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Old 23-08-2009, 13:18   #1
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Close Calls- the Ups & Downs

For weeks I planned a three week trip up into the Desolation Sound, BC leaving Aug, 2.

The first day out at the Port of Everett Marina I got caught up between a strong wind and a rip of the river flowing out and put a whamy on my transom with the dock post. No big thing since the boat has no gelcoat. A little epoxy, glass and paint, an EZ fix.

Everything went fairly well until I hit Stacy's Rock (in the Desolation Sound- approx. 58.05 N, 124.81 W) motoring at 6.5 kts. It was on the charts but there was no buoy or maker on it. I thought I was far enough away but still clipped the outside edge of it. It was like a bomb going off, twice, it was a double hump'r. And now I need to reseal the keel joint to the hull. Fortunately, it was high tide & I hit about 6" up from the bottom of the keel instead of higher up. And here I was commenting to the wife a few days earlier how well the CCG marked the danger points. NOT!!!
I talked to a local there and she said boats hit the rock all the time. She also said there has been a float on it a couple times but the power boaters keep running it down.

Then on the way back, just North of the Powell River Plant, the idler pulley on the timing belt started screaming. So I shut down the motor and HAD TO sail back as much as I could which caused the wife to groan.

I did fairly well sailing, time wise, but had to crank the motor up higher when I needed to get around the South end of Whidbey Island due to the tide but it made it all the way to Everett. Sooooo, I thought a little farther up the river to Dagmar's would not make much different. WRONG!!!

I got as far as the highway bridge and waited for a barge to go through, I could smell rubber smoke. Then all of a sudden the motor quit and the flow of the river (tide-up steam) was pushing me towards the bridge. Fortunately, I was out of the way of the barge but was drifting up the wrong side of the swinging RR bridge, which is before the highway bridge. So, I franticly dropped the anchor, which seemed to keep getting hung up in the chain locker, but the anchor did deploy & stop us.

What a mess I'm in now.
Here I am stuck between two bridges and right in the swing of the RR bridge. The boat kept swing towards a piling so I turned the rudder to keep the boat away with the current. I radioed the RR bridge operator and he said I had about an hour. I then called Tow Assist and wouldn't you know it he had just left the boat getting off his shift. I told him of the situation and he rushed back to the boat and planed up the river. The tow assist showed up in about 30 minutes, so I did good there but when I tried to raise the anchor it was stuck in all that trash under the bridge, probably logs, so I had to cut loose the anchor with 60' of chain.

At Dagmar's they had a lot of open dock so I got in there fairly well. I used the drogue to keep the boat from drifting into his. He commented that he'd never thought of that and would pick up a drogue when he can find one. The tow cost me $160, the anchor and chain $350 and a motor with a broken cam. I've planned to replace the motor soon but not this soon. That'll be another $10K after installation (myself). It's kinda funny, I traveled over 250 miles to get back with a bad bearing and the stupid thing gives out within sight of the docks.

To add injury to insult, just as I was locking up the boat I noticed I needed to take below one more item and with a $650 instrument in my hand I slipped on the companionway ladder and while trying to save the instrument I nailed my tailbone directly right on the corner of the sink cabinet. Now the crack of my ass is all purple and it's difficult to sit and then trying to get up is another story.

So there you go a nice cruise for 2009. I would have sailed up the river but I only had 20 minutes to rendezvous with the opening. At least, I didn't crash the mast.

Shoulda, woulda, coulda it's all hind site now!
I remember once on the forum of someone starting they would never buy a motor with a timing belt. I can really relate to that now.

Myself and wife, we survived and have a bunch more labor to do now. So that's it for 2009 sailing. Other then this the weather was great and the winds OK. But I've had it with rivers and bridges.
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Faithful are the Wounds of a Friend, but the Kisses of the Enemy are Deceitful!
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Old 23-08-2009, 13:28   #2
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I almost thought you were going to show a picture of your......

Seriously....why do things happen in threes and occasionally fours?
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