Prince Rupert BC, Canada
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31 Mar 15

The Head work is almost complete with the install of the sink and faucet. The fridge top is done and new ladder into the galley, plus I finally installed the mosaic glass tile in the galley as the back splash to both counters we bought so long ago. Stove is in place and entry way moulding complete. The last row of pictures shows you the state of our main cabin as it is right now and the next big part of the refit. I'm looking forward to what it will look like in a couple of months. Cheers

28 Feb 15

Some more pictures as the cabinets, doors and counter tops are installed both in the Galley and Head. Cheers

24 Jan 15

Wow two posts in two days. Must be the heat wave we're having, 9c, raining and only blowing 20knots or so. A balmy spring day it feels like. Anyway here are some pictures of the finish on the galley walls. Cheers

This is the Galley walls after stain and 10 coats of finish. I still have to rub the finish out but now have to wait a couple of weeks to make sure it is hard enough.
More Galley walls.

22 Jan 15

Where the heck did 3 1/2 years go! The Cloud is still in Port Edward and in the middle of a major refit just as I promised. Below is a series of pictures showing the progress and how things look. As for the family both my sons have taken up the Electrician trade. Tommy is a third year Industrial Electrician in Edmonton Alberta and Billy is a first year in Vancouver BC. Laurie took the Supervisor position in the Hospital and I left the Grain Terminal a year and 1/2 ago to work on the boat full time. Of course the boat was only going to take a year and here we are almost two into it and I'm only half done. Best laid plans of mice and men as they say. All is well even though we are into our 3rd day of Storm force winds and sheets of rain. It is the north after all.

The Start. Looking sternward in the old Galley Ripping out the Head bulkheads The big hole left when I cut the deck away to expose the galley.
The Head all gone. The Anchor room being sanded down and re-framed New bulkheads going in between the Anchor Rm and Shower Rm
Bulkheads for the Shower Rm almost in Old weak deck gussets were cut away and new ones added plus sister frames over them More new bulkheads
Bulkheads and insulation for the Shower Rm in Same on the Stbd side Anchor Rm all done with nice shiny paint
And then I fill the Anchor Rm up with rusty chain and old rope Shower Rm painted and new sole installed Shower Rm glass tile and accent tile in. The image in my head is coming to life. The Anchor Rm Door is in but needs finishing but you can see the new door trim around the door out of Maple.
The Head area for the toilet complete with the veneer plywood and tile. The new sink area framed in again with tiles. The upper stbd cabinets framed in waiting for doors.
Sink upper cabinet framed in. Between the Head and Galley is two storage areas which I cleaned out to make room for black water storage in one and fresh water plus pumps etc in the opposite one. Built louvered doors to allow max ventilation. A good view of both storage doors with Galley in background.
On to the Galley. Walls being framed up after everything is fixed or re-enforced and then painted. Walls frame in place and two layers of insulation installed between Galley and Almas. Good view of the main mast support post. Fwd Galley bulkhead ready for the veneer plywood outer wall.
Wiring, plumbing and ventilation going in and you can see the raceway behind the wall. Frame just about to recieve the veneer plywood outer wall. Stbd wall about to be put up on the frame. Port wall about to be glued up as well.
New Galley sole reframed around the new cabinets not yet built but designed. The bilge was cleaned out, sealed and painted with four coats of paint. Looking down into the new fridge (sans top). I used the old fridge system but build a much bigger cabinet with larger access from the top than it had before. Side view of fridge which is on Stbd side of Galley.
New stove area on the rear bulkhead of the Galley. Sink area and drawer cabinet installed waiting for finish. All inner surfaces were finished on everything prior to install. The includes all bulkheads, walls prior to insulation and every bit of wood had a clear varathane put on it. At least two coats but often three. Forward stbd wall up and showing the new access door to the raceway. The identical door is on the port wall in the same location. No more fishing for wires and plumbing.
Drawer cabinet in my basement shop assembled and waiting to be installed in the boat. Drawer with flush hardware.
Shower Rm with door trim and finish on. Another view of the Shower Rm. Still have not had the courage to put a hole in the Anchor Rm door for a handle Folding Teak seat in the Shower Rm.
Anchor Rm door and trim close up. Shower Rm door trim which is figured Red Elm out of the lower mainland of BC. Upper Head stbd cabinet with one door installed. Used opaque safety glass and Red Elm beading.
Cabinet over sink on port side with one mirror door on. Again Red Elm beading.
Wasn't planning to do the deck this year but the weather killed it much faster than we thought. Had rot in the stern of the port alma so thought I would try something different. Made stairs onto the boat and they work great. For the decks I used a product called Tuff Coat. I'm impressed. Laurie loves her Marine Blue so blue it is.

