Sunday, April 6, 2014

April 06, 2014 - Lopez Pass and Hunter's Bay

It's been quite a while since we've been out on the boat.  Between bad weather, family commitments, skiing, and major boat projects, it's been a few months since we've been out.  We have spent a few nights on the boat, at the dock, though.  Even though we can walk to the boat in 5 minutes it does seem like a bit of an adventure to go spend the night on Adagio now and then.

The kids have been on Spring Break this week, and we were able to get away from the dock a bit early on Friday.  We left at noon so we could make the slack at Deception Pass at 1:15.  We were 3 minutes early this time; I guess I'm a bit rusty?  On our way back (Sunday morning) I was better.  30 seconds after we passed under the bridge the chartplotter showed the current change from Ebb to Flood.  Almost perfect timing.

We saw almost no other boats out this weekend, other than commercial boats.  Friday night we anchored at the little tombolo at Lopez Pass, this is one of our favorite places.  The winds were forecast to be a bit strong, but that never materialized and we enjoyed sunny warm weather.  A beach fire allowed us to BBQ hotdogs for dinner.  Yum!

Rowing to shore.  Cindy rowed on the way in, Kevin on the way back.
I think I'm going to get out of shape now that the kids want to do all the rowing!

Nice weather for what was supposed to be a rainy weekend!

Kevin finds a few nice fire-prodding sticks.

Working on the fire.  No shortage of nice dry firewood here.

Kathy watching the fire.  What a beautiful evening!

Family fun on the beach at Lopez Pass.

Lofting a "big one".  Kathy thinks this is dangerous, since it's right over
Kevin's head.  I haven't hit him yet!  :-)

 On Saturday the weather wasn't as nice.  Some sprinkles, heavy clouds, and lite but sometimes gusty winds.  I spent about 2 hours working on the shaft to engine alignment.  I rotated the shaft 90 degrees relative to the transmission flange and then started the engine to check for shaft wobble.  I repeated this until I had rotated through 360 degrees, for each motor.  I found very smooth positions for each motor by doing this.  On our way out the starboard engine had a pretty severe vibration.  We just had the transmissions rebuilt and I although I spent 3-4 hours working on shaft alignment, it still wasn't good on the starboard engine.  After my experimenting with the shaft to transmission coupling, I discovered that there was one position (out of 4) that resulted in NO shaft wobble on the starboard motor.  I really wanted to test it underway so after lunch we pulled the anchor and headed toward Spencer Spit.  What a difference.  The boat was smoother than it's ever been!  We ran under one engine, and then the other.  Super smooth.  Wow!

There were no boats at Spencer Spit.  In fact there were no pleasure boats in Lopez Sound.  Where is everybody?  All those well equipped boats in La Conner and Anacortes, and nobody is out?  Not even for a day trip?!

We were able to deploy one of our new anchor stabilizers.  I have only installed one, and the installation is still a bit rough.  I've got a lot of fine tuning to do before I can declare this project complete.  But, it was obvious with only one of them that they are going to be a big asset in a rolly anchorage.  We could tell there was a difference when I ran across the top deck, back and forth to get the boat rocking.  Without the stabilizer in the water the boat rolled more and took a long time to settle down.  With the stabilizer in the water it didn't roll as far, and slowed down much quicker.  I imagine that once I get the second unit installed we will really appreciate the difference.  I had videos of this, but they are generating errors when trying to upload to this blog.  Bummer.

We motored over to Hunter's Bay and dropped the anchor.  We were the only boat there.  In the summer, there would be 20+ boats here, anytime you checked.  I love boating in the off season.
A rainbow to the east, from Hunter's Bay.  Lopez Island.

Cindy relaxes in the salon.

Cindy made a little window art in the steam from making dinner.  Cute!
Kathy working the anchor on the bow on Sunday morning.

A beautiful morning to be motoring home.  Lopez Pass.
We arrived at Deception Pass AT slack tide.  The current was absolutely still as we motored through.  In fact our chartplotter showed the current changing from Ebb to Flood just 30 seconds after we passed under the bridge.  Perfect timing.....

Slack tide in 5 minutes 37 seconds.  Navigational challenge at it's best.
Once through Deception Pass we headed to Cornet Bay.  The kids are still asleep.  It's only 8:15 in the morning.  Kathy is going to practice docking on one of the mooring floats at Cornet Bay.  Fortunately there were no boats on the floats so we were able to spend an hour or more just doing 'touch and goes".  You could actually see Kathy master boat control during that hour.  She went from ending up 15 feet off the dock, or overshooting the end, to being able to land Adagio parallel to the dock, in complete control, repeatedly.  In fact she had 3 flawless landings in a row.  Quite an accomplishment.  We will do more of these sessions this spring and summer.

Kathy practicing docking the boat.  Cornet Bay at Deception Pass.

Kathy approaching the dock.  She improved immensely in just an hour.

I have been chasing some engine oil leaks now that I have the motors repainted.  They are very easy to find against the gleaming white paint.  I have a few leaks yet to conquer.  But I will get them!

I am going to remove the oil pan and replace it's gasket.  The other engine
is pretty much drip free.  Amazing for a Detroit 2 cycle.  They are notorious leakers.

Typical oil leak.  I will remove the bolt, apply thread sealant, and re-install it.

It was a great weekend.  The weather ended up much better than we anticipated.  Lots of sunshine and calm winds.  It was nice to be out on the water again.