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|27 September 2004||A Brief Late Summer BC Mini-Cruise||Mixed|
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OK, so now we've offloaded KatieKat from the ship, converted the wiring from 240vac to 110vac, replaced the PAL TV system with NTSC (I cheated, used the old TVs but added NTSC DVD/VCR players with their built-in tuners), offloaded a million books, the 12v microwave (finally!), and our tropical clothes. For heating I've initially taken the brute-force approach: a 2KW Honda generator and some small 110vac portable heaters. Recognizing that the solar panels would probably need some help up here (there's no wind for the windgen), I've installed a Victron Energy 12/30 charger. We then took a weeklong cruise to see how our tropical boat does in this cooler and darker climate. I need to dig up some charts and include them here, but for those of you familiar with the area we sailed, uh, motored from Secret Cove (north of Vancouver) up Georgia Strait through Agamemnon Channel to Egmont (after visiting the Harmony Islands); from there to Princess Louisa Inlet where we stayed for a couple of days, then back down and over to Blind Bay (anchored in beautiful Ballet Bay) and then up to Powell River - ran out of time to get up to Desolation Sound so we overnighted on Texada Island and putted on back to Secret Cove.
The first thing you notice is the amount of clothing Kathy is wearing on this warm BC day. The second thing is the ring of clouds around the mountaintops. No problem, we're nicely sheltered, see where we're going, and experiencing undisturbed calm waters which previously were a rarity.
The barbie and aft railings gathered more rust stains in this last month than they had in the last three years - a legacy to KatieKat hanging off the back of the ship. More cleaning and polishing...
A Rubbermaid box fits perfectly over the Honda generator. The new plywood-and-foam vibration-absorbing base seems to help as well.
I experimented with a number of locations for the Honda generator. On the forward deck it is inaudible to us inside the boat but is exposed to the rain (not good). On the aft bench it is protected, but its noise level is much higher than I had hoped for - this is also a problem in crowded anchorages, where I refrained from running it not wanting to disturb our neighbors (or, in some cases, the local shoreside residents). It also works well on the aft lower step as long as there are no waves. Gas fumes don't appear to be a problem so far.
Pacific Northwest cruising is invariably done during daylight hours - the reason is shown on these two photos. These were merely twigs - you should see the big ones! KatieKat's wonderful forward visibility from the main saloon is priceless.
Yes, we actually flew our B.U.S. (Big Ugly Spinnaker) twice during this mini-cruise - each time the wind lasted only a couple of hours.
Princess Louisa Inlet is the world-famous crown jewel of this area: a beautiful fjord with cascading waterfalls, with renowned Chatterbox Falls at the end. The inlet can be, uh, interesting, as tidal currents peak at 8 knots - slack water entry/egress is advised.
Uh, long pants - what's that?
We took a long SeaCycle pedal-tour of Princess Louisa inlet. Yes, rainy, misty, cold, wet, but beautiful!
Another Kodak moment: KatieKat in front of world-famous Chatterbox Falls in Princess Louisa Inlet. Ignore the depressed waterline as the water tank was full and I'm still taking stuff off the boat - besides, the salinity was low here in front of the falls.
It was a dark and gloomy early morning as we joined a few other boats exiting Princess Louisa during slack water. The small fan does a great job of keeping the forward windows clear.
Ballet Bay is an island-enclosed puddle within larger Blind Bay. Simply beautiful! We took an early-evening sightseeing pedal on BikeBoat and snapped some pictures. Hope you enjoy these photos.
We sailed over to Texada Island (Sturt Bay) and took an early evening walk on the island. The size of the woodpile is typical of a household's winter preparations (sorry for the blurred image), and you don't leave a car parked next to berry bushes for long!
A typical scene - we experienced very little wind during our week-long tour. Kathy loves it when the weather forecasts say "combined swell and wind wave height 0.1m" (!)
So ended our brief mini-cruise. Inasmuch as we have some family obligations to fulfill we will probably not have any cruise-related website updates until the end of the year. 'Bye for now.
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