Hey all. Sorry for the delay in the final installation of the Hurricane Sandy Saga but I’ve already got the next post after that being worked on as well. What I mean by that rambling sentence is that before I could even FINISH writing the 3rd post something else happened to Pathfinder that is blog worthy. Plus Christmas shopping, work etc. eats up time as well.
And now we continue with the second instalment of “Holes in Boats and the people who live on them” in 3D.
The next few days kinda passed in a weird blur for me as J and myself were kinda sleep deprived and I was knocked out of commission for a day due to migraines (probably brought on by the stress of the hole and lack of sleep). Ideally I’d have been on the boat to help my Dad when he got down there with the tools needed to cut through our floor along with everything else but I had to get to work (I had taken 2 days off by then right off the cuff and work was piling up). So the next part of the fix is what I had relayed to me after the work was done along with some photos I have of the work.
So the previous night J and I figured out where the hole was below the concrete using measuring tape, painters tape, and some staffs to attempt to triangulate where the hole was in relation to the floor. The hole, as we had discovered, was no where near one of the hatches through the concrete. This photo I took by shoving my hand as far under the concrete as possible helped locate where it was approximately and from that we were able to mark the floor with the tape.
We used the staffs to triangulate where the hole was approximately from the hatch in front of the engine room and the hatch under the stairs. We found that the hole was located roughly here:
(Actually after we measured a few dozen other times we moved our mark to the left. This photo was taken and edited hastily earlier when my Dad wanted to know where we thought the hole was)
So while I was at work my Dad and Mom came down to patch it temporarily until we could get some sort of permanent fix in place. They brought down a seriously huge hammer drill with extremely strong drill bits along with a cutting torch for the steel below and proceeded to cut through the flooring.
There they were able to see that the hole was apparently about the size of a quarter and started to figure out what needed doing. First though they noticed that something was restricting the flow of water a little bit. What turned out to be restricting the flow was possibly the unluckiest crayfish to ever live. Apparently the poor bugger had swam underneath my boat and got sucked against the hole. He was still alive too! The thing eventually got away after my Dad accidentally ripped it’s arm off (He was trying to pull whatever it was that was jammed there free when the arm came off and that’s when they discovered it was what it was).
So the way they built the patch was first the hammered into place a wood plug into the hole as best they could. Water was still coming in so they took a piece of 2×4 with some marine epoxy on the underside of it which they put in over top of the plug and with some large clamps I had on board force the 2×4 down into position. This worked very well and the leak was stopped permanently at this point.
Originally we had planned that shortly after this we’d head on over city side and wait there to go into the Toronto Drydock when it was our time. But we all agreed that although leaving later would increase the risk of us getting stuck due to low water levels it was better that than risking finding out that there was another hole somewhere else that’d sink us in deeper water.
At this point J and I were some of the last people on the island and it was getting more and more difficult to get back and forth from city side to our home. Even more after J left and the tender schedule to the island was shortened down to running only until 2pm. I had to take a water taxi back every night and even once I had to take the ferry at the opposite end of the islands and make the hike back across to the boat. A rather long walk to do when it’s pitch black out.
Regardless though I was able to sort out the boat and get it ready for our move over to the Drydocks to see what damage had happened to Pathfinder when she was finally hauled out of the water.
To be continued…
My Dad just found this link on a survivalist forum.
Good to know I’m ready for the Zombie apocalypse.
So as Sandy has finally passed us and we’ve managed to weather it relatively fine in comparison to other locations I finally have a few minutes to write an update as to what happened to us during the storm.
First I’ll tell you what our plan basically was for the storm.
- Batten down the hatches
- Weather the worst of it
- Go for a stroll once it passes and check out what happened to the rest of the Toronto Islands
Hurricane Sandy however had other plans.
We have been very hard aground for quite a while at the marina. Lake levels have been incredibly low this year. Not so shallow that we can’t get ourselves out but it is at a concerning level (Side note: We’re right now at the low point of the lake cycle so with any luck next year will be more regular). This is nothing to totally worry about on a normal year with normal weather.
The Hurricane brought with it extreme pressure changes and waves even in our protected marina (the waves had white caps in some of the basins because of the wind for instance). The Lakes aren’t affected by tides but what we do get is that big storms push large amounts of water around the lakes giving us something similar. Typically this is a gentle process but not under these circumstances. As a result we went from hard aground to floating (something we hadn’t been doing for near a month at this point) in very short time spans. Combine that with the waves and we started pounding on the bottom.
