Friday, November 30, 2007

Me thinks it is possessed

Greig got the tug back and operational by that Tuesdayafternoon. It is alas, not problem free. A new head gasket is at the very least in order. Greig somehow jerry-rigged a swimming pool pump up to it to at least get the cooling system working but there much more mechanically to do before they ever get it out and working on anything.

I got up this morning and I felt that Tug talking to me...

"Ya missy, I may be ugly but I am not afraid of hard work..the kids these days don't now what real hard work is..all shiny and aluminum...they make a hell of a racket and they are no tougher than me, why where's the dirt under the fingernails...pansies ALL! I've been around almost 80 years and I still got work to do. I know my wheel house need's a fixin' and this and that but all those naysayers don't know nuthin...(grumble,grumble)."
S'truth! It's what I heard it said!

In the wee hours of Wednesday, the orange skiffy flipped over as it was tied up next to the Partnership. That poor outboard, which Greig has had for about 10 years went swimming for the fourth time since he has had it. Alas it was only a $125 touch - I was expecting it to be $300 - and we picked that up today.

Environment Canada says we are in for the coldest winter that we've had in 15 years. I think we'll have to go great guns, all of us on firewood. The carol ships have started up and so Greig is going flat out on that until Dec 23. I had resigned from the cruises a month or two ago after I got back from Dad being so ill. I can't tell you how much I don't miss it. If I didn't already have a full-time job + this place it would be one thing. To not have to factor it into my life/weekend is a godsend.

Well, more time for firewood and soup makin' can't be all bad.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

...and now it is not.

Well they had it running and had pulled it alongside the Partnership, working and working out the bugs. The idea was to have it strapped to the big dolphin and inspect the prop and hull. I thought it perhaps was an unwise thing but what do I know?

Greig had been out there in an incredibly mucky storm testing out that engine and other equipment. The water pump seems to be having issues. He had my spare garden hose running from my boat to the engine room and periodically would holler to me to turn it on or off when necessary. Whilst he was doing that I was making this delicious a Tortilla pie. He'd had a 12 hour day in it and was chilled to the bone and of course, had had little to eat. He called it quits at about 9pm when they ran out of water beneath them.

I know, I know, it seems crazy but there was some logic behind it all in spite of Greig's reservations. Greig changed out of his soggy clothes to head over to the hot tub on the Bowie to warm up and I wasn't far behind.

CRRAAAAACKKKKEEE! And out of the corner of my eye whilst standing in my galley saw it list to starboard.

"Oh that is just fantastic!"

Then I saw a grey form streak across my back deck toward the Sea Cap. Yes it was Dave, and he moves pretty fast for a middle aged white guy!

Rhianna has documented our evening (her camera is way better than mine for night shots). Go here first...

and flash forward a couple of hours to here.

Greig thought Dave was getting his trash pump off the Meat Locker as prep for when the tide came in again so as to avoid having to submerge that just re-done engine.

Afterward, Greig was very surprised that with they were able to right it with that chain block alone as without it the pump wouldn't have kept up. My lord that man is strong. As my pa would say, "built like a brick sh**house, strong"

Sunday, November 25, 2007

It's ALIVE!!!

They did it. It lives, it breathes! The Sea Cap, soon to be renamed - probably the Mad Canadian I, came to life on Friday afternoon. Relatively problem free for the most part it seems.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The latest project

Today was a glorious morning, though navigation on the new docks somewhat precarious with all that frost. We've ordered some rolls of chicken wire which will get stapled to the docks. Apparently it has now come in. Seems to us that ultimately, that is the best material to use for it.

In other news, another boat has arrived and this one with some promise. Dave has salvaged this tug and Greig is going in on the tug with him. Destination: log booms.

The Sea Cap I, is fairly ancient as tugs go and its wooden hull has been covered with a steel skin. It had been sunk and they are putting the single 333 Caterpillar back together. It is a six cylindar turbo diesel and they have it turning over. They've put in a new starter and batteries. Greig is going to take the 24 volt charger to his guy Colin who is a wiz bang with all things electrical. He's hoping today to actually get it running.

They have to get the all the Nav lights and gear in order. The old mast is a piece of junk and I am sure Dave is going to weld something together. So much great stuff can happen when people actually cooperate and work together!

Now when they get this up and running he is aiming to get the v-16's on the Pacific Express up and running. They pulled the starters on that yesterday to take to Mr. Colin.

Now that will be blog worthy when that happens.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Time waster

Wanna play the Docking Game?

I suck. Don't let me at the controls.

So the other day...

Well, it was a few weeks ago truth be told. I have some smaller 4 x 5 rugs scattered about in the Main Salon on the Bowie. The place needed cleaning and I lifted up the rugs to go shake them and give them a beating when under one, I discovered a very squashed mouse.

