Friday, May 29, 2020

Refusals. Romance. Narrow Escapes: As the Feathers Fly

Canadian geese and their goslings. They're prolific on here on Hayden Island, Portland Oregon.
Adorably downy and gawky goslings and ducklings waddle and wade about in our neighborhood. 

But what about Dork, the mooch? (For more about Dork, see this earlier post).
Dork, assuming his favorite pose with a not-very-subtle hint about his desires.
Despite his determined dives for tater tots (a one-time treat),  we were discovered that fatty starchy salty food was very bad for him. Rather than contributing too much to his goosy delinquent ways, we switched to the seediest Dave's Killer Bread we could find. 
Dork's response to lettuce is significantly less animated that to bread.
We took it a step further and tried feeding him what we read was best for him—vegetative matter. After an initial peck or two at the lettuce we tossed his way, Dork pointedly ignored the rest of his healthy bounty. Then gave us his best "What is this bulls---?!?" glare as the lettuce piled up around him, uneaten.

We caved and broke out the bread. Still, we stuck to the good stuff, except the one day when we ran out, Dork once more refused the lettuce. We gave him a few tortilla chips until we could make it to the store to restock our seedy Dave's Killer Bread.

Background: the illustrious orange-billed Dork, more charitably known as Beau.Our birding expert cruising friend Alison of Tregoning believes he's a blend
between a Canadian goose and a white-fronted Canadian goose.

Foreground: Dork's ladyfriend. Dork is actually much larger than her;
the perspective is misleading.
Long after all the other geese paired off and made goslings, Dork appeared with a lady friend. Initially, she tried to set a better dietary example for Dork, slurping up the seeds floating on the river's surface rather than hitting us up for a carb load. 

Dork ignored her healthier eating habits as he beelined for our boat. Before long she decided to horn in on his gravy train. 

Dork's returned with her several times, though he also often ditches his dame. We've seen them appear to bicker around the marina, but also waddle contentedly side-by-side through the marina parking lot. 
Mallard trio, plying out marina's waters.
While Canadian geese like Dork and his lady friend make up the majority of the bird population on the island, there are some other fine feathered friends floating by, like the mallards. Unlike Dork, they don't panhandle, though one of my West Marine customers hit up our bait shack periodically to feed one of the local herons, complaining about its expensive taste.
Our expert friend Alison says she believes he's a mallard hybrid.
This mallard hybrid caught our attention with his unusual markings.
Mallard duckling.

This mallard duckling won my award for cutest ducky in the neighborhood. Apparently, the Canadian geese—or at least one—felt otherwise!
Run, ducky, run!
The duckling narrowly escaped an attack from one of the Canadian geese. Her attack happened so fast even my video couldn't manage a clear frame-by-frame stop-action still of the attack.

Relieved but upset ducky mama gives her wayward baby ducky a lecture.
Last night we returned from our second trip away from the marina for a few days to head to anchor in the sun and under the stars, as we will June 1st for the summer.  Both times, before we rounded the corner to our slip, Dork spotted us and headed our way. This second time, to our surprise, he didn't mooch. Ah, he must've found himself another patsy—maybe one who doesn't try to get him to eat lettuce. He's a wily old goose and a bit of a bada--. Squawking loudly, he aggressively charges any other birds he believes is cutting on what he considers his territory. Everyone, except his new lady friend, who, it turns out, is rather aggressive herself.

Location Location
The two days we spent two glorious days anchored off Sauvie Island N45 47.552 W122 47.192 and until June 1st we are back in our slip at Jantzen Bay on Hayden Island N45 36.552 W122.40.545. 

We're still not sure whether we'll move our car or our boat for me to make my way back for my once-a-week shift back at West Marine (open for business!). Nor do we know what our options will be come October, given coronavirus. Meanwhile, it's one day at a time, making the most of what's in our own backyard. 

This summer, that will be trading ducks and geese for eagles (click here for video and images of the eagles of Sauvie Island), osprey and the occasional heron or two. None of them mooch.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

867 Screws—Or—When It Rains Inside Your Boat . . .

In the past, if we weren't under covered moorage, this pot would be full
of water and the towel around it and the surrounding floor area
would be soaked. At those times, we were too miserable to take photos.
This particular leak was likely due to dried out and cracked upper deck caulking.
"Leaky tikis" are the nickname for otherwise awesome Taiwanese trawlers. Our 1977 Puget Trawler was no exception. When it rained hard enough outside our boat, it rained inside, too. 

But we love cruising in the beautiful Northwest. The problem is, part of the reason the Northwest is so beautiful is that it rains. It rains in winter. It rains in spring, It rains in summer, It rains in the fall. Rain here is unavoidable. We needed a solution.
Wayne, removing the original seams on our upper deck more quickly than
the prior ones thanks to the loan of a router from our friend Rick Hoffman. 
Finding the source of leaks is tough. Where the water enters the boat is not usually where the leak shows up inside the boat. 

