As cheesy as this sounds it really felt like a home coming when we got back to TIM this past Friday. Before we get to far into it here’s the path we took:
View Pier 4 to TIM April 2011 in a larger map
Originally we had planned to make this trip a lot bigger by going out the Western gap then coming in through the Eastern gap and coming into TIM. We didn’t do this for a number of reasons.
- During winter we used quite a bit of fuel for heating with the Webasto. Near the end we had sorted out the system a bit more thus we got it to use less but still that ate through a quite a lot of fuel.
- We couldn’t get a fuel truck in to give us more fuel. This was rather ridiculous overall. We wanted 1500L of undyed diesel delivered to us for heating and general fuel (The Webasto is a fuel oil system and fuel oil is just dyed diesel. Legally we can’t run dyed diesel in the boat since we can use it for moving the ship around and undyed diesel is taxed in a particular way for non-commercial transportation…. It’s a bit confusing but whatever)
- Timing. Basically since the fuel issue was around we could do the trip in a short while and get ourselves safely across, have a drink or 2, and call it a day for Easter weekend. If we had stayed around longer the day would get a bit longer for the entire crew and we’d all get home late.
Overall the entire trip went fairly well with only the typical issues associated with manually dragging a large ship with the wind blowing it into the marina through a narrow channel. Lots of rope and some elbow grease and we were able to pull Pathfinder through the bridge and passed one of the docks that was pointing into the channel a bit. The engine then started up alright and we headed on off across the harbour to the Islands (A trip of 2km roughly). Things were going well until we were just shy of the 1/2 way point when the engine started to conk out the way an engine does when it has no fuel. A number of questions raced through my head really quickly.
Had my last fuel sounding been off drastically?
Did we really not have 600L’s in fuel left?
Were we going to be in serious trouble and get blown into the airport before we got rescued?!
Turns out none of those. Apparently right before winter we shutoff the fuel lines to the engine just to stop any fuel leaks we might have. So ya. Whoops! This just reinforces that I need to get a sensor array working in the engine rooms so we have a ships status screen of some sorts.
The other issue that we had was the weather. It was gorgeous no doubt but when I had woken up that day it was perfectly calm with NO wind at all. By the time we were ready to set off (around 11:45) the wind had picked up and was starting to blow the ship sideways (Ships such as Pathfinder have no sails and don’t use wind as a mode of transportation BUT since we have a super structure [The house like section above the hull part of the boat] we have a lot of something called “freeboard” which is the amount of surface area of the ship above the water. THIS acts like a sail and since Pathfinder has a LOT of weight it takes a lot of pulling to stop it from drifting away since the wind was blowing us west into the middle of the marina.). By the time we got to the Deep Pike Cut, where we have to keep an eye out for a hidden sand bar that depending on the water depth, we couldn’t see through the waves since it was a bit choppy. Regardless we made it through with no issues and managed to get to our dock with no incident… minus our dock have 2 ships on it temporarily which got out of our way REALLY quickly.
Once tied up it was like a really nice home coming. Saw a lot of faces I recognized and they recognized our crew back which was nice. So now everything is as it should be. Back at the island where it’s nice and quiet, the cottage country in the middle of down town Toronto.
Big thanks to Niel, Sandy and John Cameron along with Marjorie. Also thanks to Shane from Pier 4 for helping with the ropes. Naturally a HUGE thanks to my Dad for piloting us across (something I hope to learn how to do properly this year)!