Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pangea part II

Part I was the shared story with Martin and the boys and « Part II » is when I am alone with Pangea.

After my Mexican trip, I came back on her and finally settle down. I started to work on the deck, taking off the seems with a cutter, and deepening all the shallow seems rail, a pretty hard work as you are on your knees, with a gigantic hook  (like Captain’s Hook), trying to carve hard wood… Rob, a friend we met while at dry dock, came by the other day and made my work easier, he custom made a U-shaped tool to take the seems off easier and he used his dad screw driver for it. « My dad would have been happy to see it used like that ! ». I’m almost done with the prep, Eric, a talented wood worker will come this week to finish up with me and we will put new seems on very soon. Everytime my back, hands, knees hurt, I just dream about my so wished perfect teack deck and it gives me energy. Plus with all this, I’m learning how to do it and I will be proud of it because I would have done it.

While in Los Angeles, I was chating with Nolwenn, our french girlfriend who is living with Eric in Ventura Marina, who celebrated the multiple Ventura Pangea departure. She was telling me about her dreamed of owning an aluminium sail boat, and she has a pretty big project that could become true soon…. It’s in the oven. I invited them to come on Pangea when I will be back in Washington and here they are. I was so excited to see them, I cleaned the boat, prepared their room… Pangea is the first « house » I owned and they were my first visitors, so special ☺…
They arrived in Seattle and rented a car to drive up here at around 1.30am in the morning. I was so happy to see them !!! We talked for two hours and went to sleep.
When we woke up, we went for a zodiac cruise in the marina. I wanted to show Nolwenn a massive aluminium boat that just arrived for dry docking. It was huge. The owner custom made it in Australia and sailed across the Pacific with it, but this boat is so big and strong and everything you can imagine (beside good looking) that you would think they’ve been in Antarctica with it or will…
Then they met my friends, Paul, who was trying to start an old motor he fixed, Eric who was waiting on his costumer to come pick up their sailboat he worked on.  With Eric approval to go sail with the open deck, Eric and Nolwen went for grocery shopping and I prepared the boat for our week end trip to the islands.
We decided to go to San Juan Island as Martin told me Griffin bay was a really nice anchorage. We took off around 4.30pm. I was a little nervous as it was my first real cruise without Martin. We got off the slip (in and out off slip manœuvre are probably the trickiest) like a flower and put the sails up in the bay. Pangea flew with the wind on her back and we made up to 8 knts with the genoa and main sails up in butterfly. It took us around 6 hours to get there, we crossed the fog, first time for Nolwenn and I. We arrived in Grifin bay around 9 pm and anchored in front of a beautiful endless beach and pine forest. Pizza and beer for diner !!!
I woke up early the next day, and took the zodiac for a sunrise cruise. The water was like a mirror and Pangea was touching the sun… walk on the beach, random forest trails, diamond line left by spiders all over the trees… I could see Pangea thru the pine threes. This bay was the most beautiful I’ve seen since we arrived in Washington state, I will come back.
I hang out on the beach, and then row back to the boat. Nolwenn and Eric went to land for a forest/beach walk too and I cleaned the boat. When they came back I went to swim and we took the zodiac to visit the little marina at the end on the bay. We saw jelly fishes of all size and color, huge crabs caught by local fisherman and seals jumping out of the water.

In the afternoon, we sail up to Orca island. We tried to anchor at Massacre bay first but the anchorage wasn’t good so we motored to the next bay, Deer Harbor. The cruise was really nice, ferry passengers waving at us « that makes me realized we are doing something special » said Eric.
Nice appero in front of a big cliff and early night for us.
We decided to leave Deer bay around 10 to be able to get to Port Angeles before sunset. We motor up to the straight separating Canada to USA and saw Orcas. We were so excited, I’ve waited so long for them, one of the reason Martin wanted to come here… and here they were… whille sail motoring to get close to them, I smelled burn and ran down thinking that it was the oven but no flamme there… All I could remember was my Basic saftey training teacher telling me that fire is the worst case scenario on a boat !!!! No way !!!! I ran out to turn the motor off, call Eric and Nolwenn, run back down to open all the door of the motor case… Eric arrived with the extinctor… no flamme… what could it be !!!! we look around and I noticed the alternator has a different color, I touched it and it was burning hot. It burned out. We kept on looking around for any fire, Eric opened the hatches while Nolwenn was outside steering the wheel. We calm down and started to think about a solution. We had to sail and I would take the alternator off to find out why it was so hot. I was still shocked by the events but we were sailing, and there was no fire…. I started to read about mechanic and alternator, check if there was water in the motor… The afternoon was pretty frustrating, we spent around 6 hours drifing with currents, no wind, then wind but strong current and San juan Island was still as close as 2 hours later. We tried to tack but we got sent back twice to departure point. Eric then decided to riff the main sail, thing that I never done and we started to move faster. I felt better and focus on getting a solution for the motor for emergency use and entering in the slip. During the sail back to Port Angeles, I learn alot from Eric who is a great sailor. They both kept their zen when I was stressing about not getting them back to Port Angeles. We sail with front wind and tack. It was great. I customized the alternator, unplugging all the electrical line and using it as a pulley to run the water pump. I had enough charge in my battery with the solar pannel and I didn’t need the electrical use of the alternator but the water pump is a must. We ried the engine for a little bit and it worked !!!! YEAH !!! My first mechanical/electrical experience !!! I was so happy, laughing about the drifting situation and relived to no have had a fire on board. We arrived by night in Port Angeles, with 7 hours delay. The wind blew strong enough to fly us at 5 knots to the bay then it died when we enter Port Angeles bay. It was like it just helped us to get where we needed to… I started the motor, we put the sails down and slowly motored to the slip. The water was like a mirror. I jump on the dock and hugged Eric and Nolwenn, I was relieved and felt so good. It was 1,30am, Monday morning, Nolwenn prepared dinner and we went to sleep, exhausted by this big day. It was a real adventure !!! BIG THANKS to Eric and Nolwenn for everything they’ve done and the great week end !!!

1 comment:

  1. Wow close one, happy to hear you made it. love all the new images. good luck.