The Adventures of the Crew of the Good Ship Gandalf III

The Start

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July 31, 2004 This a date to remember - we leave Schooner Cover to cruise up toward River's Inlet.

Our first night was spent anchored in Buccaneer Bay, between North & South Thormanby Islands. We came in on low tide and set the hook at the back of the bay just off Gill Beach. Beautiful day spent soaking sun and drinking beer.

After dinner the wind came up and we realized that we were too close to a mooring buoy to let out any more scope on the anchor, so we pulled up the anchor and re-set. This time we were too close to another anchored sailboat. It is now getting near to nightfall and the wind was continuing to rise. So we pulled anchor and moved into an area vacated by other boats, about halfway down the bay. Got a good set on the anchor, let out lots of scope and buttoned down for the blow.

About two hours later, from out on bay there arose such a clatter Richard sprang from his settee to see what was the matter. And what to his wondering eyes should be there, but a great freakin' Bayliner starting to anchor. - RIGHT ON TOP OF US

Richard jumped up and ran on deck with the hand-held spot and lit them up with it. After a moment or two a return spot came from the Bayliner and a voice inquire if everything was OK. Richard informed them (actually using words with more than four letters) they were A) too close and B) had just dropped their anchor on top of ours and C) they should move...NOW. Much to our amazement and relief they did, finally managing to set their hook a reasonable distance from us.
August 02, 2004 We spent the previous night at the SCYC outstation at Pender Harbour. Today we traveled up to Egmont - choosing to go into Secret Bay and mooring at the government wharf. We stopped there as we wanted to hike the trail to the Skookumchuck Rapids (Sechelt Rapid) and watch them at full flood. Tonight was to be a big tide and the rapids were to run at 15+ knots.

The trail is 4 km each way. However, we forgot ( or maybe overlooked ) that we hadn't hiked for more than 2 km in over a year.

The rapids were incredible, and there was a group of kayakers out playing in the standing waves. We got some good pictures and hiked back to the boat. That was a total hike of just over 8 km - we were hurting critters on our return. We decided that the next day we would just move away from Secret Bay about 2 nautical miles (Nm) to the Egmont Resort Marina.
August 03, 2004 Made the trip from the Government Wharf to the Resort Marina without incident. Here we plugged in, watered up and filled with diesel. We ended up with some diesel in the bilge. It had seeped through one of the fittings on the top of the tank. We hadn't had this happen before 'cause we always filled up and then motored off, using the top 1/2 inch of fuel. This time we didn't even run the engine after the fill, just hand bombed the boat about 60 ft down the Wharf. Won't do that again!

That night we saw the most incredible thing. There was so much phosphorescence in the water that all the fish that were swimming around the wharf left glowing trails. We must have sat out on the boat for an hour watching.
August 04, 2004 Motored up to Hardy Island and anchored at Musket Island Marine Park. Did our first stern tie to the shore - worked like a charm
August 05, 2004 When we checked the engine and saildrive oil this morning we discovered that the oil in the saildrive was MILKY - we had water in it. As this was the first time since haul out we had checked, we have no idea how long it had been like that. We decided to shorten today's journey and just go as far as Powell River, and deal with it there were we could haul the boat out and change the oil.

Powell River is crowded and as we were trying to line up to back down a finger to raft, we lost our steering. The rudder would not respond at all!!! Fortunately the rudder was at an angle that allowed us to creep to the gas barge. The corner of the gas barge was only about 40 ft from the closest point on the marina dock so we just walked the boat to that corner and pushed it across. But we are here 'til we fix the steering.
August 08, 2004 On Friday Richard took the steering apart and found that it was the chain part of the steering gear that had parted. The chain was similar to a motorcycle chain so he walked up to a motorcycle shop close to the marina. They hadn't a clue. They only dealt with dirt bikes and the chain was too big. They claimed that no one in town would have anything that big.

We went up to the local cold booze shop and Janice noticed several pictures of Harleys on the walls. Richard showed the girl behind the counter what we needed (a masterlink) and she knew exactly where we could get one. A quick cab ride there and back and we had a repair part. Richard spent the rest of that day repairing the chain and putting the binnacle (the thing that holds our wheel) back together.

On the down side there is NOT any place that can haul our size sailboat out. This will have to wait until Lund - if we can limp up there.

On Saturday Richard had to buy a socket wrench and finished off connecting the whole thing to the steering quadrant on the rudder.

Today we go to leave and discovered that the steering is working - but backwards. It seems that the wires crossed inside the binnacle but there was no way to tell this 'cause the wire and chain was in a big heap at the bottom of the binnacle. Any way we just went on and arrived at Lund later this day. We radioed ahead and explained that we were having rudder problems and the harbourmaster (or maybe harbour mistress?) had a spot with easy access cleared for us.
August 09, 2004 Called Jack's Boatyard but they cannot take us 'til tomorrow at noon. Shopped and bought booze - at this rate we will need a dryout centre before the end of the summer, but with the breakdowns and the heat, absolutely nothing quenches your thirst like a cold beer.
August 10, 2004 Up on the ways. Richard drained the oil - it looked like a vanilla milkshake. We cycled a couple of liters of diesel through to make sure it was clean and horror of horrors the diesel started to leak out of the leg. Folks we got trouble - Right here in River City!!

We then got cut a break. There just happened to be a Marine Mechanic in the yard. Darryl took the leg off and determined that the set of O rings in the leg casing were getting old. Geri the boatyard manager will order some tomorrow.
August 12, 2004 Had another boat came up beside us, yesterday. A father son team (Tom and David) had a tumultuous meeting with a rock and holed the stem of their boat. Tom turned out to be a retired Member! We chatted and had as good a time as you can in a boat yard when your boat is broke. Jacks Boatyard is so good these two were able to splash their boat at dusk tonight.

Our saga continues. When Geri ordered the O rings yesterday they were not in stock so had to come from Vancouver. They arrived today and they were the wrong ones. However, Darryl figured that the current ones could be made to last longer if reinforced with a special sealer - and he happened to have a tube. By the end of the day the leg was resealed and back on the boat. Janice and Richard managed to cover themselves with diesel testing the leg, but all the seals held. Tomorrow we splash.
August 13, 2004 Friday the 13th - what a day to launch a boat. All went without incident and we had a nice motor to Gorge Harbour, Cortes Island. A really nice place but really had a lot of boats - including a 120' sailboat under the Bermuda flag.
August 14, 2004 Gorge Harbour to Campbell River. Almost forgot that the tide can run past Campbell River at 7 Kts - we, however can only do about 5 kts under power. When we finally made the turn into the Coast Marina we were down to just over 2 knots. MADE IT. We will stay here for two days reprovisioning and then we are North through Seymour Rapids and out of our cellphone range.