We woke up around 7:30am after a nice warm night at the dock. We took stock of what we still needed before we set out and I went out to pick up ice, water and diesel for the Dickinson. There was no diesel in Sidney so I went out to Brentwood Bay to fill up the jerry can. I was back in about an hour and the girls had the boat ship shape and ready to go. We filled up the tanks with water and cast off around 12:20.
It was a quick steam (about and hour) across to Sidney Spit so we tied to a mooring buoy and settled in for the afternoon afloat in our little paradise… Sidney Spit is a beautiful little anchorage at the north end of Sidney Island. It isn’t well protected from northwesterly winds but the forecast is for relatively calm winds (5-15 kts NW) so it made an ideal choice for this afternoon / evening.
The wind picked up a little in the late afternoon and we flirted with the idea of heading out for a quick sail but the amount of work to organize things to head out and then come back and get setup again for an hour sail didn’t seem worth it now that we were nicely squared away.
We enjoyed a BBQ, played card games, talked, watched the sunset and enjoyed an evening together on the boat. Everyone got tucked away by 22:00 and we settled away for a night sleep. Around 02:30 the wind picked up a bit. Waves were lapping on the hull and the halyards were clanging on the mast. It woke us up so I jumped onto the deck and bungied the lines away from the mast. That reduced the noise somewhat and we settled back down for a another few hours of sleep.
We were all up by 08:15, had breakfast and untied from the buoy by 09:05. The girls had to catch the ferry back to the mainland around noon so we had a short sail and motored back to Sidney. We arrived back at North Sannich Marina by 10:25 and the girls grabbed their things and I took them to the ferry. Sara joined me and we dropped the girls off in time for the 11am ferry. We said our goodbyes and went back to pick up Deb who was at the boat cleaning up.
Sidney to Sidney Spit Total Distance: 8.5 NM (15.7 km)
Engine Time: 02:06
Sail Time: 00:15
I worked for the day, organized the cabin and left Ladysmith around 14:30 PDT (17:30 EDT). Sunset is at 18:20 today so that gives me a few hours to get closer to Sidney so tomorrow’s journey won’t be too long.
It was a warm sunny day and there was no wind so I motored all the way to Montague. It was a nice and relaxing, low stress trip. The passage from Ladysmith to Trincomali Channel was pretty uneventful. Enjoyed the sun on my face and calm seas.
At one point in Trincomali Channel (just south of Walker Rock) I saw what I thought were small porpoises breaking the surface just off the port side as I chugged along. As they grew closer I could tell they were too small to be whales, dolphins or porpoises and as they got within 15 feet of the boat I could see the shiny silver sides and tint of dark pink going down their sides. They were salmon! I wouldn’t of believed it if I hadn’t of seen it but here were about 5 or 6 large salmon porpoising as they swam towards the boat. I’ve never heard anything like that before but here in the middle of a wide channel in the ocean were salmon porpoising thru the water. I’ve often seen salmon porpoise in fresh water rivers back in NL and wondered why they did it but wasn’t aware that they did that in the ocean. Perhaps the behaviours they learn in the ocean are carried with them during their migration to the fresh water and their porpoising in fresh water is triggered by instinct.
I arrived at a little anchorage just to the NE of Montague Harbour and since there were only two sailboats there I decided to drop the anchor. Montague looked rather full and there was no wind in the forecast so I should be fine here tonight.
I fired up the Dickinson using a 1/4 cup of Ethanol to get her started and within 10 minutes she was purring along throwing out comforting heat. After a few drinks I went on deck to enjoy a beautiful night sky filled with stars and the laughter from one of the other nearby boats. As I write this I’m surrounded by the warm glow of the Dickinson casting flickering shadows off the walls, and of the Gibsons in my glass… Life’s good…
Woke up, had breakfast and fired up the laptop for another “day at the office”… In the afternoon I packed a few things, organized and decided to get a start on the trip. It was a beautiful day with light winds which should make for an easy trip to Sidney and into my new home berth. I motored thru Montague Harbour and was about to enter Trincomali Channel when I noticed a bunch of water on the floor in front of the engine… Hmmmm… not good… I jumped down into the cabin, took off the engine cover and found a thick mist of water spraying everywhere from what looked to be a pin hole in the engine. Oh no… This is terrible… Upon further investigation I found that the water was coming from a hole in the raw water intake hose. I decided that since the hole was small and time was of the essence I would make the repairs underway so I continued to steamed out into the channel instead of going back into Montague Harbour.
