Dockage, updates, and boat weirdness

On May 31, 2010 In Boat, News

So as you can see the post of the 3rd day of my trip from Eastport to Toronto is up. I’ll continue working through my notes and post the rest as I can. Not sure how long it’ll take overall though as I’m trying to make sure I get onto the ship permanently by the end of July… Soooooo ya. I’ll be busy.

Anyways, this weekend ended up being very busy for me while getting only some of what I wanted done. We (my parents, my friend Jon and I) got the bilge pumped out over the weekend satisfactorily and were able to clean and pump over the side 6 barrels worth of water. The plus side is that with the considerably less fuel on board (400ish gallons of diesel vs what it is when full which is 1000 gallons) plus the water out of the bilge she’s now drawing only 6 and a half feet in the stern and around 5 and feet in the bow. Next jobs include finalizing on what phase 1 for the interior of the ship is going to be so that I can call it “liveable”. The basic features I’m going to have on board is the following:

  1. Master berth
  2. Master bath
  3. Some form of galley even if it is just a microwave, and fridge
  4. The cargo hold(s) interior completed with regards to walls (tiling may be done later)

Naturally this is a lot of work but it’s not horrendous really.

This weekend we also found where I’ll be docking permanently for this summer at least (I may try to convince them to let me stay there year round though because the spot is just awesome and in a spot that ice won’t bother it that much). The people of Toronto Island Marina are just hella awesome. They really have saved my sanity ever since OHM decided to play silly bugger games with me the day before I left to pick up the ship (long story). Gary the Dock Master at TIM is a great guy and REALLY liked my boat (so much so it sounded like he was interested in getting one himself) so at least I have the head of the Marina as my champion for the docks. It’s handy to have friends like that. :)

We also met an elderly couple where the husband is a guy that has lived on a ship before in Georgian bay for many years and is now a glass salesman. So who cares right? The guy said if I need glass at a good price (which I do most definitely) of any variety including safety or even stained glass windows, talk to him he’ll get me an awesome price.

I’m quickly realizing the mystical powers of owning a ship. When I bought a condo in Kitchener many moons ago people were nice about helping but they really weren’t proactive about it. With a ship however all my friends have offered help, my coworkers, and total strangers. It’s rather disorienting how friendly people are regarding this. Needless to say once she’s more complete I’m going to need to take a lot of people out for a cruise.

Day 3: The Birth of Tusk

On May 31, 2010 In Boat, Captains Log

Today was another busy one. We finished fitting on the new Radar to replace the old one with a jury rigged scaffolding we made out of some lumber that was left on board, we also hooked up the auto pilot the best we could to the old steering wheel that is in the pilot house (an original wooden wheel from a Canadian Schooner of all things!). We also hooked up the head to a stable pseudo platform just below and behind the wheel house with straps and screws and a weird slab of wood and twisted metal we found. Should be sturdy enough for the strongest of craps. Although we bought a water tank for the express purpose of feeding the toilet with water we opted to use 2 barrels we bought in Eastport instead to keep things simple, those will be lashed to the starboard rail during the trip.

We got ready to move the ship around near a crane at the end of the pier to pull down the mast (The previous day I had drilled a whole bunch of holes around the base of the mast about 1′ up to act like perforations to make it easier to cut with the Sawsall today). A few things happened that made this a particularly ticklish operation. First the engine wouldn’t start properly so we called over Butch (one of the previous Captains of the ship) to help us start it properly which he did by spray ether directly into the air intake. Then when we pulled out nice and slowly the auto pilot got in the way of proper steering of the ship (it wasn’t until later that we discovered we had left the clutch on the thing on thus locking it in place… didn’t matter anyways turns out the zip ties we used to attach the gear to our wheel were too weak to control the wheel anyways and literal snapped like dry noodles). Next since this was the first time we had taken it out ourselves my Dad was at the helm… We tried to approach the pier twice before we veered out to the bay a bit and make 1 last attempt. This ended up being more exciting than we thought, the boat being as heavy and big as it was, AND unfamiliar at this point essentially got away from my Dad controlling it a bit. The rollers that Hal (another previous owner and the broker for the boat) built are designed so that the “Bruce Anchor” when pulled up would roll up onto it and seat neatly in place. In our case it acted like a powerful wood plane and shaved of 2 inches and several feet of wood from the dock. This literally threw wood and gear all over the place… but the boat stopped in the right location after a bit of man handling from the lines that were hanging from the pier. Soooo ya… That was dangerous.

Anyways we’re leaving tonight with the evening tide… Seriously how many times does one get a chance to say that?

I’m back!!!

