What's in her name?

What's in her name (Salish Aire)?

from her new home the Salish Sea

Aire as in a melody of song.

Salish + Aire = The melody of the Salish Sea.

Salish Sea:
In the late 1700's Captain George Vancouver wandered around the waters of what are now known as British Columbia, Canada and Washington State, USA. He did the usual 1700's explorer thing and put names he chose on everything he saw. The names stuck and are recognized and used to this day.

New lines were added to Captain Vancouver's charts in 1872 (after a near war with Great Britain over a pig) which made waters on one side of the line Canadian and those on the other side of the line American.

It wasn't until 1988 (officiated in 2009) that someone finally realized that fish and various critters, (to say nothing of the water itself) were never involved in the boundary treaties and really ignored them completely. (This is best illustrated by the problems that Homeland Security has with Canadian Canada Geese and American Canadian Geese - it seems they refuse to carry passports and have been known to poop on the head of any border patrol person who tries to challenge their right to cross the border when and where they choose!) In reality the waters from Olympia to the well up the East side of Vancouver Island are pretty much one ecosystem.

The Coast Salish are the indigenous peoples who live in southwest British Columbia and northwest Washington state along the Salish Sea and share a common linguistic and cultural origin. The Salish Sea is named in honor of the earliest recorded peoples who plied her waters and learned to live in harmony with her.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Vacation finally!!

After completing our scheduled haul out and work early we are off to enjoy the boat with just the two of us (and Jarvis).

We spent a night in Port Townsend Marina while we finished putting together the upper hydraulics of the stabilizers, stowing tools and wiping down the grease and oil we had gotten everywhere (at least in the aft head where the Stbd stabilizer is accessed.  We walked to the grocery store for final provisions (that would be allowed into Canada) and then slept soundly.  Even Jarvis seemed more relaxed having his boat on the water where it belongs.

We realized a while back that Salish Aire is the only boat we have owned that has never been to Princess Louisa Inlet.  A little background: Princess Louisa Inlet is a pain to get to (more about that later) but it is the absolute crown jewel of boating destinations in the Salish Sea.  Imagine the opening scene from Jurassic Park only with a temperate rain forest instead of a tropical one.  Now add up to 12 more waterfalls on the surrounding granite cliffs to the main waterfall and have them fall a couple thousand feet instead of a mere couple of hundred feet.  Put this scene at the head of one of the most picturesque fiords in North America and you start to understand the attraction of the place.

To get to Princess Louisa we needed to travel north then east in up the inside of Vancouver Island and across to the mainland.  The first night we stopped in to Sydney Harbour and Clarice phoned in for our customs clearance (we understand that the other end of the phone call is in Nova Scotia but that if there is any question a crew will show up from somewhere and inspect the boat).  The call was pretty routine as the Canadian folks have all of our data on file from our frequent trips up this way.  After Sydney Harbour we went a short distance and tied up at the dock of Saanich North Saanich Yacht Club and took advantage of our reciprocal moorage privileges.   They also have a very nice restaurant in the clubhouse so we indulged in a really nice dinner out.  The setting is gorgeous looking out over many boats on mooring balls in the harbour against the backdrop of the Canadian Gulf and American San Juan Islands.

Next we headed about 40 miles north to Nanaimo where we were again able to take advantage of our reciprocal moorage privileges at the Nanaimo Yacht Club.  I took my bike and rode to a local grocery store and picked up some fresh veggies that we weren’t allowed to bring across the border.  On one hand we really enjoy just staying in Nanaimo as it has a lot to do in the way of an island park to explore, BritoCanadian shops to look into, a coal mining history that fascinates me, and a pedestrian friendly waterfront.  Instead we decided to take advantage of the favorable weather predicted for the next day , Friday, and head into Princess Louisa before any weekend crowds that might show up despite the prediction of a rainy weekend.  We went to bed with a full harvest moon reflecting off the water and slept soundly. 

