With a wet cool spring we have not yet done much sailing yet apart from a January sail when my mom came to visit.
We got up at 5am to be sure to have a spot to park the car and trailer at Porteau Cove on Canada Day and start our first camp cruising trip of 2022 in the newly named UNESCO Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound biosphere region.
Fortunately we arrived and a spot opened up just as we arrived and we were able to launch and park the car for the weekend.
It took us about an hour to load the boats and set up all the rigging. We were off at about 10:15am. Boy was it a good feeling to be on the water and know that everything worked. The car towed nicely, the boat tie-down held the boat well to the trailer, the oars worked and all the other little modification I did over the winter made the launching easier.
The glassy morning conditions meant that we were able to put the ePropulsion 1.0 to the test. Quiet and efficient we glided towards our destination until half way when the early signs of the southerly inflow started a light breeze that pushed us to our Howe Sound Marine trail site.
I was finally able to set up the four 50W solar panels rigged in parallel to the MPPT charge controller providing an output of 170W at 48V to the battery. It was really exciting to see the system creating new autonomy allowing us to plan longer trips without needing to go into town to recharge. The trick is just finding good spots that will stay in the sun for several hours. The next step is to set up the panels on the paddle board and towing it behind us.
The Caledonia Yawl An Aod Oolichan at anchor with the anchor-buddy bungee system that allows for easy retrieval of the boat with a line to shore. I tied them both to the bow so that the mizzen would keep the boat pointed towards the wind and waves.
Our site had several tent pads and a clever composting toilet with a urine separating system that used a conveyor belt to move the solids back while the fluids drained forward. I wonder if this kind of system will become standard practice to replace pit outhouses that more easily contaminate soil and water tables in many camping areas.
Day 2 we did a day trip to another Howe Sound Marine Trail site to the south. We set off at noon and got the full force of the southerly inflow on a sunny day. In January I found that the centreboard had a hard time sliding down… which I chalked up to winter humidity levels, But this time again we found that it was still sticky. So I tipped the boat over and did a full check of the centreboard well. What I found is that the keel slot is a few millimetres narrower than the centreboard well. This means that we were not able to point upwind well and I was forced to use the electric motor for the upwind leg. next week I’ll have to take the centreboard out and tilt the boat over again to file down the keel slot a few mm and epoxy seal and repaint it.
Day 2 picnic spot with another good use of the anchor-buddy
On Sunday we found the forecast of rain had moved forward by a few hours and the taking down of camp and sail home was done in the rain with a beautiful veil of clouds clinging to the mountains around Howe Sound.
Some of the things on my to do list coming out of this trip
- Test using shorter oars maybe 9.5′ long. The 11.5′ long oars worked but might be a little long if there are any waves by providing little clearance. They also take up a lot of space onboard.
- Open up the centreboard slot 2-3mm so that it does not get stuck even with some sand and grit that is very likely to find itself there after a beaching.
- Look at finding a rubber, neoprene or vinyl material to create a centreboard gasket.
- Make a hold down cross beam with eyelets for the tie-downs to attach to and hold the boat from bouncing on the trailer.
- Paint the name on the boat
- Make a boom strop to tie the boom vang to.
Overall a very successful trip start building the habit of regular outings.