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Thread: Hey James

  1. #1
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    Default Hey James

    You and your cohorts were seen pulling in to Telegraph Cove - when will we hear about the Broughton trip? That's prime country up there, we want pictures!

    Jamie

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Hey James

    I am just taking a break from cleaning up gear and unpacking right now. Here's a quick synopsis:

    Crews:
    Alex Zimmermann and Hornpipe
    Eric Hvalsoe and Bandwagon
    Tim Yeadon and Big Food
    and Yours Truly with Rowan

    Area: Queen Charlotte Sound and northern Johnstone Strait up to Broughton Island and back. . .via the scenic route.

    Saw literal tons of whales: humpbacks, orcas, dolphins, porpoises. . . .and sea lions and seals as well. Huge tidal ranges, twice or more what I'm used to in the San Juans. Caught the biggest fish I've ever personally hooked, and plenty others too. Came across Totem poles and bear ****, each in their native element. Had to negotiate a genuine, no foolin' Class II+ tidal whitewater drop before breakfast one morning, escaping from a saltwater lagoon we had anchored in. One stormy day had several of us down to three reefs, but other days were glassy, calm and still in a way that is unimaginable in an area with powerboat traffic. Several days we spent most of the time without a single other boat in sight or earshot. Seriously, at times there was nothing rocking the boat other than the tidal currents and the wakes of humpback whales. An orca swam right between me and Tim, and then spyhopped to look Tim right in the eye. We caught and ate so much seafood that I brought home more than half the food I had packed. So yeah, it was okay, I guess.

    But I'm probably going to write the real article for one of our favorite publications here, so I'm afraid you'll have to be a little patient to get the full story.

    But yeah, I did run into John Welsford of all people, there in Telegraph Cove. He and his wife were taking a tour of the island after the Boat Festival, and just happened to stop there as I was rowing in on day 8 or so, purely by serendipitous coincidence. They even fed me a 20oz espresso. . .even though I was still plenty buzzing with excitement all on my own, I'm afraid.
    Last edited by James McMullen; 09-15-2014 at 03:29 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Hey James

    Oh, and I'm more convinced than ever after this trip that there's no way in hell I would ever do that Race to Alaska thing. Not only is that an unecessarily dangerous way to approach travel in this area in a non-motorized boat, but it would be almost criminal to rush through this area rather than savor every square centimeter.*




    * I was gonna say "every square inch", but this is up in Canada, eh?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Hey James

    Launched and recovered at Alder Cove between Telegraph and Port McNeil (highly recommended).

    The bottom end of this big ass body of water is Queen Charlotte Straight. Johnstone Straight and Blackfish Sound are the gateway from our launch point to what is commonly referred to as 'The Broughtens".

    Johnstone Straight was benign, except for the massive swirlys of Weynton Pass on the way over. One big memorable blow off Queen Charlotte Straight. No rain.

    Stops - Mound Island, Owl Island, Echo Bay, Insect Island, Booker Lagoon, Crease Island, Blinkhorn Peninsula, and for James - Alert Bay.

    Happy to be on the water, with these guys, out there.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Hey James

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Hvalsoe View Post
    Launched and recovered at Alder Cove between Telegraph and Port McNeil (highly recommended).

    The bottom end of this big ass body of water is Queen Charlotte Straight. Johnstone Straight and Blackfish Sound are the gateway from our launch point to what is commonly referred to as 'The Broughtens".

    Johnstone Straight was benign, except for the massive swirlys of Weynton Pass on the way over. One big memorable blow off Queen Charlotte Straight. No rain.

    Stops - Mound Island, Owl Island, Echo Bay, Insect Island, Booker Lagoon, Crease Island, Blinkhorn Peninsula, and for James - Alert Bay.

    Happy to be on the water, with these guys, out there.
    Thanks for the teasers guys - sounds like business as usual for up there! Would the class II rapids have been the entrance to Booker Lagoon?