There was a decent wind by now so I raised the sails when I got into Trincomali and set the auto pilot toward Prevost Island while I dropped back down into the cabin to try to assess the situation. It seems that the drive belt has worn a hole thru the raw water intake hose. Groan… The hole was only a pin hole so a quick fix was to put a clamp on the hose until I was back in harbour and could fix this right. I found a clamp that was the right size and threaded it behind the hose and tightened it down. Hopefully that’ll do the trick. I sailed for another hour and due to time constraints I took down the jib and fired up the engine. I let her run for about 15 minutes and checked the engine and no leaks. The quick fix was working…
I chugged towards Sidney and as I went past Otter Bay, North Pender Island, I noticed a speed boat coming in my direction. As it drew closer it turned and headed straight toward me and when it circled behind me a could tell it was a RCMP / fisheries boat. They pulled up along side and two gentlemen (one RCMP and one fisheries) jumped out and requested permission to board. They introduced themselves and told me they were doing a routine safety inspection. As it was getting late afternoon they told me I could continue along at my original speed so as not to loose any time getting to Sidney. The RCMP officer reviewed the safety regulations with me and we reviewed what equipment I had on board… throw line… check…, two fire extinguishers… check…, paper work… partial check (it was a new boat so I’m still working on the registration)… 12 flares… expired… (ouch)… Turns out that the previous owner of Treylya had loads of flares but most of them had just expired… Groan… The RCMP office wrote down a few notes and gave me a copy of his report. He said that I was in pretty good shape but need to get my registration in order and get those flares replaced but since the flares had just expired he was gonna just give me a warning… Whew… They said their goodbyes and jumped back onto their own boat, waved and were gone. The two fellas who I talked with were good guys but it was still a bit of a nervous encounter. This was the first time I’ve been checked in my years of sailing so it was nice to finally get that experience out of the way.
I continued down to Sidney and pulled into Treylya’s new berth at North Sannich Marina. I went up and paid my moorage until the end of March and met up with Debbie and Sara (Debbie’s daughter). We picked up my girls (Brooklyn and Taeya) at the ferry later that evening and we all relaxed for the night on the boat.
Ladysmith to Montague Total Distance: 19.7 NM (36.5 km)
Engine Time: 03:58
Sail Time: 00:00
Montague to Sidney Total Distance: 17.9 NM (33.2 km)
Engine Time: 04:02
Sail Time: 00:45
I’m back in Victoria researching Dickinson Newport operating procedures on the internet. One of the main issues I’m experiencing is the buildup of soot on the door when I go to light the heater. After 30 minutes to burning you can’t really tell the size or type of flame in the stove because the glass door is sooted over pretty badly. After several hours on the internet reading blog posts it seems that this is a pretty common problem which is caused by the flame burning too rich during startup caused by too much fuel and not enough draft. This is due to the length of time to get the heater hot enough to vaporize the diesel when it’s first ignited. The built in fan helps with draft apparently but I don’t have it hooked up yet.
After hours of research into lighting procedures I purchased a bottle of BioFlame Ethanol from Canadian Tire as a starting agent. Apparently a quarter cup of this will burn for 5-8 minutes and raise the temperature in the burning chamber to vaporize the diesel and heat the chamber and chimney to create draft in the chimney. It’s odorless, doesn’t produce soot, is 99.999% ethanol and apparently is non toxic so should get the chamber nice and hot for burning diesel.
I’m moving the boat from Ladysmith Marina to Sidney as the girls are coming over to sail this weekend and therefore I wanted to have the diesel heater up and running as it’s getting cool at night. I packed up the truck, picked up Deb after work and headed to Ladysmith. She’s bringing me up to Ladysmith to drop me off and I’ll spend the night and sail down in the next couple of days. I’ll see her in a couple of days in Sidney when I get the boat moved down.
When I went to start the heater this time I turned on the fuel shut off valve on the day tank, made sure the diesel was entering the chamber and turned the fuel shutoff valve off again. Then poured about a cap full of Biofuel into the heater and lit it. I watched as the flames grew and then died off after about a minute. Hmmmm… That’s not quite long enough to get things hot enough to cause a good draft. It’s bad news to pour more fuel into the burning chamber until it cools down so to kill some time I changed the oil in the engine for the next 15 minutes while the heater’s chamber cooled.
