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Thread: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

  1. #71
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan H View Post
    FireDrake is a lot prettier than the Angus rowcruiser, though "pretty" is in the eye of the beholder, yes?

    How much do you wish you had a dedicated (dry??) sleeping space when you do a trip like this, as opposed to a tarp-tent over the boom? Maybe that's not a fair question, if you haven't done such a trip in a rowable-and-sailable boat that has a dedicated space like that.
    Hey Alex can you tell us about your tent and sleeping set up? How rain proof is it? I have to imagine you have a lot more room to relax than on a pulling boat- and the opportunity to stand up!

    -Bruce
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

  2. #72
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    ... and smell worse.

    Damned good read, Alex, and fantastic photos. Thanks for putting the time in, for us readers!

    Dale

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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Great story.....account. I really admire your toughness with long days of rowing. Great photo's. I know those waters well, though quite a few years since I last traveled there. Congratulations Alex....

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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    A dedicated pulling boat, even one that could also carry enough supplies for a trip like this, would probably be faster, although I don't know about easier. I am thinking of something like Colin Angus' Row Cruiser which has on-board sleeping arrangements together with a sliding seat rowing rig. He suggests that its cruising speed is about 4 kts, which is about a knot and half faster than Fire-Drake (although Colin could probably row Fire-Drake faster than I can). That would be 12 extra miles in an 8 hour rowing day, but you still have to row for 8 hours.

    On a sail and oar boat in these waters, 50-50 rowing/sailing is usually about the best you can hope for over an extended period in the summer. Overall, when the dust settled at the end of this trip I had rowed just under 58% of the total mileage. I am happy with that although I would have preferred more sailing, but you play the weather cards you are dealt with.

    It depends on your personality and what you prefer, I think. Personally, it would have driven me crazy to have passed up the opportunity to sail when the winds allowed it.

    If easier was the overriding objective, I would have built a powerboat.
    Thanks Alex. I've liked the Angus Row Cruiser since I first saw photos of the prototype a few years ago. Something about the basic nature of that boat appeals to me. A boat, a rower and a pair of oars plus the barest level of accommodation. The idea of rowing for 8 hours doesn't bother me too much - I enjoy rowing and I could certainly use the exercise! Plus I used to do far longer than that on a bicycle. But... an adventure for another day as I have my hands full with the big boat for now. In the meantime I will live vicariously through your travels aboard the Fire Drake (which is a beautiful boat indeed, as someone else pointed out).
    - Chris

    https://fvpetrel.wordpress.com

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  5. #75
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Over lunch at anchor I got out the chart and reviewed my progress since leaving Jones Cove that morning and calculated I had come 16 miles, not much of it under sail, so I felt I had a right to feel tired. I listened to the updated forecast to hear that a southeast gale was forecast for all 3 forecast areas near me, with the only difference between them being how strong the peak winds would be and when the gale would arrive. The prediction was that it would start to get strong sometime in late afternoon, would blow overnight and through the next day, and then would be back to northwest winds the day following. Where I was seemed to be as good a place as any to hunker down and ride out the gale. There was probably more shelter further into Miles Inlet, in one of the side arms, but maybe not, as the whole of Bramham Island is pretty flat, whereas I was tucked up near to high rock walls. In addition, it would be an additional mile and a half to row to get out when I wanted to leave, and I wasnt keen on that. I did think I could take steps to better secure the boat, though, so I raised the anchor and ran lines to either shore, to prevent the boat from swinging too far or dragging at anchor if it should blow in this pocket.

    In the afternoon, the sun that had come out for a while when I arrived disappeared and there was actually a little northwest wind that found its way in, but that died away by early evening.

    Head of the cove in the afternoon


    It was calm when I turned in at quarter to 10, and I must have been more tired than I thought, as I didnt get up until quarter to 8. At first that morning I thought the gale had been cancelled, it had been so quiet overnight, with so little wind in my protected pocket. But the nearest station, Pine Island, was reporting southeast winds of 10 kts already and the forecast was still calling for a gale, but that it would arrive later and depart later.
    It had started drizzling on and off about dawn and as the day progressed this became rain off and on. I had a bit of a panic around noon when I tried to listen to the updated forecast and could get nothing on any channel nor did anyone respond when I broadcast an any-station radio check request. I thought my radio had gone on the fritz and went so far as to take it apart to see if it had a reset button. No dice so I put it back together. Along about 1 oclock, the continuous marine broadcast came back on turns out they had been offline. It did tell me that if I had to call anyone, I would have to get out of the cove.

