Sea Jay Goes North 2011

Sea Jay Goes North  2011
Dawes Glacier Endicott Arm Alaska

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tueswday June 23rd

Arrived in Campbell River at 2:30 with good sea conditions all the way... Called ahead to arrange for an oil and filter change on the generator sets, a decal on the F 16 for registration number and Tender to Sea Jay and I had an electronics shop come by to see if they could make the sat phone work for incoming calls.

The sat phone guy was a big mistake!

He did something to the KVH sat TV and it went bizerk! Now it does not work at all and he did nothing to help the sat phone issue.

He did bring a chip so the new Garmin 440S will work in the dinghy because I could not find the Garmin 555S card that I already had.

Now we must stay over on Monday to hopefully get the KVH reprogrammed on Monday morning.

I will demo the F 16 today to the Dave Gosnell who is in charge of Painters fishing lodge guide boats. They have 40 Boston Whalers at this location and he said the have 300 boats in their fishing fleet empire which includes 16 and 18 foot Boston Whaler guide boats. I talked to him a year ago about this project and he seemed interested. The demonstration to Painters Lodge went much better than expected. The manager of the fishing fleet Dave Gosnell (250-203-3430) was very impressed. The first thing he wanted to see is how the F16 handles in whirl pools and strong currents so he heard straight for Seymour Narrows. When we got there the large whirlpools were forming and the currant was beginning t run. He headed along the edge of them at first and was really amazed at how well F 16 held it heading with hardly any movement due to the strong current as he operated the boat he became excited and bolder with his maneuvers. The we headed back to Painters Lodge and I showed him the DVD as we were leaving he excitedly invited another guide t join us and we went out in the channel and Dave quickly found a large wake from a larger boat and he boldly crossed the wake at considerable speed while the other guide keep saying this is amazing. With three of us in the boat he achieved 52 mph with a big grin on his face. (Wowee this is fun).We could never do this in a Boston Whaler.

Dave took me back to April Point where we met and I told him we would like to work with them to build a guide boat based on the F 16 platform. He agreed that that would be a good idea so I told him OZ AKSAN would be in contact with him to work out the details.

This after noon we will leave Campbell River join the Colliers on Quadra Island on Hyascinthe Bay (about 10 miles from here) to dig for Clams Mussels and prawns.

The Stewarts will stay in CR to visit relatives.

On the way over I ran the engines up to 2 knots and sea Jay liked it. Then I slowed to avoid some debris and when we resumed speed the starboard engine would not make power and showed no boost pressure on the turbocharger. More problems with the mighty Cat engines.

Arrived Hyascinthe Bay late afternoon and rafted to Nat & Linda Collier who were moored at a fabulous private 10 acre waterfront estate. We went for a tour of the property which included a very large house two guest houses, a care taker house plus a caboose house built for the grand children. All buildings face the water which is a beautiful private bay surrounded by small islands, rich with clams and oysters.

The main house is hard to describe but included a huge kitchen complete with commercial Viking appliances and 12 foot vaulted ceiling throughout. The most outstanding feature was a very large wine cellar room with a dinning table large enough to easily seat 18. This is truly a wonderful setting.

Sunday June 21 Father Day

Happy Fathers Day to all you Dads and it is the longest day of the year.

We are up at the crack of 8 ready to dig clams and oysters.
We started digging at about 9:30 and it was awesome… all of the butter clams were restaurant size and there were mountains of oysters. We harvested a nice 2 gallon bucket of clams and the same in oysters.

We are now for sure not going to starve.

Then we went out and pulled the prawn pots bringing in a harvest of 4 large prawns. There is a commercial prawn boat working the area and he has picked it clean.

After the clam dig we went to Heriot Bay for Lunch and it was wonderful. It is just off of Rebecca Spit which is a wonderful anchorage and beautiful beach.

We cut loose and headed back to Campbell River and will stay the night hoping to get the Starboard engine turbo boost fixed tomorrow by the local Cat dealer Fining Canada.

Tuesday June 23rd update

Well this is the saga of our KVH Sat TV and no turbo boost on the starboard engine.

We started our Monday Morning with the local KVH “expert” coming on board to fix what he screwed up on Friday. Friday he came to see if he could make the Sat phone ring on all 5 handsets instead of ringing on the master KVH handset that is buried in the bowels of the helm of the pilot house. We can call out on the Sat phone but when some calls in it only rings on a master handset that is inaccessable. As is turns out while he was working on the Sat phone system he accidentally bumped a switch on a monster transformer (THE SIZE OF A CAR BATTERY) with a mirror that I loaned him so he could see the back of the KVH gismo.

