header photo

Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Day 9 - Jim becomes the helmsman

Last night discussion ensued about Dave teaching Jim how to back the boat out of the slip.  Tight quarter maneuvering is a challenge.  Even Melissa has never been brave enough to try it.  And frankly, why would she when she’s got Captain Dave?  Melissa suggested that maybe a lesson out in the open water so Jim can get a feel for how fast the boat turns when the wheel is turned and how hard to push the throttle might be wise.  But Dave insists that in the open water its just not the same anyway.

Training Jim is just as much about Jim learning as it is Dave testing himself to see if he can teach it.  He’s a great captain – but he does so much of it “by feel” that it’s a challenge to see if he can break what he does down well enough to explain it.  Melissa and Margaret had the boat poles ready – but they weren’t needed.  Jim backed Apsaras out of the slip perfectly!  We all cheered!  Then Margaret wanted a lesson in how to coil the dock lines up so they hang neatly on the life lines.  So Melissa demonstrated and Margaret practiced.  Jim stayed at the helm under Dave’s watchful eye.

Melissa went down to finish breakfast – which was steel cut oats with protein powder, vanilla and maple syrup.  And a side of breakfast sausage.

All was well until Captain Dave noticed that the dock fenders had not been stowed.  Ooops – the crew got distracted when we pulled away from the dock.  Dave goes out on deck to put them away and tosses one over the side.  “Man overboard” he yells.  Melissa comments to Jim, “this drill is our punishment for not putting away the fenders”.  Unbeknownst to Dave, Margaret was in the shower.  Not realizing no one had actually fallen in, she comes racing out.  Luckily still dressed.  This gets a laugh.  Dave gives Jim instructions on how to approach the fender so he can retrieve it without running over it.  Important cuz running over someone isn’t usually good for them.  Dave reminds Melissa that the first time she practiced this maneuver she ran over “him” going full speed.

Back underway, we make our way to Gabriola pass.  It’s a place where the water comes in and out on the tides and can run as fast as 8 knots.  Since we go 6 knots, we have to wait till slack tide – or near to it – to make the passage.  We went through on a max current of about 2 knots.  Jim was still at the helm.  He did a great job of hand steering through the whirly current.

Yesterday Dave thought he saw Joint Decision.  She’s a 57 foot Nordhaven vessel.  Years ago we rescued them up north in Canada.  We’ve watched for them off and on to see if we would ever cross paths with them again.  Dave was kicking himself later for not hailing them and meeting up.  So today we went ahead and tried to reach them on Channel 16 (the common hailing radio channel).  They answered right away and we switched over to Channel 68 to chat with them.  They said they had always wondered what happened to us.  Dave told them we made it through the panama canal and then had the boat shipped home.  They are nearing the end of their cruising season.  And we agreed to try and meet up again someday!

We made our way to Silva Marina and Resort on Gabriola Island.  We’ve never been here before.  So this checks the box on Dave’s goal to go new places.  When we finished docking and were having a beer, the yellow jacket bees showed up.  They’ve shown up a few times and we keep forgetting to get a bee trap to hang off the back.  Then Dave remembers – before we left on our 2 year venture – we had screen doors made for the cockpit that allow the air flow but keep the critters out.  We did this after returning from Alaska where the biting flies drove us crazy.  We dig them out, and no more bees in the cockpit and cabin!

We tried to make it into town, but on Sunday the bus doesn't run.  And the taxi is unreliable.  So we hung on the boat having a lazy afternoon.  We had snacks - another metze appetizer plate.  Homemade salami, homemade pecans with rosemary, artichoke dip with chips, and veggies.

For dinner Melissa marinated tri-tip steaks in coconut aminos (soy sauce substitute), honey, and garlic, which Jim then grilled along side some baby bok choy.  A great red wine - and that's dinner!  Afterwards we watched the movie, "Sully".  A great one!

Go Back