A FRACTURED OAR AND HALF A PAN-FULL OF FUEL: Friday, July 29

 

Friday morning brought us strong winds (up to 30 knots, or something over 30 mph) and a swift and exciting sail across the Strait of Georgia from Vancouver Island to the BC coast, during which Martin and Walt tested various sail configurations and angles and had a glorious time. I started the day by running the boat over MORE rocks as we left the harbor because I didn’t see the second of two channel markers (one on the shore and the other in the channel) between which I should have steered, and went around the outside of the marker in the channel instead. MORE crunching, banging, lurching, and scraping! Our poor keel will certainly need paint next time we haul Braesail out of the water!
We decided to stay in Smuggler Cove, which features many islets, fascinating rock formations, and narrow, winding waterways. After we anchored, Martin decided to try out the new stern-tying line we’d bought in Nanaimo to see if he could tie the boat to a ring on a tiny island, but shortly after he launched the dinghy, AACK!!–one of the thin aluminum oars snapped in two, leaving him without a way to retrieve the oar section or to row to the island (the outboard motor was on the boat). Another “boating angel” came out in HIS dinghy, rescued the broken piece of oar, towed Martin back to our boat, took the stern line, and attached it to the ring, bringing the free end back to our stern—greatly-welcomed assistance!
After supper and a lovely evening during which Walt took Joy and me by turns to explore the extensive cove in our dinghy (using the outboard motor), we noticed the smell of diesel fuel and Walt discovered that fuel was leaking onto the floor of the engine room at a considerable rate. It appeared that the person who installed our heating system failed to use two inexpensive hose ties to secure the fuel line, and as a result of its looseness a moving engine part wore a hole in the hose from which fuel was escaping. Walt tried sopping up the fuel with “Oilsorb” pads and clamping off the hose, and we put a large cooking pan under the leak before spending a restless night (at least on my part) wondering how much fuel the pan would collect and what we could do to stanch the flow.

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