Boatbuilding Blog

May 29, 2013

Enjoying the “Sunshine”Coast

Filed under: Longer Trips — tomlarkin @ 4:06 am

It’s been raining nonstop for the past couple of days. I headed out of Gibsons to go north this morning, but a south wind against a fast north current made for steep 2 and 3 foot waves that threw the boat around and knocked stuff out of the storage bins. That, plus they hid the myriad large deadheads, and I decided to go back to protected water until the tide changes at 3 PM. Anchored out, rowed to shore, and walked to town for chili and beer.

A few more Vancouver pictures.

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We tied up at the Granville Island public dock for a long troubleshooting session to see why the house battery couldn’t hold a charge. Finall, we decided it was just dead, so I bought a new one the next morning.

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Pulling out the dead battery. I borrowed the hand truck from Fisherman’s Wharf.

Plumper Cove, where I spent the night anchored out. A couple weekends of work and she’ll be fine!


Gibsons was the site of a very popular Canadian TV show that ran through the 70’s to the mid-80’s. This was a set on the show, and became a real restaurant after the show was cancelled. The show was about a tugboat guy who salvaged loose logs. The little tug from the show is on blocks in the town.


My aborted trip this morning. I’ll be trying again in a few minutes.

May 24, 2013

Vancouver, BC

Filed under: Longer Trips — tomlarkin @ 8:12 am

I’m sitting in the New Oxford Public House in trendy Yaletown, which is the closest dinghy dock from where I’m anchored. I’m here for the rosemary garlic fries and the free wifi (password ‘amazingfood’). They have hockey on all the TV’s.   I spent the morning washing clothes, and this afternoon walked across Vancouver from False Creek to the downtown waterfront, and back. My feet hurt!

(BTW: Canadian bills are cool – smooth plastic with clear section and holograms. Shiny!)

The view from my table. These establishments are in old warehouses, and the fronts are all 4 feet above the street on the original loading docks.

I’m right next to Granville Island Public Market. I stopped for coffee on the way to the  marina to wash my clothes. WP_20130523_009 WP_20130523_010

Seabus  in front of Granville Market.

Coming into town yesterday afternoon. I wanted to go up the Fraser river, but there was an outgoing current of 6 knots, which is my fastest speed, so I spent 45 minutes staying in one place before giving up and heading straight here.

This is where I anchored.

Cute critters in the park.

Meryll is planning on coming up this weekend. I’m working on places to take her. Should be fun!

May 22, 2013

Happy Herschel

Filed under: Wildlife — tomlarkin @ 7:19 am

This sweet little guy was hanging out on the buoy off of Golden Gardens park when I went by last week.

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May 21, 2013

SPOT Satellite Tracker

Filed under: Hardware — tomlarkin @ 11:32 am

I’ve activated my SPOT tracker. You should be able to see where I’ve been on this page:

It doesn’t work well in IE10 – use Firefox or Chrome. Please comment here or email me if you have problems seeing the page.

Here’s my trip from Blaine to Point Roberts. It uploads a point every 10 minutes.

Leaving the US!

Filed under: Longer Trips — tomlarkin @ 10:19 am

I’m anchored in Drayton Harbor, by Blaine, Washington right now. I can see the Canada border and the Peace Arch from out the porthole. I’ll be heading to Vancouver via the Fraser River in the morning. I want to hang out in False Creek for 4 or 5 days and explore Vancouver by bike and Sky Train. Meryll may come up next weekend, and bring her bike too. Then up the Sunshine Coast to Lund and Desolation Sound.

Meryll drove up to Bellingham on Saturday, and we spent the night anchored in a tiny cove on Lummi Island, then we hung out in Eagle Harbor on Cypress before heading to Vendovi Island and hiking across it to see wildflowers. Vendovi has recently been opened to the public after  being bought by a conservation group. It was really beautiful, and the afternoon was sunny and calm.



Pigeon Guillemot sex!
Pigeon Sex

Meryll spent the time happily identifying all of the flowers.


We walked across the island to Paintbrush Point.

The forest primeval.

The view north from Paintbrush Point overlook. (Links to a big version)


On the way back to Bellingham to drop Meryll off, we ran across brother Steve taking his new boat, the Coral, out for her maiden sail. Steve spent two years building the Coral in his  front yard, and brother John and I helped launch it last month. Coral was moving beautifully in a light breeze, and Steve looked justifiably pleased. Interesting sail plan, to say the least!

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May 17, 2013

Trip to Vancouver Island

Filed under: Longer Trips — tomlarkin @ 12:46 pm

I left Seattle yesterday on a trip to the north end of Vancouver Island. I should be gone about 5 weeks. This will be a solo trip, but Meryll is going to drive up and meet me for a few weekends, and I’ll stop in Bellingham to see brother Steve and Linny.  The route is not completely set, but the plan is to head north along the mainland, going up the Fraser River a ways, and staying in False Bay in Vancouver for a few days, then up the coast to Desolation Sound, then across to Port Hardy and down the east (inside) coast of Vancouver Island. I’m not going to go on the ocean side of the island.  I plan on posting pictures every few days when I have internet access.

I have a few new pieces of electronics aboard:

SPOT GPS will show my location and route on Google Maps, and let me send emergency messages. It needs to be pointed at the sky so I made this little mount that attaches to the cabin handrail.  I haven’t set it up yet.WP_20130514_015

WIFI amplifier and hotspot. Amplifies nearby wifi signals and creates a local wifi hotspot so all the electronics can use the connection.


I left Kenmore Wednesday morning and stopped in Ballard for grocery shopping. My next stop was the south end of Whidbey Island for a late lunch.

I anchored in Langley inlet on Whidbey Island. Everything was in bloom in this very pretty tourist town.
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I have some nice pictures on my good camera, but don’t have a way to get them off yet. I will stop in Anacortes to buy a card reader.