When he turned the transformer back on the Dell Computer for our navigation system crashed along with the KVH Sat TV system. Then the KVH Sat dish started whirring and moaning like a cat in heat. It was an eerie sound that we had never heard before. He then gave me the deer in the head lights look and said hummmmmm? I have never heard that sound before. He then spent 3 hours taking the dish dome apart and punching buttons while I was dieing a thousand deaths wishing that he had never been invited to help with the phone system. It got late Friday afternoon so he said “I must go now and I will be back on Monday”. This totally screws up our plans to be where ever we planned to be on Monday. So we went to visit the Colliers on Quadra Island and on he way noticed that we had no steering rudder indicator, no TV and the starboard engine started showing no turbo boost.

Soooo back to Monday morning…. Dave the “KVH expert” was back with a laptop computer in hand. He called KVH and explained what happened and they told him that he wiped out the KVH Sat TV processor program by shutting off this humongous transformer and turning it on again causing a fatal low voltage condition that wiped every thing out but…. it could be restored.


He also discovered that he had accidentally knocked of some wires to our rudder indicator and he reconnected that and voila it all worked again. Dave did download a new software program (a one hour down load) In addition he checked out our salon system with a smile and discovered why we could no longer see a picture.

Now back to the no Turbo charger boost issue.

Gord, The Finning Caterpillar technician came Monday afternoon to see why we had no boost in the starboard engine. He suspected that the boost sensor was dirty or bad, but for starters he worked for two hours trying to get his lap top computer to diagnose the engine problem, but it would not talk to the engine. He asked me to start the engine while conducting this diagnosis and the engine not only had no boost but it made an intermittent horrible noises like a sledge hammer hitting a 2 inch thick piece of steel and it was running very rough. He looked very worried and took the three valve covers off and checked the lifters and camshaft. Then he checked the boost sender gismo.

Meanwhile I slipped into a comatose state of depression imagining what all this was going to cost. He finally announced that it was quitting time and he would be back in the morning to continue. “Gord” is very nice a 59 year old man that normally works on tractors and he told me that he does not like to work on boats. He has worked for Finning for 32 years and will retire soon. He is working on boats because they have laid off ten of their normal staff of 13 employees.

He came back the next morning with a new lap top and began to try to connect to the engines brain but the ( “ET Cat brain ) No kidding, (that is what it is called ) 3406 would not let him in.

By now I am going nuts so I called the manager of the Campbell River Finning branch to tell him that Gord is struggling a bit and ask him “does he have someone that really knows this engine”. That is when he told me that they have laid off 10 of their 13 employees and Gord was all that was available. (I imagine that Gord had union seniority so he is still employed).

He gave me a phone number of another Finning employee that could help Gord figure out how to get the Lap top to talk to the 3406 Cat engine.

That I when I called my Friend Gordon who is a NC Machinery technician from Mount Vernon Washington and worked on our port engine recently and is very knowegable on the 3406.

I got Gordon on the phone with Gord and he walked Gord through the process and he made contact with the 3406 ET brain only to discover that there were no faults.

Soooo Gord started to look elsewhere for the problem.

That is when he looked at the fuel filter and they were very black with some kind of slime.

Gord said this he was sure that this is the problem and he began the process of changing all of the fuel filters.

I am too blame for this because; I was told that all fuel filters were changes in Florida when we bought the boat. Obviously this was not the case.

Gord changed all of the fuel filters (they were really plugged with black slime).

We took the boat out and we ran it up to 25 knots and we had great turbo boost and all was well. Gord also changed the starboard engine main oil filters and cut it open to check for metal and it was clean.

He also changed both generator set primary filters.

Soo what is the moral of this story.

It cost us $2,000 to change the fuel filters because I was too stupid to check them out before we left Everett.

Finning is $148 per hour for field work.

It is funny now and I can laugh at my self because I am an experienced boater.

We have fueled up this afternoon (700 gallons) and will leave tomorrow morning at 6AM to catch slack at Seymour Narrows and a good outgoing tide in our favor with a 20 knot wind at our back to go to Port McNeal which is about an 80 mile run.

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