Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Last Few Projects


It seems there's always "just one more thing", some essential machine part or unfinished project that adjusts our departure schedule. This year outfitting and provisioning was nearly stress-free. An unexpected generator issue caused some concern when a replacement part was hard to source in town. Then Altech Diesel came to the rescue - not only did they have the essential part in stock, the only one on the Island it seems, but Parts Manager Ken jumped in his truck and delivered it within minutes. Wow, that's great service! Thank you Ken and Altech.




One important non-mechanical tradition has been to plant a container of herbs, a smallish pot sufficient to last through our many months afloat. Lately the cheerful staff at Campbell River Garden Center has done the planting honors. 

Photo: Pat (l) and Barb (r) with the 2015 herb pot
This year Barb planted three pots and Pat helped with the selection of basil, chives, rosemary, mint, oregano, sage, Italian parsley, and one lone heliotrope. Why the purple flowering heliotrope? it is for the hummingbirds of course. The biggest fully-packed herb planter is positioned on Rhapsody's upper deck, and two smaller pots of tender basil and aggressive spearmint now rest on a galley countertop. These little gardens will help to keep this cook happy.  




Our dockside neighborhood is changing daily as the annual migration of vessels picks up speed. Several boats that moored here during the winter months have moved on and scattered up and down the coast. Their slips don't stay empty for long. 

Photo: M/V Scorpius departs for Alaska

Scores of small boats, big boats, working boats, charter boats, fishing boats and the occasional mega yacht arrive to fill up the docks. Some vessels stop briefly for overnight moorage, others stay longer for repairs, for major provisioning, or to pick up guests or crew. Then they too depart, most heading north. We'll join this waterborne flock very soon, after one more project... or maybe two.




The arrival of a barge and crane with vibratory pile driver meant the neighborhood really is changing. I've suffered before through the annoying repetitive din of pile drivers pounding away for hours while installing dock pilings, but this week my noise concerns disappeared as soon as work began. Vibratory drivers are nearly silent compared with those older impact drivers. Hooray! Discovery Harbor is extending F Dock, adding additional 45-foot slips along the north side and providing more room for side-ties on the south. 




And now it's time to head north. Tomorrow's 5:50 a.m. scheduled departure is set by a desire for slack-current passages in several spots along the 78 nm (nautical mile) route. Why do we care about slack currents? Here's one example: tomorrow the current at Seymour Narrows ranges from near zero to 10.4 knots, all within 3 1/2 hours. We travel at 9 knots, so for safety and stress-free cruising, careful planning matters. Next post from Ketchikan following 7 to 10 days of cruising beautiful northern British Columbia.     

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