To the Boatyard

This morning it was time to head over to Philbrooks Boatyard in Sidney, BC for some planned refit work. We brought the boat here last year and were really pleased with their capabilities and level of service, so we are back again for more.

Yesterday was a beautiful blue sky day in Anacortes, but this morning was shrouded in fog. It was a great opportunity to test out our new Furuno Digital radar, which can overlay a radar image on top of a chart on our PC based navigation system… but that is the topic for a different (overdue) post.

Crossing Rosario Strait and finally emerging from the fog.

As I approached Thatcher Pass, the fog began to clear. You can just begin to make out land in the photo above.

Thatcher Pass.

Then the sun came out, making it a very pleasant 33 mile cruise over to Sidney. Philbrooks gave me a slip assignment just inside the breakwater of Van Isle Marina.

A beautiful afternoon in Sidney, BC

The tall building on the left side of the image is the Phibrooks boat shed, and they have a marine railway for hauling boats out of the water. It is a cradle on tracks that goes underwater, and you drive the boat up on it.

The marine railway

Here is a photo of the cradle. Tomorrow they will roll it down the tracks and we will bring Miss Miranda up onto it to begin work which includes (in no particular order):

  • Bottom and running gear, anti-fouling paint as needed
  • Install a new Sarca Excel anchor to replace our drag-prone CQR.
  • Major electrical system upgrade that includes replacing our house batteries with Firefly Carbon foam batteries, adding chargers, and installing solar panels. This will allow us to stay at anchor indefinitely.
  • Reupholster the salon settee. After nearly 20 years, the cushions and fabric are shot, and Philbrooks did a terrific job on the pilot house settee last year.
  • Install an Iridium GO satellite messenger. This will allow us to receive weather data from Predictwind at sea, and also supports (very slow) email access and voice calls.
  • Scheduled maintenance for almost all major systems, including main engine, wing engine, generator, stabilizers, hydronic heating system, watermaker and autopilot/steering.

It’s a good thing that the condo renovations are (almost) complete, since the boat, our home for the past two months, will be at Philbrooks for all of April. The plan is to have the work done by May 1st, when we will pick up the boat and head down to Seattle for the Opening Day of the boating season.

A fitting end to the day

Biking Around Anacortes

A beautiful spring day in Anacortes.  Time to dust off the bike and do some exploring.  We had head about the Tommy Thompson trail (https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/tommy-thompson-trail), and have seen where it crosses Fidalgo Bay while driving into town.  Today I decided to go find it.

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I rode in from Skline on SR 20… not many options here, and the shouldder is pretty decent.  I went to see if the local bike shop was open (it wasn’t) and then across to “R” Avenue.  The trail is a paved, multi-use path that runs beside it.  It winds through the boat yards on the way out of town and then out and across the bay.

I rode a little way towards March point.  This is a photo looking back across the Bay to Anacortes.  On the right is a trailer park owned by the refinery for recreational use by employees.

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This is looking back at the trestle across the bay.

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Finally, a shot from the trestle looking north up the Bay towards Anacortes and Cap Sante Marina.

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The to-do list

We have a bunch of things on our to-do list, between the renovations on the condo, getting the boat ready to go into the yard and getting ready to cruise to Alaska and beyond. We had our post-it notes with the tasks on flip chart paper before we moved out of the house, but we’ve improvised on the boat, using the aft salon window. We’ve grown addicted to the satisfaction of crossing off a task, and sometimes we (OK, I) get upset when we do something useful that is NOT on a sticky…

Captain’s License Course

Module_1 I am working on my Captain’s License, using an online system that was recommended by a fellow SYC member – https://www.marinerslearningsystem.com/

I got the “Captain in a Box” course, which contains a full set of printed course materials in addition to online access via their portal.  It’s very easy to use, and the self-paced learning fits my style.  I like having the option of using the portal online or the books for offline reference.  I just finished the first module, and as a result got this sticker.  Not really sure what I am supposed to do with it…. so might as well display it proudly here 🙂

My goal is to take the test in May.

Winter in Anacortes

We’ve finally made the move from Seattle up to Anacortes, where we own, but have rented out for the past couple of years, a condo in Skyline.  The condo is having some remodeling done, so we’ve been living on the boat for the past couple of weeks.  We were greeted with plenty of snow and cold weather, as you can see here.

We survived the winter weather surprisingly well. The boat stays plenty warm, though we are giving the diesel heater a big workout.  The biggest issue has been water (getting a bit low) and holding tank (getting a bit high).  The local pumpout guy made it over after the worst of the snow, and as soon as it warmed up, we will fill up the water tanks.

Here’s the view out of the port side of the pilothouse.

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And one looking back up towards the condo.  Our unit is just to the left, out of this photo.

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This was the view looking south from the Skyline Marina entrance the day after the storms.

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