The Shakedown Cruise – Part Two

05 Jun

We have beautiful weather – perfect for sailing. Nice and warm, with a good breeze blowing in some direction. We don’t actually know the speed of the wind or its direction because we are still without our Nexus wireless wind instrument. It only worked for one week – after that, it gave out completely and Dennis spent quite a few trips going up and down the mast (in some very expensive but safe contraption). But I digress from the point of this story. I will keep a separate log of the goings on of the Nexus.

Since I am not a very experienced sailor, I’ve been practicing my driving skills when we leave the dock. Last week was a spectacular exit – no problems whatsoever and I was quite confident until a shrieking sound started up. It was the engine overheating and we weren’t even five minutes away from the marina. It turned out to be an air pocket (or something) and Dennis had us underway again within minutes.

Today’s exit from the dock was pretty good although it was a bit trickier because of the wind. However, within 30 seconds, we had bumped into something under water. It was apparently a cement block and Dennis mentioned that he should have reminded me about that. I cannot be held responsible for that though. You don’t expect to have cement blocks lying around in the middle of the channel. No damage though, so we carried on to Regatta Bay on Franklin Island.

We had an easy ride there and ventured through Canoe Channel. It was pretty shallow though (8 feet) and I doubt we’ll be able to take that short cut in the summer unless it rains for the next three weeks. We anchored in the middle of Regatta Bay and were the only boat there for most of the day.

The first thing we did was go swimming in our new “shorty” wet suits. They are terrific! The water temperature was 20 degrees Celsius and that is quite warm for the end of May in Georgian Bay but not for swimming around for half an hour.

Unfortunately, we looked like a couple of beached whales with these suits on. We seem to have developed bellies in the past couple of years and they definitely show in the wetsuits – no disguising any imperfections! Anyway, the wetsuits kept us warm and more buoyant, so we were able to swim around the anchorage for a good long time. I went snorkeling and saw lots of zebra mussels, a few crayfish, and not much else. Hardly any garbage either, which was very encouraging. Dennis dove around the boat and checked the new anchor chain – he’s quite proud of it. I guess it is much safer to have all chain instead of line, and in this wind (not that we know the speed of it), we are hardly swinging around at all.

The day was going very well but we did discover that the shower pump would not pump the water out and over the side of the boat. We had already replaced the pump last year in Mackinaw City and thought that our troubles were over. We spent considerable time troubleshooting and knew that the pump still worked but it had lost a lot of power and couldn’t manage to push the water up and over the side. So Dennis now has another job – to install a new pump. This time though, he is going to install a really good one. We’ve already had two pumps and although they were expensive, they need to last longer than eight weeks of boating. The only drawback of the good pump – we’ll call it The Terminator – is that we have to turn a switch on at the control panel when we have a shower and turn it back off when our shower is over. I think we can handle that inconvenience!

That is all that has happened so far today. Dennis is out fishing and I am having my tea. I’m sure more adventures will await us before the weekend is over!


2 responses to “The Shakedown Cruise – Part Two

  1. LisaC

    June 12, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    How many days until you leave on the Big Summer Adventure: 2010? A wetsuit sounds like exactly what I need. I am never brave enough to swim in Georgian Bay. Much too cold!

  2. JH

    June 13, 2010 at 6:46 am

    We leave on July 2nd and we should be gone for the whole summer! Our house is being looked after by a variety of people (because of the dog – she’s old and can’t come).
    The wetsuits are great! I swam for a long time at Regatta Bay and didn’t feel the cold. Now they don’t look great but since I was submerged most of the time, it was ok!


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