False creek, sandwiches, wires

Knowing we had some commitments during the weekend, we opted to spend Friday evening and Saturday aboard IG in False Creek. So we gathered some foodstuffs at faithful Panne Rizzo, and arrived soon after work on Friday. We pulled poor old rubber ducky out of its dry berth, expecting possible catastrophic failure of our old tender. But it wasn't too bad! The hypalon hull is fairly tanned, having been stored hull-up, but there weren't any noticeable breaches. The only real hamstring is its wooden transom, which is literally rotting apart. Nonetheless, we flipped and washed her out, and set her afloat. Good enough.

We spent an hour or so reading and drinking mocktails, and then shoved off. We opted for a spot near the Cambie side of the creek, near to the more permanent-looking liveaboard/parked boats. The anchor and rode ran out nicely. I hooked up our new and improved anchor snubber, using a hook that dad fir nicely for our chain gauge. Took quite a bit of re-adjustment to get sufficient tension off and to balance the snub line so that neither side was chafing the bow, but it ended up taking the load neatly off the windlass, instead bearing it equally on each of our bow cleats. Oh, for an anchor cleat ahead of the windlass! I can't imagine what the previous owner did all those years.

Snubbed to perfection

Two disadvantages of our mooring, one permanent, the other not. First: parking near the bridge entails that you’re sitting in the middle of False Creek Ferry traffic, which runs dawn to dusk, more or less. Second: despite choosing a neighbour craft that looked sufficiently derelict, turned out that a trio of goth kids were occupying the foredeck for the evening, replete with a sound system. And Nirvana. So much Nirvana. I don't have anything against Nirvana per se, but I would argue that it isn't suited for boat music. Far from it. Then again, had I the forethought to take my buddies on the boat during my metal teens...I don't know. Might have been a reputation-building experience.

Unfazed, Sarena launched the tender for the south ferry dock, and picked up Chael and Robyn to join us for the evening. They brought beers and ciders, and—graciously—clean water, untainted by our plastic holding tank. The latter has a taste.

We hung out and criticized Nirvana for a few hours, until the sun went down and the sparkling city lights came up. Sarena took out friends back, and we turned in, finally with enough pillows aboard. Slept fairly well with little noise except the ferries in the morning. We stretched a temporary cardboard cover over the forward hatch to keep the early morning light off of the foredeck, which kept us happily sleeping a little later.

A slow, sunny, beautiful morning. We brewed coffee, read in the morning sunlight, and counted our blessings. I felt pretty good during the whole period, hardly feeling sick from eating. Hooray!

Around midday, we opted to pick up anchor and go for a sail. We've actually done precious little sailing on IG just the two of us. Lacking anemometer data as yet, I cheek-checked the wind and opted for a flattening reef on the main and the full spread of genoa. Turned out to be a fine amount of sail; heeled nicely while close-hauled, while not over-powered. I reckon we might even have put enough pressure on our hull to engender a little ablation; I detected a subtle rise in hull-speed as we sailed. Well past Siwash Rock, we turned back towards Burrard, flattening out on a broad reach, and speeding along most smoothly in a freshening breeze. Snacked away on our final supply of panne rizzo food1 as we took her back in to the slip, having afternoon haircuts and airport pickups to attend to.

Sunday was a work day, and we convened with pop just after noon, following a quick reconnaissance mission in the North Shore for Sufjan Stevens tickets. We began with some personal projects: Sarena, rigging the hammock (!) and patching the cockpit cushions; dad testing a repair on our leaky galley pump (sadly unsuccessful); me cleaning the switch on one of the vee berth lights. I also finally demystified the priming of our “Bosch Bomb” water heater. True enough to Previous Owner’s original recommendations, if I unscrewed the primer nut all the way—instead of just loosening—a little gas tooted out, after which the pilot burner lit just fine. I might add that the heater didn't actually appear to turn on when pumping water from the hot side, but at least the damn pilot was on. We had previously observed it to be somewhat flakey at outset.

Anyway, all minds soon turned attention to beginning to demystify the spaghetti forest of instrument and transducer wiring, in anticipation of getting the i70 functional. Dad and Sarena spent several hours tugging wires back and forth, labeling existing connections and pulling out a few redundant ones. I spent my time reading over the documentation of the various components of the instrument bundle, and drawing up a wiring diagram to suit our rig.

Long story short, we need to establish a backbone. This will be done with SeaTalkng, the newest flavour of Raymarine coms, albeit with some translation necessary if we want to patch in the Garmin GPS. The latter will be the real challenge: while I'm certain that the Garmin speaks NMEA—the lingua franca of digital marine equipment—its connection cable matches no flavour of NMEA, nor seatalk. The thing to do would be to get the NMEA wires out of the Garmin wiring harness and patch it into a translator interface to get it to talk to the SeaTalkng backbone.

That's going to be the rub, and as I imply in my schematic, we might relegate that phase to a later juncture. Though it would certainly be lovely if the i70 got GPS coords, not to mention speed over ground, and all sorts of embarrassing information like cross-tack error.

We shall see. In the meantime: next step is to fit our shiny new pod mount to a suitable spot on the steering binnacle, and extend the wires necessary for the bare-bones-backbone that will enable moving the autopilot to the binnacle and the i70 to the autopilot hole.

1 Panne Rizzo, in the heart of Kits, is a delightful gluten-free bakery that's been there before it was cool. As well as traditional baked goods, they have a variety of savoury items like sandwiches and crepes. Our only complaint is that all their sandwiches essentially amount to the same: mayo, anonymous cheese, cold cuts, lettuce. This matters to us that, being currently restricted to a Gluten Free Extreme diet, and the proximity of the shop, we're going to be eating a lot of their chow! We hope they branch out a little.