    I've renewed my subscription to that publication so I'll be watching....

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Hey James

    Yes indeed, Booker Lagoon. We came in very near high tide with the ebb just starting, and were able to sneak a channel that goes dry at only slightly lower levels. But in the morning, we had to skedaddle, actually before the sun had come over the hilltops, and the main channel was all that was available. I tells ya, that'll wake you up better than coffee! But we still rafted up and made some coffee together after the drop all the same, while we waited for the sun to peek over. And there were a couple of humpbacks there in very close, giving us a morning whale show for our entertainment while we had breakfast afloat.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Hey James

    Ha ha ha! Well done, twodot!

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    Default Re: Hey James

    Sounds fantastic. More details, pictures. Did the four of you determine sail plans together or did you sail as a loose bunch? How much rowing to sailing did you do?
    ~Dan

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    Default Re: Hey James

    Details and at least my own pictures will mostly have to wait for the article, Dan. As far as determining plans go, no one is in charge of this unruly mob. We are a free company of self-reliant individuals, occasionally converging to share companionship when it suits us to do so. There were many hours when I had no other boats of any kind in sight, and I assume the others broke off on their own if and when it pleased them as well. The weather and the ferocious currents limited the direction we could go at any given time of tide, and the mostly rocky and impenetrable shorelines very much dictated the few available options where you could safely fetch up at night, but other than that we were quite unfettered. We probably spent at least 50/50 rowing vs sailing, because even sometimes when there was wind, it was necessary to stick to oars for tactical reasons in those currents.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Hey James

    I was up that way over the weekend. I saw I think two of you team towing behind vehicles returning to tell the tales.... so nice to see real boats on trailers rather than the usual tinnies, and glit.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Hey James

    We agreed on primary and sometimes secondary destinations. We had a morning and evening call-in schedule in case of seperation. Traveling "loosely together" might be the best description. Two of us had been in the area previously. Some days were mostly sailing, some mostly rowing. Except Rowan, whom I think sailed more than the rest of us, which seems typical.

    Combining anchorages and campsites is sometimes challenging, managing four boats can be challenging. You've got to be patient with your mates. I suggest that anybody doing this sail and oar be comfortable sleeping on board. We slept both aboard and on shore. I had two great nights sleeping in a bivy bag right on the beach.

    Now I've seen a killer whale spy hop and a humpback breach live and in color. On one occasion I was surrounded in close by humpbacks. No intention of being in that position, don't try it. I was somewhat terrified, but suspect those creatures knew exactly what they were doing and meant me no harm.

    This is an area where large forces are at work. At times my boat felt mighty small.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Hey James

    Exciting sneak summary.

    dare I ask what 'favorite publication' to look at - or are we getting a different view of the same trip in four publications?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Hey James

    You can all follow Tim's thread now . . . with pictures

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Hey James

    Ah, much better. No need to write one now.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Hey James

    It's a pain when James doesn't do our busy work for us. Starting threads, etc. I had to go do it myself.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.
    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    I basically copied what McMullen, Yeadon and Hvalsoe use because it worked so well.

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    Default Re: Hey James

    Can you guys talk a little about your navigation techniques? GPS, charts, a little of both...I'm still curious if you had an over-all plan for the trip or were you making it up as you went. What sort of check-in was needed with the Port Authority. ~Dan

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    Default Re: Hey James

    We made it up as we went. Each day we looked at the currents and tide info as well as the weather forecast. From there, we figure out a primary and a secondary destination for next-day camping. And off we go.

    In a place like the Broughtons, we just use charts. GPS isn't really needed, though I did check it one day when I looking for a particular entrance to a channel. They all looked the same to me, so it was nice to get confirmation.

    You don't need to check in with any Port Authority on these trips. Check in at customs, go sailing.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.
    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    I basically copied what McMullen, Yeadon and Hvalsoe use because it worked so well.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Hey James

    We just used paper charts. No overall plan, other than to try to use weather and currents to our advantage as we went. We made it up on the fly, day by day. There is no check in with anybody once you cross the border. This trip had zero structure, hierarchy, or chain-of-command, just the way we like it.