Today we awoke to the good news that we could take the direct route across the Strait of Georgia by transiting through the infamous “Whiskey Gulf”.  Area WG is a torpedo test range that is perfect for the work that is done there on a frequent basis with protected waters 1200 ft deep for the length of the range.  It is a pain in the kazoo for recreational boaters trying to cross the Strait of Georgia as area WG lies directly across the obvious route from one side to the other.  If one attempts to cross when the area is actively being used then the naval folks come up and give you a very stern talking to as well as a potential big fine.  They announce the status of the range on the local marine weather stations and today the news was “Whiskey Gulf is not active today and may be safely transited”.

We have never made the run straight from Nanaimo to Princess Louisa in one shot before as it is about 70 miles but then again we have never done it in any boat longer than 25 ft.  We “discovered” Princess Louisa on our first sojourn into the northern Gulf Islands in the Glass Geoduck, a 23 ft sailboat that we cared for and used for our first boating experiences.  We stopped in a nautical store in Nanaimo and told the proprietor that we had only a few more days before we needed to head home and asked where we could go.  He told us to go to Princess Louisa and life has never been the same since.  We have taken every boat up here as sort of a rite of passage.  To get to Princess Louisa from Nanaimo you begin by crossing the northern end of the Strait of Georgia which can be calm and placid or really ugly depending on the direction of the wind and tides.  Today we had about a 4 ft swell from our stbd aft quarter as the wind from the south challenged the southbound ebbing tide for dominance.  We were really quite comfortable with the hydraulic stabilizers operating and we also tried a new trick we had heard about from other Nordhavn owners.  It seems that boats with outriggers for passive stabilizers (we have both) find that just lowering the outriggers has the same effect as a bar to a tightrope walker.  We found that the effect was to soften the movement of the boat noticeably while the hydraulic stabilizers controlled the distance of the roll. 

Next comes “reaching”.  From the Strait of Georgia to Princess Louisa involves traveling through about 50 miles of long straight, steep sided, deep (translation: very few places to stop) waterways called “reaches”.  The trick to proper reaching is to arrive at the entrance to Princess Louisa at one of the 4 slack periods each day when the sea monsters in the entrance moat allow passage.  Princess Louisa is very very deep as is the entire passage up to the entrance but the entrance itself is a narrow, shallow, S shaped waterway that qualifies as a rapids at all times except for during the short interval when the tide changes direction.  The last boat we brought up here could do 20 knots and had a relatively flat bottom so we were able to shoot through even though there was still an 8 inch tall tidal bore with good control.  Today we were reminded that Salish Aire is a deep draft boat that really gets kicked around by swirling currents such as met us after we were just past the rapids.

Once inside we were reminded of why we came.  The last time we were here it was a lovely sunny day in a relative drought time so we only saw a ribbon waterfall high on the cliff and the main Chatterbox Falls.  And it was a WOW experience.  Today we have rain and puff balls of clouds dropped onto the forest and at least 8 fast rushing waterfalls and it is a WOW experience! 

I write this under our kerosene lantern as darkness is coming earlier with the season’s change.  I expect we will sleep very well with the sound of the rain on our roof.  Good night!

September 17, 2016

Today we woke up to more heavy rainfall.  When we looked out at the fiord it was amazing to realize how many more waterfalls there were than when we went to bed and how much more water was coming over Chatterbox falls.

Clarice bundled Jarvis up in his warm jacket and rain slicker (both of which he hates only slightly less than he hates getting wet) and he and I went for our morning walk.  He loves walking on forest trails but his disdain for being wet and wearing jackets soon took over so that after he empties his bladder and other duties he gave me the ears down, tail down, do we really have to do this, I’m miserable look and so got his way and I took him back to the boat.  I finished my walk to the falls and was in awe of the power of the water.

We invited some other boaters over for coffee and the woman later came back to give Clarice knitting lessons.  I spent my rainy day trying to fix the tiny little oil leak left after my Naiad project (the fix hasn’t been tested under way yet but my gut says it has a good chance of working).  Clarice did some cleaning and made another batch of Chex mix.  Just laid back stuff. 

