August and everything after

Huh? November?

Almost. Time goes by fast in the fall. Island Girl hasn’t gotten a lot of love over the past few months, but I thought I’d fill in the long blog gap.

Late July/August was almost devoid of maintenance and full of trips! This was good. Notable excursions included Jedd and Carl reaching out around passage island for a long and spirited jaunt in inclement weather, following by a slow evening bbq in the Creek. After several false starts due to general electrical chaos (more on that another time), Sarena and Jedd got out to Bedwell bay for an excellent birthday celebration. Mid August saw Jedd and Adam sailing south through the gulf islands during the Worst Storm of the Season, at one point trying to beat down the west side of Saltspring with 35+ kts in our face. Blerg. Haven’t seen those numbers since Kandur in the Adriatic, on an unforeseen storm day (whereupon this author earned his stripes, piloting through grey squalls above 40 kts for 8 hours or so). This proved especially challenging while trying to reef the roller furling jib, which is a bit of a challenge with only two cockpit winches on a windy day (the furling line needs to grind in and then anchor in such a way that it can come off the working winch without unfurling). We didn’t pursue that course for very long, though after a few wet days we made it to Saturna island for a visit with Jim and Janet. That night, we put up in the lee of Saturna, observing other apparently salty dogs doing the same. But that night, the devil storm wind kicked up again and actually dragged our anchor, to the extent that a friendly neighbour hailed us around 7 in the morning to inform us we were approaching the wharf. Oh. Then we tried to tie up to a float in the even windier cove nearby, which was highly unsuccessful and almost ended in disaster. Eventually we were able to feed ourselves to the extent that we were prepared for the journey back, which was done entirely with the jib, the winds again kicking past 25, but this time nicely abeam of us, and sent us all the way home in high and rapid style.

Next weekend, Adam, Sharon, Sarena and Jedd all made it out for a proper owners’ jaunt, going to Halkett and Keats for some lovely local expedition-ing. 

The following weekend, we made it out AGAIN, this time Sarena, Jedd and our friend Elise. We went back up into Howe Sound for another night at Halkett, this time standing to proudly near our friends on Arabesque. A lovely evening. It was slow going on the way up, but those heavy winds found us again, this time choosing to reef modestly and blasting all the way home with the spreaders nearly in the water. Arabesque was impressed. They’ll probably live longer.

Precious little maintenance done during the home stretch of summer. Mostly those energies were spent on paranoia over our engine temperature. No real reason for this, other then that the cruising RPM tends to send the thermostat to the upper level of normal—about 180 degrees. This actually wasn’t of particular concern for us until Sarena and I came back from one outing to meet general panic and concern from a neighbour, who was convinced that our raw water output was drastically low in volume, and we were spewing out smoke.

This is actually not so. While we do shoot out less raw water than some, the only other exhaust is steam, though again at 180 degrees, this output is considerable. Not smoke though. Anyway, Adam and I spent many hours looking over the edge and at our thermostat, but not to any particular conclusion. The engine is full of coolant and the replacement belt is working just fine.

We spent my birthday aboard in late September, just hanging out in False Creek; eating delicious things and reading (for my part) copious amounts of Aubrey Maturin. Just the thing for the closing season.

Sarena and I got out just once in October, but we saw the transient grey whale that was hanging out in English bay! Sarena’s first whale sighting aboard any craft. Lovely.

Which brings us to now, full of grey skies and falling temperatures. Priority number one is to get a cover sorted out for the winter months—probably a couple tents made out of fresh tarps, sealed tight but hopefully loose enough, should the sun shine and temp us out of hiding…