Next time, I poured 1/4 cup of BioFlame and threw a match in and whoof up went the flame and it burned a nice clean blue flame for about 5 minutes heating up the burning chamber. When I noticed the flame dying down I turned on the flow of diesel and in a few seconds the flame started to build again. However this time it was a nice lemon yellow flame that was burning optimally with no soot or smoke. Wahoo… I enjoyed the yellow flame for a while and went back and finished changing the engine oil.
After letting the flame burn on setting #1 for a couple of hours, and the cabin heat build to a comfortable temperature, I increased the flow of diesel to setting #1.5 and noticed the yellow flame turned orange, smoke whisked from the end of the long tongues of flame and soot started to build on the glass. It appears that without the fan working the setting #1 with minimal fuel flow is optimal when the outside temperature is around 10 C and there is little wind outside.
I’ll hook up the fan tomorrow and play around with the settings some more.
I’m very pleased with the heater thus far. Setting #1 is nice and cozy here in the cabin while I’m listening to blues and enjoying a drink of Jameson…
Debbie and I are planning a trip out with my girls this weekend. Cruising in late Oct can get cold so I’m focusing on getting the Dickinson diesel heater up and going.
After a few trips up to Ladysmith I finally decided on a location for the heater. For various reasons I’ve decided to mount it to the main bulkhead where the viewing window will cast a warm flickering glow in the saloon and the heat will be spread evening throughout the cabin. Also, this will be in front of the mast by about 2 feet which will allow easy access to the mast without having to worry about tripping over the chimney cap and soot shouldn’t be too much of a problem for the sails. I purchased the chimney parts so I can proceed with installing the heater.
Next was to install and hook up the Day Tank… This is a temporary tank that will gravity feed the diesel to the heater. I purchased the 2 gal Dickinson day tank which should hold enough fuel for about 48 hours of steady burning. This is an optional, but in my opinion, an important addition so that I don’t have to keep the small Dickinson pump running all the time that the heater is on. I’ll pipe the day tank, fuel pump and fuel shutoff valve to the main fuel tank. Then from time to time when needed (and the engine is not running), I’ll open the fuel shutoff valve, turn on the pump to fill the day tank. This will eliminate any chance of the engine being starved for fuel from the heater (which inevitability will happen when I really need the engine). After several trips to the hardware store to get fittings and connectors I finally had the tank mounted in the forward starboard locker and was ready for the initial test.
After the Day Tank was hooked up and fuel added to the tank, I turned on the flow of diesel but was disappointed that nothing appeared in the bottom of the heater’s chamber. Deb and I just stared in the chamber and nothing… We started to guess what the problem could be (was the day tank too low? was the copper tubing kinked somewhere?) and after about 2 minutes we were elated that the diesel started flowing into the chamber… Yippee… I followed the instructions to light the heater and it went remarkably well. The Newport belted out lot’s of heat during this initial 30 minute test. I’m not sure actually how we’re going to be able to keep the heater on while in the cabin as it’s very hot even on the lowest setting. Also the flame is not burning to maximum efficiency (too rich I think) and it caused the small window to soot over. Not bad for the first lightening but I still need to research how to operate this little gem more efficiently. But boy am I pleased with the first test run. I noticed a few slow leaks which I wiped up with a paper towel, turned off the fuel shutoff valves and let the flame die out… I’ll have to focus on those leaks during my next trip to the boat.
Deb and I planned to meet friends (James and Sue of Hound’s Hollow) for a little rendezvous at Genoa Bay for a weekend of eating, drinking and laughing. We were at the tail end of a hurricane that just came up from Hawai but the eye made landfall up near the Queen Charlotte Island and therefore most of the high winds had passed us by and have had gone northward. I had to finish up work before we could leave Ladysmith at 14:00 (17:00 EST). Genoa Bay is about a 5 hour chug from Ladysmith when using the diesel and I didn’t want to count on the SE winds (which were in our face) for more speed so I figured we’d stop for the night somewhere along the way.
We left the dock shortly after 14:00 and, as forecast, the winds were blowing pretty good (25 knots) which made for some pretty exciting sailing for the first 1.5 hours or so. The wind was on our nose so we tacked out of Ladysmith Harbour and across Stuart Channel towards Thetis Island but were making little progress towards our destination. I decided that since it was getting close to 16:00 we might as well bring in the jib and motor thru the little pass between Hudson Island and Thetis and head toward our known little stopover at Princess Cove.