We did get some breaks in the rain and took the chance to walk in the woods and take photos with the non-dive camera.  Clarice was very impressive with her hands free crutch going down the roots and rocks of the trail.

We did confirm that making power from solar cells on rainy days is a bit of a bust.  Since we haven’t exercised our generator in some time we decided to use the excuse of charging the batteries to run it for a while.

Sounds like it will be a board game or DVD night after I try to make some ham radio contacts to see if I could get a signal out of this canyon in an emergency.

September 18th

Today we had most of the day where we were to only ones in the entire Princess Louisa Inlet!  We spent most of the day just enjoying the wilderness around us.


Today we left Princess Louisa and moored at the Hospital Bay government dock off Garden Bay where we have tied up before and have access to the internet and phone service again.  When we have been here before the Sundowner Inn was in need of repair and closed but had that look of an old hospital about it.  Today they are refurbished and a sign on the front confirms that they building was originally the St Mary's Anglican Mission Hospital.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Lift out and Naiad repair 2016

For a description of our Naiad Stabilizer system work click the link in the upper right or go directly to Naiad Repair 2016

Day 1 (Thursday)
September 8, 2016

We left our home port of Everett early as we had been warned by the Port of Port Townsend that boats would start arriving today for the annual Wooden Boat Festival.  When we pulled into a slip at 12 noon we could see that it was a good thing we had left early as there was a steady stream of boats all heading to the same destination.

We have already checked in with the yard office and filled out the paperwork needed to get the boat lifted from the water and blocked while we work on it.  We have also checked out the yard and area for bathroom, grocery, marine store, and bus route locations.  We are second in line for tomorrow with a planned 9 AM lift time.  At this point we have our fingers crossed that all will go as planned.

Day 2 (Friday)
September 9, 2016

Salish Aire lifted out this morning slightly ahead of our 9 AM scheduled time.  The lift went smoothly and then the boat was moved to the pressure wash pad (where the port provides 2 industrial grade pressure washers and the water is all filtered before going into the sewer system).  The lift price comes with the 2 wash guns for 30 minutes and the owner provides the labor.  John Gray showed up as planned just as the boat was lifted and he and I operated the guns as quickly and completely as we could since we knew that any gunk we could get off with the pressure washers would save lots of labor later.  We ended up having to purchase an additional 15 minutes of wash time but the boat looked good when we were done.  Next the Travel Lift carried the boat to the front of Haven Boat Works who is helping us with the project (they were chosen for 1) knowledge of Naiad systems and 2) a willingness to allow us to do as much of our own work as we are able.

Salish Aire currently sits on blocks on a mat of blue tarps designed to catch any gunk we get onto the ground since the area we are in is a gravel lot.  We are getting 30 amp power from Haven. We are required to use a sander with a vacuum cleaner attached to it for any sanding work.  It’s a short walk to either a Port owned public restroom or Haven has provided us a key so we can access there shop toilet 24 hours a day if needed. We are doing everything we can to protect our 50 gallon capacity black (aka: sewage) water tanks from needing to be emptied. The bathroom sinks drain into a very small sump so we are using them for teeth brushing type activities only as we have turned off the sump drain pump. The kitchen sink drains by gravity and we have duct taped a hose from it to a five gallon bucket.  Clarice planned ahead with hand sanitizer and paper plates to minimize the need to wash hands or dishes.  We have 240 gallons of fresh water on board and can refill from Haven’s hose if needed.  The port has a shower and laundry facility about a block away that we are using.  We have to climb about a 10 ft ladder to get up to the boat deck and are lowering and raising tools and supplies with a rope for light stuff or the crane for heavy stuff.  Jarvis gets carried up and down the ladder.  Clarice uses her knee and her good foot to climb the ladder.

