19 Jun 2005 SUNDAY FIRST CRUISE IN
Well it's been a long and painful process, but I finally got my boat into the water. I've been prevented from boating by everything from a terrible cold that would not go away to being locked into the boat compound when the lock had been changed, and I had not been given the new key. It was father's day, and my mother and father in law were visiting. I had just finished installing two new deep cycle batteries into Little Squirt Too, and rewiring them together. Supposedly you get a 10 to 25% improvement in efficiency by linking them together in series in this way.
Well back to subject my mother in law used to go out with me in my 3-in-1 Little Squirt, but had not yet gone out in the new boat. That is not a surprise. This trip would only be the third for my new boat. We got up, and had a nice family breakfast along with father's day's gift's. Then myself and Vivian got ready, and loaded up the van with everything that would have to go on the boat for the trip. I still don't have any doors installed in my boat so I am reluctant to put anything in the boat when driving it to the water. It is a long drive, and I could lose things.
We arrived at the compound and removed the tarps from the boat. When we tried to hook it up to the hitch the trailer would not go on to the ball of the van hitch. The ball was removable but we had left it on the car over the winter, and had so much rust on it it no longer fit. We forced, poke, prodded and it would not go on. Finally I remembered a piece of sandpaper I had in the van from a job I had done on the boat. I sanded the rust off of the ball and it popped on without any trouble at all. We were ready to go.
We were pulling the boat out of the compound, and I guess I was not paying as much attention as I should have. You see I have tried so many times to get the boat onto the water, and I had not even succeeded in getting it out of the compound. This was a major success. The side of the boat hit the gate on the way out of the compound. The boat was partially knocked off of its bed. To my horror the front part of the port bed was bend over. However on closer examination the damage was easy to repair as it just pushed back into place. The boat however was no longer rested on the center guides in the boat. I did not consider this a major problem as it just meant the boat was a little off center. It caused a lot of concern to Vivian however who worried about it until we finally did get the boat into the water, and off of the trailer.
We were going to drive up to Shirley's Bay which has a free public launch into the Ottawa River. We drove there without incident and while we were loading up the boat with the items we had bought in the car I took a quick picture of Vivian and the boat.
Now we were ready to go. We backed the boat down the ramp, and the further out we went the more nervous Vivian got. She keep telling me that the van was out far enough and I would look and find the the boat was nowhere near in deep enough to take off of the trailer. Finally I realized that it was not going to happen. The wharf at Shirley's Bay was too shallow for my boat. There was a Yaught club down the road called the Nepean Yaught Club. They charged $50.00 dollars a season to use their launch, but I was out of options. We unloaded the boat and drove it down to the club. When I got to the club the office was closed, but they sold me a season pass at the bar. We loaded up the boat again. This time things went according to plan, and we were in the water.
We used the electric engine to sail out of the inlet the club occupied, and once in open water I shut down the electric drive, and filled the gas engine. I have not successfully started the engine in over a year. I have been told that gas can get old, and old gas in the engine may have been preventing it from firing. I used every trick I knew to get every bit of gas out of the engine over the winter. Not many tricks I suppose. I then bought the best gas you could get at the gas station. It was mixed with the oil with extreme care. When I put the gas into my motor out there on the water I knew that if the engine did not start then it was not the gas. The engine started on the second pull. I was very happy. On the electric engine we may stay out for a few hours. However on gas we could stay out for as long as we wanted, or until my 5 litre gas can allowed. Withever came first. We followed the coast line for a while before we realized that a stop of nature was required. In my old stomping grounds of Gander a quick trip ashore, and a quick march behind a tree was all that was needed. We were now in the middle of a major city. What were we to do. In the distance I saw another Yaught Club. Once we were closer I switched back to electric and we went in. While things were being dealt with a young man working in the club asked about my boat. Did I build it myself, what kind of construction, where can I get the plans. That sort of thing. I told him about Stevenson's and the BYYBC. Everything you need to get into boat building are at those sites. Then once nature was looked after we took the boat back out.
A little after leaving the BYC yaught club I stopped and checked the batteries. They were at full. We cruised a little further and stopped for lunch. We had pita bread sandwiches on the water. It was quite enjoyable. Shortly after starting off again I took the following picture.
We continued on in the same direction we had been going in all along when I say a line of white all the way across the section of river we were heading for. Once I heard the sound of rapids I decided to cross the river and head back on the other side. We motored for a while and realized we had no idea where the club with out van and trailer was. We just continued back and hoped that we would find it. Neither myself nor Vivian were too worried. We were both having too much fun. I took this picture of some houses on the lake.
Since we left the warf there had been small pool of water in the small storage compartment I had built in front of the cabin doorway. I assumed that it was water that had gotten in from when we had launched. Water on shoes, etc. Now I am not so sure. Vivian mopped it out with a mop I keep in the boat to get rid of rainwater, and sure enough it came back. There must be water leaking in from at least one of the screwholes that hold the box in place. I will have to get some marine chaulking and seal in the bottum edge of the box.
I mentioned to Vivian that because I had always sailed by myself I had no pictures of myself in the boat. Vivian decided to take a picture of me. Here it is. It is very hard to ignore a camera when the person taking the picture is just a few inches away. Makes you appreciate what a actor does.
We finally found the club. I wanted to burn off the remainder of the fuel in the tank so that it would not leak in the car. I let Vivian drive for a while but she just kept going around in circles. I reluctantly had to fire her from the job. She was making me sick with all of the circling. After a while we gave up trying to burn off all of the gas and went into the inlet and up to the wharf. While Vivian held the boat to the wharf I got the car and then loaded the boat. We had spent five hours on the water. We then took everything out of the boat and put it in the car. We were ready to go home. We did get lost on the way home, but aside from a great deal of loud noises from me on the subject no harm was done. Vivian told me she had a good day on the water, and that was all that mattered.
Oh yes because when we left it was heavily overcast when we left and the sun came out very slowly so that we didn't really notice it we did not put on any sun screen. My face and arms are sunburnt. Dispite the fact that Vivian was exposed to the same amount of sun as me she is as white as a ghost.
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