Yes, it was freshly squeezed.

So some big galoot (Greig thinks it may have been him), must have come along with Mousie hiding under the rug and not realizing, actually stepped on it.

Now to not even notice that is a bit of a mystery don't you think? I mean unless you are wearing some big steel toed clod hoppers and are moving fast maybe that is something you wouldn't notice. But Greig doesn't and he just doesn't move that fast.

I mean, if there was an egg underneath the rug and I stepped on it I think I would notice it. Surely a mouse, though a bit squishier and without the telltale crack of the shell, well, I still think I would FEEL it under my boot.

Another mystery for the pile.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

This could come in handy

Ever on the lookout for more and efficient storage methods that are multi-functional and multi-purpose, I found this image on the How magazine design blog.

It is always amazing to always find an empty toilet paper roll on the roll holder and often as not several partially used ones just laying about, usually getting wet. EEUCK!

There are two kinds of holders about. One where you just slide the roll a rod, and the tension rod variety. Such a simple design to remove and replace it with a full roll. Apparently, quite complicated for others to master. I buy TP in bulk from Costco and Superstore - usually 32 rolls to a bundle.

And that empty roll, why the garbage is only inches away but it never quite makes it into there either. More mysteries of the universe I guess.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Power restored

With Sunday's storm, the power never went out directly until Tuesday morning. As Monday had progressed, the brown outs were becoming more frequent and severe to which I decided to empty the fridge on the Partnership and unplug it as I could hear the poor thing staining away. The stove on the Bowie being electric, was inoperable and so I was able to cook a big pot of soup for us on the Partnership's stove. Cooking on the propane stove is better anyway.

Greig was able to keep our big freezer freezing with hooking it up to one of the ear splitting gensets we have on hand.

When I got home from work last night it was still off and so we decided to go low tech and invest in some old fashioned coal oil lanterns. Canadian Tire has a big camping section and lots of lovely rechargable lanterns. I love the Coleman camp lanterns that you can screw in a small propane canister to but those are $80 a pop. Those throw off so much light! However at $13 a pop we opted for some of the old fashioned kind. Nothing to keep perpetually charged, not so valuable that if it gets broken or falls in the drink it would be a big loss. Plus they look cool and when not in use they have a decidedly decorative effect!

Yes, open flame is not a great idea to be sure but having to keep up with chargable batteries or leaving things always plugged in to charge is not a practical option for us. Unlike the land dwellers, if the power does go out we do have some wood stoves to keep us from freezing.

As soon as we got home from shopping and dropping $200 on flashlights and lanterns they had the power restored and all things normal.

I am sure we'll have another couple of storms like this before Christmas arrives.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

How to make aluminum railings fly.

Actually, flying railings aside, it should have been the poke in the eye that was my first clue of how the day would ensue and the kick off to the winter storm season.

Ole-Twinkletoes here managed to give myself a right proper poke in the eye with the business end of the pike pole today. I had it in such a position so I wouldn't trip over it and I was trying to tie a line off from a piling onto one of the cleats on the Partnership. I do have two hooks that hang above the walkway where the poles are normally hung but the handle was in one hook and dropping at an angle toward the deck, where I was working the cleat.

And I forgot it was there until I jabbed the end in my eyeball.


Yes, mother, yes father, I am a sailor. Well, perhaps not but I sure swear like one! However that aside, I am a very lucky girl as I fully felt it giving the old eyeball a bit of a toss inside the socket. I gathered my dim wits about me and saw that all of my eyelashes had tucked themselves inside the eyelid and that I still had my vision. Whew. Bullet dodged.

Thankfully, Karen 1 was here and had the presence of mind to immediately grab an ice pack out of the freezer which I have for my shoulder. I have been trying to ice it regularly all day.

I fully expect a big black eye from it.

Cut to Scene 2, on the Bowie, where Greig has been working on building an upper bedroom and has stored some of the aluminum railings. Tonight, two flew off the roof and one landed on the Dos Amores and the other on Troy's new boat. (Yes Troy now has himself a 40' sport fisher, twin gas engines, which looks a lot like Rob's boat actually except with a big fat tarp on it). It landed on the bow deck of his boat. Needless to say, he was a bit upset, and rightly so by it. It all could have been worse and landed on something like, oh, his windows.

I pulled one of the railings out from between the dock and the sailboat and set it back on the dock. It was blowing like hell and the docks were pulling around like crazy.

Cut to Scene 3, MV Partnership, where I happened to be present for the big bang and discovered my chimney had come down and the tarp has ripped in the wind. The tarp's replacement is in the trunk of my car which I was hoping to procrastinate on a bit longer.

