Saturday, July 22, 2017


OK, here is the sequence of events:

  • 2013 installed a new ICOM M802 SSB radio complete with SCS Pactor Modem. This included a GANS split lead antenna and a KISS ground plane.
  • Try as I might, the operation of the radio was very poor.  
  • Fast forward to 2017 and finally we decided to get some advice from ICOM.  They recommended a person (e-mail us for the contact info).  He recommends replacing the split lead antenna with a real isolated backstay, and then once that was done, give him a call.  

Paul from Ocean Rigging Up the Mast 
Removing the Backstay

Adding the Isolators After Cutting the Stays

  • After the stay was done, I called my ICOM contact again and we set a time to do the grounding.  

Installing 100' of Continuous 3" Copper Foil 
Adhered to
the Hull with 3M 4200

  • So now we have the radio and grounding done (it took 2 weeks to do the foil).  Reception improved dramatically.  Now to get the whole system running:
Installing Airmail and Configuring

  • We tried RMS Express, but it was so complicated and the documentation so difficult, we abandoned that and went with Airmail for HAM use through  
  • After 3 weeks of playing with this to no avail and the participation of tow very knowledgeable people, we find that the simple inclusion of one item of information was the piece that stymied everything!!!  
Airmail Settings

  • We set up the radio and Airmail configuration.  It is under the Setup Wizard under Tools in the menu.  If you leave it there you will NEVER CONNECT.  
  • Now the little piece of info:  go to TOOLS>OPTIONS...  There you will see a window for your call sign and below the PASSWORD.  Without this password, nothing works.  This password is the one you use for your Winlink account access when you enter that online.  When we entered that, it connected right away and we were no sending e-mail via pactor modem.  
Once we had this operational, we requested a GRIB file and downloaded it (keep the area you are requesting small and in the vicinity of your boat - no rests for the entire Pacific Basin - or you will regret it!!!).  Weather faxes work well, and of course we can send e-mail.  

Many Thanks to:
Ron Kolody
Martin Dunsmuir
Steve Waterman 

A Tale of Two Crisis

A boat can be a baffling piece of technology sometimes.  I will in a series of articles beginning this week take you through two impossibly frustrating experiences:

  • Getting our SSB to work reliably, and
  • Installing our AquaMaax Watermaker and running it.
These have been EXTREMELY FRUSTRATING!!!!!!!!!  Let's see if when we get these working, we might help make it easier for others trying to do the same

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Travel Lift and Back in the Water


Moving to the Slip


Lowering the Boat


Slipping into the Water

Bottom Paint, Epoxy, and Zincs

We were out of the water for 3 weeks completing the watermakers install.  We had a bad discovery that we did not have an epoxy barrier coat so we sanded the bottom and applied 3 coats of epoxy.  Then 2 coats of anti-fouling paint.  Big (and expensive) job.

Bottom After All the Work

New Zincs on the Thruster

Cleaned Up Prop

Zinc on Propellor Shaft

Zinc Block on the Rudder Connection to the Keel

Ready to Go Back in the Water


Our Aquamaax watermaker is now fully functional.  We will be testing it over the next couple of months especially when we are off cursing in a few weeks time.  

Sunday, March 19, 2017


The electrical portion needs to be completed.  We now have the ElectroMaax 160 Amp alternator and serpentine belt kit installed.  Remaining to be done:

  • Installation of charge regulator and its remote panel
  • Installation of additional faucet for water sample at the sink
  • Installing tubing for water sample faucet
  • Installing brine discharge to the sink drainage
  • Installing fresh water connection for fresh water backwash
  • Complete all electrical connections, breakers and switches. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017


This has been a very busy couple of months, so forgive us not making any posts during that time.  Most of the free time in January was spent in a course to get my Amateur Radio License.  That has been accomplished and I have passed the exam for Basic with Honours.  I will post the official call sign for our nation as soon s we receive it from Industry Canada.  

Friday, November 11, 2016

Watermaker Install 3

We have located and installed the control panel and the two pressure vessels as shown below

AquaMaax Control Panel Installed in the Shallow 
Locker Below the Galley Sink

This is the Wet Locker Where We Have 
Installed the 2 Pressure Vessels

Pressure Vessels Installed
The Blue Line is the Product Water Line

Lower View of Pressure Vessels

Top of the Pressure Vessels Showing Feed and 
Discharge Connections and Product Water Line
The Brass Fitting at the Upper Left is the Cockpit Locker Drain

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Bad Weather 2

The wind in the marina is currently 21 knots from the east - consistent with the counter-clockwise movement of the low.  

Bad Weather

Saturday Radar

The weather map is not good at the moment.  The winds off the Strait of Juan da Fuca is in the 50 to 60 knot range.  The same speeds are showing up in the lower area of the Strait of Georgia.  BC Ferries have cancelled all sailings in the southern portion of the Strait until further notice.  Flights at YVR are delayed or cancelled because they can only use the cross wind runway (Runway 12/30).  We very rarely see this runway in use, but the winds are such that it is the only runway open at the moment.  

Reset the Flag Counter

We have reset the flag counter.  We are getting a lot of page views, but it is a flow through of sites that are somehow not legitimate.  The flag counter registers page views of people who are actually interested in the site.  

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Living Aboard and The "Real"World

It has now been six years since we took delivery of Terratima and started a different life style afloat.  For us, this has been and continues to be a choice.  We simply would rather live on our yacht than in a house, apartment, or condo.  We are not knocking houses, or apartments, (or condos), we simply find life simpler, less complex and more rewarding being afloat.

We'll admit it's not for everyone.  However, we find our life with the marina and boat community more diverse, more communicative, more balanced, and certainly more friendly than any place we have ever lived.  It is true that what binds us together is the water - and our boats.  But it is also more than that.  There is an additional ingredient in every sailor.  It is that sense of exploring what lies beyond the horizon.

We are bound here for a slight time longer.  We are faced with a decision of retiring in spite of it being a meagre retirement from a financial point of view, but the equation at this point is just having enough to live on and cruise the world with the wind at our backs.  We have had enough of the rat race and the values it holds dear.  We side with God and look to our daily bread on the faith of His Word, and our love of the sea.  

Labelling the Clutches

I had re-rigged the clutches a while back to help us better manage the main sail in higher winds.  The mainsail outhaul and the furler were on the same side and did not allow us to use the winches effectively.  To shorten sail, we needed to release the outhaul and then winch in the furler.  Without a winch right there to keep tension on the outhaul as you furl, you get into trouble really quickly.  The new arrangement solves the problem.

Furler and Spare Mainsail Halyard on One Side

Main Sheet, Staysail Sheet, and Mainsail Outhaul
on the Other.