Barkley Sound Day 13 – Oh the calamity!

Well today was crazy…
We had some scary times, and some stressful times, and some good times. Girls got up early and were hyper crazy and it was eggs and bacon for breakfast while it rained outside. Then, after watching the daily tour boat go by to see the “drying creek” just off to the west of us, we fired up old ironsides, pulled up anchor and headed out of Pipestem Inlet.
We made our way Northwest back into the Broken Group, headed for Effingham Bay. Due to the fog-like mist, I had radar going, was watching the water, the radar, the chart, etc, even teaching Katherine about navigational marks and the “Red, Right, Returning” rule.
Suddenly, there were several bumps and bonks under the boat, which were not expected of course, and a couple seconds later, even bigger bumps and bonks and then a loud bang followed by the engine shutting down on its own. That can’t be good…
My immediate first thought was we hit a log, but there were no logs in view anywhere around us. Then I worried we’d somehow gone aground, but the depth showed 150 feet. We checked the chart and we had plenty of depth and plenty of room to drift. So we took a breath and looked around the boat, under the floorboards, checked for leaks, checked for a broken prop shaft, etc. Nothing inside the boat looked to be an issue. I shut down all the extra power consumers, and made sure the VHF radio was on and ready.
Next we needed to look under the boat. I found the mask under the nav station seat and Katherine offered to go swimming, but Devon was getting ready to do it herself. I looked under the swim step and suddenly saw the end of a big log, just sitting there, sort of parallel to the boat, directly underneath and stuck.
I tried pushing it away, and then found the boat hook to push it further, but it didn’t want to go far. Katherine went in the water (66F where we were at the time) and actually pulled the log out from under the boat, pushing it away. After that we fired up the engine again and started forward at very low rpm, nothing too bad. Slowly brought it up to 1000rpm, 1500rpm, 2200rpm — a little vibration from the prop but not too horrible. While the GPS showed us back up to 6.5 knots, the water speed display registered 0.0 which meant something got stuck in the little paddle wheel on the bottom of the boat. I pulled the sensor out of its hole under the floor without letting too much water in, the action of which seemed to clear any obstruction that was there, and put it back in, after which the speed display worked fine again. Unfortunately, our unexpected success with log fishing means we will need to get the prop rebuilt, again, when we get the boat back home.
Arriving in Effingham Bay we found a spot between two boats and dropped anchor. It was time to relax a bit, but I felt like I needed to fix some things (anything really) so I set about readjusting the dinghy davits so they were aligned better, and secured tighter. Then I figured I could work on replacing the shore power outlets on the boat with the new Smartplug versions I purchased at the Boat Show. I got one of the two outlets done by the time everyone decided to go ashore for a hike to an ancient First Nations village.
Trying to be more prepared this time than on previous shore excursions, we sprayed up with DEET and headed out in the dinghy. Up in the little inlet at the head of the bay we tied up the dinghy to a tree and set off up the trail that was marked by random ropes, boots, and crab-pot buoys others had left. It was pretty difficult for the kids, sections of deep mud (with some wood planks set across), large logs to climb up or over, and fairly thick brush. After about a ½ mile we came to a beach on the other side of the island with big rocks and logs and some pretty cool tide pools that were uncovered by the lowering tide. (another note on the low tide a bit later). The girls climbed big rocks, and checked out the beach for a while, I found goby’s, crabs and hermit crabs, snails, anemones, and tons more in the tide pools, and then we decided to head back.
Going back was faster than coming over because we already had muddy feet so more mud wasn’t going to matter, but the girls were getting tired so it was a bit of a struggle sometimes. Then we got back to the inlet where we left the dinghy… did I mention the low tide? There the dinghy was, sitting on rocks, 3-4 feet above the water, and a good 20 feet away from the water’s edge. Our dinghy isn’t all that light at a bit over 250lbs empty, the motor making up half that weight. The three of us adults lifted and carried the dinghy, a few feet at a time, over the rocks and into the water. Then we dinghy’d back to the boat to clean up.
While dinner was in the works, the kids relaxed a bit, and I worked on finishing up the shore power project. We didn’t charge the batteries or make water today, but we’ll pay for that tomorrow with batteries and water tanks that are even lower and need refilling/recharging. For dessert Devon baked a cake from a Tastefully Simple mix that was pretty awesome, then the girls went to bed, after which the adults watched the other movie that Ellipsis gave us, Push, while I washed a huge amount of dishes.

• Anchored in 60 feet of water in Effingham Bay at Effingham, Barkley Sound, BC • Engine Hours: 1441.5 to 1443.4 = 2.1 hours
• Genset Hours: 0
• Water Consumption: 20 gallons
• Watermaker Production: 0
• Water Temp about 62F
• Air Temp about 70F
• Barometer 1017.4 and rising

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