Sunday, October 16, 2005


Originally uploaded by S/V Raft.
We sat all summer watching the hurricanes and tropical depressions flirt with the central Florida, worrying but not able to do anything.

We had chosen to leave RAFT in Riverside Marina, Fort Pierce, because 90% of the boats there survived the 2 major hurricanes that destroyed most of the other marinas in 2004. Sally at Riverside, reassured us that only one boat away from the shore had fallen over during the 2004 season and that one was the owners personal boat and they took jackstands away from it to shore up the other boats. They did lose some boats at the water's edge, taken out by docks and other boats brought on land by the storm surge. Where we left RAFT, was as far from the water's edge and backed onto a treed and fence windbreak. As an added precaution, we took down the mast, as we had seen the mast pretzils made by Frances and Jean.

Fortunately for us, there were no hurricanes in Fort Pierce this summer. It had been an incredibly hot summer and they did receive a lot of rain in September from Katrina, crossing Florida to the south, and Ophelia hanging offshore for about a week.

Returning to RAFT, we were pleased to see her standing tall just as we had left her, and clean, from all that rainfall. Opening her up, there was no mould or foul smell, Hurray. There was water in the bilge and evidence of water in the cabin, but all we could do is open up the hatches and get out, as the mildew stuff was burning our eyes. Off we went to a motel, to spend the evening. We would start the clean up the next day.

Our last posting, told of all the steps we took to prepare RAFT for her hot, wet, and potentially stormy summer. As it was our first time doing all of this, now is the time to see what worked and what didn't.

We had no damage from wind, insects, and very little mildew, all of our taking and tying down, screening and mildew/insect remedies worked well. Our books and clothes came through clean and fresh smelling, we had added fabric softener sheets to each bag before it was sealed.

Biggest problem: rain water entering the cabin. Largest source: roof vent/fan installed over mast hole. But the rain also found its way into the head, nav station, dorade boxes and probably other areas we haven't discovered yet. Also soot came in the cabin, leaving everything inside dusty, or if wet, dirty. Source at this point unknown.

Rust: Some things were more affected than others. We have had to throw out most of our cutlery and small kitchen utensils which were stored in an open drawer by the sink, but the other utensils in another cabinet were not affected. Most of our cans show some rust on the bottom edge but should still be okay.

Heat: It must have been really hot in the cabin. Hot enough to burst a 10 litre unopened plastic water tank, a 1 gallon jug of vinegar, and 1 gal jug of All Off. Hot enough to melt our candles, but not affect packages of crayons.

Stuck things: If you don't use it, and it has seen salt water it will be stuck or corroded. This goes for plastic zippers on back packs, and coats, flashlights, the solar panel deck plug, throttle cable and we haven't checked everything yet.


This list of preparations has been submitted after the fact. We held off publishing our list of preparations until after we returned to RAFT to see how well she fared over the summer. This was the first time we had ever left a boat in a hot hurricane location. All of our previous experiences involved winterizing boats for Canadian winters. We are now back on RAFT, in Fort Pierce, getting her ready to go sailing again.

This is also the first email we are sending via shortwave radio.

Here is what we did in April 2005.

Day 1
Sorted clothes and shopped

Day 2
cleaned V berth, Packed books in garbage bags, sorted software, and nav. station stuff
sorted food (leaving some canned and dried goods), cleaned port cupboards, tightened port side toe rail (it leaked just enough to be annoying} cleaned stainless steel, starboard side, resealed pumpout connections (converted back to holding tank) Took salon table down, took off sails, put in bags

Day 3
Sorted starboard salon cupboards, washed ropes, hung dry ropes in salon, cleaned dinghy, purged dinghy motor of sea water, washed deck, changed oil and filter, topped up batteries with distilled water, filled diesel tank, added biocide conditioner, pumped, purged and sanitized holding tank, built mast brace, tidied up rigging, removed furling line, cleaned stainless, port side, took down boom, put out dock lines and fenders, organized cockpit locker, did final emails

Day 4
arrived at Riverside Marina, loosened off rigging, mast taken down, hauled out, power wash bottom, took off masthead instruments, moved to summer position and blocked, did Laundry, washed all slip covers for settees and cockpit cushions, sanitized head, cleaned out head cupboards, organized salon cabinets, took apart spreaders

Day 5
releveled RAFT, fastened down mast, fastened dinghy under mast, put in dorad covers and cockpit speaker covers, took down flagpole, removed ropes from davits, put screens in all throughholes, Chlorinated water jerry cans, put away fenders & docklines, took down and stored cockpit table, wrapped pedistal

Day 6
cleaned oven, greased thru holes, installed whirley bird (roof fan over mast hole BIG MISTAKE major source of rain water inside RAFT over summer) purged seawater from engine, took out transmission, took hoses off engine water intake and left seacock open as emergency bilge water escape, chained and roped jackstands together, foiled ports, took blades off wind generator, cleaned bilges, vacuum sealed linens, towels and clothes being left on RAFT

Day 7
Opened crack in keel to dry over summer, wrapped rope around mast, secured mast to RAFT, took down canvas bimini, dodger etc and solar panels stored inside cabin, cleaned fridge, chlorinated all water tanks and dumped water, turned batteries off, packed car, put damp out around cabin, set off 4 mildew bags and 4 discs, Said goodbye to RAFT

How successful were we, check our next log!!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

October 2005 Summer Update

our kids, Paul, Brenda & Rhonda in front of the condo

It is amazing how fast the summer has passed by. When we arrived home in May, we were concerned about what we would do to fill our days, no jobs, no boat, no home...we were afraid that time would just drag by. However we did find that all this time and freedom from the above provided opportunities we had ignored in the past.