There is much more coming and I will not wait 3 1/2 years again. Cheers



28 Jul 11

Finally the Cloud is in Rupert, or more accurately in Porpoise Harbour, Port Edward which is about 10 miles from Rupert. We moved it in the month of June and surprisingly it went quite smoothly. Of course we had mechanical issues everyday but still all in all it went fine. It took 9 days, 7 running and 2 for weather. We only got beat up once trying to get into Port Neville at the bottom end of Johnstone St when an afternoon NW had picked up to 30 or 35 knots. We only had to beat into it for 3 miles but it was a long 3 miles. However Port Neville was well worth it and we stayed an extra day due to the westerly's plus it is a lovely anchorage.

Here are a few photos of the trip.

This is leaving the fabled Seymour Narrows and entering Discovery Passage. Although a treacherous narrows, when you do it at slack tide there really are no issues. Plus the tide was changing to a flood so it pushed us right up Discovery Passage. Leaving Seymour Narrows
Looking up into Discovery Passage.

This is coming out of Current Passage and the cruise ship (one of many we saw) is right in front of Kelsey Bay. Current/Race Passage again were not a problem. Even though it was an ebb tide, at this time of year the currents were going north and we actually zipped through this entire section of the coast.

It was starting to get lumpy and just around the corner is Port Neville and the 30 knot NW winds to make the last few hours very rough.

This is the lighthouse at the top end of Cormorant Island (Alert Bay) just before the engine broke down again. Oh well at least it was not lumpy. We're about 3 hours away from Port Hardy where we spent another weather day due to a big SE which blew up. Laurie prevailed upon me to buy a Chart Plotter and it made the remainder of the trip much easier and safer. We would not have gone into many of the places we went with out it.

This is Miles Inlet about 1/2 way to Cape Caution from the top of Vancouver Island. The entrance is about the width of my boat in many places but well worth going into. It is popular so be prepared for other boats to be in there. They all put their fenders out when they saw chucking through the entrance which made us laugh.

We stopped here as it took a couple of tries to get out of Port Hardy. First the alternator packed it in and then kelp plugged the raw water intake. Both repairable as I had three alternators and lots of experience taking apart my cooling system.

Looking south in Miles Inlet.
Looking north to Cape Caution from Mile Inlet. The weather held for most of that day and only towards the end did it get sloppy with a NW wind. However there is always a swell running here.
This is Green Island Anchorage just off of Fitz Hughes sound and across from Calvert Island/Hakai Pass area. This was a stunning place and a great anchorage (only ones there). The entrance is tricky as you thread your way through hidden rocks and around a twisty narrow entrance but worth it. By the way this is not the entrance but a cleverly disguised rocky trap. You will tear your bottom out going that way.
This is running up Fitz Hughes sound to Bella Bella just past Namu. Another stunning day.
This is leaving Bella Bella after staying overnight at Shearwater.
Entering Seaforth Channel just at first light and this was the start of a long day where we pushed right through Milbanke Sound, Finalyson Channel, Klemtu, Tolmie Channel and finally Graham Reach to tie up at Butedale. The tides and wind worked out perfect with a big flood pushing us up the coast along with a building SE wind.
This is Ivory Island lighthouse at the entrance to Milbanke Sound. There was a big swell running here and lots of Gray Whales, one which had sounded beside the boat just before this picture was taken.
Another long narrow reach in the inside passage. I think this is Tolmie Reach but after awhile they start to look the same and it takes a long time to get through them at 6 knots.
Finally after a long day Butedale. This is an old cannery which stopping producing in the 60s. Now a couple of caretakers (Blue and Corey) live there and can take you through it. This is the only place we have every been where the local dog and cat come down to the wharf to say hi. A very big orange cat marched right up to us along with the dog to check us out. It was hilarious and I forgot to get a picture.
The next day was the run from Butedale to Port Edward (100 miles) and again the tides pushed us all the way there in 15 hours. A long day but it was nice to be home. This is the entrance to Grenville Channel from Wright Sound. On a big flood we were doing 9 1/2 knots through here.
Another Cruise ship chasing us up the coast. This one is in front of Porcher Island and were now only a few miles from Port Edward.
Tied up at Port Edward and glad to be there.
 All is well and we're all moved into our new house.

