July 8, 2012 – I really do live in the most beautiful, perfect, fabulous place on earth. This is my backyard. I don’t have to go for hours to get here. I just have to drive five minutes to get to my boat, and then this is a short run from the club. I honestly can’t think of a single reason I’d live anywhere else but the North Shore.
Even if the boat can be a royal pain in the ass sometimes!
We really used all the toys this weekend. Yesterday the truck had a mysterious fit on us so it was towed to the dealership, where they announced it fine. Who knows, maybe the tow ride jostled something loose. Typical. So Kirk rode the scooter to physio, I went for a motorcycle ride, then we both went for a ride later on together. Then today we both jumped on the scoot and went to get the truck, brought it home, picked up a few things and headed out for an afternoon on the boat.
The water is a chocolate brown colour from two days of sunshine and a massive red algae bloom. Shortly out of the dock and we ran over something, never did see anything float up, so who knows what it was, but it feels like we nicked the prop from the new vibration.
An hour out and our starboard engine decided it had had enough, and quit. This isn’t new, it’s a puzzle we have been struggling with for some time now, but it usually limits itself to rough water runs. It’s a fuel issue – we think – we just haven’t been able to chase it down. So we turned around and headed back for home. Unfortunately, that’s never the end of the issues. So now, because Kirk is babying the remaining engine to get us back, it’s idling lower than normal, and it doesn’t like that. So it quits too. Dead in the water, never a comfortable place to be.
While Kirk tears up the hatch covers, I go through my mental motions. “OK, we are about X distance from shore, the wind is blowing about so hard, in such a direction. The water depth is such-and-such, and we have so much anchor rode to play out if needed. We just passed the Harbour Patrol boat, and a VHF call will bring them quickly if need be. There is a BYC outstation up-arm from here, so lots of these boats will be fellow Club members. James was in the tidal grid, so a phone-call will bring someone from the Club to help.” All possible crisis solutions are identified! Help isn’t far from any direction, should we require it. Pan Pan call is already prepared in my head.
The thing about a car or a motorcycle, is that if something goes wrong, you can usually just pull over and get out. That doesn’t work on a boat, and I start every one of our boating courses by making that distinction when I give the opening presentation.
So Kirk gets the port engine running again, and off we limp at a higher rpm, the starboard engine intermittently deciding to run, then dying again, the port motor running rough due to whatever mysterious object, slightly below the murky surface, that we hit earlier. As we approach our Club entrance, both engines go offline again, then the port motor comes to life once more. I suggest NOT heading through the opening until we’ve had at least one engine online for a few minutes. Agreed. So we circle about in the harbour for a bit, and then decide to go for it, on one motor. At least we have one still, I realize I get no sympathy from the single screw owners. When you are used to twins, running on one isn’t fun, it makes the boat an entirely different animal.
We make it around the first bend, then around the corner, cautiously, and head towards our boat house. Kirk struggles with it – forward, reverse, forward, reverse, and gets the bow pointed in the right direction, but the stern is crawling off. He gets the bow in the shed, and the remaining engine dies.
One fabulous thing about Kirk and I in a crisis (and we’ve had a few) is that we never yell. Even though it may seem like all hell is breaking loose, we just seem to work together and get through things without raising out voices at each other.He calls forward to me “I’m dead back here” Yup, I noticed that things had suddenly become quiet and all vibration had ceased.
Check, I’m grabbing for beams and trying to keep damage at bay. But at least the front end of the boat is in the shed, that gives us something to work with. Kirk is trying to hold the stern off the piling, and the boat lodges at an angle between the two. Fine, at least the only thing facing potential damage is our own boat!
The one thing about a >8000 lb boat, is that you can’t expect anything to happen fast when you are trying to move it by hand. Slowly, surely, we manage to get it to straighten out and walk it in, hand over hand, grabbing the beams of the shed to pull it in.
And a drink!
For the next few hours Kirk works on the engines while I scrub the boat down stem to stern. He tinkers away, but the reality is, that as soon as the boat was back in it’s shed, it ran as happy as a friggin’ clam!
We are told there is a 41′ Canoe Cove that we could get for a pretty good deal…. I’m thinking really hard since we won’t be able to get a slip to put a sailboat in for a few years yet. Kirk is now doing some online boat viewing….
Hobbies! I should take up knitting. It’s cheaper and less stressful!
But at least the weather was phenomenal.