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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Day 7 – More excitement than we like

As we had a ton of leftover risotto, Jim made risotto cakes with a poached egg on top for breakfast.  Yumo!

We continue to struggle with the last code that needs to be broken in the murder mystery.  Jim has been saying that it seems like the website we are now on must be related to a whole different mystery.  So Melissa looks up the Hunt-A-Killer website – and sure enough – there is another game matching the description of the time frame and characters talked about on the website.  We’ve been cracking a different game - because they used the same website in two different games!  Doh!  No wonder it felt like we couldn’t find the key!

It’s a beautifully calm morning and the anchorage is gorgeous, but its time to move on to a new spot.  Wallace Island is our intended destination.  Dave starts the engine (again difficult requiring Dave to use juice from the house batteries).  He is now convinced the starter motor needs replacing (yet again – for like the third or fourth time) because its pulling way more amperage than it should.  Dave then instructs Jim to let go of the mooring bouy.  Only to look round and find he has forgotten to put the wheel back on – so he has no steering other than the autopilot.  Ooops.  We take the wheel off because when we are at anchor it creates more space in the cockpit.

At Wallace Island, there is a small cove where boats anchor and stern tie.  See all the boats lined up with their bows out away from shore?  They are anchored off their bow, and tied with long ropes to shore to keep them all oriented the same way in this narrow cove.

After some debate, we pick out an anchoring spot that has a chain attached to shore where we can secure our long line.  After Melissa drops the anchor, Jim heads over to shore in the skiff with the long line.

Once Jim brings the line back, Dave pulls us into the shore to straighten us out.  Alas we find the anchor is dragging.  So we pull up the anchor and set it again.  This time it seems to hold fine.

Dave and Jim head off in the kayaks to explore the cove.  Dave grabs his handheld depth meter and checks to see what dept we will have under the stern when the tide drops 10 foot later tonight.  Looks like we have plenty of room.

Alas, when the wind kicked up, the anchor drug again and we found ourselves moving towards the boat next to us.  Ok, this is now an “all hands on deck” exercise.  Dave at the helm, Melissa pulls up the anchor, and Jim lets the long line loose.  After which Jim has to hold the ropes for the kayaks because they are not floating lines and could go under and get wrapped in the prop.  We debate whether to try again, but Melissa comments that Apsaras has never really liked to stern tie (or double anchor).  Apsaras has a lot of windage (big sides) so the wind tends to push us around pretty good when we anchor this way.  So Dave decides to head out.  And wouldn’t you know it – Dave’s cell phone chooses this moment to overheat and shutdown.  Problematic because the chart program Dave uses is on there.  He has backup on his laptop, but in the scramble Dave decides to navigate out through the reefs by memory.  Thank goodness he has a good memory.  We get out and then have to organize the decks – getting the kayaks back aboard, lifting up the dingy, and winding up the long line back onto its spool.

And we are underway again.  This time headed to the town of Chemainus.  Or so we thought.  Dave saw the ferry dock and headed into a bay – only to find it was the wrong bay!  Doh.  That’s ok, now we are moving downwind so Dave can put up the jib and sail his boat without tipping her over.  With all the people, gear, and food, we aren’t set up to lean over a lot.

Upon nearing Chemainus we find a debris line – a place where logs and other debris bunch up.  Melissa went up on the bow to ensure we didn’t hit a log – but it turns out Dave had no trouble picking his way through them.  We then grabbed a mooring buoy.  Shortly after which Dave and Jim headed out in the dingy to push one of the big logs that was being blow straight at us off the beeline course it was making for us.  We’ve been hit by deadheads while at anchor before, so its not likely to sink us.  But it can mar the fiberglass, so best to avoid it.

Lunch was melon wrapped with pancetta, along with some other leftovers and fresh guacamole and salsa.  Alongside a nice white sangria.

After lunch someone said – looking at the juice left in the bowl from the salsa – that someone should use that and make a bloody mary out of it.  Hmmm.  We have a ton of heirloom tomatoes left that are about ready to turn bad.  So Melissa gets out the hand blender and with Jim as taste tester makes up a batch of what amounts to spicy V8.  She stored it away in the fridge and we can decide later when we want to drink it.

The boys then jump back in the skiff and head off to town to pay for the mooring buoy. 

Jim rewired the cockpit outlets.  During out two year voyage, Dave moved the cockpit 110V outlets to a small inverter so that he wouldn’t have to run the big inverter at night on overnight passages.  But the little inverter won’t create enough juice to power the vacuum cleaner he’s been using to suck up spiders.  So we’ve lived with an extension cord running down from the cockpit to the kitchen outlet.  Jim rewired all but one outlet back to the main inverter so we could ditch the extension cord.

Jim whipped the kayak ropes because they were fraying badly while Dave played the “Whip It” song by Devo.


On a roll, Jim then fixed the kitchen light which was intermittent.  There was a loose rivet that held the wire to the socket.  Likely the original incandescent bulb heated it up and loosened it.

Next on the list – fire up the water maker.  We don’t really need it – we can get water at almost any marina - except up here in the islands where water is scarce.  The reason we need to cycle it is that the membrane that separates the salt from the water can be damaged by bacteria.  So while its been “pickled” (a process whereby it is filled with a solution that prevents bacteria from growing), it still should be run to flush it out and the re-pickled at least once a year.  First Dave’s got to remember how its all hooked up because its been a while since he turned it on.  Its complicated.

We are starting to win out over the spiders.  There are way less than there were.  And the spiders now run and hide now when they hear the vacuum cleaner running.  At sunset we only vacuumed up a few.

Jim and Melissa inventoried the food remaining.  Bottom line, we have 3 to 4 days fresh food aboard and 7 days remaining in the voyage.  So we need to either plan on eating ashore at restaurants or we will need more provisions at some point.  To which Dave said, “With you and Jim cooking, why would we eat out?”  Yeah.  Ok.  Point taken.  Captain Dave says that here at Chemainus is best unless we want to head for Ladysmith.  Ladysmith being where the boat was anchored when she was brought home from Panama.  They have a great grocery.  We land on a plan – head for telegraph harbor where there is a farmer’s market in the morning to see what produce and other goodies we can score.  Then we head for Ladysmith.

At sunset, we watched a woman swimming across the bay.  Mind you the water is a balmy 67 degrees.  Brrrr.  She swims all the way to a buoy across the bay and back.  At least a half mile round trip if not more.   As she swims by – we have agreed we will all cheer her on.  She stops to explain that the water is great we should all jump in.  And that the buoy she rounded marks an airplane that was sunk to start a new reef.

Another debate then ensues about breakfast.  Dave votes for another round of eggs benedict.  But we could score some crab and have crab benedict if we wait.  Plus we still have leftover risotto.  So how about a compromise?  Thin risotto cakes – similar to this morning – but with Canadian bacon and poached egg topped with hollandaise?  Yeah.  Ok.  That means Jim and Melissa will be crammed into the “one man” kitchen tomorrow morning.

Discussion also ensued about the various duties and workload.  Margaret said she was perfectly happy being on kitchen duty.  Melissa loves this as she is happy to destroy the kitchen cooking and then not have to clean up.  Dave seconded this as he is normally the kitchen cleanup crew.  Jim was like, hey, I am the “crossover” meaning that he both helps in the kitchen and does boat fix-it projects.  But he didn’t actually seem unhappy.  Bragging maybe?

Then it was movie time - "A Fish Named Wanda".

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