The Toronto Islands are mostly made up of landfill and sand. So buried below the soft sandy soil could be anything including concrete, steel, heck anything that is hard and ungiving basically. The pounding on the bottom essentially punched a hole in the bottom and a leak formed.
J and I were mostly in the galley keeping an eye on how things progressed outside and trying to keep our cats calm. Cosmo (our black cat) frankly didn’t give a crap what was going on and was lounging upstairs with us. Martini (our tabby cat) started acting odd. Normally he’s a rather skittish cat that doesn’t particularly like being held too closely. But he was running up to us and jumping in our laps. Stay for a bit. Jump off. Then run to the stairs. He did this over and over until J decided to follow him to the top of the stairs in the cargo hold. I was on the phone with my parents when she suddenly yelled for me to come on downstairs and that there was a problem.
What we found was that there was nearly a foot of water above the tile flooring in the cargo hold and rising. We do have bilge pumps available but they are 110volt pumps and we don’t have them plugged in, we also didn’t have any high water alarms installed either. This I know is a grievous error and not a good idea in any boat and I can only blame myself for not having such systems in place earlier (the 12volt pumps that were already in there from before have never worked).
J and I quickly jumped into action and threw in all out pumps that we had into the bilge of the cargo hold to try to make headway on the water before we try to totally identify where the leak was coming from. 1 pump was starting to slowly make headway but I threw in a second anyways just to make it go down faster. Once we started making headway I was able to take some photos.
We were holed in a bad way considering that this level of water had come in within a few hours (3 hours with our most generous estimates). On top of that when the waves were particularly bad the motion of the boat was acting like a pump and pushing water in faster.
Eventually we were successful in beating the water back and switching to just a single 110volt pump with a float switch.
By the time everything was squared away and we had everything under control and the floor partially cleaned we could make an assessment as to what had happened exactly. My immediate thought was that we had popped a through-hull. I checked both of them even when we were still pumping out (Side note: Water at this time of the year is freaking cold!). I felt no current of water from either of them. Even when the bilge water had been drained sufficiently to have a good look the weren’t leaking. I could hear the water pouring in though so I took my waterproof camera (just incase I dropped it) and started taking photos below the plating to see what was going on when I snagged this photo.
We had been holed there. After examining the photo I noticed that there was a round hole in the deck plate above where the hole was. The reason we can’t get at it is that there is concrete on top of the deck plates. We had beaten the water back for this night though and so we’d start anew tomorrow which by this point was fastly approaching as it was 11:30pm by this point.
During all this I had kept in constant communication with my parents up north giving them updates when I could. J was helping me keep warm and help with getting tools and clearing out the cargo hold as much as possible so things could dry. Martini (who I shall stop referring to as “The Dumb One”) eventually calmed down and Cosmo… still didn’t really give a crap. Ahhhh cats.
J and I grabbed sleep when we could. I had J sleep in the galley on our guest cot so she could stay warm and dry. I slept in the cargo hold so if the water got high again I’d know by virtue of getting wet. Not that I slept anyways but regardless.
Tuesday the storm was still raging and although Dad and Mom wanted to help I didn’t want them to risk getting stuck down here or try to brave the harbour incase it was a mess. J and I stayed on the boat all Tuesday to make sure things didn’t get worse and so I could spend time installing a high water alarm and trying to catch up on the sleep either of us didn’t get over the last 24 hours. I also rearranged the pumps in the bilge a bit so we could close the hatches to them to avoid breaking our legs by accident and keeping more heat in the boat (It’s amazing but you do lose a LOT of heat through an open bilge hatch).
Dad and I started planning to have him and Mom come on down to the boat with some specialty tools for cutting through concrete and tile so we could get at the problem area on Wednesday. My next update will start covering that period and the temporary fix he put in place with Mom’s and J’s help along with our plans for the upcoming week to get us ready for winter.
So normally I’d have done at least 1 if not 2 or 3 more posts with everything that has gone on lately. As such I’ve been so crazy busy that I have no real time to post… Plus the fact that at the moment the wifi at the marina is dead so what little surfing I can do through my phone has been devoted to immigration stuff for J and not updating my blog. So a quick run over what I have done and what is going on right now:
- More wood work on the utility room and the cargohold!