First decision, where would we live. We had sold our large family home before leaving last year and purchased an 1100 sq. ft. condominium bungalow townhouse. We had the builder finish the basement, so the condo had 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, plus a finished rec room and an unfinished area. When we left last fall, it was not in our plans to return to Canada for the summer. But since it is well known that sailors plans are made of jello or written in sand, our open ended Caribbean cruise was being interrupted by a visit home. But after a winter of living by herself in the condo, Rhonda, our daughter the nurse, was being joined by Brenda, our daughter the new engineer, and Eric, Ross's cousin who had returned to college in Barrie. All of the above we settled into the 3 bedrooms, and planning to stay for at least a year.. It seemed unfair to disrupt their room arrangements, besides we were the last to arrive. We got the pullout couch in the unfinished area on the lower level. We did manage to get back our own bed, when we re-arranged the furniture. We plan to be absent as much as possible this summer, so it will work out. (Paul, our son going to university in Toronto, had a job in Toronto and stayed there for the summer.)

As soon as it was made known to the residents in our old neighbourhood that Ross was back in town with time on his hands, he was in demand as Mr. Handyman. He had more work than he wanted, without advertising. The income certainly helped preserve our cruising funds. Living on land is expensive!!

Getting the truck back to Andrew and Bronwen (Nammu) was easy. Early in July, they arrived in Buffalo and arranged to have their boat trucked from there to Vancouver. So we drove both their truck and our car there, about 100 miles. There was no difficulty getting Namuu imported into Canada. We had a wonderful meal in Niagara Falls, watching the tight rope walker cross from the hotel to the Casino, before everyone returned to Barrie. Bronwen's family (the Sibbalds) had founded Sibbald Point, just across Lake Simcoe from Barrie, and she wanted to check out the family homestead. They were welcomed and embraced by long lost family members so their trip was a great success. We heard that everyone and Nammu made the trip across Canada successfully and now they are restarting their land lives.

Steelaway anchored in Covered Portage Cove, KillarneyFor the last two weeks in July we were treated by Kathy and Pete Franklin to a cruise of Georgian Bay and the north channel on Steelaway. Pete & Kathy had trucked Steelaway to Florida, spent the winter with us in the Bahamas, and then trucked her back to Penetang this spring. They had not spent much time in this area, and we were eager to show them our old stomping ground. We had a fabulous time exploring Killarney, the Benjamins, Bad River and the Bustards. The weather was wonderful, and the anchorages beautiful. For more pictures check out North Channel Picture link.

This sailing trip was followed in August with a week canoe camping with Bev's sister and her husband, Kathryn and Ron and their friends in Massassauga Provincial Park. We had canoe camped extensively in the early 1990's and it was this experience that directly led to our sailing endeavours. Canoe camping had introduced us to the joy of getting out on the water, the peace and quiet to be enjoyed on beautiful islands, wildlife and nature you just can't appreciate in populated areas. But canoe camping is a lot of work, carrying all your belongings over portages and sleeping on rocks. So we decided to see if sailing would provide all the benefits, plus allowing us to have a soft bed. The rest is history. Spider Lake, Massassauga Park

We had not been canoe camping since 1994, and we were anxious to see if after eleven years of luxurious sailing, we could deal with the vigours of the camping experience. Kathryn had arranged this trip, so that we would only have one portage to get to our campsite. We used this site as our base camp, day tripping from there, eliminating the need to strike camp each day, and carrying all of our goods with us. The weather and nature cooperated, treating us to an abundance of owl, loon and wolf calls each day and night plus Northern lights...another first for us. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip, handled the portages without difficulty, but the rocks were still hard! Ross & Bev on portage

Kathryn & BevOver the summer we have enjoyed visits with Bill & Jeanne from Planktos. They had sailed north from Fort Pierce, spent a few weeks cruising Georgian Bay, and are now on their way back to Florida. It was great to see them. We also went to Toronto for drinks with Dianne and Ted on LeBouclier. Ross had helped Ted in Georgetown "jerry rig" a windlass motor to get them home, and then went down to assist with the installation of the permanent solution.
Bill & Jeannie
Bev, Dianne, Ted & Ross on LeBouclieWe kept busy in September creating our new website, and watching the hurricanes terrorize Alabama, Louisiana and Texas. We feel very sorry for those affected, but are happy that so far Fort Pierce seems only to be getting a lot of rain. We are anxious to see how RAFT has survived the rain and heat. We will find out soon.

We will be leaving for Florida October 12th, depending on the weather...sailor's joke, and expect to be in Fort Pierce by the 15th. Then the work to clean RAFT up, put her back together, and get her launched, will begin.

Monday, October 03, 2005

North Channel Photo Gallery

Pointe au Baril LighthouseThe Voyageurs Barrel
Bad River AnchorageBad River Tributaries
Kayaking in the Bad RiverCollins Inlet
Bev Navigating Secretary IslandCroker Island Anchorage
Benjamins AnchorageAnchored in the Benjamins
Docked on the rocks in the BustardsStrawberry Island Lighthouse Little Current