    After supper, the winds at Pine and Herbert Islands were SE 24 kts, not the forecast gale, but stronger than I wanted to be out in at any rate. I turned in but it was a restless night, with gusts rattling the boat and every noise being magnified into some kind of problem in my half-asleep imagination. In the morning, winds were SE 15 at Pine and SE 20 at Herbert, so the wind shift hadnt happened yet. The rain, which had stopped overnight, started up again.

    As the morning ticked away, the winds seemed to be dropping, and at the 1040 reports, Pine was SE 2 and Herbert NW 4. I decided to go for it and start for Port Hardy. Even if I had to row all the way, it was only 10 miles to the first bail-out point in the Walker Group. I put on the drysuit, both because of the rain, and because I was heading out to fairly open waters.

    Out of Miles Inlet into Queen Charlotte Strait, there wasnt enough wind to sail but I was making good speed rowing, 3 3.3 kts, which I couldnt account for as the flood should have ended. It began to thicken up, the visibility reduced to under 2 miles (there was a small island 2 miles away just on the edge of visibility) and it began to rain again, fine, drenching sheets of water. I was glad I had the drysuit on and was thankful for the new sou-wester hat I had bought (after failing to find my old one) for the trip.

    After 2 hours of rowing, the northwest wind finally filled in and the cloud began to lift, so I raised sail and found I could do 3.7 4.2 kts. Once again, visions of sugarplums danced in my head and I started calculating how much distance I would make in how short a time. Such foolishness is always punished though, and as I approached the Walker Group, the wind began to die away again and the tide started to set up a funny chop, hobbyhorsing the boat. I took this as an omen and decided not to push my luck, but to duck into the anchorage formed by the space between Kent and Staples Islands in the Walker Group. I came to anchor at about 4 oclock in shallow water in an indent on the Kent Island side, having come 11 miles. I had sponged off the rainwater while we were still sailing so the boat was nearly dry when I put the tent up. It was good to get the drysuit off and into dry clothes. It was a quiet evening, with entertainment provided by the many Pigeon Guillemots feeding in the bay.

    Pigeon Guillemot looking for supper below the surface


    Pigeon Guillemot near the boat
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  6. #76
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    It stayed cloudy overnight so my tent was dry in the morning, for once, and I didnt have to pack it away wet. I woke at twenty to 5 and listened to the forecast and lightstation reports. It was already blowing 10 kts NW at Herbert Island, so I knew I had to get my skates on, as the British say, before the wind built up. I had only 12 miles to go to Port Hardy, so it shouldnt take long with a good wind.

    Kent Island anchorage early morning


    I was out into Bolivar Channel west of the anchorage by 7 and raised sail, and immediately the GPS was showing 3 kts over ground. It was more than that through the water, but the ebb tide was against me. There were some pretty weird wind-over-wave patterns and currents in the channel. I noted on the chart that there was an Alex Rock in the channel up ahead, and I figured that sometime I would have to come back and have a look at my namesake. Be careful what you wish for. The tide was stronger than I thought, and although I was sailing at a good clip, it was setting me sideways and I got a much closer look at Alex Rock than I wanted to:

    Seas breaking on Alex Rock


    It may not look it in the picture, but the seas were breaking with a tremendous noise on the rocks. I was glad I had the sail power behind me to push me past and wasnt relying on muscle power alone to escape. The seas began to flatten out as I approached the Gordon Islands, the last obstacle before Hardy Bay, and my speed picked up to 5 kts as I flew through between the islands.

    Approaching Gordon Islands


    The seas got lumpy again past the islands but the wind strengthened and my speed was up too. Now I also had to dodge literally dozens of sport fishing boats in the channel and off Duval Point at the entrance to the bay, trying their luck on a sunny Saturday morning.

    Once past the point and into Hardy Bay, the water flattened right out, the wind came forward and I was on a beam reach. I rocketed down the 3 mile length of the bay, hitting 6 knots in the gusts, and it seemed no time at all before I was rounding up outside the last light before the marina breakwater. I pulled in to an empty slip at half past 10.

