Poulsbo Puget Sound

Poulsbo, Washington

Friday, May 11, 2012S.V. CAMBRIA

The Poulsbo waterfront.

Our first week at anchor was somewhat difficult and disappointing . . . but not unexpected.  From cold and rainy days to the short-list of teething problems that are all too common with boats, we plodded through Cambria’s systems to make sure everything was in working order so that we could move onto our next adventure.  Some issues were more significant that others, but they all needed to be resolved.  And now that they are, we’re ready to move north.

First up, a new generator.  The old beast we purchased before leaving New Zealand in 2007 appears to have given up the fight.  I wish I could say it fought well, but I can’t.  The cheaply made Honda knock-off has been nothing but trouble since we bought it and, aside from the pain of paying for a new one, I'd happily say “good-bye and good riddance!”  After weeks of trying to secure a 240 volt unit from England we decided (a) it was going to be too expensive (US$400 for shipping alone), and (b) it was going to be too much of a hassle at this stage, so we drove down to Silverdale last week and picked up a proper Honda EU2000i, which is much quieter and more compact than its predecessor. 

Next up, Sally.  She’s not doing as well at anchor this year as she did on the dock.  She doesn’t seem to want to get into the dinghy and suddenly can’t figure out how to get in and out of the boat.  She’s a stubborn girl.  Pig-headed, in fact.  And absolutely hates change.  But this is something more.  She isn’t as sure-footed as she used to be and is losing muscle tone in her legs which translates into slipping on the floors and a lack of confidence, so we bought some throw rugs which seem to have fixed the problem.  But I have to tell you, it’s very difficult watching your best friend get older and, as grateful as we are that we’ve had fifteen relatively healthy years, we’re finding that we miss our puppy more and more. 

And finally, I was checking something in the engine room the other day and discovered anti-freeze in the bilge, which quickly explained why the heater was gurgling that morning when I fired the boiler (with most of the coolant mixture out of the lines, air was passing through the system).  David took a look at the problem and, yes, the coil in the fan unit under our berth had failed and needed to be re-soldered.  When this happened last year, we learned that ITR had received a bad batch of fans from their supplier and we were among the lucky recipients.  Their best offer was to replace the units at their cost of CA$100, which wasn’t (and still isn’t) good enough, so we took it upon ourselves to have them repaired at US$20 a piece.  Knowing we had two out of three defective units, David also removed the one in the forward berth to have it checked.  It was still fine but quickly on its way out so Les, our radiator man, re-soldered it as well. 

Along with the “bigger” issues, we had a few minor inconveniences to take care of: tweaking the outboard motor; having a tear in the cockpit clears repaired; and my personal favourite, cleaning the decks after several nocturnal visits from local sea otters which, surprisingly, are perfectly capable of boarding the boat.  They’re cute, sure.  But they’re the most disgusting creatures in the sea with an equally bad disposition.  And the last thing you want is for them to make your home theirs.  I kid you not.

With all of our i’s dotted and our t’s crossed, we can now leave Poulsbo for lesser known destinations and get back to the life we love so much.  San Juan Islands, here we come! 

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