My plans to retrace Captain Cook's unfinished voyage have been postponed a year while I work on the next Marine Diesel Basics book and get my new boat SV Oceandrifter ready for sea.
Finally returned to the boat after the winter. “Kuan Yin” seems unscathed by the winter cold, damp, ice or snow. Even the teabags from last year were fresh enough to use and I was a great relied to find absolutely no signs of dampness, mold, or insect or rodent penetration.
My thanks to Dr. Magdalena Krondl for loaning me her car to drive. This remarkable lady is a wonderful force for good in this world and a enthusiastic supporter of the Labrador propject . The car was fully loaded with gear and food to take from Toronto to the marina at Rimouski in Quebec. The 1100 kms journey took a little over 24 hours, with a stop-over and hearty breakfast. And thanks also to my new friend James Cahan who came with me to Rimouski and then safely drove the car back to Toronto. He’s an extremely talented artist with a very mature outlook on life. Life is his adventure – and he plans to enjoy it all!
We arrived in Rimouski with LOADS of stuff to go on the boat. Where is all this going to fit?, I was asking myself as James helped me get everything aboard. Thankfully, it has all disappeared into lockers and the V-berth in the bow.
Rimouski is a very friendly Quebec town on the south shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, about 7 hours drive east of Montreal. My French is pretty appalling but people here are very forgiving and helpful in every way. Just the other day, as I was walking out of the marina, a car stopped to offer me a ride. We chatted while I was delivered to my destination and the next morning monsieur Paul arrived with a bike in the back of his car to loan me during my stay here. Later he took me to the building supply store to buy cement board and then he and his son (who just happens to be a contractor in Rimouski) amazed me by sheeting the piece of cement board with copper. (More on the copper etc. in the next post!)
So here I am, with a long list of things to get done before “Kuan Yin” can go back in the water and I can sail east and north towards Labrador. Living on a boat out of the water is not ideal. For one thing, a boat out of the water is not really a boat at all but a work project. And secondly, everything has to be hauled six feet up in the air, including myself up and down to get on and off. But no complaints. I vex every day over what sailing along the Labrador will be like – fog, storms, polar bears, water too deep to anchor – but all that’s to be done is to keep working at each task day by day. Like taking a walk of 2000 miles – it’s accomplished by putting one foot in front of the other, day after day after day.
Jobs to be done:
install wood-burning stove
install two manual bilge pump;s
install two electric bilge pumps
install magnetic compass
install new 80 amp alternator
install smart charging monitor
install battery monitor
install AIS system and link to chartplotter
take down two masts, install steps, rewire and install bracket for wind generator and restep masts
install wind generator
get VHF radio working properly
get radar working
– so plenty to do in the next three weeks!