Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mastless.... is that a real word?

Well, there she sits, sans mast. Pretty funny looking, but we feel right at home here in this marina as there are quite a few other sailboats in the same sad condition.

In the picture below, you can see the footing that holds the mast to the deck of the boat. Inside, you can see some gunk that has built up over the years and is the cause of the cracking in the mast. What happened was the gunk plugged the drain holes just enough to prevent water from seeping out quickly enough and it froze when we had a cold snap this past winter. The weather gods aligned to have the perfect conditions for this to happen. Apparently the mast repairer, Brent, has never seen this happen here, but it is quite common on the east coast. 

You would not believe how many times we have heard that same story..... seems we lack a certain type of force field that other people have for protection against the "I have never seen that happen before" syndrome. Oh, and by the way, Brent said the amount of gunk we had built up was very little, he has seen so much inside the footing it is completely filled.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Prepping the mast for removal.

This is Paul, who works for Blackline Marine, taking the boom off the mast. In the foreground you can see he has already taken the main sail down and lying just beyond it is the head sail. We folded the sails up nicely and shipped them off for cleaning.
Below the crane is being attached to the boom, you can see a small portion of the crane at the top left.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mast repair part II

We've had a visit from the repairman at Blackline Marine. The verdict is they are going to take the mast down because there is some question as to whether or not any damage from the freezing has been done to the inside of the mast. Their plan is to make a sleeve, insert it inside the mast and then weld the crack. This process will most likely take two weeks. So, for the next four or five days, we will explore around Sidney and maybe some of the southern Gulf Islands by bike.
No pictures today, but I will be taking lots during this whole process.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

We're off to Sidney.

Just getting ready to pull away from the dock to head to Sidney for the night. Tomorrow we should have some news on the mast.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mast repair update.

Finally we have a date set to get our mast fixed! We will be heading to Sidney BC on Tuesday (day after tomorrow) to visit the mast doctor. They will be taking a look at it on Wednesday, decide the best course of action, and then get started on Thursday. At this point we really don't know how long it will take, could be a couple days if they don't take the mast down or a couple weeks if it does have to come down.

This eagle sat on our ramp railing for quite a long time, all the while keeping an eye on me while I took his picture. At this time of year, we have quite a few eagles in the harbour. They are fishing but as far as I know they don't nest around here.

In the meantime, we will be staying on our boat and during the day we plan to do a lot of bike riding around Sidney peninsula. We are also thinking if it is going to take the longer period of time, we will catch the ferry across to Salt Spring Island and find a B & B there to stay at and then catch the ferry again over to Chemainus and bike home. 

This is not really how we envisioned our first spring boat trip, but as they say, when given lemons, make lemonade! And I love lemonade! :-)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Spring cleaning finds bad news.

Every spring we spend a day washing winter's grime off the decks and hull. It is really a very pleasant job to do on a warm sunny day. It also gives us a chance to really check things over carefully. We like to get into all the little nooks and crannies, sometimes using a toothbrush to get the green algae off. Up until this year we have been fairly lucky to only find minor problems, but last week during our spring clean we found a major problem. And we are not going anywhere until it gets fixed.

That picture of course is the bottom of the mast where you can see a crack. We think possibly it happened from water getting in and then freezing but we are still in the investigative stage. If it is from water then the lesson learned is make sure water can drain away from your mast! Some lessons are expensive. But it is not the end of the world and we will still have lots of fun out on the water this summer. :-) Stayed tuned for the saga of the mast! It has only just begun.