    Fire-Drake at rest in Port Hardy


    I went up in search of a shower and laundry and to think about re-supply for the rest of the journey south to Victoria. While I was sitting watching the washing machine, I realized I had zero enthusiasm for continuing on. In hindsight, I had focussed all my energy on getting to Cape Caution and getting around it, and I didnt have an appetite to re-cross, in the opposite direction, ground I had covered last year. The fact that the winds were forecast to be strong for the next week, albeit in the right direction, causing me to likely have to sit them out for some days, also played a part. In any event, I decided to pack in the trip at Port Hardy. I organized a rental car for the next day so that I could get down to Victoria to pick up my car and the trailer to fetch the boat, and then walked into town to see the sights. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, but blowing seven bells, to the point where it was causing the public dock, further out in the bay, to bow inwards. I was glad I wasnt still out there. Fancy coffee in the local coffee shop, supper at the pub at a table with a view of the bay and then back to the boat.

    I had officially become an OAP on this trip and although I had retired my business, I hadnt retired from life. I was well content with what I had seen, the people I had met and with what I had accomplished.

    Downtown Port Hardy and the public docks


    Track, Shearwater to Port Hardy: 109 nm this section


    Total mileage for trip: 328 nm, 24 days, including 4 zero-mileage rest days
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  7. #77
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    Indeed! And a question on that note: Given how much you ended up rowing, do you think it would have been an easier trip in a dedicated pulling boat, rather than oar-and-(occasionally)-sail? Asking for a friend...
    It's a fair question. I think that a dedicated sleeping space on a sail and boat like ours would add too much unwanted weight and windage. I havent seen a design solution yet that avoids this, although John Welsford's Long Steps, that he is currently building, might just prove me wrong.

    Hey Alex can you tell us about your tent and sleeping set up? How rain proof is it? I have to imagine you have a lot more room to relax than on a pulling boat- and the opportunity to stand up!
    -Bruce
    The tent I have, copied from James McMullen's design for Rowan, is not over the boom, but runs in a catenary from a tie point on the mizzen mast to the forward bulkhead. It is made from what my local canvas guy says is Sunbrella, but I have my doubts, since it is not 100% waterproof in very heavy rain. I have seam-sealed the stitching holes and applied waterproofing silicone spray several times, both of which help. The problem seems mainly to happen if I put the tent away wet so the water gets a chance to soak in and it is raining again when I put it up, or if it rains hard all night and the water ceases to bead up on the outside. I think a choice of different fabric would avoid this. Yeadon's tent for Haverchuk is made from a different material that has a shinier, coated outside surface I think and I don't believe he has this problem. It's not a lot of water that gets in, just a bit of dripping, which, if it happens on your head at 3 AM, is annoying. I deal with this by using my bivvy bag inside the tent when it rains heavily. I should really get the tent remade with different fabric but I haven't got around to it yet.

    The tent is actually very comfortable once it gets set up. Even on rainy days, the relative humidity of the air here is rarely 100%, so once the water is sponged up, it dries out fairly well with a little body heat and heat from cooking, yet there is still enough ventilation. It has sitting headroom plus 6 inches or so, up against the aft bulkhead and less as you go forward. I have hinged the thwart on the starboard side for sleeping, following McMullen's and Yeadon's lead - see this thread. The gear goes back into the watertight compartments and stacked on the port side.

    It gets a little cramped if you have to sit for 2 days waiting out a gale, as I did in Miles Inlet, but any dedicated space on a boat this size would have the same problem.
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  8. #78
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernadette View Post
    doing trips such as this, makes life worthy of living.
    I totally agree Bernadette. Glad this is of interest down under.
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  9. #79
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Some random additional thoughts about the trip:

    Of all the mods I made to Fire-Drake over the winter, the three I most appreciated were:
    1. Tiller keeper to allow some hands-off steering while I tended to other things
    2. Foot stretchers - added a quarter to half a knot in speed
    3. Hinged thwart - made the sleeping arrangement that much more comfortable.
    When I texted these observations to Yeadon during the trip, he noted "these are the things that make a house a home"

    I saw lots of powerboats on the trip, commercial, power yachts, fish boats, cruise ships, many of which passed close by. Out of all of those, only one slowed down to reduce his wake. I was so surprised I wondered if he had broken down and needed my help. Insert Standard Rant #1 about clueless, insensitive powerboaters here. Fire-Drake is an able sea boat, so I was never swamped, but the wakes frequently slowed me down.

