Saturday, 26 July 2008

A lovely week out ...

This week we spent five days out and had a delightful week, even though there was quite a lot of hard rain. The hard top really makes a difference when you have to endure a steady hard rain - we really had nowhere on the vessel that was even damp except up on the flybridge where pounding rain eventually works its way through the canvas stitching and drips. One of the heaviest rains came up very suddenly and several other boaters (we were hooked on a mooring can at Camelot) were out in their dinghies with hatches and windows open on their boats. They had several hours of miserable dampness to deal with upon their return. We had never been on a mooring can before - we were relieved to discover how easy they are to hook and attach. There's something about floating free that is much more relaxing than being tied to a dock. There's less noise and, believe it or not, less worry - we slept the best we have yet at Camelot.

After our three nights we took a swing by Leek (Thwartway) but, there being no cans free, came on over to check out Burnt and Beau Rivage. I should mention here that when I refer to an island name it is one of the park islands of the St. Lawrence Islands National Park. Our favourite little finger-dock was free so we decided to give it a try with our new bigger boat. We were about half-on, half-off but quite secure and in lots of water even with the stern in (more convenient for boarding). We were alone Thursday night but joined for Friday by two Quebec boats who rafted on the other side of the dock. They were courteous, quiet and turned in early so we had a nice night. I had dinghied over to pick up m-in-law and we had a scrumptious supper.

This morning we had a boating staple - bacon and eggs and then got underway. We were back to our dock by about 10:30 and very glad to see neighbour K waiting to help us dock. A couple of days home now for laundry and stocking up and we'll be back out again next week.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

At last -



We spent two wonderful nights on Honeymoon Point on the northwest corner of Aubrey Island (Burnt Island to the locals). Had no mechanical issues whatsoever and we were able to relax and enjoy the outing. The second night we were wakened by the wind (unusual in the middle of the night) which forewarned us of an approaching thunderstorm. We just had time to close the hatches and zip the zippers before it began to rain. On Friday we came to town for a pump-out and picked up Newfoundland cousins and m-in-law and went back out for an onboard lunch. Can't make any assumptions about every anchoring situation but the claw anchor sure grabbed better than the Danforth ever did. I sneaked a peek at the GPS every once in a while and we sat in exactly the same spot the whole time we were hooked.

Pretty hard to find a sunrise prettier than this:

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Don't want to jinx it, but ...

Well - for those of you who have been sympathizing with us in our 'non-boating' summer so far - we're back at our own dock, apparently fixed. A new distributor for the starboard engine seems to have done the trick. Actually, there's quite a lot more power now in the starboard engine than the port (Gordon's took the liberty of ordering us a second distributor in case we want to beef up the other engine too). We put 'Daydream Believer' through her paces tonight - slow, fast, reverse, forward, reverse and forward - and there was no stalling problem whatsoever. We were really glad because we had to pull our 'come across the end of the dock, lash the stern, and pull in the bow' landing manoeuvre and that requires complete control of both engines.

We did discover, however, that some of the barrels in the floating dock had become dislodged so that's a task for tomorrow. You won't find me posting on Tips and Tricks that barrels in a floating dock can be held in place by ratchet straps because they can't. However, galvanized strapping will be in place by this time tomorrow and I'm thinking of putting some extra wooden framing members in place as well for extra holding power. There's too much riding on this dock to go half way and I should have known that when I built it!

But, as of the moment, we're boaters again. Hopefully we can now start getting used to handling and caring for a boat bigger than we're used to and enjoying the lovely backyard that is our Saint Lawrence.

Friday, 11 July 2008

More delays

Well - Daydream Believer has been sitting at Gordon's for 12 days now with no progress on the stalling starboard engine. The mechanic decided to try new electronic ignition parts (the only thing left to try) and they were back-ordered for over a week and then eventually determined to be unavailable. So he has decided to order a new distributor and revert to the old points/condenser system. Problem is - they're only available from Wisconsin. Guess we should have bought a less exotic boat than a Carver with Crusader engines!

The story now is that Homeland Security is causing delays in getting their parts across the border and the earliest we can hope for delivery is next Tuesday. I'm inclined to think that 'Homeland Security' is being blamed these days for a lot of things we used to call 'bad service'.

The summer is scooting away and we've only had a few hours aboard our new boat. I guess there's no-one in particular to blame but I do get the impression that none of the people involved in the process of repair are boaters. What are chances your car would sit for 15 days in the shop with nothing being done? And if the 'carring' season was only a couple of months long you'd be on their case several times a day until they had it fixed.

We had months of pleasure on our Fairbanks and have had nothing but grief from the Carver. I'm still convinced that she's a good vessel - I placed a lot of faith in the survey and the mechanical inspection. But so far this season it's only been stress and worry and second-guessing about the wisdom of this purchase.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Well - it's official

Today we changed the name on our boat. I peeled 'Spirit' off the transom and we installed 'Daydream Believer' in it's place. A local computer shop did the vinyl lettering (overnight) for about $45. If you're at all handy it's an easy DIY job. I took a hair drier along - there's something about standing on the swim platform of a boat holding a hair drier that just flies in the face of everything you've ever heard about electricity and water. However, the old letters peeled of without heating so the only risk was falling off the swim platform. A little rubbing alcohol removed any residual adhesive and any wax that might be in the vicinity. Putting the new name on was way easier than I had imagined it would be - it's a two person job for lettering 3 feet wide, but if you've been communicating effectively with your helper for 36 years it should be no problem. Here's the finished product.

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