 

TTYL

30 Oct 10

A year has gone by up in the North and where did it go? We have had no luck in getting Pacific Cloud towed up here and after 10 months of trying I gave up and during my holidays drove down to Langley and put her back together to the point that I felt she was safe enough to move out of the Fraser River. The work took ten days and lots of money but now at least she can move under her own steam. Laurie joined me and together we took her as far as time would allow. So now she will winter over in French Creek Marina on Vancouver Island. Next spring I will move her the remainder of the way.

At right is Pacific Cloud with temporary windows in the new house on the morning that we left Langley. I think she looks good. Unfortunately the camera went on the fritz after that and I got now more pictures of the trip.

After a year here we think overall it has been a very good move for all of us. Tommy is doing well in grade 11 and works locally at the Safeway. Billy is also doing well but down south in Abbotsford. Laurie is working part time at the local hospital pharmacy and I work way too many days at the Grain Terminal.

It is good to be back in the wilderness and this place is all that. In one year I have had a very close encounter with a black bear who was quite insistent that he share my exact fishing spot and two close encounters with the local wolf pack, one of which was a serious discussion with a large salt and pepper wolf about who owned the rights to walk on a popular local hiking trail. I won the argument but is took an aggressive move on my part to get the message across and the whole time it was no more than 10 feet away and as bold as the day was long. Need less to say the remainder of the hike was quite quick as I desired not too linger. I walk this trail a number of times per week and under the right conditions the wolves walk it to! They prey on the local pet and deer population and have killed dogs in front of their owners on this very same trail.

Of course deer are virtually domesticated big dogs in the town, bald eagles are in the hundreds and the wildlife abounds all around. Whales in the sound in front of where I work, dolphins in the harbour and salmon everywhere. A truly wild place and fun to live in. Below are some pictures of the local area. The white bear is called a Kermode bear and is a black bear with white fur. They're the rock stars of the local bear world and saunter out and through traffic in the Terrace area. We were lucky enough to get a picture of this guy on a trip down to Vancouver.

Kermode Bear  View from my office  Prince Rupert Harbour

Sunsets  Skeena River backwaters in the Spring

Skeena River Backwaters in the Spring

TTYL

 

08 Nov 09

In a twist of fate that was impossible to imagine just a few months ago, we have moved from the bottom of BC to the very top; to Prince Rupert. Yup the last major habour on the Northern BC coast before you hit Alaska. You basically drive until the road ends and your there. The community is around 12,000 hardy souls who have gone out of their way to help us adjust to our new surroundings.

While on vacation up in the area this summer with my brother, sister-in-law and her family I was offered a job at Prince Rupert Grain Terminal which I could not turn down. We thought long and hard about it (of which we had plenty of time to do as it takes two solid days of driving to come home from there) but the positives significantly out weighed the negatives for us. We would be by the ocean again and hopefully so would the boat (still in Langley and will stay that way for a while as the weather is too rough to move her here until next year), the city life was driving us crazy and the money was just too good. Yes it rains here; over 100 inches a year but you get good boots, clothing and then get over it. Our cat however has turned into a house cat after sticking her nose outside a few times.

The move was not with out its drama but we made it at the end of Oct just before the real nasty weather hit. Now deer daily graze in our little lawn just a few feet from the window, eagles sit in the tree overtop of the house and overall we seem to be enjoying it. I like my job and Laurie is eyeballing a few different positions which need her expertise. Tommy came with us as he still has 2 1/2 years left in school but Billy stayed in Chilliwack with his own place, working locally there. Both seem to be thriving. As soon as I get my camera to work properly I will put up some pictures of the local area.

TTYL

28 Sep 09

Well the fiberglass, gel coat and primer is on.

  

Not a minute too soon as the rains are arriving tomorrow. I will mark out the windows shortly so it looks more like a house and less like a box. So far I like it as it significantly increases our indoor area.