    Like I said, there was no Trip Leader by any means, but that didn't mean we didn't each play a role:
    Alex: Calm, Thoughtful, the Voice of Reason and Experience
    Eric: Methodical, Thorough, Restrained.
    Tim: Rabble-rouser, Instigator, Joyous Sower of Chaos
    James: Loose Cannon, Slayer of Fishes.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Hey James

    We were pretty damn lucky with the weather on this trip. The only big wind day was a day we had planned to be going in the direction it was blowing us anyways. The two and a half days on Johnstone Strait were either calm for rowing or light winds suitable for good sailing. On previous kayak trips to the area I have been pinned to the beach for a day or so by winds.

    We also experienced no rain and generally warm temperatures, which, at this time of year, can be a bit of a lottery. We had a couple of mornings of low cloud that threatened to become fog but didn't really. That was why I brought my GPS, but I never really had to use it, although, like Tim, I turned it on once to confirm my position in a congested area that I hadn't been before.
    Alex

    A man in an open shirt, sat gazing out to sea; A young man, a hale man, and I wished that I were he and that the things that I loved were as they used to be
    - Geoffrey Holdsworth

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Hey James

    Terra Incognita for James and Tim, except whatever research they did preceding the trip. Alex and I had been in this area before, Alex more recently. Alex had some ideas for campsites. I had some recollections too, and sort of an interest in getting as far in as Echo Bay, but really, there are so many directions to go.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Hey James

    Tim and Eric, did you come up with any design ideas you might consider in the HV 18 from this trip? ~Dan
    Last edited by Otter99; 09-17-2014 at 12:13 AM.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Hey James

    Quote Originally Posted by Otter99 View Post
    Tim and Eric, did you come up with any design ideas you might consider in the HV 18 from this trip? ~Dan
    Unclutter the boat of thwartage, but Tim already knew that. Thwarts serve all kind of good purposes, but one gets tired of stepping over them. Difficult for me to admit, but true.
    We want a hull that is strong and stable without, or prior to, installation of thwarts. Might involve ring frames. I like the way the 16 handles. I sometimes just want it to be bigger.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Hey James

    Quote Originally Posted by Otter99 View Post
    Tim and Eric, did you come up with any design ideas you might consider in the HV 18 from this trip? ~Dan
    We have a pretty good handle on the systems needed to do Sail & Oar. The rig is settled, foils, etc. Interior layout is settled, at least in my mind.

    I'm interested in creating a locker on the new boat where a guy could fake 600 feet of line for a clothesline anchor. You need a space for a rode, chain, and anchor. Additionally, you need space for the clothesline. When stopping for the night you can let the boat dry out on the beach, but then you need a high tide in the morning. You can also row out in the evening and set an anchor for the night. I generally do this, though you have to tend to your boat until then. What a pain. Another option is to run an anchor buddy on an anchor to pull you off the beach, then another line to a tree on shore. This works pretty well, actually, but only in the smaller tidal ranges. It wasn't really a viable option in the Broughtons. Final option is a clothesline, which lets you wheel the boat in and out. I've set these up several times in the past, but I have limited room in my boat and am not much for carrying an extra 500 feet of line. The HV18 that I'm building will have room for this. Thus, thinking about a small locker integrated into the bulkhead.

    (The best option of all time is to row out after dark and snag an open mooring. Always a favorite. Barely any thought or planning needed to do this.)
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.
    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    I basically copied what McMullen, Yeadon and Hvalsoe use because it worked so well.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Hey James

    Yeadon is going to up my 400ft clothesline to 600. Son of a gun. At insect island I used all 400 ft. All that ground tackle fits nicely in the forepeak of Bandwagon, and the clothesline usually feeds out without a snag - but it can be awkward to futz around all the forward in the boat. I would keep in mind Rowan's anchor stowage, or whatever Tim comes up with.

