Monday, December 18, 2017

Winter is here to stay.

In the comfort of my home, I look through the window to see the white snowflakes falling gently on the already covered ground. It is a ordinary sight around here in December. The cold I don't like. The snow I don't mind as much. We were treated with -21 degrees weather last week and that is what I call glacial...

We had sailor friends over and talking about sailing was the best cure for all this winter cold weather.

Passing the time, I was looking through some of our pictures taken over the summer and it made me want to be on the boat again.

The list of projects is not getting any longer so that is good. We are getting the rudder soda blasted this week. Dan is still working on finishing his canoe. The portholes projects is still in progress. Awaiting news from the company. We are still trying to figure out our itinerary.

Winter is always slow for us and we use this time to work hard and hone the plans. We will keep you posted of course.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Windy day on the Ottawa River!

Airmaxx wind generator.

When we started thinking of traveling extensively with the boat, we were obviously thinking of autonomy, off the grid options and power consumption.

We try to be mindful of our energy usage and switched all our lights to LED, my computer runs on a juice box converter to 12 volts, most of the instruments are low consumption as well.

Like I mentioned on a previous post, this Summer was our first summer off the grid. We mostly used the Solar panels to recharge the batteries and they did quite well.

However, a couple of years ago we had purchased along with our Water maker, a wind generator. 
We finally got around to installing it this Summer and were looking forward to see how well it would perform.

Dan had done a lot of research on the various type of wind generators and we were obviously looking for a high output quiet and effective one. 

The Airmaxx came on our radar and we did some research on it. It had good reviews so we decided to add it to our shopping list. 

Dan spent an entire day installing it, at anchor, and we were were quite excited to try it out.

Surprisingly enough, when the install was completed, we were back at the Marina and since it is a protected area, the wind was inconsistent and weak. 
When we were out sailing on a windy day, we thought we would see its full potential, but again we were disappointed. Mostly because our batteries were mostly full and didn't require much of a top up. 
We witnessed her bringing in 8-11 amp/hr and it was good to see.
We are hoping to maximize our use of it next Summer and report on the performance in a later post.

However, I can say that it is very quiet. You barely hear it and when it starts going full blast, it almost sounds like a hummingbird... Not bothersome at all.
Hopefully our neighbours at anchor will think the same!


Fall and what comes with it!


Since when that is a problem? Well it was a problem last Sunday when the heavens opened up and let about 100mm of rain, in 24 hours, pour down on us, mere humans...

I am only grateful that the boat was shrink wrapped, thanks to our new company that offered us great price and prompt service. Thanks Karl.

The boat was all finished one hour before the rain started. You got to be grateful for timing right?
Now, she is all safe and dry for the Winter.

We are now landlubbers and working hard so we can move ahead with the latest and hopefully some of the last projects.

Changing the portholes is actually at the top of the list. We felt quite embarrassed to tell our shrink wrapping expert that despite the fact that she is a boat, she ain't waterproof...
Poor 'ole girl. Soon, we are hoping, we can replace the old portholes and give her a facelift...

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Beautiful September...

Our Summer was a beautiful mix of rain, clouds, wind and unpredictability...
The Summer with the most storms recorded in Ottawa (42)!
A Summer with the best water level ever.
Our first Summer off the grid with the sun and wind as our main source of energy.
A Summer where Dan didn't have to bucket off the mud from the chain and anchor.
A Summer of firsts and a time to reflect on what we have accomplish so far and clarify our goals.

June, July and August might have been unpredictable and a little chaotic but September was the cherry on top of the sundae. It barely rain a drop, beautiful night skies and crisp air, no humidity, full moon and warm water. It's like He knew we needed a break from all the rain and the weird weather...
It's like He knew that we needed the sun to shine on us a little longer. It's like He knew... a wink from above.

I'm glad to report that we had a fantastic time on the water during the many days spent enjoying the wind filling our sails and the waves gently moving against the hull.

Summer is so short in our part of the world, that we have to soak up every moment of it.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

They call it an act of God...

For the past month, we have been bombarded with pictures of utter destruction from Hurricane Irma and Maria and their paths of pain and sorrow throughout the Caribbean.

We, as Canadians, have been sending resources to help rebuild the flattened houses and the power lines ripped to shred. Our military guys are down there to restore communication and help get them back and running. We all have been watching the pictures and videos from the people that survived the incredibly strong and violent winds from those two categories 5 Hurricanes.

