About Me

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A little introduction on who we are. I (cath) am the one writing most, no in fact all of the posts:) I am a registered nurse and I am currently doing my degree in translation. So I am full time at work and part time at Univeristy. Dan is the handy man. He graduated in 2009 and he opened his own business. He is a fabulous designer specializing in designing bathroom, kitchen and walking closet. Since he is such a handy guy he is doing most of the fixing on our 42 foot sailboat. We bought White Pearl october 2009 in San Francisco. She is beautiful and needed some lovin. She is a 42 feet aluminum cutter built in 1983. She is a bluewater sailing vessel. Having crossed many oceans before us and she's proven her worth. We live 6 months on the boat during the Summer months. We simply love it. Living aboard is just fantastic, we sail whenever we want and enjoy the water and the nature. It's awesome. We are currently working hard and putting money aside so we can leave one day to live our dream: sailing around the world with our sailboat.

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!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Turtles in danger in Ontario

I know this is suppose to be a sailing blog, but turtles are a marine reptile and we share the water with these amazing creatures, so I thought I would share a little story with you.

I don't know much about turtles other than they carry diseases, they live for a long time and are in danger of extinction in many parts of the world. They do look kind of cool with their carapace (shell).
Around where we live, the snapping turtles are quite popular and we can find them crossing the streets or on the grass munching on some green leaf. They are quite innocent, but they can "snap" at you if they feel threatened. They are a regular site around our body of water and we see them every year, roaming around, at turtle speed... meaning slow!

On Sunday night, Dan and I were enjoying a stroll around the Club while we had a break in the rain and out of the blue, we hear a loud bang! It sounded like a rock had been thrown or had fallen from quite the height. Looking around us, there was no rock or something that matched remotely the noise heard. We were curious and started investigating. That is when we saw something moving further down the path. We ran to it and noticed a poor turtle, on its back, unable to turn itself unto its four legs, struggling and looking a little panicked. That turtle had fell from a five foot stone wall!!!

It might've been blind or a little dumb, we will never know, but we couldn't leave it like that. So, Dan found a wooden stick and without touching it with our hands he gently gave it a little nudge so she could flip herself back. It didn't take that much, it was eager to run away from us I think. I say "run", but it was more like walking fast! It kept walking around and without any traces of blood or visible injury we allowed her to keep on going... It was quite the fall and we certainly hope that it didn't suffer a big concussion.

I guess it was our good deed for the day.

When I got back to the boat and I was reading the news, I stumbled on this article about endangered turtles in Ontario and how 600 of them were at risk of dying this year due to car driving over them or other predators. Given the fact that it takes up to 20 years for a turtle to reach maturity, I was happy we were able to save at least one...


Installing the solar panels

Now that the sailing season is officially started, the boat projects were starting to pile up and Dan decided to take advantage of a couple of rainy days... I know, more rain, to check off a couple of items off his list. The solar panels were one of them.

In our search for off the grid, power autonomy, we decided, like most sailors, to invest in solar panels. In the past couple of years, they have gone down in prices and their effectiveness has grown significantly. We were eager to hopped on that wagon.

After reading forums, blogs, reviews and more... We felt like we had a fairly good understanding of our needs and we were also restricted by the budget. Unfortunately, we do not have endless pockets!

We selected 2 panels of 100 watts each and found them for a reasonable price on Amazon. But, the reasonable price was $1000. I told Dan: " How bout we wait a little bit until we have a bit of money in the bank before investing?" Dan was okay with waiting. So, we resolved ourselves at spending another Summer with no solar panels...

3 weeks ago, at anchor, we get a phone call from our friend saying he had found a really sweet deal for 2 panels of 100 watts each for a total of $400. They were on sale and the store was liquidating. With a 25 years warranty, we decided to go ahead with it.

Over this past weekend, we were plagued with more threats of rain and thunderstorms so, in the safety of the harbour and with some time to kill, we embarked on the wonderful journey of installing the solar panels.

When Dan had designed the double arch at the stern, he had made it to fit the solar panels and designed a way for them to be tilted towards the sun to maximize our input. Dan had to make some minor adjustments on the arch to accomodate the size of the panels. Nothing a couple of metal plates and screws can't fix!

We, I say we, but mostly Dan worked on it. I was there for moral support, providing refreshments and holding things when need be.

It went much smoother than we expected and they were up in no time. The complication came when we had to figure out the charge controller. We had purchased this little electronic device when we had bought the wind generator and the water maker a couple of years back. Dan had it all wired and ready to go and we were simply waiting to install everything in order to put it to good use.

After spending some time reading the manual, we connected everything and it is with great joy (I had to do a little dance...) that we saw the amp coming in and charging the battery. On the box, it says that each solar panel could produce a maximum of 5.8 amp/hr at maximum sun capacity. So times two, we were looking at close to 12 amp/hr for the two together. Since the days have been cloudy, the few sun rays that ended up touching the panels brought in close to 11 amp/hr of power to our batteries...

We were ecstatic! We haven't been plugged to shore power for two days now and our batteries are full. We still run the fridge, my computer, charging phone and others and there is always more coming in... It is fantastic!

We are very satisfied so far and are looking forward to see on sunny days how much power we can produce. Now that we see power coming in, Dan is eager to install the wind generator... we all get greedy!!!

À Suivre...