Monday, August 10, 2009
Sunday August 2nd
Sunday August 2nd
Today was a day of rest. We went into Shearwater, worked the internet then had a nice lunch, stocked up on Milk and stuff then shoved off in early afternoon for Discovery Cove / Anniversary Cove.
We set the prawn pots and had a very nice late afternoon cocktail cruse around this beautiful Bay. This is arguably one of the most scenic anchorages on the west coast. Ha Ha. :0)
We did have a nice catch that evening but next morning was zero. We suspect someone pulled our pots and emptied them.
Spent a wonderful second day relaxing at Discovery /Anniversary Cove.
Tuesday August 4 2009
We headed for Spider Island group to anchor inside Hurricane Island and arrived after a leisurely run and got a great Grey Whale show with the big tail going up then down.
Once anchored on Hurricane Island we went out to set the prawn pots which later proved to be a good idea.
Tonight we are having Lenore’s famous Salmon Pie. It is wonderful!
The Spider Island group is where we got lost two years ago with Doug and Gail Stewart on a 3 hour dinghy tour that took 5 hours. We took a wrong turn and ended up in the ocean surf.
Wed August 5 2009
We Headed for Fish Egg Inlet and ended up in a wonderful anchorage called Oyster Bay which is a very wild and remote area.
Today upon arriving inside Fish Egg Inlet the Steering went out on Sea Jay and after inspection I found that the main hydraulic steering cylinder ram had begun leaking hydraulic fluid. Gary and I added fluid to the steering reservoir and pressurized it to 30 PSI and the fluid ran out again. So since this is not a slow leak, we can’t just add fluid and go.
Sooooo not to worry…
We ran the boat on into Oyster Bay with no rudder control using the engine speed and bow thruster (at slow speed) to steer the boat.
Thursday August 6, 2009:
Learning to steer at 16 knots with no rudder control.
There were a few options for us to consider.
1. Go to Duncanby Landing have a nice dinner and start making make calls to get a new steering cylinder.
2. Go to Fury Cove and take the dinghies to Duncanby Landing to make calls.
3. Cross the straights and head for Blunden Harbor. There we would be in cell phone range and perhaps our Sat phone would work again.
While I was zigging and zagging like a drunken sailor learning how to steer at 14 to 16 knots Gary checked the weather and it turned out the West Sea Otter Buoy was only .7 meters and wind waves were minimal. In other words it was flat seas and good to go. So after 30 minutes of learning to control 1600 horse power to steer the boat we decided to go for it and cross Cape Caution with no rudder control.
Some of you may ask, why do we have to go 14 to 16 kts to cross the Cape. The answer is because we can. And the quicker you get across the less chance you have of having the weather turn bad during the crossing.
We decided since we must get a new steering cylinder and if the water conditions were good we would make a run at crossing Cape Caution. I ran the boat for a while and began to get the hang of steering with engine speed alone. We averaged 15 knots for 57 miles while crossing the Queen Charlette Straights and the water was very calm which helped enormously. We ran into fog about 2/3 of the way across so we had to trust our radar and GPS because as you know fog plays dirty tricks with your mind and you go in circles like a hunter lost in the woods.
We arrived at Blunden Bay in the early afternoon and I began making Sat phone and limited cell phone contact to get a new cylinder located and shipped up for installation. (The Sat phone just started working again. It seems to loose the signal north west of here) Hmmmm……
Meanwhile we can run the boat fine with out using the rudders as long as both engines run.
If we loose and engine we will not be able to steer the boat. But if we go slow we can use the bow thruster for emergency steering. The boat idles at 5 knots so if we had to we could get out of harms way to anchor. That is the rumor I am spreading and I am sticking to it. The fact is we have no choice but to be positive about these little bumps in the road.
Blunden Harbor is a very large and beautiful anchorage. I am surprised we have never been in here and highly recommend it to any one crossing Cape Caution. It is a perfect anchorage and stepping off point to cross the dreaded straights.
In the late afternoon we took a tour in the F16 with Gary and Lenore leading the way in Nooner to see a portion the Elizabeth Lagoon. It is wild, awesome and enormous. We saw two kayakers looking for a camp site to stay for the night.
Friday August 7 2009
Spent another day at Blunden harbor and did a tour of the other leg of Elizabeth Lagoon and pulled in another nice catch of Crab We pulled the crab traps and Gary got an awesome catch of some really nice crab. I got one female and though her back. We cooked so0me of the crab and check the rest into our deluxe Crab Hotel. Gary dropped two delicious mackerel into the hotel and the crab made fast work of them once they were settled in at about 8 feet down in the water he Sat TV is working again and I am sort of sorry is does to see the news and all the political fighting going on like a soap opera. We are waiting for Pacific Mariner to locate a steering cylinder.
Sat Aug 8 2009
We pulled anchor and headed south by southeast then east up Wells Passage to Carridan Bay. This is a great anchorage not far from Sullivan Bay and only exposed to the East
Sunday Aug 9 2009
Pulled anchor and headed for Drury Inlet. This is a wonderful area that has a unique rugged aura about it with many rocks and small islands. We anchored at the head of the inlet amongst many small islands called Muirhead Islands in about 29 feet of water.
This is a beautiful place for a dinghy tour so we went for a great tour of Actaeon Sound which is quite extensive with some old logging rafts, a steam ship and a few newer logging operations. One must be very careful in this area because of the hundreds of rocks that abound in this beautiful Sound.
Monday Aug 10 2009
Pulled anchor at 9:30 so we would hit Stuart Narrows at slack tide keeping in mind we are still running with no rudder control. Once through the Narrows I called Tom our Pacific Mariner Guru technician and he informed us the cylinder may be in his hands as early as today. So we decided to head for Sullivan to wait for him to fly up with the steering ram and install it.
Sullivan Bay is a wonderful floating village with a restaurant, general store, fuel, and floating Houses. In its hay day it was the place to go to catch salmon and bottom fish.
Sullivan Bay has new owners this year and has been completely rebuilt with all new docks and Electrical system. We have been coming here since the late 1980’s