    Notwithstanding the above, several powerboaters were very kind to me, asked if I needed help and were genuinely interested in my trip.

    As busy as the Inside Passage is, I was surprised by how many nights I had anchorages myself. It is possible to have quite a solitary experience, if you want it. Related to that is that Fire-Drake, with her shallow draft, was able to make use of many coves that larger boats could not, so in some sense, I saw a different coast than a big boat would.

    I was also surprised I didn't meet more kayakers. I guess that it is still a significantly challenging trip that not a lot of people do it.

    I still haven't completely solved the palm and finger blister problem. I bought a new pair of sailing gloves during last year's trip, but with the increased rowing this year, they still caused blisters. I have a pair of neoprene cycling gloves with leather palms, for wet weather cycling, that I use for rowing in the rain. Towards the end of the trip, I was using these all the time. Even though they made my hands hot, the extra bit of padding from the neoprene made quite a difference in comfort and not aggravating the blisters.

    Rowing close to shore down the channels gives you a sense of how much land bird life there is. I heard a lot of Swainson's Thrushes (Catharus ustulatus) and Pacific Winter Wrens (Troglodytes pacificus). Both of these birds are so emblematic of the outer coast here and it was a pleasure to know there are so many. And of course the Bald Eagles, Ravens and Crows - almost too numerous and common to be worthy of note.

    There were more sea stars than in the previous years. Sea star wasting disease hit this coast hard starting in 2014 and that year there were few to be seen. Researchers now suspect a strong link to warming ocean temperatures that makes them susceptible to the virus, which apparently has been present for decades. It could be that I was in generally colder waters than further south and so more survive. This good-sized specimen was on the piling next to Fire-Drake in the Port Hardy Marina:
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    The narrative as a wordle, just because:
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  11. #81
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    I totally agree Bernadette. Glad this is of interest down under.
    absolutely. I've always had a fascination and desire for small boat voyages. there is a sense of real achievement in this type of journey…for the boat and the journeyman. but its sense of achievement that is distilled by being close to the waters' surface and feeling the nuances of wind and water ever so intimately.

    your story and photos are the best!

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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Thanks for sharing Alex, great story, I'm very envious. It did though chase me out into the shed to do some more work on Long Steps.

    I might be teaching you to suck eggs here but if my hints below are of use to anyone else, feel free to try them.

    If I'm going on a longer than a day or so rowing cruise I use this stuff https://www.capesmedical.co.nz/view-...ive-knit-sheet rather than gloves.
    I apply it to the palm and out to the first joint of the fingers. Spread the fingers wide, slightly bent, apply the adhesive knit sheet, snip between the fingers and wrap to form half fingers. This stuff can stay on for three or four days and I've found it very effective in reducing chafe and blistering.
    The other areas of the body that suffer on multi day rowing trips are the heels, particularly if you row barefoot, and I use the same product there plus pad the foot stretchers, and my butt, especially around the coccyx which is extremely painful and takes ages to heal if bruised or chafed. To fix that I use a soft closed cell pad from the back of an old lifejacket, I cut a hollow where the coccyx will be and cover the foam in a sleeve cover with a top surface of unscoured sheepskin with long wool still on ( that leaves the lanolin in it) . The whole lot is only about 30mm thick and is velcroed to the seat to stop it moving around.
    No pants on, the seams chafe a lot, and use babys bum cream on your butt and bits.

    I've had a bit to do with ocean rowers, they use pretty much what I've outlined above.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  13. #83
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Very enjoyable thread that brought back a few memories thanks Alex.

    The welcome to Port Hardy carving looks like a Terry McKinnon original. Terry was a Port Hardy local and has become a well known Vancouver Island chain saw carver.

  14. #84
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernadette View Post
    but its sense of achievement that is distilled by being close to the waters' surface and feeling the nuances of wind and water ever so intimately.
    You've got it exactly
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by john welsford View Post
    I might be teaching you to suck eggs here but if my hints below are of use to anyone else, feel free to try them.
    John Welsford
    Not at all. You're never too old or experienced to learn something new. Great tips.

