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Old 20-08-2012, 14:12   #1
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My Latest Misadventures

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">raw 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.

-Greg.

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Old 20-08-2012, 14:18   #2
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Re: My Latest Misadventures

Ah yes, boating. The fun never ends.

But I have to agree, encountering a problem and finding a solution to get you home safe and sound is rewarding.
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Old 20-08-2012, 14:23   #3
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Re: My Latest Misadventures

"
After muttering, "this isn't good", enough times for everyone to understand that it wasn't,"

I've found that this is an effective communication tool when "noobs" are aboard ...
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Old 20-08-2012, 14:27   #4
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Re: My Latest Misadventures

Careful with those otters. Out cruising the islands now myself, and I just spoke to a kayak rental guy at Friday Harbor who was being complained to about aggressive otters chasing people off their nest site. He told the complainer that last week one climbed into a kayakers cockpit, and bit and scratched him all up pretty good. At least put on some shorts when chasing them off deck, you may be presenting too appealing a target...
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Old 20-08-2012, 14:30   #5
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Re: My Latest Misadventures

Quote:
Originally Posted by minaret View Post
Careful with those otters. Out cruising the islands now myself, and I just spoke to a kayak rental guy at Friday Harbor who was being complained to about aggressive otters chasing people off their nest site. He told the complainer that last week one climbed into a kayakers cockpit, and bit and scratched him all up pretty good. At least put on some shorts when chasing them off deck, you may be presenting too appealing a target...
Yes, that's why I had the pillow! They've the body of a Dachshund but they think they're Rottweiler's!
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Old 20-08-2012, 14:34   #6
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Re: My Latest Misadventures

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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.
Very common behavior for a cruising boat skipper IMHO
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Old 20-08-2012, 14:45   #7
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Re: My Latest Misadventures

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Yes, that's why I had the pillow! They've the body of a Dachshund but they think they're Rottweiler's!
Hilarious! Not sure I'd be comfortable with just a pillow.

Sure had exceptional weather in the islands these last weeks. Congrats on getting the weather window right, we are pretty pleased ourselves. Did you catch the meteor shower? We set up the big telescope on Boulder Island in Watmough Bay. Totally awesome. Hammock on the foredeck has been great too...
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Old 20-08-2012, 14:50   #8
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Re: My Latest Misadventures

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Hilarious! Not sure I'd be comfortable with just a pillow.

Sure had exceptional weather in the islands these last weeks. Congrats on getting the weather window right, we are pretty pleased ourselves. Did you catch the meteor shower? We set up the big telescope on Boulder Island in Watmough Bay. Totally awesome. Hammock on the foredeck has been great too...
Yes, we were off Medicine Beach in Bedwell Harbour. Very little light pollution and a good show from the deck.
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Old 20-08-2012, 14:55   #9
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Re: My Latest Misadventures

Very nice, it was quite a show. I was surprised how much light pollution we get in the US San Juan's from Bellingham and Anacortes. Never really done any telescope viewing there before, though we've been many times. But we had a new awesome telescope harnessed to a laptop we just had to try out...
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Old 20-08-2012, 15:02   #10
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Re: My Latest Misadventures

Yes, any city or town can cover a lot of sky these days. It's surprising. The telescope sounds great!
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Old 20-08-2012, 15:06   #11
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Re: My Latest Misadventures

We were up in the San Juans from Monday through Sunday last week. The weather was truly spectacular. We were through Haro Straight twice on different afternoons and the water was almost glassy it was so calm. Did not have to chase any otters at night though.
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Old 20-08-2012, 15:06   #12
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Re: My Latest Misadventures

Quote:
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or Why I Love Cruising
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.

-Greg.
I can recommend passing close to a channel marker and finding a couple of big rocks as a much more attention grabbing method. It really helps when the boat lurches up too .... and oh yes, doing it on a Sunday afternoon when it's like rush hour in the harbour entrance is perfect for timing !

Not trying to hijack the thread btw!
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Old 20-08-2012, 15:06   #13
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Re: My Latest Misadventures

It was a fun addition to the kit. The kids love it!
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Old 20-08-2012, 15:06   #14
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Re: My Latest Misadventures

Quote:
Originally Posted by hummingway View Post
or Why I Love Cruising

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.

Attachment 45209

And it seems everyone worries only about people boarding their boat!
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Old 20-08-2012, 15:11   #15
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Re: My Latest Misadventures

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We were up in the San Juans from Monday through Sunday last week. The weather was truly spectacular. We were through Haro Straight twice on different afternoons and the water was almost glassy it was so calm. Did not have to chase any otters at night though.
We probably saw you! Spent a couple of nights in Prevost Harbor on Stuart, had some good sails in Haro. Wouldn't be surprised if you were in Prevost same time as us, there were a lot of boats in there...
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