It’s always a bit nerve racking when taking the boat out wondering what we will find as boat work tends to always be expensive work.  We were pleased to find that even though we have not dove under the boat for a number of months that the bottom was in pretty good shape.  The paint that was applied in 2014 was still thick enough it likely could have gone another year.  We had a fair number of barnacles on the keel cooler, rudder skeg, the folding propeller and its shaft, and the aft edge of the main propeller.  We also had a lot of scum but no serious kelp or grass growth. Our zincs were all still serviceable except for on the bow thruster and the main propeller shaft.  We knew we had a ding on the bottom of the keel from a minor hitting the bottom event and it looked smaller out of the water than it did when I dove under it.  All in all the overall bottom condition was pretty good.

My brother in law, Darrel joined John and Clarice in doing bottom prep work the rest of the day.  Further prep work included sanding off the scum line from our marina in Everett, washing off the areas we couldn’t reach with the pressure washers because they were under the Travel Lift Straps, and sanding out the bottom ding and applying epoxy putty to it.  At this point we will do a once over in the morning and then a fresh water wipe down to get any dust and then we should be ready to paint.  Hopefully the weather will be like today which was perfect for this kind of work.

I also met with the guy who is going to work with me on the Naiad rehab project and talked about the plan of action. I indicated that I wanted to try to remove the fins with the manual screw-in tool I had purchased from Naiad to see how well it worked.  I was very pleasantly surprised that despite everything I had read and heard that the really really preferred way to remove the fins was with a hydraulic tool that the manual tool worked very well.  I have removed the port side seals and bearing cover and found that the cast case of the fin has rusted a bit.  Clearly it has not leaked and I don’t think there is much to be done at this point but it was not what I wanted to find.

Day 3 (Saturday)

September 10, 2016

Darrel stayed in the pilot house berth for the night and was a great help in getting a LOT done today.  We hadn’t planned to sand the hull at all but a review of the instructions on the paint can indicated it should be sanded with 80 grit (we had 60 grit on hand and used it instead) to provide for better adhesion of the new paint. We all took turns with the sander and washing the sanding dust off and were able to get the whole boat done in a fairly quick amount of time.  Then we applied the first coat of green Micron CSC bottom paint with rollers.  We had this huge task done by about 1 PM and ate lunch at the Blue Moose CafĂ© where we quickly became aware of how much blue sanding dust was in Darrel and my hair (we both have very white hair naturally so it really was obviously blue) when everyone commented on the blue haired guys.  We tried using the excuse that we were just being loyal Sea Hawk fans but folks didn’t seem to fall for it.

This is also the weekend on one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) wooden boat festivals in the world here in Pt Townsend.  Darrell and I took a break for the afternoon and rode a shuttle bus from the marina where Salish Aire is located (and where they are parking festival overflow cars) down to the main event location.  There were lots of amazing wooden boats and displays to check out so this provided a great diversion and break.  The wind came up while we were at the festival and we were able to watch a local “tall ship” schooner really show her stuff rather than just raising her sails for the tourists.

We did have the pleasant surprise of being serenaded by a bag piper this morning.

Darrel left for his very long drive home when we got back to the boat.  Clarice tried to find a way to spray paint all but the main propeller with Barnacle Buster paint but it was a real challenge as the wind had really kicked up by then.  In the mean time I finished disassembling the port stabilizer fin and am now confident that I know how to approach the starboard fin (which is a bit harder to access on the upper (in-boat) end). 

This evening we both walked pretty slowly to and from the showers and expect to crash when we get to bed as we are exhausted but very pleased with the progress we have made so far.

Day 4 (Sunday)
September 11, 2016

Many people (including us) will always remember September 11th as the day the Twin Towers were attacked by terrorist.  Sadly that event turned a very happy event in our lives into a time of joining the local community in mourning at the cathedral in Seattle.  September 11, 2001 was our 25th wedding anniversary.  Today is our 40th!!.  To celebrate the event we joined in worship at the Episcopal church here in Port Townsend and Clarice got a matching necklace and earrings with rubies in them for our ruby anniversary (and it is also her birthstone).