    If I'm going on a longer than a day or so rowing cruise I use this stuff https://www.capesmedical.co.nz/view-...ive-knit-sheet rather than gloves. I apply it to the palm and out to the first joint of the fingers. Spread the fingers wide, slightly bent, apply the adhesive knit sheet, snip between the fingers and wrap to form half fingers. This stuff can stay on for three or four days and I've found it very effective in reducing chafe and blistering.
    I must admit I have never encountered this stuff before. Sounds like it might by similar to Moleskin but more flexible perhaps. How well does it stick when wet? I find my hands are always wet, from raising the anchor, washing dishes, rain and so on.

    No pants on, the seams chafe a lot, and use babys bum cream on your butt and bits.
    Not sure how applicable that solution is here. On mornings where it is 8 degrees C and raining, I don't think I am that tough. Also, I find that with fixed seat rowing, my coccyx doesn't seem to be a problem.
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  16. #86
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by auscruisertom View Post
    The welcome to Port Hardy carving looks like a Terry McKinnon original. Terry was a Port Hardy local and has become a well known Vancouver Island chain saw carver.
    You're probably right. I did a quick search and couldn't find any direct attribution for that sign but I did find Terry's obituary, unfortunately. He died this January at age 71. The obit says that he carved many signs around Port Hardy, so it's probably his.
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    Not at all. You're never too old or experienced to learn something new. Great tips.


    I must admit I have never encountered this stuff before. Sounds like it might by similar to Moleskin but more flexible perhaps. How well does it stick when wet? I find my hands are always wet, from raising the anchor, washing dishes, rain and so on.

    If you can apply it to dry hands, it stays on no matter how wet things get. When I'm done with it I'll peel it, then clean up any residue of adhesive with denatured alcohol.

    Not sure how applicable that solution is here. On mornings where it is 8 degrees C and raining, I don't think I am that tough. Also, I find that with fixed seat rowing, my coccyx doesn't seem to be a problem.
    I've been known to wear a kaftan and a light sweater with a poncho over it. Word of advice, dont go ashore to the supermarket dressed like that unless you dont mind people looking at you a bit sideways.
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by john welsford View Post
    I've been known to wear a kaftan and a light sweater with a poncho over it. Word of advice, dont go ashore to the supermarket dressed like that unless you dont mind people looking at you a bit sideways.
    Good advice, both on the Spenco and the dress code.
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Well done, great adventure. But I've got to say this whole thing about blokes rowing around the place with no pants on is giving the Heebie Jeebies.

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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Wow, sounds like an amazing trip, I am truly in awe! It sounds like you are married, did you're significant other meet you along the way anywhere or was it a solo mission the entire trip? As much as I'd like, I'm not sure I could get away for a stretch that long.

    You also mentioned the addition of a hinged thwart; I am considering the same and I would be grateful if you could share some photos of the interior arrangement with the hinge mechanism.

    -matt

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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by galleywench View Post
    Wow, sounds like an amazing trip, I am truly in awe! It sounds like you are married, did you're significant other meet you along the way anywhere or was it a solo mission the entire trip? As much as I'd like, I'm not sure I could get away for a stretch that long.

    You also mentioned the addition of a hinged thwart; I am considering the same and I would be grateful if you could share some photos of the interior arrangement with the hinge mechanism.

    -matt
    It was solo the whole trip. I am married. Been married a long, long time. I used to travel quite a bit for my business so we're used to longish separations.

    Here's the hinged thwart:



    Pretty self-explanatory. In my case because I didn't do this when I built the boat new, I had to add a ledge at the hinge end, glued and screwed to the centreboard case. At the outboard end, I got a 1/4" aluminum plate and bolted it to the bottom of the existing bolts that hold the side benches to the thwart, cantilevered it out a bit for a landing ledge. Installed the hinges and and drilled the hold-down holes before I cut the thwart with my thin-kerf pull saw. The hold-down bolts are just wood handles on SS carriage bolts, to make it easy to undo and fasten in a hurry. without tools. You need double-pin hinges (can't remember the correct term for them) if you want the thwart to lie flat on the other side when open.