We motor-sailed around Kuper Island, up to Houstoun Passage and pulled into Princess Cove around 17:15. Princess was sheltered from the southerly winds we were getting and there was only one other boat in the anchorage when we arrived so this was a great spot for the night. We dropped anchor and she dug in well so we uncorked the wine and put steaks on the BBQ. We sat on the deck for a while but it started to rain a little and the wind was howling above us so we ducked into our cozy little cabin to eat and relax. The wind dropped off and we decided to hit the sack around 21:00 so that we would be ready for a long sail tomorrow. I woke around 04:00 with the wind howling and the boat being pushed around the cove with each wind gust. Although the cove was protected the high winds above push gusts down over the tree line from different directions and the anchored boat drifted which ever way the gusts were blowing. I didn’t get much sleep after that as I had visions of the anchor dragging and Treylya being slammed into the shore of this narrow little cove. I set the anchor drag alarm on my GPS at 05:35 and finally drifted off to sleep around 6:00 (as it was getting light) and woke again around 08:30 to find that and everything was fine and that we made it thru another night. Deb put on coffee and made breakfast and I prepared to weight the anchor and set out again.
We pulled the anchor at 09:26 and motored out into Houstoun Passage and with a nice southerly wind behind us we raise the main and sailed downwind around the peak of Saltspring Island. Saltspring shielded us from the heavy wind so I unfurled the jib and tried to take in a bit of the breeze. Here on the north side of Saltspring the wind was almost gone and since we were making very slow progress I furled the jib and motored toward Parminter Point. Once we rounded the point the southerly wind picked up again and we sailed into it for the next hour or so. The wind made for great sailing but on one tack near the Vesuvius Bay ferry terminal the port side block flew off the runner and smashed into the winch while I was tightening up the head sail and took a couple of notches out of the plastic wheel thingy (not sure of official name). The rope was jammed, we couldn’t bring in the jib anymore and the wind was howling. This made for some hairy moments so I removed the jam during our next tack while the port side line was free. I was adjusting the block positions during my last outing so I probably didn’t fasten it properly in the track a week ago. Another project…
Since we had a damaged roller I was worried about using it anymore and cause a bad jam so we took in the jib at Sherard Point and motored the rest of the way to Genoa Bay. It was a pretty uneventful few hours except for the current at Sansum Narrows.
We arrived in Genoa Bay around 14:10 and pulled in to a space at the dock just forward of Hound’s Hollow and James and Sue were there to grab our lines and welcome us to Genoa Bay.
We met several interesting and cheerful people around the marina’s restaurant and store. The gentleman who checked us in was very witty and easy to talk with and Gordon, the restaurant owner, was a pleasure to chat with. We talked and laughed as Gordon treated us to a wine tasting of several of the local wineries. We were delighted with the quality selection of wines and ordered a few bottles to have with lunch. He even joined us for a glass of wine after the restaurant closed and invited us over for big New Year’s Eve bash which we will try to fit into our plans. Great to meet people of such character…
The girls spent Sunday afternoon setting crab traps and within hours were treated to four crabs for dinner and three small ones (which they let go). We will feast tonight… James and Sue treated us to a “surf and turf” aboard Hound’s Hollow and we enjoyed many hours talking and telling stories until I put my head on the bunk and drifted fast asleep while the party raged on.
Life is so pleasant when you are surrounded by warm, loving people and not a day goes by that I am not thankful for this little beauty that has come into my life. We share so many of the same qualities and dreams and are very closely aligned in our day to day thinking. I didn’t realize life can be this easy and this refreshing every day. Looking forward to a lifetime of living our dreams together as we sail thru this beautiful existence together.
We said our good byes and cast off by 11:34 and motored to Maple Bay where we filled our tanks and then motored all the way back to Ladysmith as the winds were too light for sailing.
Total Distance: 60.66 NM (112.34 km)
Engine Time: 11:19
Sail Time: 2:25
Now that fall is in the air and the evenings are getting a little cooler one of the first projects for Treylya will be to install a diesel heater. Fall and winter cruising will be somewhat tolerable, perhaps even comfortable, with a good source of heat and a dry cabin.
