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.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Flooding in Ottawa 2017

The Ottawa River has been in the news quite a bit lately. After a quick snow melt and a lot more rain than usual in a short time span, the River overflowed and a lot of people ended up being flooded.

A historic flooding they call it, a 100 year flood, record rainfall for the month of April... Mother Nature broke a lot of records.

The city fo Gatineau declared a state of emergency and the city of Ottawa was knee deep in water, sandbagging to protect the various properties close to the water. Petrie island in the East end of the city was completely flooded, disappeared under several feet of murky, muddy water.

For several days, people battled nature, tried to control it, to divert it, to manage it. It would not bend... the banks were overflowed and carrying debris, trees, sandals and patio furniture, the raging water were unstoppable.

It always amazes me how a community of people can rally and help each other in times of need. As human beings, in the 21st Century, we often forget that there is still some good in people.
During those two weeks of chaos and flooding, it was good to see all the various communities come together and fight nature as one.

Here, in Ottawa, we were mostly fine, given that we are on higher grounds. Unfortunately, the people of Gatineau, Montreal and various small communities along the Ottawa river, they weren't so lucky. The province of Quebec called in the Military to help and it was reassuring to see the military being there for the citizens of this great country working hard at preserving and saving lives instead of fighting a war. The war was one from Mother Nature! Not easily tamed, not easily controlled...

Nobody controls the weather, we are at the mercy of Mother Nature. We could pray for relief and beg for sunshine but in the end, we had to brace for the worst and tackle the unthinkable.

We received the email late at night on Saturday. Our sailing Club was asking for volunteers since the water had gone so high that there was now water coming into the lounge and bar area and the berm was under tremendous pressure. The erosion from the raging waters was devastating and there were concerns over a berm letting go.

Dan was part of the relief team, sandbagging and helping out. I was on the computer every hour, checking the water level and monitoring the rise and fall of the waters.

I charted a record water level at 60.50 metres at the height of the flood. Now, two weeks later, I charted a water level of 59.40 meters. We lost more than 1 metre of water which is huge.

Thank God, the berm held! We are now in the cleaning up phase and once again, people are rallying to help each other.

This historic flood will find itself in the history book and will be remembered by all the citizens that lived around the Ottawa River in the Spring of 2017.

Busy Winter...

My apologies again for the delay in writing.

The winter has been quite eventful with me starting my own business and us working a lot!

We sold the condo YEAH!  Finally, after 18 months on the market (condo market is flooded in Western Qu├ębec...Beware!)

We were busy moving and closing on the sale as well as all our various projects.
I must admit that as much as I love that my favorite person in the whole world has a lot of projects on the go, it can get overwhelming. I know he has mixed feelings between his own personal projects and make money... LOL!

Items on his list at the moment:

- Complete his wooden canoe

- Complete our new cockpit table

- Complete our new wheel for the boat

- Paint and prepare our solid bottom dinghy to be sold

- Remove the furling system on our stay for the new hank-on sails

- Get the boat ready for launch

Sometimes, it just feels like there is not enough hours in a day to complete everything...

We are certainly hoping that by selling the condo, we can move forward with our projects. It is becoming more real as the time goes by and even though it frightens me at times, we are getting quite excited by it.

The long Winter has definitely taken a toll on us. The little sunshine we got lately was most welcome!


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Hank on sails vs Roller Furling

Most people think we are crazy for thinking of switching our Roller Furling for Hank on sails...
We heard it all and people from the sailing communities are quite opinionated!
Hank on sails might be seen as being « old fashion » and obsolete, but after much thoughts and consideration, we decided to make the switch.

There is definitely pros and cons to both and we did have to consider what would be best for us.
First of all, after 7 Canadian Winters, we started noticing some wear and tear on our Profurl. Unfortunately, the snow, ice, frost and defrost, damaged the slider and cracked it. For the past 2 Summers, we have been able to make it work with much care and attention, but we were no fools in thinking that we could take this furling system for extensive cruising. On the other hand, fixing or even replacing with a new system would be no less than $5 000.

The cons of a furling system
We heard many horror stories of cruisers being stranded in the middle of nowhere with a sail stuck in the furling system or even in-mast furling system that wouldn't furl the sail back in in high winds...

Furthermore, there is evidence that the furling system creates windage and in high winds, when the sail is furled, that is when it would create the most windage.

The Furling system also adds weight aloft especially in heavy wind.

There is also the difficulty in reefing the sails when needed. Even if the Roller furling makers will say that the sails can be reefed by being rolled in, the results is never optimal and most of the time, there is flapping, bag effect and from our own personal observation, much tension applied on the sails and the rigging. We found it less than optimal and even dangerous for the sails.

It is also difficult to do sail change in the middle of most than favorable weather. Since the reefing isn't the best option, you are forced to do a sail change. It is time consuming and labour intensive, increasing the risk of injuries, breakage or worse, lost of sails or life.

Pros of a furling system
Yes, we have to admit that for coastal navigation, the furler is very convenient and easy to use. One pull and the sail is in. One release and the sail is out.

No folding involve or storage.

If you have a high performance and excellent quality jib furler, I believe, there is certainly benefit to having it.

Cons of Hank on
More work involve in setting a sail initially.

Storage when not in use is more than necessary to avoid sun damage or salt rot.

Involves going forward to attend to the sail.

Pros of Hank on
One release of the halyard and the sail is down (easy release in heavy wind)

Better sail shape when deployed

Reduced windage when the sail is down (especially useful in bad weather) and minimized weight aloft.

Changing sails is easy and fast (can be done by anyone, doesn't require special physical abilities other than managing being at the front of the boat) :-)

Wanting to avoid all of these bad situations, we had to think of our strategy very carefully and given the fact that ours was already damaged, we opted for hank on.

We decided to get hanks added to our existing sails and the new jib will also have it.
We are hoping to get sail bags done for them so they can be hooked to the lifelines when they are being released and than stored in the forward berth where all our storage locker are located.

We have realized long ago that we cannot please everybody and that ultimately, the choice is ours. We are at the point of no return and we are looking forward to try it this Summer and see how it goes.

I will certainly keep you posted on the results and pictures will also be posted for your benefits :-)