On May 25, 2010 In Boat

Amazingly enough I’ve made it back alive. I’ll be doing a more thorough day by day blog posting of the trip when I get a chance. I’ve got a string of emails that I used essentially as my source of notes for the entire trip. Sadly there is NO time lapse video like I had promised to make due to the electrics on the boat failing a spectacular and mystical fashion.

I’m now at Hanlon’s Point and safely docked for now. What a trip.

Day 2: Still in Eastport but refitting nearly done

On May 11, 2010 In Boat, Captains Log

Today was a lot of work. We got the power run to the pilot house, organized the main saloon, sorted out some of the wiring, got the mast ready to be cut down, setup the temporary head, disconnected the old radar and got our food supplies for the trip. All in all it was a good day.

We brought 2 crew members along with us (John and Neil Cameron) who both have experience in handling vessels. My Dad naturally given his past. I on the other hand have very little experience with handling vessels of this size and even less experience as being the Commander of any vessel (typically I’ve been resigned to being the swabby at most, or deckhand really) so this is all new to me. Fortunately I don’t plan on taking the ship out often without help with more seasoned sailors for the time being and probably not until I’ve modified the hull a bit with a bulbous bow with a thruster inside of it.

A final note regarding the dockage I’ll have in Toronto. Plans have had to change literally last minute. I called the harbour I was going to dock at just to confirm with them that I could dock there and to give them my insurance information to make it official. They reneged on the months of verbal confirmation that they had given me. As a result I had a thermal melt down and had to get my Mom and my sister to help me at 2:30pm on Friday to find a dock that could take me. To that we have 2 solutions currently.

  1. Toronto Island Marina (Hanlons Point): The dock there isn’t specifically for full time docking for the summer but they did say I could stay there for a month currently. However, I’m going to try to stay there permanently as the location is great, the price is better than OHM, and the people are friendly.
  2. Midland: This may end up being what I go with depending on the time I have left after this trip. The idea is that we’d take it up to Midland and for the Summer I’d put it on the hard to work on the interior, when winter comes I’d launch it again and move on. This is handy because I’d be able to check the hull, repaint it and figure out why the depth sounder and forward looking sonar are all messed up.

So there you have it. The update thus far. Anyways it’s late and I’m exhausted.

Captains Log

On May 11, 2010 In Boat, Captains Log

So yesterday I didn’t have an internet connection but clearly today I do. Yesterday I wrote this log entry that was essentially from day 1 of the entire Eastport to Toronto adventure for picking up my ship:

Day 1 in Eastport

Still a bit nervous about the entire boat thing but I believe this will work out now that I have a place to call home at least temporarily in Toronto. Karen the nice lady that manages Toronto Island Marina said I could tie up to Hanlons Point since it was deep enough. But she mentioned that it was a bit isolated which personally I don’t really mind. I still haven’t really eaten yet for a few days only having had a burger sometime the day before yesterday, and dinner last night so I’m not feeling 100%.

Since I forgot the power inverter I hope we can find one when we go shopping for a new radar unit. If not then there won’t be many logs or the timelapse video I was hoping to make. Sort of a little price to pay considering all the stress I’ve been under in the last 3 days.

Today we should see how much work there is left before we head on out. I know from looking at the ship that we still have to take the mast down but that shouldn’t take too long now that we have a few extra hands. I think we’ll also be trying to get the head hooked up today. Dad bought some lumber which I’m thinking he was planning to use to make up the bulkheads of the head. We’ll see.

Anyways 10min before I have to meet everyone for breakfast.

The merry month of May

On May 07, 2010 In Boat, News

So it seems I haven’t updated for a month. Well crap… No excuse really but I have been extremely busy. Just to quickly go over the details of what has gone on here’s a bullet list:

  • During April I had a business trip to Portland Oregon for most of a week.
  • The week that I returned I went to Eastport to finally see the T-Boat in person. So by this point I have literally flown from 1 coast to the other within the span of a week.
  • Arranged for the final purchase of the boat.
  • Arranged for insurance for said boat.
  • Figured out financing… for said boat.
  • Found dockage but couldn’t book until I had insurance
  • Couldn’t get insurance until I got a new survey
  • Couldn’t get the survey until after I bought the boat

Overall it’s been very exciting and exhausting. I hope to update more often now that the paper work flood is almost done (I have to get my slip at the dock today and that’s it for the preliminaries). After all this I head on out on Sunday to Eastport to bring the ship back.

Here’s a link showing the path I’ll be taking:

View Eastport Maine to the new Home in a larger map

So ya. 5 to 6 days and in theory I should be back to clear customs and then finally dock at OHM. And on the 7th day I’ll rest… Yeesh…

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