After doing some research into different types of heaters (propane, diesel, 12v) I’ve decided on going with a Dickinson Newport Diesel Heater (http://dickinsonmarine.com/product/newport-diesel-heater/). They are a very robust marine heater and almost all the reviews have been great.
I follow several blogs (http://www.gudgeonblog.ca/) and have been gaining an insight into how to tackle the installation (turns out I have to drill a 5 inch hole in the deck… Gulp…). I ordered the heater online from Steveston Marina and it was delivered last week. Turns out that the cost of hooking it up (chimney, fuel filter, fuel pump, etc) with be about the same as the cost of the heater itself! Groan…
There are several factors that come into consideration regarding the chimney placement. I don’t want the chimney positioned on the deck where it’ll be in the way when try to walk around on deck, or in the way of the lines, or the dingy, or the sails… also it’s shouldn’t be subject to downdraft caused by the mast or other things on the deck. I also don’t want a bunch of chimney piping taking up space and obstructing movement while in the cabin. I’m considering of two areas: on the main bulkhead forward of the mast or the half bulkhead forward of the chart table.
There are pros and cons to both areas but these look like the two most viable options. We’re heading out again this weekend so I’ll measure up the spacing and make a decision…
Well after waiting in anticipation for a month, the Raspberry Pi 7″ touch screen LCD has finally arrived! I ordered it from Raspberry Pi Swag on Sept 8th and finally received a knock on the door today from a delivery guy holding the box containing it… Wahoo… I’m planning to use this screen on the Raspberry Pi boat project that I’m working on…
Debbie and I celebrated our maiden voyage on Treylya with an overnight trip to Princess Cove (Wallace Island). I picked Deb up from work at 15:00 PST and we left Victoria with much anticipation about the weekend ahead. We picked up a pizza in Ladysmith (Robert’s Street Pizza… Yum!) and arrived at the marina at 17:00 to load the gear into the boat. Friday night was spent relaxing, plotting our course, enjoying a drink and chatting about tomorrow’s adventure. I put the 120v oil heater together so that we would have heat while at the dock and we hit the sack.
We woke refreshed, mixed a shake, grabbed some ice, untied the deck lines and cast off. I was feeling a little apprehensive about what lay ahead of us on this voyage but tried to live in the moment and enjoy the sun, fresh air and breeze.
We motored out of Ladysmith harbour and into Stuart Channel. It was a nice fresh 20-25 knot northerly breeze. We sailed east, beam-reached, across the wind towards Thetis Island and ran south, broad-reached, with the wind at our back which was pushing us along nicely. We averaged 5.5 knots past Thetis and Kuper Island reaching 7.4 knots at one point! This was perfect sailing. This is what sailing is all about and we were both so excited. The swell was kept to a minimum as the wind was somewhat off the land. What a great introduction to how smooth Treylya handles. Almost no weather helm and steering with a wheel felt so natural. She just rolled in the bit of swell we did get.
We sailed past the light at North Reef and on towards Saltspring Island and tacked about 400 meters from Saltspring. It appeared close at the time but in hindsight we could have gotten quite a bit closer which probably would have saved us from tacking later. Oh well, we’re not racing so no added stress needed.
We tacked a few times as we headed north between Saltspring and Kuper. The wind had lightened up quite a bit and we were making slow progress so we just enjoyed the afternoon sun. We finally made it to Houstoun Passage and the wind seemed to die away so we drifted past Jackscrew Island and started the Volvo and motored for 25 minutes to Princess Cove.
We motored to the end of Princess Cove and I jumped up on the bow to drop the anchor while Deb reversed Treylya to set it. Lot’s of mud at the end of the cove so the anchor set well.
We kicked off the evening with a drink of Prosecco to celebrate our maiden voyage and I switched over to Jameson Irish Whisky after a few glasses of bubbly… A beautiful, cool, still evening fell around us and we watched the stars and reminisced about our adventure thus far.
I woke a few times during the night to check on things but Treylya was sitting where we left her so I drifted back to sleep. Next morning we woke around 08:30 to another beautiful sunny day and enjoyed breakfast before leaving at 10:50. We motored out of the cove and set sail but the winds were light and we had only gone about 0.7 NM in 30 minutes so we took down the jib and motored all the way back to Ladysmith. It was a relatively quick trip back (3 hours) and we packed up and headed back to Victoria.
Total Distance: 32.9 NM (60.9 km)
Engine Time: 4:36
Sail Time: 4:32