    I take no credit for this idea or design, but instead freely purloined it from James McMullen and what he did on his Rowan, an Oughtred Sooty Tern. Tim Yeadon did the same thing on his Hvalsoe 18, Haverchuk. Perhaps he'll post pictures of his installation so you can see a slightly different approach.
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    Good advice, both on the Spenco and the dress code.
    On reflection, I dont think the embroidered kaftan on its own would have raised any eyebrows, even with the transparent plastic poncho over it, but in combination with the dayglow orange seaboots and the old fairisle sweater with the frayed cuffs and holes in the elbows, that might have been a bit much.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  23. #93
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    You're probably right. I did a quick search and couldn't find any direct attribution for that sign but I did find Terry's obituary, unfortunately. He died this January at age 71. The obit says that he carved many signs around Port Hardy, so it's probably his.
    I am sorry to hear that and also regretfull to being slack in communicating with people I used to know.

  24. #94
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Here is something I made up for this trip and found very handy. Others may find the idea useful as well. It's for those really early morning starts where you want to have a decent hot breakfast inside you before you get going, but don't want to take the time to make it. On these trips I usually make a bowl of porridge*. The idea here is to make it the evening before and have it ready to eat first thing in the morning.

    This is one of those food Thermos flasks with a wide mouth that is supposed to keep stuff hot for 8-9 hours. In a trial I found that it really didn't, so I made up an insulated enclosure to add just enough extra insulation to keep the porridge, if not exactly hot, at least warm enough to be palatable.


    The closed cell foam I had left from an old camping pad. It's about 3/8" thick. It is glued together with contact cement and reinforced with duct tape.

    Add a 5L stuff sack to hold it all together and for storage, and away you go.



    * Porridge of choice for me is Red River Cereal, invented in my home town of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada over 90 years ago. It consists of steel-cut wheat, steel-cut rye and cracked flax seeds. Makes a somewhat nutty and not-too-gooey porridge. Sticks to your ribs and lets you row all morning without re-fueling(YMMV).
    Last edited by AJZimm; 09-01-2017 at 05:11 PM. Reason: typo
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Alex,

    thanks for sharing your trip--looked like a great time. As for Thermos cooking, I use it all the time. Not only convenient, but saves a LOT on stove fuel for cooking things like rice, beans, and pasta. I like your idea of extra insulation.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  26. #96
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Alex,

    thanks for sharing your trip--looked like a great time. As for Thermos cooking, I use it all the time. Not only convenient, but saves a LOT on stove fuel for cooking things like rice, beans, and pasta. I like your idea of extra insulation.

    Tom
    Glad you liked the trip narrative Tom.

    I should have known that I wasn't the first to invent this. Usually, by the time I have a brilliant idea, I find that many others have got there before me.
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  27. #97
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    I normally use my sleeping bag or blanket (depending on the accommodations) as an extra insulation layer, when cooking that way.

    We used to fill a thermos, then stuff it into the center of a rolled sleeping bag, and stuff the whole shebang in a dry bag in our canoe. We eat a lot of beans.
    This for cooking evening meals. Obviously my idea would not work for breakfast cereal, unless you cuddled the thermos.

    Lovely photos, trip, and story. Thank you.

    Peace,
    Robert

    P.S. I see why you all love messing around in boats up there...

  28. #98
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post






    I used to use this same sort of extra insulation though for a very different reason. I did a lot of winter x-country ski trips in Alaska, quite a few years ago now. The extra insulation fit our water bottles. Not to keep the water hot, but to keep it from freezing.

    Jeff

  29. #99
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    I, too, have been enjoying this thread, from back away out of the glow of the campfire.

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    Glad you liked the trip narrative Tom.

    I should have known that I wasn't the first to invent this. Usually, by the time I have a brilliant idea, I find that many others have got there before me.
    This bit of the ongoing conversation triggered a memory that may just have come from the tattered copy of the Boy Scout Handbook given to me by an older neighbor back in the late 1950s. Wikipedia verifies that, at the very least, I didn't just make it up completely:

