Directions

Our latest entry always comes up first...

Click this link if you want to start at the beginning of our trip from
South Carolina (where we bought the boat) to Lake Ontario Click this link:

If you want to see the story of our 2 1/2 year project getting
Blowin' Bubbles ready for our life on board click here:
FIRST "REFIT" BLOG ENTRY - March 2011

If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP - July 2014
2015, 2016, 2017

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Well, here we go....

Last week with some help from my good friend Sam, we installed the new autohelm, and finished up the last few jobs that had to get done before we leave tomorrow, Monday, for our 3 week shakedown cruise through the Thousand Islands which are a group of islands at the east end of Lake Ontario up through the St. Lawrence River....

In the next few weeks we hope to check out all the systems on the boat and plan to stay on the hook for most of the time.

I have to say that the new Evolution Auto Pilot system from Raymarine is AMAZING!  It was very simple to install and after I got stuck after reading the instructions (that will teach me) I called and their support people who went to great lengths to get me fixed up and going....  The problem was the instructions asked me to do too many things that the engineers have now automated.  Quite literally, all you have to do to calibrate this unit is at the dock, turn you wheel from side to side a few times, then take the boat out into the bay and drive it in one or two circles - THATS IT!  they have made this thing idiot proof!  I may have spent a little more than I had anticipated on all this kit, but we will be more than happy with the outcome, I'm sure...

This week I also put on some dive gear and retrieved a few lost items around the docks including my very expensive sunglasses that I lost a few weeks ago... The water around the docks is really murky, so it was a more challenging dive than I would have liked... All in all though I made a few people happy by retrieving lost tools and boat parts...

On Thursday our new windows arrived for the new dodger that our good friend Mike is planning to build for us. His company fabricates aluminum exteriors for buildings and so fabricating our dodger should be a piece of cake... The only trouble is he is so busy, getting his time will be tough... Oh well, hopefully it will all come together when we get home.

The first leg of our trip will be a 26 hour run up the full length of Lake Ontario about 160 NMiles. It should be fun!

I will check in the next time we have internet... Cheers!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Busy Week!

This turns out to be my last week of work before I start holidays and I'm really feeling it...  Oh well, next week I can get some work done on the boat before Shelley starts her vacation and we take 3 weeks together to travel up to the 1000 Islands in the St. Lawrence river.

On Tuesday we went to the mailbox and what a wonderful surprise, Our new Raymarine Evolution Autohelm 400 was there!  (A month earlier than they promised!)


Next week I will get it installed...  We are very excited.  This unit was VERY expensive (over $3500) but as we said in an earlier blog, should really pay for itself over time.... The picture doesn't look like all that should be $3500....  As I was reading all the installation instructions (shhh, don't tell anyone) I discovered the only cable that did not come with all the kit, was an Backbone cable to add this system to our existing Raymarine 2000 backbone already on the boat. Not a big deal, right?  Wrong.....  This is a $30 cable any day of the week at Defender, but they will be closed on the 4th for Independence Day and I don't want to drive to our mailbox to pick up a $30 cable.  So I called more than 6 places around our home in Ontario only to find NO ONE HAS ONE!  Now remember, Raymarine is THE most popular marine electronic gear in the world! In the end, DOWSER MARINE in Hamilton agreed to get it for me in Montreal and after I paid a $20 courier fee, they were happy to charge me $74 (including shipping) for the same came I could have got from Defender for $30....  Oh well...

This week we also picked up an impeller puller ($85) which should make replacing the raw water impeller go much easier....

Today I picked up a 50' piece of cable to replace the cable on our SSB.  It doesn't seem to be working very well, so before I take on more drastic steps, this was the only piece I "re-used" from the old installation...  Ted from Lazer Audio and Electronics in Ayr has been an awesome guy, giving me all kinds of helpful information as it relates to all things SSB and VHF....

The last job scheduled for next week will be to get the stanchions bedded properly and we will be ready to go...