After our ride from church brought us back to the boat we were quickly hard at work putting on the second coat of bottom paint.  Before I purchased the paint I checked with the company who had painted it in 2014 and was assured that they had used 4 gallons of the same paint we are using this time around.  At $225 / gallon it is expensive enough that we didn’t want to buy more than we needed.  We also chose a less common color of green to cover the previous blue (as the paint wears away it is easier to tell how much is left if it is painted a different color each time).  We now believe that that previous painter didn’t add the extra gallon he needed to buy to his records as we have run short of what we need.  West Marine was open today and carries the right paint but only in black.  We almost made this work by designating the lowest section of the keel as an area to be a different color but even with that plan we only ended up with 1 cup of green which is not enough to paint the spots where the boat support stands hit the boat.  This evening I tried looking through the window of the chandlery here in the marina with first binoculars and then our longer lens camera.  I can see they have the right paint but I can’t read the colors and believe that the samples on the label are NOT green.  We are hoping that we can call a place in Seattle that sells retail to us and wholesale to many of the chandleries in the area and see if they can send a gallon this way on their usual delivery run.

We also finished disassembling the second stabilizer and doing some of the prep work to get ready to reassemble them.  It is now clear that when we were told that they might have water intrusion that the technician didn’t know what he was looking at.  Clearly the fluid that drained out (and also drained a bit today) is thin oil that normally separates from grease over time.  The bearing show their age of 20 years but they could easily have provided a number of more years of service.  It doesn’t hurt my feelings at all to know they have been fully serviced at this time but I do mind paying very high labor rates only to be given very poor advice.  The main shafts are showing wear in the seal areas so likely they will be replaced with the next set of seals.  The good news is that now I am very comfortable that I can do the work myself.

Now we are both exhausted and it is time for bed.

Day 5 (Monday)
September 12, 2016

All efforts at getting more green paint delivered to Port Townsend by commercial means failed so once again my brother in law, Darrel (with my sister, Margie) hot footed it clear up from Yelm to Port Townsend via Fisheries Supply in Seattle. 

Once we had the paint plan in place I conferred with the master mechanic I’m working with.  I asked if he had the special grease we need in large quantity and the answer was no.  I figured with Darrel coming vie Seattle I could find a supply house there with some and have him pick it up to no avail.  Finally out of sheer frustration I walked over to the local chandlery who keeps a small stock for one brand of outdrive that calls for it.  I phoned Naiad who indicated a single 10 oz tube for each side should fill the mechanisms up so I bought 2 tubes for each side just to be safe.  In the end I needed 3 tubes for each side which took the entire supply of the lubricant in Port Townsend.

At this point we have the port stabilizer completely installed (woo hoo) and the starboard unit sealed from the sea with only actually mounting the fin left for underwater work to do before we can launch.  Clarice finished the painting while I concentrated on the stabilizers. Since we only have about an hour of “mandatory” work yet to do, we have asked the Port to put us on the standby list for launching tomorrow.  

An unexpected problem also got addressed while we were here.  Our anchor rollers are pretty non-standard and were deteriorating rather quickly (summary: they looked very tacky to Clarice’s eye).  Another Nordhavn 46 is anchored in the bay and the owner of Ocean has stopped by a couple of times.  He mentioned while he was looking at the boat that there is a person in the area who has made a cottage industry of making odd size anchor rollers and other hart to find parts for boats.  Looking at his web site we realized that while is work is very pricey, the quality is far beyond anything on the general market.  He came down and measured the boat yesterday and his wife brought by the new rollers today.  They are completely custom with even port and starboard being slightly different.

Day 6 Tuesday SPLASH!!
September 13, 2016

This morning we mounted the final fin and did some touch-up on the paint as well as installed several zincs then we had a call from the port office asking us to come down and settle up our bill.  While I was there the very helpful office person checked on our chance of being lifted in despite the long standby list – answer: we could be launched next if we fit their smaller Travel Lift.

