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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Do we remember how to sail?

After a quick breakfast of sausage and fruit, we scrambled around doing a few things to get ready to go.  We got provisions, and Dave picked up a Rodgers’s SIM card for our WiFi device so that we would have internet access for the next few days.  The Nanaimo marina WiFi was so bad that we haven’t been able to get email since we left Seattle and are now in bad need of an internet fix.  After loading the groceries aboard, we are ready to go!

Getting off the dock was going to be a tricky maneuver.  The wind is blowing hard on the stern, and while the rudder, prop, and keel are all now clean, we don’t know for absolute certain that will fix the steering and power issues.  So Dave has Jim, Margaret and Melissa all on deck manning the lines in such a way that we can release ourselves slowly from the dock and give him slack till he knows he has power and steering enough to control the boat in the wind.  Almost immediately after putting her in gear he can tell she is handling like her old self, and we cast off.

It’s a beautiful sunny day.  We made our way to Dodds Narrows where the current is ripping through at about 4 knots.  We debate whether to wait for a bit more slack, but the water looks pretty much like laminar flow, so it’s just going to shoot us through fast, but shouldn’t toss us about too much.  After waiting for the traffic coming the other direction we went through – Dave reported he didn’t have to turn the wheel more than a 1/8 turn to keep us lined up in the channel.  Sweet!  Time to put up the sails!

Putting up the main sail turns out to be a bit of a challenge because when Jim and Dave rigged her yesterday, they didn’t get the main sail rolled up inside the in mast furling just right.  So it keeps jamming up.  As when we bought the boat this happened a lot till Dave got the hang of the tension, he just works at it for 30 minutes or so till the sail comes fully out.  Margaret, Jim and Melissa “helped” by telling him when the sail was jamming up.  As though he couldn’t just look up and see for himself.

Melissa served lunch.  And just as we got the table set, Dave yells “hang on!”  And rather than hang on, the three of us turned to see what was the matter.  Dave swung the wheel over hard to go around a log and all the platters on the table went flying.  Note to self, next time the captain says hang on, we should hang on to the plates!  A fair bit of lunch was now on the floor of the cockpit.  Fortunately, Melissa and Margaret had washed the decks just two hours before, so we decide just pick everything up and keep going.  Margaret looks at Melissa and says “do I remember right that you used to have some non-skid thingies to put under the plates?”  Oh yeah.  Totally forgot about those.  Duh.  Guess we are totally out of the habit.

At some point along the way a rubber glove has melted itself to the side of one of the kayaks.  Jim gets out a scrapper and starts scrapping away.  Melissa joins in with a microfiber sponge and between them they manage to get it scrubbed off.  But the plastic scrapper Jim is using went overboard.  Since it floats, Dave decides to turn the boat around and go back and get it.  Jim leans over a bit far, and well, the picture tells the rest of the story.  Did Melissa offer a helping hand?  No.  She just kept snapping pictures.

After a lovely afternoon sail in very light winds we headed into Montague harbor.  Last time we were here was July 2013 when we were headed back to Seattle from Alaska.  Melissa shows Jim how to put the snubber on the anchor to take the tension off the anchor wench.

Dave decides to get out the Honda generator.  It won’t start.  Hmmm.  So Dave starts to take it apart.  Margaret helps by handing him tools.  While the thing is supposedly marine grade, Dave discovers that the carburetor is made out of steel and has rust in it.  The rust has clogged the jet.  He scrubs it all out, and uses a thin wire to clear the blockage in the jet.  He then blows on it.  Bleck.  Gasoline tastes terrible.  Puts it all back together, and it starts right up and she purrs like a kitten.

Jim cooked us a fabulous dinner with chicken, mushrooms, and tarragon served with wild rice and broccolini.  Sitting watching the sunset and drinking some really nice wine we found in the hold that had been aboard the whole trip was the perfect ending to a perfect day.

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