or Why I Love Cruising
I did another stint of a couple of weeks cruising through the gulf islands of the PNW. The weather
was beautiful and the the company was good. What would life be without a few adventures thrown in the mix?
I was anchored with my girlfriend at Gray Peninsula, Galliano Island when in the middle of the night I heard what sounded like a bird on deck
, dragging something. Ravens often bring cockles aboard to smash them but they don't operate at night that I've noticed. Still I hammered on the side deck
to drive it off but the sounds continued. After my third hammer, which woke the girl friend, I looked out a window in the pilothouse to the side deck. There staring back at me was an otter.
I headed out on deck to chase him off. He refused to jump but insisted on climbing down the swim ladder. Those of you who know otters will understand why I pulled up my swim ladder and have begun keeping it up at night.
In the morning I climbed into the dinghy
only to find it well pooped upon and a large hull
of a fish head
lying in the bottom. Well, better the dinghy
then the cockpit
. I wan't sure if this was a comment on how the creature felt about a naked man running around waving a pillow in its direction in the middle of the night or not.
We continued our trip with my son and his partner by sailing to Pender Island. On the way back to Tsehum, while in Sidney Channel (in site of Tsehum), the water
pump suddenly stopped doing its thing. I killed the engine
and took a look. Clearly it was hooped since the pulley was loose on the shaft. After thoroughly cursing out the mechanic
who rebuilt it last winter (I used every word I knew, some of them twice) I turned my mind to the problem. There was no wind
and I knew there was no way to safely run the motor
After muttering, "this isn't good", enough times for everyone to understand that it wasn't, I ran the option of tying the dink forward of the beam and hauling Honeysuckle back to port by everyone. My son took the helm
and the woman positioned themselves so we could all communicate and we putted our way into the very busy harbour.
If you ever wonder if there's a good way to make a spectacle of yourself I recommend this. It attracts a lot of attention but our team work was impeccable and we got the anchor
down in a perfect spot for me to stay while I took care of the problem so I could head
back to Gabriola.
I knew someone to take the pump to so with two non-functioning pumps in hand I headed to his shop and caught him in the mood to work some magic. A short while later two were one, it was installed and I was able to head back to Gabriola.
I have to say, in part I was able to deal with the situation and prevent any damage to the motor
because of reading these pages, so, to everyone whose advice I've read here, whether I've yet used it or not, I say thank you.