Tuesday, July 10, 2018

He's a Handy Man to Have Around

That's what I always say about Cap. Witness Friday morning July 6. 
Uh oh. Serious toolboxes. This means trouble . . .
We’re ready to leave the Lac Leamy Casino for the next stage of our trip, 100 miles on the Ottawa River. Our water pump chooses this moment to die.

This is bad. We plan to anchor out the next few days. Without a pump, our sinks, shower, and toilet won't work. What will we do for water?

Brilliant Save!

My hero to the rescue!
Flash back to Kingston, at the head of the Rideau Canal. We visited Vandervoort General Store, a funny old-fashioned place that, in addition to curtains and t-shirts, sells marine supplies. 

“The water pump’s been acting up,” Cap said. “They have the pump we need.  Maybe we should get it.

"But it’s expensive,” he sighed, putting the box back on the shelf. 

“I think we should get it,” said the crew, fishing out a Visa card.

So when our pump died this week, we had a backup pump on the boat. No need to search frantically for a West Marine and figure out how to get there without a car.

Cap  installed the new pump in about an hour flat.  Because even though he’s not a certified marine mechanic, he plays one in this movie.

Hello, Ottawa River

Tall silos and silver steeples
 can be useful aids to navigation!
The previous days had been scorching. This day was cool, overcast and windy.  The Ottawa River is wide, so the wind kicks up whitecaps and little rollers. 

We hunkered in sweatshirts, cruising past  cottages with docks, big farms with tall silos, and little towns marked by their churches. 

Tinplate is a common roofing material for French-Canadian churches, and the silver steeples gleamed even on this dull day.

Let Me Tell You a Ferry Tale

At one point, Cap called crew on deck. ‘Grab your binoculars and take a look. I can’t figure this out! 

"These two boats seem to be weaving back and forth, passing each other.” Why would they be doing that?

As we drew closer the optical illusion resolved. Not two but six big ferries. Not passing one another in line, up and down the river, but traversing across.

This is not a drill. Where should you pilot your SlowBoat?
Now we had an interesting challenge: How to thread the needle.  The ferries had the right of way. They were moving quickly--much faster than we could run. At any given moment at least two were mid channel, sometimes more than two. There didn't seem to be a pattern to when they departed shore. Could we stay out of their way?

We didn't move QUITE as fast as this jet skis. But pretty good for a SlowBoat!
This was where Cap’s back-up battery bank proved its worth. 

Calling on both batteries banks at once, he was able to punch up a little extra power and goose us through the gauntlet.

Where We Stayed

We anchored out that night in a narrow channel behind Isle Dube. No signs of human habitation. No road noise. Water pump performing perfectly.

At dusk a chorus of birdsong broke out, including the haunting spiral of a veery, a bird of deep woods.

We lit the Shabbat candles and said our usual prayers--substituting “boat” for “home” in the blessings.


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