Sunday, December 27, 2009

SV Giri – Strait of Georgia

I woke up at 8 am with Angel the cat under the covers beside me. As usual she was miffed at my expectation she move. The sun was shining in the port hole windows. The cabin was still cozy warm from the diesel heater but I flicked on the propane catalytic heater to get it toasty. Of course I fed Angel her canned food. Then I checked the deck going out to turn off the kerosene storm lantern , it's wick still burning. Despite trying a half dozen other ,some a couple of hundred dollars, nothing has ever worked as well as this cheapest of red, made in China, railway lanterns.

I cooked up some Red River Cereal which I had with evaporated milk and honey along with my Kona coffee made in the stove top expresso machine. Life is good!

I then set to work on the engine. I turned off the engine through hull at night but checked it nonetheless before disconnecting the water hoses to the impeller pump, after taking out the main screws that connected the housing to the engine, removing the belt drive at the same time. Then I unscrewed all the little screws holding the back on to the assembly giving me a view at the rubber impeller rotor. It was in good shape so I didn't mess with it.

I cleaned off the metal surfaces and took out the circular gasket. Everything looked good. Of course the gasket I had with the spare rotors wasn't the right gasket for this Johnson Pump F4B903 made in Sweden. So all I could do is find some Vaseline and clean up the old gasket. Then I carefully seated the screws on the back plate and tightened them alternatively till they were snug before tighting them all that last twist.

I connected the hoses tightening down each of the hose clamps as best I could. I was suspicious of the one worn hose end and would loved to have had a spare hose to replace that. As it was I reconnected the hose and belt drive and tightened the two screws through the housing to the engine. Using a screw driver I pulled down on the housing till I had just the right 2 finger tension on the belt.

Opening the thru hull I went topsides and started the engine. The drip was still there. Less but still there. Mmmmm. Water was coming out the side of the boat in the amount it usually did. I checked the boat water temperature and pressure and that was fine. What to do. Go on or go back. I opted to go on. I'd just keep a closer eye on the water temperature guage and though the engine is rated for 3000 rpm I normally run it at only 2500.

C'est la vie! I flicked on the anchor winch electrical switch , donned a fleece jacket and working Musto life vest and went topsides. The frost on the deck was melted by the sun though there was still some on the dinghy. Standing at the bow I stepped on the in pedal for the winch and watched the anchor chain come in. With a satisfying clank, the anchor came up and seated itself while I went back to the cockpit to put the engine in gear and head out into Howe Sound.

While the bay was protected the outflow winds of Howe Sound had caused the waters there to wear little snowy white caps. The boat healed as we took the turn then the wind was on our stern and we were headed out into Georgia Strait. A beautiful day indeed.

Once out of the Sound and leaving English Bay for Porlier Pass 20 plus miles across Georgia Strait I had 15 knot winds from the northwest so put up the foresail. It added a knot to the speed I was already making with the iron jenny giving me a respectable 5.5 knot speed with only 5 degree heel and nothing crashing about in the cabin. With diesel engine and diesel stove it's warm down below. The cockpit is a bit drafty but the dodger and windshield turn what would otherwise be a chilly journey into a pleasant cruise.

I'm typing this in the cockpit now. All around there's blue sea with a 2 foot chop and blue skies with lots of lo lying cloud. The weather report as for fog banks and there is one far ahead of me obscuring the islands but I figure it will burn off as the day progresses. By evening I should be in Montague Bay or maybe even at dock on Saltspring Island. It depends on the light. I'd rather anchor at night. Docking solo has had it's moments

Wow ! Just had a visit of a half dozen dolphins. They stayed to play riding the bow wave for a few passes and just as quick were on their way heading south. I love dolphins!

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