Clarice and I buckled up the final items such as shore power, final garbage, etc. and our chariot arrived.  The lift operators here in Port Townsend work as a great team and keep three huge machines running carrying millions of dollars worth of boats on a very tight schedule.  They lifted the boat and then gave us a chance to sand and paint where the blocks had been under the keel (one operator even grabbed a paint roller when he noticed a couple of spots that weren’t to his satisfaction).  We were splashed, we did a quick leak check (all was well) and we were off as the historic replica Lady Washington was lifted in the large lift dock.

We are now in a guest berth in Port Townsend where we finished connecting up and filling the oil reservoir of the Naiad stabilizers – so far everything seems to be working as I would expect prior to all of the air purging itself.  We have lots of laundry to do, provisions to add, and holding tanks to empty before we leave for the San Juan and Canadian Gulf Islands tomorrow.


We planned to be in the water on September 15th at best and the 19th at worse.  We beat our best estimate by 2 days with the motivation of cost on the hard, Clarice having to scale the 10 ft boarding ladder multiple times a day with her handless crutch, and a desire to get out and enjoy our vacation time.  The cost of moving so quickly was Clarice’s complete exhaustion and upper leg pain and my sciatic pain.  We could not have done this without help from friends and family – again we want to express our deepest appreciation to Darrell Pelley and John Gray! 

We estimated our haul-out and yard costs at $1000 - $2000.  The bill came to about $750.  He first night we stayed as a reciprocal yacht club member thanks to Port Townsend Yacht Club so we paid $5. The Port of Port Townsend doesn’t charge yard storage for the first and last night so we were only charged for 3 nights of yard time.  The bill that really caught us by surprise was from Haven Boatworks.  Their crew was always willing to help if we needed a hand lifting a heavy part, they provided us with a 30 amp electric hookup, they provided us with a key to their facility so Clarice didn’t have to walk nearly as far to get to a restroom and they provided a mechanic who provided the guidance I needed (in addition to pressing bearings for me) and they only charged us for 1 hour of mechanics time.  Our bill from them was less than $100!  Thank you and kudos to everyone we have worked with here in Port Townsend!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Summer Visitors Entry #2

After getting home from the San Juan Islands and Julia catching her plane back to Chicago our oldest grandson, ET, arrived via Amtrak from Portland to have some time with his cousin.  ET and C are very close and thanks to the wonders of modern communication can play there beloved computer games and communicate in real time on a frequent basis even though they now live about 2500 miles apart.  That said, the reality is that they really look forward to any time they can get together.

My wish is to spend some time showing them the places that I love and things I love to do while I still am able so I took the two of them camping to Mt. Rainier National Park.

In the true tradition of camping, we forgot one vital part to the propane camp stove and so we got to practice cooking over an open fire (in reality the lady in the next campsite offered her stove but it was too good of a chance to pass up for teaching the boys how to make do).  The evening ended with traditional smores.

We always look forward to the arrival of our children and grandchildren but once they leave we get back to enjoying our quiet life.

We are currently prepping for our second haul-out since we have owned Salish Aire.  During the first haul we got concerned about the Naiad stabilizers.  There is some question as to if the bearing grease is still protecting the bearings and if they have gotten water into them at some point. Once the project is complete, I will write up what we have learned.  So far we have gotten a box of parts from Naiad that set us back about $3000, I have cleaned and serviced the hydraulic fluid reservoir, replaced seals in the hydraulic pump, and replaced the leaking shaft seals on the hydraulic cylinders. Once we are out of the water we will pull the main bearings and seals.

Clarice was given the news that after 6 weeks of not bearing weight on her broken foot, it was worse rather than better so she is to stay off it another 4 weeks.  She is NOT a "happy camper". She has purchased an IWalk hands free crutch that makes getting around much easier (I am NOT allowed to call it a "peg leg", and she refuses to wear an eye patch and parrot).  She did demonstrate that she can climb a ladder so we are moving ahead with our plans to live aboard Salish Aire while she is on the hard.

I hope to post only good news about our time out of the water but we are crossing our fingers on that one.