- Fun with West System Epoxy
- The rudder indicator
- Webcam and security system fun
- The cats are on board!
- Welding work on the boat
- Clean up all the things
So ya. Lots going on. Lots to write about. Lots of pictures. Just no time. ARGH!
I guess I could call this “What did YOU do on your weekend Part 2″ but it was a few weekends apart and I don’t feel like changing the title of this post now… So ya…
This weekend we (or rather I) decided that it was time to get back into the swing of things with reno’s on the boat in a big way. As a result we made a HUGE mess since the first step was to remove everything from below the deck of the pilot house (our utility room) and either throw out what we don’t need/want, store what we need for later but not now, or repack what we need soon. It resulted in us getting a LOT of space back overall which was fortunate since I was stuck in that area most of the weekend framing up where some walls would be going to finally seal off the utility room from the rest of the boat.
And just to give some context as to where this is here’s an old image I made up to help explain the layout.
Basically all this work was being don in the grey area below the pilot house on the port side where the stairs lead up into the pilot house from the galley and on the starboard side near the stairs into the cargo hold. This week we hope to get the framing completed for the rest of the wall on the starboard side for the inside of the outer wall so we can go ahead and throw up some nice maple plywood with some hatches and some pot lights to light the stair well. I’ll post more as time goes on.
So although this is the 3rd year I’ve been at the Toronto Island’s Jeannie and I have very rarely (if ever) participated with the events that go on on the islands themselves. It’s usually because we’re busy or our schedule for not being on the island doesn’t line up with theirs (either we’re up north at my parents, or out with friends, or just… out…). So this year we had a bit of luck and earlier we participated (sorta) in the Toronto Island Marina’s “Christmas in July” celebration (we literally got back to the Island’s the day of the celebration so we just had enough time to plug in our wreath from normal Christmas for the judging… Good thing I hadn’t taken the wreath down from Christmas eh?). We got an honourable mention!
Any ways this past long weekend I had a whack of stuff I wanted to get done on the boat (My next post will be about that) since we were going to be hiding out on the island away from Caribana going on at Toronto city side (turned out to not be as apocalyptic as we had initially anticipated traffic and wave of humanity wise). When one of our friends on the island mentioned to Jeannie (and someone else mentioned to me earlier in the week) if we were going to participate in the Gala. We decided to go to the first night at least and check out the other nights if we weren’t too tired from all the work we were going to do on the boat. Turns out that the first night is a play done to music (provided by a local Dixie band) followed up with everyone that went there participating in a “lantern parade” through Wards Island and ending with a bonfire at one of the beaches with fire dancing along the way… Ya. There was a lot going on.
SO like I was saying the party started off with a Dixie band playing and started shortly afterwards:
The play was about how this was the year of the anniversary of the war of 1812 and specifically how we had the help of the British and local native people push the US back (represented by a guy on stilts that vaguely looks like Uncle Sam waving a huge American flag). What was kinda funny was that some people were booing “Uncle Sam” there and a few other people they knew were Americans (in a playful manner not malicious no worries). The first photo there shows some of the lanterns people made.
Next up we all joined in a parade through the homes of Wards Island and then out to a sort of mini “volley ball beach” for part 2 of the play I guess. Which included fire dancing and some singing by the locals.
The fire dancing was pretty cool really. Lots of fire being flung around on hoolahoops, staffs, and sticks etc. The singing was ok but very quiet because of how far away we were. Oh well. But it was very nice sounding.
Next after that we all went to the beach where they started the bonfire!
During the bonfire a canoe came over that was shaped like a dragon and had a rather large blowtorch throwing blue flame out it’s mouth. They also set off paper balloons into the air. Most of them hit the lake but 1 of them made it quite far… Like to the point where everyone there went very quiet because we were worried that it’d crash in Toronto or Billy Bishop Airport. So ya. That was fun.
Overall it was a great time with a few friends there and loads of nice strangers (to us any ways) all hanging out talking and carrying on. The water by the bonfire was nice to walk in to cool off from the day as well and the moon was pretty awesome to look at since it was a deep red and nearly full on the horizon.
I can’t wait till next years!
We didn’t make it to any other events that weekend (dances, bands, dinners, drinks etc.) mostly due to us being super busy on the boat or because of the torrential downpour we had later on in the weekend but next year we’ll definitely attend again.