We've started this year's storm season off with a good couple of bangs and a poke in the eye.

Good times.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

And the culprit is...

A piling.

Yup, I am sitting smack on a piling. It is 12:36am. And I know I need to do a haul out on this too...

"The bow is sitting on a piling. I just have to move you over a few inches so we can clear it."

Now this boat yard has been here for many years. Well, many in terms of BC time...I think as this place has been a boat yard is the early day of Richmond/Vancouver.

There are some wierd sounds that kind of creeping me out. A creak, a groan, a vibration....oyi!!!The logs are creaking here and there...

Well I felt that I was sitting on something there and now we can see it. Funny how it all "seems" ok when you can see things better.

It should start turning anytime now. This is the low for tonight. I was looking at the surface of the water out the galley window, to see if it was slack or otherwise and it looks slack to me. Maybe that Big Blue Heron whose sillouhette I see will be getting some good hunting.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Addicted to the tide schedule

Since the ultra-low tides of last week, everything being on a tilt and waking up to things crashing about, I have been changing my evening bedtime habits a bit.

I am getting addicted to the tide schedule. I know if it goes below a .8, that I should ensure the dishes and the dish rack are away in their spots cupboard. Anything "loose" on the counter should go into the sink. I should turn off the valves to the toilet lest the downstairs one run on and on and the upstairs one leaking out from the handle and with the drip ending up in the middle of the galley downstairs. (I had thought it was leaking from the tank/bowl connection but I was wrong). I have to prop a stick against a stair tread so that the doors of the cabinet that I have there don't spill out its contents of screws, tools and paint.

I had thought about buying a bit of that metal strapping to go around the stem of my vintage floor lamp but realized that stuff was expensive and that I had tons of ribbon, grosgrain ribbon to be precise. That would keep the lamp from falling over just fine and it won't scratch the metal of the lamp. It's milk glass shade is hard to come by and I have replaced it twice to the tune of about $80.

I was always aware of the tide but not to the nuances of a point this, or that of a metre and what a difference they make to my general sanity. In general, I would avoid taking things up on shore until the tide was higher as we get 17 foot tides. I work hard enough and like a fool so why do it and struggle to get it UP THE RAMP? I realize now that I can take a .8 or a.7 and a .6 will keep me awake. Who knew a .5 would make a girl so cranky?

I was looking ahead to this week, wondering when the next .5 will hit me and how will I manage. The next big .5 is next Friday morning at 12midnight to about 3am. As long as I know this, I can mentally prepare for it. I have it printed out and I've highlighted the "nasty" parts.

Well I did fee a bit virtuous too Sunday as I managed to dig out a deadhead with stump attached that was coming down on the new dock and had pulled all THAT apart. I tell ya, it's a constant assault just staying ahead of the deadheads. I shoved some very valuable bits timber back under the ramp and out with the high water. Funny that we don't see the log salvage guys nearly as much as we used too. There are a couple more wedged in between the dock and into the mud but it would be impossible to get a boat in there to pull them out and I just don't have the strength to push on it with the pike pole.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Another short sleep

Greig took out that extra finger of dock but alas, at 2:30 I heard a tell tale thunk and got up to investigate. Off went the valves to the toilets. I was too tired to put away the dishrack earlier in the evening but took it off the counter before all its contents went flying.

At about 7:30 am yesterday, after my 2:30 am post, the contents of a cupboard containing cans of paint and tools that I have under the spiral stair case flew out. A small can of water based varathane dumped over the floor. I was able to catch it but all the million screws that got dumped felt like I was playing a game of "52-pickup."

"Are you mad at me," Greig asked?

"No honey, I know how much you're scrambling and trying to do it all yourself. I'll yell at you for something else later."

So, not wanting a repeat performance of that, I wedged a stick from a stringer on the stairs against the door of that cabinet.

We decided to pressure up the fire hose and attack the mud from under the pontoon. An deadhead that had been floating around yesterday was sitting right beside the pontoon on the mud. Our neighbour Gerard, who recently bought the float house that sits behind us came over to help and stood on a chunk of plywood on the mud, firing the hose at the log and pontoon. Gerard chuckled at me and said in his thick Newfie accent, "Do you guys ever sleep? God, you are goin' all de tine."

Greig had also cinched both Dave and I a bit closer into shore he's going to release us back out until all this dredging is attended to. He thought just taking that finger back out would be enough but it seems the tides are quite a bit lower at the moment.

I tried to get back to sleep at 5am for an hour or so but it was too difficult. I just couldn't warm up again so decided to get up for work. I did managed to get about four hours sleep. Hope I can hit the sheets early tonight without much trouble.

Phew, it is only the first of November. Storm season is only beginning!