Refitting and returning

Sat 13 Nov 2004 22:51
13th November 2004. From Silva Bay, Gabriola Island, as our time runs out.

Dear All,

Firstly, to let you know that we are coming back to England a bit earlier
than we thought, flying in on the 12th December instead of the 22nd. We
really look forward to seeing as many of you as we can before Christmas and
bouncing ourselves into the festive spirit. We plan to be around in London
at first, before settling back into our house in Burridge in mid January.

Having left the high life of Vancouver we headed for the quiet calm of the
Gulf Islands. Our first stop was Silva Bay on Gabriola Island, where we have
found a place to leave Kokiri and, unless there are hidden costs to freak us
out, it seems to be at a price we can afford. We are leaving her on a
swinging mooring in a very protected bay with the local boatyard keeping an
eye on her. Much more our style than an expensive marina so, assuming all
goes smoothly, we are hoping to have found a perfect solution for winter

Having booked in at the boatyard to haul-out and attend to some refitting to
the boat, we set off for a week of cruising and writing in the dramatic
inlets of mainland BC. For a number of days we anchored ourselves next to
the beautiful Cascade Falls by the Harmony Islands in Hotham Sound and
watched the fresh snow falling on the mountains high around us. While we
were there the snowline came significantly lower and the temperature dropped
to follow it. We finished off the log and pilotage notes for the RCC and
rushed back to Nanaimo to post it to the UK, in time for the deadline we

Since then we have been working flat-out on the boat. Kokiri's propeller
shaft seal has been leaking since the Solomon Islands and started getting
progressively worse in Alaska. Nothing seemed to be able to slow the drip
and we couldn't possibly leave her like that for the winter, so it had to be
replaced. This unfortunately involved either taking the rudder off or the
engine out. We went for the engine!

So we have spent the last two weeks (ten days high and dry on the ways)
working on the boat in the delightful surroundings of Silva Bay. The engine
came out without too much trouble and we gave it a thorough going over,
replacing and servicing all that we could. The prop shaft came out and the
shaft seal was replaced with an all singing all dancing non-drip variety.
The engine cooling water system was re-plumbed for the umpteenth time and a
proper cupronickel marine condenser for the fridge finally fitted (replacing
the temporary condenser that we made up in the Philippines to replace the
original condenser that failed so completely in Vanuatu). The fresh water
system pipe work was completely replaced with plastic pipe and fittings,
after a leak appeared in the thirty year old copper piping. The diesel tank
came out and all the plumbing for that was replaced, including the leaking
shut-off valve that had given us trouble on the trip up from Japan to the
Aleutian Islands. The engine bilge was painted out, the bump on the bottom
of the keel that was the result of a small encounter with the reef in the
Philippines was filled and re-antifouled. We laid the piping for an anchor
locker drain and a deck wash pump which still need to be finished. The
engine was then reinstalled with all new plumbing and thankfully it started
first time!

We now have only a month to go till we head for home. We're off cruising
again though in the meantime, continuing to explore around the Gulf Islands
and Victoria before heading for the USA briefly to renew the Kokiri's entry
permit into Canada. And then back to Silva Bay to two weeks of winterising
the boat and preparing her to be left all by herself!! Boo hoo!

With all our love to you all, and very much looking forward to boring you
with all our sunny stories when we see you.

Katharine and Peter