    Very happy with the Sampson 1/4" float line for a clothesline. 100 ft minimum anchor line in these parts, could be more.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Hey James

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Hvalsoe View Post
    Unclutter the boat of thwartage, but Tim already knew that. Thwarts serve all kind of good purposes, but one gets tired of stepping over them. Difficult for me to admit, but true.
    We want a hull that is strong and stable without, or prior to, installation of thwarts. Might involve ring frames. I like the way the 16 handles. I sometimes just want it to be bigger.
    This is a feature I really like about Walkabout. John Welsford designed the center wide open primarily as the sleeping area, but with seat and foot stretcher lifted out you can use the 10 feet of open space to move about, stretch, even jog back and forth!


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Hey James

    On Hornpipe I carry 20 feet of anchor chain and 200 ft of anchor line. I have on occasion needed most of it at anchor in deep spots.

    I built an X-shaped wood float like Geoff Kerr detailed in a Wooden Boat article a few years back to fasten the anchor line and clothesline to for the clothesline mooring, but it doesn't provide quite enough flotation for all that extra anchor line, so I keep the excess line in a mesh bag and tie a fender to it.

    My clothesline is 200 ft of floating poly - it should be longer for long shallow beaches. I keep it coiled in a bag for easy deployment. It does take time to neatly coil up and stow in the morning though - about 10 minutes.
    Alex

    A man in an open shirt, sat gazing out to sea; A young man, a hale man, and I wished that I were he and that the things that I loved were as they used to be
    - Geoffrey Holdsworth

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Hey James

    I brought 300' for my clothesline. . .and several times wished I'd had more. I'm thinking about just an extra hank to bring along that I'll get out and bend on only when necessary, though. Most of the time I'll not want or need that much line in my local grounds, and it does take a while to deal with all that string.

    I'm now using the zeppelin bend exclusively to join my clothesline loop lines. It's got a friendlier knotted shape with seemingly less chance of getting bound up passing through the turning ring than other knots I've tried. The tails go out at a more convenient direction than with most bends, and it's foolproof even under intermittent loadings when made up correctly.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Hey James

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeadon View Post
    We have a pretty good handle on the systems needed to do Sail & Oar. The rig is settled, foils, etc. Interior layout is settled, at least in my mind.

    I'm interested in creating a locker on the new boat where a guy could fake 600 feet of line for a clothesline anchor. You need a space for a rode, chain, and anchor. Additionally, you need space for the clothesline. When stopping for the night you can let the boat dry out on the beach, but then you need a high tide in the morning. You can also row out in the evening and set an anchor for the night. I generally do this, though you have to tend to your boat until then. What a pain. Another option is to run an anchor buddy on an anchor to pull you off the beach, then another line to a tree on shore. This works pretty well, actually, but only in the smaller tidal ranges. It wasn't really a viable option in the Broughtons. Final option is a clothesline, which lets you wheel the boat in and out. I've set these up several times in the past, but I have limited room in my boat and am not much for carrying an extra 500 feet of line. The HV18 that I'm building will have room for this. Thus, thinking about a small locker integrated into the bulkhead.

    (The best option of all time is to row out after dark and snag an open mooring. Always a favorite. Barely any thought or planning needed to do this.)
    Tim, one thing about sleeping onboard Otter is you have ample time to look at that foredeck and wish you had done things differently. As you mentioned, a forward hatch to handle all that line kept in place where you will most need it. May as well figure out a place for the anchor as well 'cause you will likely be deploying/retrieving from there too and how about a surface that can take all that knocking around of chain and anchor. I'm actually thinking about firing up the saws-all, but damn I just finished the thing. Maybe we can pick this up again when you get back to building your HV 18.