What most leaky tiki boat owners do is rip out the teak decks and fiberglass over the top. But outside the caulk leaks, our teak was in reasonable shape, other than in need of a good maintenance sanding. It seemed a shame to just toss all that potentially beautiful teak.
The wood with new plugs and recaulked before they get planed and scraped.
This teak on our upper deck was in the worst shape of all our teak on m/v Serendipity.

Wayne did some research and some mulling. He discovered that often in the building process, manufacturers did not waterproof the entry point where the screws were drilled into the fiberglass to lay down the teak decking. Over time, as the caulk seams between the decking wore out and water could make its way through. Because the fiberglass deck screws were improperly sealed, the water eventually worked its way inside.

The deck screws are unnecessary. They were only put down by the manufacturer to hold the deck into place while the adhesive set up. Even without the screws, the decking will remain securely affixed.
The wood plugs Wayne used to replace the original decking plugs. There were a lot of original plugs.
In order to save the original teak decks but stop our leaks, Wayne adopted this process:

  1. Remove the original sealant between each teak deck plank.
  2. Remove every original screw which bolted the deck to the floor.
  3. Drill out each screw hole, and fill with thickened epoxy.
  4. Put a new wooden plug over each original decking screw hole.
  5. Shave the new plugs to level with the teak deck surface.
  6. Clean every newly routed channel with mineral spirits to get the teak oil off.
  7. Recaulk. Let it dry and remove the tape if used.
  8. Clean and level the entire deck surface by sanding it, 
  9. Vacuum up the mess.
  10. Retape and retouch any caulking areas that need it.
  11. Cetol (varnish) 5 coats over the entire surface.
  12. Pull the heater exhaust pipe out, clean it up, slide it back into place, Thoroughly seal all around the exhaust pipe until it's watertight. Technically, this is not a decking issue, but one more area where leaks could occur.

Wayne tapes the sanded deck for final caulk touch-ups.

I asked how many screws the upper deck took, he guestimated 867. "I really needed to do 100 more plugs," Wayne confessed. "I definitely still need to fix 40." When I asked why he didn't do that, he summarized "Lack of patience. Lack of time. Lack of plugs." Wayne estimates he's used about 1400 plugs so far for decking repair. He ordered more. 
Sanded deck, almost ready for varnish.
The upper deck was our last large decking area that needed refinishing. That and the propane exhaust pipe that ran through the upper deck were the most likely culprits for our remaining leaks. The propane exhaust pipe was just pulled and recaulked, too.
Wayne, laying down the fifth coat of Cetol.
Considering how rough the surface of the upper deck was, we were stoked at just how pretty it looked after sanding. Would it be as nice as the less damaged teak decks done previously?
Finished deck. Cetol varnish applied. The silver apparatus is where the propane exhaust came out.
It was also recaulked.
Close-up, teak deck, varnished.

We are pleased to finally complete this big, time-consuming job.

The question still remains to be tested in June, as we leave our covered moorage at the end of this month . . . When it rains, will it only rain outside the boat?

Cross your fingers for us!

Location Location
Wayne laid the final coats of varnish on our upper deck on our getaway weekend at Sauvie Island. 
The weather graced us with stellar views of Mt. St. Helens (above), plus
Mt. Hood, Mt, Adams, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. Jefferson.
We are still in Jantzen Bay Marina, Portland Oregon until May 31st (with some darned fine views of Mt. Hood on those rare clear days). We did slip away for an epic weekend May 8-11 to anchor off Sauvie Island, where we plan to head off the grid to for most of the summer. 

After that? We'd hoped to chase summer. However, who knows what our options will be, given COVID?

Monday, May 4, 2020

Flourish: Fort Vancouver Spring Blossoms Burst Forth

For my friend Lili . . . 
on her sailboat Heron, stuck in the Canaries because of coronavirus restrictions. It's so dry there, they water the cactus. "I'd love to see more of your flower pictures," Lili told me.
Historic Fort Vancouver, Washington, once a thriving trading post for Hudson Bay Company,
selling boatloads of beaver pelts.
These photos were taken the last two days of April at Fort Vancouver, just across the Columbia River, that divides Oregon and Washington. It's a 5-minute drive or a 20-minute walk to it.

Lili may need to wait until the end of the month unless restrictions open sooner to watch the video as her wifi aboard her boat is limited.

Location Location
We're here until June, then anchors away!
Another marina near us on Hayden Island where I usually take my evening walk.
Fort Vancouver directly across on the other side of the river.