    The earliest known thermal cooker dates from the Medieval period in Europe. After heating over a fire, a hot, earthenware pot containing food was placed in another, larger pot, box or hole in the ground, insulated by hay, moss, dry leaves or other material, and covered. The heat conserved within would slowly cook the food inside, saving fuel and work. An example of this type of cooker was found in Wales by a Monmouth Archaeological Society excavation.[1]
    Medieval instructions for cooking without fire taken from an Anglo-Norman manuscript in the British Library:[2]
    Take a small earthenware pot, with an earthenware lid which must be as wide as the pot, then take another pot of the same earthenware, with a lid like that of the first; this pot is to be deeper than the first by five fingers, and wider in circumference by three; then take pork and hens and cut into fair-sized pieces, and take fine spices and add them, and salt; take the small pot with the meat in it and place it upright in the large pot, cover it with the lid and stop it with moist clayey earth, so that nothing may escape, then take unslaked lime, and fill the larger pot with water, ensuring that no water enters the smaller pot; let it stand for the time it takes to walk between five and seven leagues and then open your pots, and you will found your food indeed cooked.

    Here's the artifact, in fact:



    And now, I'll finish my cup of hot milk, and we will continue with our regularly scheduled programming.
    All the best, y'all.

    P.S. As I'm relatively new here, let me say how lovely your Fire-Drake is!
    Last edited by Chris Noto; 09-02-2017 at 04:40 AM. Reason: Post Script.

  30. #100
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Another thought on Thermos cooking: if you have a good steel-lined Thermos, it can help significantly to pre-heat it. To do that, simply boil water and pour it into the Thermos and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then, as quickly as you can, empty that water out (I use it to mix hot drinks or to wash/shave/etc) and re-fill it with your dry ingredients (oatmeal, rice, whatever) and enough boiling water to cook the ingredients. You might find you don't need the insulation with pre-heating.

    It also helps to lay the Thermos on its side to cook, rolling occasionally for even heating.

    This Thermos stuff works great--these days the only stove fuel I burn is to boil water, so maybe 2 minutes per meal.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  31. #101
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Noto View Post
    I, too, have been enjoying this thread, from back away out of the glow of the campfire.



    This bit of the ongoing conversation triggered a memory that may just have come from the tattered copy of the Boy Scout Handbook given to me by an older neighbor back in the late 1950s. Wikipedia verifies that, at the very least, I didn't just make it up completely:



    Here's the artifact, in fact:



    And now, I'll finish my cup of hot milk, and we will continue with our regularly scheduled programming.
    All the best, y'all.

    P.S. As I'm relatively new here, let me say how lovely your Fire-Drake is!
    Thanks Chris.

    I think the thing I like the best about those medieval instructions for cooking without fire is the timer "Let it stand for the time it takes to walk between five and seven leagues . . . ".

    Given that the English league was generally reckoned to be the distance it took to walk one hour (about 3 statute miles), that's 5-7 hours. If you actually walked the distance in order to mark the time, you'd certainly be ready for dinner.
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  32. #102
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Great series, and very fine photos to go with the telling. Thanks.

    As it happens I passed through this area for the first time on the ferry with my daughter, just as you were finishing the thread. We wondered about the places we passed, and what it would be like to see from a small boat with the scenery at eye level. Wish I had found it sooner – would have enjoyed it even more reading along the way.

  33. #103
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Alex, it took me a little time to work up the grit to post to your lovely thread, as I find it more than a little poignant that it looks like I am very unlikely to find time for a PNW boat trip of that length myself any time very soon. <sigh>

    But despite my melancholy, it really was great to see your photos and read your commentary, and I sure do hope to have the privilege of sailing in company with Firedrake and you again soon. Perhaps we can arrange a short scramble next summer? It would be July-ish, most likely, when I'll be back in your time zone for a wee bit. Or, now that you're retired, maybe you'd like to check out the wooden boats and bath-warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand for a week this winter? Winter? The only way we know it's winter in Singapore is when the Santa Claus decorations go up in the shops. You'd be welcome to drop in and thaw out.

  34. #104
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    So, when are you PNW guys (and ex-PNW Singapore guys like McMullen) going to come over to Lake Huron for some salt-free, tide-free, hassle-free sailing? July is perfect for a Georgian Bay cruise! Blueberry season, too.



    Just re-read your thread, Alex--neat trip. I may have to drag a boat over to the coast sometime. So many destinations...

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  35. #105
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Tom-

    The allure of leaving the boat without thinking of tides is pretty nice. And that's a pretty inviting picture. You provide us the bug nets and we're in!

    -Bruce
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

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