    The one aspect of your trip that gives me pause are the 15' tide flows. I'd be over-planning that part. Your comfort level with negotiating these elements is well-earned. ~Dan
    Last edited by Otter99; 09-17-2014 at 11:54 PM.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Hey James

    Quote Originally Posted by Otter99 View Post
    The one aspect of your trip that gives me pause are the 15' tide flows.
    What??? Didn't you hear about the bears?

    At any rate, I'd heartily encourage you to get out the Sawzall this winter and make her right. Don't settle for any less. Complacency gets you nowhere. If you're not entirely satisfied when you could be, then you're not giving yourself the best deal. Add in that front bulkhead, it'll make your boat both substantially safer and more self-reliant in case of disaster, as well as more convenient to pack and use on long trips. Swap out rigging, add tie-downs or pad-eyes, install a built-in pump, add binocular shelves, replace that bulky, enormous rear hatch with a nice, watertight flush round one to make your deck more comfortable to sit on, make an anchor locker, make a boat tent, install a mast tube to make your rear compartment watertight, figure out a compass mount, turn some belaying pins, install a bottle opener, sew up storage bags for fenders, spare lines, oars, sail covers. . .

    The list is endless, but it's all fun, satisfying tinkering. Make your boat better. Don't settle. If anything whatsoever bugs you, go fix it. It's all absolutely worth it in the end.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Hey James

    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    I brought 300' for my clothesline. . .and several times wished I'd had more. I'm thinking about just an extra hank to bring along that I'll get out and bend on only when necessary, though. Most of the time I'll not want or need that much line in my local grounds, and it does take a while to deal with all that string.

    I'm now using the zeppelin bend exclusively to join my clothesline loop lines. It's got a friendlier knotted shape with seemingly less chance of getting bound up passing through the turning ring than other knots I've tried. The tails go out at a more convenient direction than with most bends, and it's foolproof even under intermittent loadings when made up correctly.
    for your application - what kind of line is your 'clothesline'?

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Hey James

    I've been using 1/4" three-strand nylon like the kind you'd use for anchor line, but I'm considering the merits of switching to a braid to reduce twist issues. Eric is using floating line, which I've used before, but had issues with it gathering unwieldy amounts of floating weed in areas with strong, alongshore currents. But then the sinky kind of rope is trailing along the bottom, where it can get a little snaggy on rocks occasionally. I'm not sure which is the better solution ultimately, though I think I'm leaning towards the sinky over the floaty, especially for in more crowded anchorages. But I'm not entirely settled in my mind on that yet.

    One very nice thing about setting up a clothesline to the shore is that it improves your anchoring scope, risk of turning-with-the-tide-and-not-re-setting issues tremendously. Essentially, you get a two-anchor mooring, with one end right fixed absolutely bombproof.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Hey James

    I started off sinky. At this point I prefer floaty clothesline. I remember one snag in particular that made me forever swear off sinky. Sinky still gathers kelp and whatnot. As I already mentioned on one or another of these threads, I use sampson 1/4" float line. High visibility brilliant yellow. Cored yacht braid type. Flakes well. Not had problems with twist. Expensive. That's the way it goes. Thankfully I'm able to purchase this sort of thing at a discount. Still recommend somebody who is serious taking a look. I think Alex uses a less expensive floating poly.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Hey James

    Your line was pretty nice, Eric. That's why I'm not entirely settled.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Hey James

    I, too started off with sinking line and a few years ago had a bottom snag bad enough that for a while thought I would have to abandon the line altogether in the cove and swim out to the boat (not a pleasant prospect when the water is only 12 C / 54 F). Like Eric, it made me switch to floaty line, in spite of occasional issues with floating weed. It's not braided and does give me issues with twist though.

    Eric's line is very nice. I may have to bite the bullet and go that route.
    Alex

    A man in an open shirt, sat gazing out to sea; A young man, a hale man, and I wished that I were he and that the things that I loved were as they used to be
    - Geoffrey Holdsworth

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Hey James

    Looks like I can get it by the 600' spool from Fisheries. . .

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