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Canoe Cove is great, sheltered and very friendly

We’ve been here at Canoe Cove a month now and have been pretty busy working on the “To-do List”. This really is a never-ending list. While jobs do get done and crossed-off eventually, new jobs are being added to the bottom and other things get done without even making in on to the list. Then there’s the everyday chores like shopping and laundry that just take up time too! But we are making progress, of the forty items on the list eleven have been completed, ten are underway and five are planned.

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They say the fall colours here are no as good as on the east side. Still looks autumnal enough for me!

We hauled Distant Drummer out on 3rd October and she has since been propped up in the boatyard where she will stay for at least three months. Life on board is a little different when we are about 12ft above the ground. Access to the boat is via a ladder and obviously we cannot use the shower or the heads. So a certain amount of potty re-training has been necessary to avoid having to climb down the ladder and traipse across the boatyard in the pouring rain for a midnight pee. It turns out that you can teach an old dog new tricks and drinking less fluids in the evening has also reduced my wine intake!

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Neil in front of the trolley with all the hard stand blocks

One of the big jobs that Neil has undertaken is overhauling our good old Perkins diesel engine. He was head down arse up in the engine compartment for several days removing parts, and bits resembling cornets, colons and prosthetic limbs were carted off to the diesel mechanic for servicing. The only real casualty was the oil cooler needs to be replaced and a couple of hoses were split but timely intervention and maintenance has saved us a lot of future headaches. With the great work that Neil and Martin did on the fuel system in Nuku Hiva, our donk is now in good shape to keep chugging away for a few more years.

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Distant Drummer looking gorgeous in the sunshine with her new livery

I have been hard at work on the hull. The main job was to re-paint the antifoul below the waterline. The black paint we put on in New Zealand was in good shape but still needed to be scrubbed and scoured in preparation for a new coat. This time we selected an untested green antifoul. We were not sure about the colour but after two coats we are very pleased with the result and it coordinates our bronze deck fittings perfectly. Also the white hull topsides were stained brown near the waterline from algae and oil and other pollutants in the water. That has now all been cut and polished and Distant Drummer is looking very pretty and I am looking very muscular!

Work is on-going on the rudder and the hydraulic steering, seacocks are being replaced, the dinghy repaired and the sail locker has had a make-over. While we are away in Europe the forward and aft hatches will be fixed and the scuppers will be patched up. So Distant Drummer has been a hive of activity!

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Carolina, Steve and Neil a Maple Bay

We have had some time off and have been over to Maple Bay a couple of times to visit some friends. We met Steve and Carolina and their sons Kyle and Joel about a year ago in Fakarava in the Tuamotus (French Polynesia). We have crossed paths with Lady Carolina many times since then in the Marquesas and in Hawaii and they sailed home to Canada in June when we headed up to Alaska. It has been great to catch up again.

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View of the Gulf Islands across the Saanich Inlet

Another friend Brian also just happens to be at Canoe Cove. We met him and his wife Mary-Alice in Honolulu and their boat Shibui is out of the water and having some work done here. I wouldn’t say it’s a small world but by pure coincidence three boats that we were anchored with when we went to the bear reserve at Anan Bay in Alaska are also here in Canoe Cove. So life in the boatyard is quite sociable.

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Packed in like sardines in the boatyard at Canoe Cove

The nearest town to Canoe Cove is Sidney which is about 5km away. There are frequent buses but it’s not a bad bike ride when the weather is okay. When it’s not Brian has been very kind to run us into town now and then to get some shopping. The weather has been a bit iffy; overcast and often raining or drizzling. We don’t get much wind here but once in a while a storm comes through and we get gusts over 50kt. The boat shivers on its stands but we have recently been moved to the end of the boatyard for “long-timers” and are packed in tight. The decks are so close together I swear you could walk across the boatyard without touching the ground.

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Pumpkins for Hallowe’en growing in the fields add a bit of colour to the autumn day

As we get closer to winter the evenings are drawing in and the mornings are getting noticeably darker. I see the dawn breaking when I walk across the boatyard at 7am for my morning pee! In BC the clocks will go back on 6th November and the mornings will get lighter again but by then we’ll be in England and we won’t care!

Ciao for now

Suzy