12 Sep 09

Just looked back at my goals for last year and low and behold I got them all done.
We rebuild the stern cabin back deck (got rid of the deck and raise that area to the height of the cabin top) and remove the missen mast. Rebuild the Cockpit Soles, Alma's cabins, hatches and floors.

Here are some links to pictures from last years work. Forgot to thank KC and Mandy who visited last summer for a few days. Once KC gets to work lots gets done.
  

Now to this years work. Here are some scans of the of my design scratching's.

Profile of the new house with the stern Alma stairs and where the dinky will be situated. The back cabin has already been extended taking away the very back deck and latter.

Main Cabin area with the new sole 10 inches below the cockpit level bringing the cabin height down and making the profile look better.

And the new Galley that will be in the forward area of the current main cabin.

Here is some shots of the work to date with the framing of the new house almost complete. The old house was cut away and the new house is situated overtop of it. Plywood goes on this weekend.

  

11 Jul 09

Another year gone by. We just got new hosting so up and running again.

Billy is off in summer training with the Canadian Military Reserves and Tommy is almost as big as me now. At right is Billy, now 18 and graduated from Grade 12.

Tommy just finished soccer for the year (normally over in March) but his team won the Coastal Cup which gave them the right to go to Nelson last weekend to take on the best teams in BC and low and behold the won the whole thing and are now the Provincial U15 Champions. Amazing games and I'm glad I drove up on the Saturday morning to watch the last two games even if it took me 8 hours to get there.

Life carries on although I do not thing it is possible to get any busier. Other people told us that the year your kid graduates is by and far the busiest and I'm hoping they are right. It was a crazy year.

I'm building the new main cabin in modules behind the little house we rent in a small garage. It is slow going but will keep at it one small piece at a time.
TTYL.

29 Jul 08

Wow time flies! The refit is on. At right is what is left of the starboard alma after cutting away the old ports and the rotten frames. By the time I was done it got a lot worse with the cockpit floor and scupper area cut out also.

All necessary as both outside cockpits leak and have for years. Once apart I found out why. Cracked frames, improper support and old fiberglass lead to movement which allowed seepage and then of course the rot got in.

Most is already fixed due to lovely July weather and my persistence. Our goal this year is to rebuild the Alma's cabins, hatches and floors. Rebuild the stern cabin back deck (get rid of the deck and raise that area to the height of the cabin top) and remove the missen mast. Should be interesting.

Next year it is the main cabin area rebuild. Lots of work.

Billy has a car now and is driving!!! A trauma all parents must go through but it's a killer on the nerves. Tommy is living the life of Riley this summer with endless sleep overs, sunny biking days and now two weeks in Osoyoos with friends. Meanwhile Laurie, Billy and I trudge to work each day wishing we were 14 again.
TTYL

24 Feb 08

Aldergrove, BC

It is almost spring now. We have had a few days in the last week where there has been real warmth in the sun. I sometimes stop and take what seems to be precious rare time to compare our current life to our year on the boat. Although it appears everything is back to normal and life is the same old same old, much in us has changed in many ways, some subtle and other more obvious.

When driving the kids to and from sports, work, school we often discuss these differences and also reminisce about places we were and things we saw. The boys now recognize strongly that what they experienced was special. Tommy misses the beach and surfing although he has bonded with his school and friends here in Aldergrove. Billy is no longer a teenager in my eyes because he acts and talks like a young man so we treat him as one. He works many hours each week at the local McDonalds and last night worked a night shift with no difficulty. Both boys do their share around the house without complaint, are doing well in school and if the times permits we still enjoy the family supper hour with laughter and story telling of the days events, but we all recognize the difference between this life and the life we lead for a year.

To me the change seems to always come back to time. Time was different during that year! Time to talk, time to see and hear, to feel. Much of what we do each day now has no emotional connection to what we now know is important. We shower, drive to work, work, drive home, drive to sports or kids to friends, shop, watch tv and then go to bed so we can repeat tomorrow.

Time cruising on a boat is different. Each day is lived in the moment. All things become immediate and must always be so. Plans that matter so much in this current life mean very little out there. I think it was the most difficult thing for me to do during that year; to stop worrying about the future. Will the boat anchor drag in the afternoon winds, can we get to this or that port, will we get robbed, fall overboard, will something critical break or will we face a killer storm. At first all your fears and dreams cause you to plan then re-plan and then try to plan again. In the end you give up and sets some rules in place and just react. In so doing you change time. Now you must wait, watch, feel and deal with the present, and suddenly you see other things you have been missing.