We have been thanking God for the fact that Canada is mostly spared this kind of damage. We are familiar with terrible snow storms that bury houses and make the roads impossible to drive on, but other than that we live a pretty quiet life.

This Spring, Ottawa has been hit with flooding and the damage was extensive however, there was no loss of lives and the community rallied to help each other. By August, it was almost part of the past. A good story that will be shared for years to come.
" Remember the Spring of 2017 when the Ottawa river swelled up and swallowed houses whole?"

September 27th, 2017

It was not over...

Yesterday, after a two weeks of sweltering heat and a sun shining everyday like it was the middle of July with 40 degrees weather, it all came to an abrupt halt when a storm moved rapidly on the Capital and created its own path of destruction.
I had been looking at the radar and the weather warning. I knew there was a storm slowly moving in and I had made sure that the hatches and ports were closed and the boat was secured. When I saw the red dots on the radar right above the Harbour location and the webcam ont he clubhouse were disabled, I knew that a storm had come and that it was most likely a lot stronger than anybody expected.

When I rushed back to my floating home after the storm had passed, I wasn't mentally prepared for what I saw. Winds of 85 knots (160km/hr) were recorded at the clubhouse. Trees down everywhere blocking the streets, fire trucks and police sirens and lights on at every corner. People walking around taking pictures. Trafic was insane and I was praying the whole time I was driving that our boat would be spared major damages.

When I finally arrived at the Yacht Club, there were trees down on the property and boats smashed everywhere. Sailboats fell off their cradles, mast snapped in half, all the moorings moved 5 feet down the harbour. All the docks moved about 5-8 feet down the harbour and I was unable to access my boat since the whole pod had shifted 5 feet off the shore.

Thank God, she was standing up; she was wedged against our neighbour's boat but both of them were safe. The fenders had absorbed most of the shock and other than our boat moving with the dock 5 feet into the harbour and 8 feet down the harbour, she was fine...

 I jumped in, looked everywhere, all systems were okay. No damages whatsoever. I now know that my boat can sustain winds close to 200km/hr and stay secure.

Since our sailboat was okay, I went on to assist other boats that were left stranded, smashed or squished between other boats. Since all the moorings shifted, it was imperative, to limit the damage, that they were refastened and moved. It was an hour of adrenaline rush, trying to help other members of our tight knit community. The yard crew was going around to assess the damage and help where they could.

One sailboat was lost in the rapids, one boat sank when it got caught by the storm and the three men were rescued by the Harbour crew. If there was any other damages up river, we havent received any reports yet.

It is amazing to see people rally, twice in one year, to help each other out and make the best of a terrible situation. It amazes me to witness something really positive coming out of something bad.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wash down pump install.

Dan seemed to be on the roll to accomplish various projects around the boat. 2 weeks ago, he decided to complete one project that's been pushed back so many times.

First, because it involved some welding work.
Second, because it involved working in a very tight space.
Third, because it involved plumbing and making holes in the hull !!

However, it needed to be done, we had purchased everything for it and it was only a matter of committing to the project itself.

At anchor, on a cloudy day, Dan started working on this messy and tedious project of installing a wash down pump so he could clean his anchor chain and anchor. He has been bucketing the sh!t out of it for the past 7 years, building muscles and looking good doing it! Nevertheless, it was time for a bit of technology.

Let's be realistic here, when you drop 150 feet of chain in a muddy bottom, inevitably, it comes back up full of mock. The cleaning process involves a lot of muscle work and a dirty deck for sub-optimal results.

Dan never really complained and I did offer - on some occasions - to do the heavy lifting.
This year, it was time to put in some elbow grease and get down to business!

After making some holes to pass the plumbing hoses, Dan spent countless hours with his head stuck in the bilge trying to install 2 pumps and hoses and adaptors in a space not bigger than a glove compartment. With all the various tools and equipment all over the boat, I decided to shut up, not complain and let the man do the work. The clean freak in me was having a fit, but I stayed out of his way and read my book quietly offering my help when needed.

Let's be honest. Would I want to do the work? Hell no! So, if Dan is willing to put himself through this mess for a wash down pump, I will be supportive :-)

With much success, he made it all work and it is with great joy that we lifted the anchor on one sunny day using the windlass and Dan proudly hosing down his chain and anchor with the only effort of applying thumb pressure on the hose gun!

Winter is here to stay.

In the comfort of my home, I look through the window to see the white snowflakes falling gently on the already covered ground. It is a ordi...