Long Distance Cruising

Finally Underway

anchored in Watmough bay, Lopez Island

We have begun our journey at last. It has been a long time in the preparation. I bought Caroline on June 13 2018 and immediately started the refit process. She is a beautifully built boat, but was sorely out of date and suffered from lack of maintenance of the systems. I have replaced or repaired all the systems aboard and have also continued to test and modify the boat for maximum efficiency.

The boat has been rewired and brought to a “better than code” status electrically. New charging, inverting, battery banks, automatic and manual charge controllers and step-up isolation transformers are in operation.

All electronics are new, fresh water system (which has been a real problem) has been gone through, new water pressure pumps are in and we are replacing lines as necessary. All new bilge pumps (4) and auto switches are installed. The new water maker is in, new salt and fresh water wash-down systems are working well, the Boston Whaler dinghy has been refurbished and runs well. The main engine, a 3304 Caterpillar, has been taken down, looked at and all pumps, hoses and belts replaced, new high output Balmar alternator and regulator installed. Total time on the main is about 2800 hours and these engines typically run for 300,000 hours with regular maintenance. The 20 KW Northern lights generator has had the same service as the main and has about 760 hours on it. Mechanically, she is in top condition. The windlass and 400 feet of chain and SS cable have been serviced.

We are in Port Angeles, Washington as I write this. We are fully fueled, provisioned and prepared to set off for Ketchikan, Alaska later this morning. The Crew consists of Josh Cook, Brady Knippa, Max Psaledakis and myself.

I’m looking forward to posting more often now that the real tedious work is coming to an end. From now on we hope to find more outlying ports to see while we continue work on Caroline. (A boat is never complete. If you are lucky, you get to work on her in beautiful, exotic surroundings)

Mt Baker at dawn

Many thanks to all who have helped me make this next chapter of my life possible, especially Caroline, for whom the boat was named.