Note to self… Bring a better camera instead of my cellphone.
Honestly who do these people think they are bringing other cool boats into the harbour? Geez.
First we had this guy pull up beside us at TIM.
And then around the corner at the dock near Hanlans point there was this guy
The first one was an old wooden vessel that had loads of little details on it carved into the wood. A guy seems to live on it and just cruise around. I don’t know if he’s a full timer like some of us but the boat was in amazing condition YET still showed signs of being well used and not just “kept behind glass” so to speak. She is called the Caledonia.
The second is a training vessel from Ottawa called the Fair Jeanne. It had a bunch of trainees on the back taking a class while I was there. Rather interesting looking ship.
Also as a side note the top 2 images look a bit “odd” because I used a program called “ICE” from Microsoft to stitch together a bunch of images to make 1 large image. Very cool application that I intend to use more often since I tend to carry my cellphone around with me instead of my semi decent camera. It’ll allow me to just take many photos of the same thing and then I can let it figure out how to piece the images together at that point. Neat huh? Oh. And it’s free and you can find it here: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/groups/ivm/ice/
Me? Well my parents and sister came on down on Sunday to help move something out of the engine room so that I can have a lot more space. What was it that we moved?
What the hell are those? Well the big tank looking thing with the wheel is the original compressor that was installed in Pathfinder from 1954 (most likely). It weighs, we guess, at least 500lbs. The big grey motor was on the compressor before I removed it on Saturday so that the compressor would be lighter. Would removing that make much of a difference? Yes. Very much so. It’s a 115 Volt (so 120 basically) electric motor that is most likely explosion proof given how much metal cladding is around it. For a bit of a comparison the other motor below it in the photo is a more modern version of the same thing that has a higher rpm rating. So ya. A bit of armour. When we got it out (using a variety of pulleys, hoistes, a giant crowbar and lots of sweat) and up onto deck the ships balance was affected. Normally we listed slightly to starboard. Now with the compressor out and on deck it lists noticeably to port. Just a bit heavy eh?
I wanted this done so that I could convert the space that it was taking up into storage for tools and gear that we don’t use during winter (like bikes) in the engine room. So now we have this space available.
Once the rest of the brackets have been removed along with some levelling of the deck in there I’ll be installing a floor to put stuff on and store it. Below the deck I’ll put some concrete or water tanks to trim the ship a bit.
Before that I had been pumping out the bilge in the engine room of which I don’t have photos but just to give an idea of what WAS in the bilge there was over a foot of diesel, glycol, oil, lake water, salt water, grey water, steering fluid and god knows what else floating around in there. I pumped all that out into barrels to be taken away as hazardous waste and I’m now in the process of drying out the bilge properly before I scrub it, scrape it, and paint it. Hopefully this’ll cut down on engine room smell among other things.
In a raw showing of skin here’s a photo of me rather dirty and shirtless after moving the compressor out.
As a friend of mine pointed out a lot of my posts tend to be along the lines of “Wow. I haven’t posted here for a while.” so here’s another one. Although arguably it’s not without good reason.
Not last Saturday but the Saturday before (May 26th) I got married to Jeannie (there are a few photos of her on this site already)! So ya. I figure that’s a pretty good reason to be a bit late with this. Some guys may be saying “Pffft. I got married and I had like nothing to do!” ya. Well I decided to take the path less walked (as normal) and discovered a whole new world in stress (oddly normal as well). Since Jeannie was busy with classes and everything I had to do a LOT of the planning for the wedding itself. While this was a really neat experience I can honestly see how being a wedding planner is a very lucrative business. On the other hand I did get to see a whole area usually left to the “women folk” and possibly explain how the phenomena of “bridezilla” comes into being. I won’t go into the details here since it’d end up being one of those “tl;dr” (too long; didn’t read) posts. But ya. Needless to say if anyone is getting married and the person handling most of the planning seems to lose their mind don’t freak out! There are a LOT of little things that are nerve racking for ridiculous reasons and it just sorta gangs up on you! I may do a more lengthy post on our wedding soonish. But I’d prefer to have more photos about that first.
Quick note as well Pathfinder was moved over to TIM and I have yet to put that post up (again busy). Not very exciting fortunately but I wasn’t at the wheel at all this time since I had the stomach flu. So ya. Mostly manning the “rail” if you know what I mean.