps, injectors, fuel lines, oil changes, filters and adjustments to tensions etc. Also new fuel-flow metering system installed, engine alarm system revamped and a working Hobbs meter installed. Every system I use, now that she’s back in the water, seems to need attention. I have worked on the heads, showers, and still need to replace or refurbish all the seemingly small things like the faucets and shower controllers.
I have a couple more days here, then back to Anacortes for some more work on the electronics and installation of the new water-maker. Also a bit more cabinetry and custom fittings. I still haven’t got a crewman. Have had a couple of potentials fall through and still have one candidate potentially available after September. I m hoping to leave for B C and Alaska by then, but can’t do this alone. Too old and encumbered to do it all myself. I sure do miss the days when single-handing a sixty footer was a piece of cake!
Anyway, I really looking forward to seeing Washington in my wake for a change.
I’ll be heading back to Anacortes on the 2nd of June to try to get the rest of the projects far enough along to get Caroline back in the water. I did make some progress last trip though. The dinghy is in it’s own chocks, upright on the aft housetop, the communications antennae are in and cables pulled, supposedly the cabinetry will be done by the time I get back to the boat and I got the new lazarette hatch installed as well as the lazarette itself built. Finally, a stowage for the stern anchor rode, fenders, docklines, and miscellaneous line and deck gear. Check out the new sat-com dome above the Radar scanner and the two white antenna canisters in the above photo. These are the Wi-Fi and Cellular enhancement receiver antennae. I have developed a hernia that will need to be taken care of soon. It is interfering with my ability to be flexible enough to get into some of the tighter areas of the boat that I need to be able to work in. Also it affects my lifting capabilities. All around an unpleasant situation. Some times I think maybe something is telling me to slow down a bit. Oh well. off to the Dr.s office tomorrow.
Today was supposed to be sunny, but it turned out to be mostly cloudy and a bit on the cool side. I did, however, get the El Toro sailing dinghy varnished. She looks pretty good for being almost 40 years old.
Among the other things done this week are the wind instruments, spar fly, new mast lighting, WIFI enhancement system andantenna, Cell signal enhancement system and antenna and new spreader lights to flood side decks.
It has been pretty rainy and cold these last two weeks, but it looks as if the weather may break by the second week in May. I hope so as I’ll be back up here on the 9th of May for another two week stay. Hopefully we can get the side curtains doe by then, and I can get some more work done toward getting Caroline back in the water. Tomorrow and Tuesday are supposed to be rainy, so back into the engine room for me. I fly home early Wednesday.