If you are a dreamer, a doer, a horizon viewer - come in! come in! Announce yourself and let it be known.
The seed of adventure has been sown.

The goal is to take this boat on a trip that no other Wharram boat has taken.
From Great Slave Lake in Canada's Northwest Territories up the MacKenzie River to the Beafort Sea
and westward to the Bering Sea and south to the inside passage on the Alaska and British Columbia coast.

Friday, August 24, 2007

It has been nearly two weeks since I launched and departed. For the first-time I find myself in front of a computer. The trip is nothing new, waters I've sailed for years and know very well; no charts required though I carry them. BUT, Tsunamichaser has made these waters fresh. I can sail through passages I'd never have ventured into in more than a row boat. I have sailed on to beaches including one pebble beach that is like ballbearings that I sailed onto at speed. Awesome smooth landing. Almost as good as hitting a sand beach in a jet-drive RIB at 20 knots. Afterall this is checkout time! We, crew of three, have endured four days of cold with steady rain. Decks need insulation to minimize condensation and ventilation. For sure it is camping or more like bivying. Quarters are tight but right. When the weather is good, liv'in is easy.

I have been tweaking the rigging. The main is sensitive to set but working it is well worth it. Getting the sail to take the right shape vastly improves performance. I have cut two inches out of the head of the jib - necessary as sail from Jeckells, roller furling from CDI, headstay from Fisheries Supply and boat by me all done on faith of measurement had to have a fit problem. I removed the head strop, cut two inches from the headboard, folded over the suncover for a neat finish, sewed the head strop back on and all was well. It took a little over an hour. Tsunamichaser points well and at speed has little leeway. All the negative things that detractors say about cats is wrong.

In Nanaimo BC, a young woman rowed over to us and introduced herself as Kaylee, recent purchaser of a Tiki 26 with her partner. As field biologists they are use to living light in the rough and so have moved onto their Tiki 26. Thoughts of sailing to Mexico in their dreams.

All is not perfect though. The aforementioned condensation issue has us sleeping in our bivy bags. My hatches leak and need to be modified. Rigging needs to be tweaked and the best way to store stuff and remember where it is needs some thought. amazingly my water line is perfect. The water level method did the trick. There is more volume for stuff than there is displacement capacity.

The Nissan 6 hp is plenty. In strong headwinds or current you could do better with a 10 hp but would be dreaming of a 15. The 6 pushes us with no wind or current at close to 6 knots at half throttle. Fuel consumption is less than a third of a gallon per hour so a 3 gallon tanks lasts about eleven hours. It takes next to no wind to get sailing so the motor is barely necessary. Northwest winds are fickle so a motor helps bridge the windless gaps. Tiki26's sail backwards very well so sailing in a crowded anchorage or to the dock is sweet! You can even set the anchor that way.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Thomas,

Glad to see that you have set sail. Pretty awesome itinerary.

Cheers, Robin and Jeanne

2:04 AM  
Blogger The Ethnic Catamaran Company said...

Damn, it was wonderful to read this brief account of your shake-down cruise, although being in Thailand, where the temp. is in the 30s (Centigrade), the idea of cold and sleeping bags is, well, almost abstract :-)LOL Congratulations and fair winds.

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Neil said...

Welcome back Thomas! Sunds like you had a great time, you must feel really proud. I love the photos particularly the last one, she looks beautiful. With regard to the condensation problem, I experienced the same thing when I lived on Morgwas through a British winter using a primus as a cabin heater! I lined the cabin with a thin polyprop needlepunch carpet. The type that is usually stuck down for contract healthcare jobs. Its mould resistant and fire proofed and solved the problem. Might be worth looking at.

7:59 PM  
Anonymous kaeli said...

Hi Thomas,
It was great to meet you last week - too bad I was on my way to work and there wasn't more time to chat. Let us know if you'll be back in Nanaimo at all - I'd love to get together to exchange stories and ideas (particularly on how to set up the galley). I like the photo of Calidris and Tsunamichaser!
Cheers, Kaeli

10:05 PM  
Anonymous Kim said...

You are an inspiration, Thomas! Well done!

Fair winds and following seas,


6:57 PM  

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