It is these other things that were always there but for some reason not visible that gave us real joy and wonder. The milky way spread from horizon to horizon each night, anchoring in a tropical bay with warm embracing surf, a steady trade wind pushing the boat along with just the right set of sails, the wonder of watching the dolphins play or the albatross soar just inches from the surface of the sea, the anticipation of the evenings meal, the laughter around the card table, the hustle and bustle of a fruit market in the early hours or lazy afternoon siestas. But when making a crossing it is the the vastness of the ocean that pushes its way into your mind. It seemed to go on until infinity, and we all realized that in this world we matter not one bit. Our struggles, trials or even our deaths would not be mourned or even noticed by this world. It was at first alien to us as if we were dropped on to Mars. In time we came to realize that our world ended at the edge of the boat. Their world was out there and all around us. Again wait, watch, feel and deal with the present.

It is this change in time that we now all deal with. Some better than others. Laurie has clocks throughout the house and even two on the bedroom nightstand. Coordinating the daily time dance has become a full time occupation for us again and I don't think were better for it. TTYL

 

7 Jan 08

Aldergrove, BC

Hope everyone had a good Christmas. Ours was ok but Laurie picked up a Norwalk like bug just before Christmas and then we each got it in turn throughout the holidays. Only Billy escaped by hiding in his room for a week straight, only coming out for food and then running back to his room and barricading the door against the plague carriers lying around the entrance to the bathroom.

We've been down to the boat a number of times checking up on her. She lies tranquilly at her moorings alternately pulling at her stern lines or bow lines depending on which way the tide is affecting the river flow. On a big flood tide the river reverses direction with a good 1 or 2 knot current pushing back up the river. So far no ice is coming down and hopefully we will not have a bad year for that. It is about the only thing that will really force us to move the boat.

We're in the early stages of planning the refit and time to put some designs to paper. We all miss the sunny south especially Mazatlan. The constant cold and gray sky's don't help much either. Both boys now say they want to go back out on the boat but by the time we go again I suspect Billy will be out on his own working for a living. We will see though. TTYL

 

3 Nov 07

Aldergrove, BC

The boat is on the move again. We moved it to a dock on the south side of Barnston Island. The Fort Langley marine went insane (this is not the public dock in Fort Langley but a private dock up the river) and first insisted on a moorage fee increase from $5 per foot to $10.50 per foot. After I seriously complained they dropped the price to $7 per foot even though boats all around me pay from $4 to $5 per foot. Somehow on a single long dock Multihulls have to pay more than everyone else because????? No logical reason was given and it is our opinion that this was a blatant attempt at blackmail. They knew the season was late and we would have difficulty finding moorage. Well we did so in two words - screw you.

By the way the space is still empty so who was the smart one in the end. They threw thousands of dollars away per year trying to rip us off for $100 per month. If we had been treated the same as everyone else we would have stayed for years. Are we upset at how we were treated - you bet. At no other dock that we stayed at in the last 2 years were we treated like this. People.

Other than this major pain life is much as it once was. Work, school, soccer and there is nothing on TV but the most insane programs! Time to start seriously planning our next escape.

TTYL

 

8 Sep 07

Aldergrove, BC

Well were back into the rat race again. Laurie and I are working full time and the kids are in school. The boat is close by for now but a sudden moorage price increase has put a damper on our homecoming but I have disputed this with the Marina and it is yet to be resolved.

Never the less our plans are to refit the boat and do another big trip. The refit will probably take two years based on our schedules. The interior of the boat is too be gutted and rebuilt with bluewater comfort in mind. The cockpit needs to be expanded and the cockpit roof structure has to be completely rebuilt. Were strongly leaning to removing the mizzen mast as it proved to be ineffective on the trip but maybe someone can explain how to make it work for our boat; we will see. Our next trip is tentatively set for traveling down the coast to Central America then across the South Pacific with stops in the Galapagos, South Pacific Islands, New Zealand then Australia and finally retracing some of it back to Hawaii then home.

All of this will depend on what the kids want to do and money of course. I will maintain this site with updates on our progress. Were looking forward to the challenge. TTYL

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