Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Condé-sur-Noireau, France - 48° 51' 7" N 0° 34' 20" E

Having the hull finished at the welding shop is a major step.  Chinook now looks (mostly) like a real sailing yacht.  Super, super exciting.

Welding done, the hull is lifted onto a truck bed for transport.

Welcome to the light of day!

This is the fastest it will ever go!

A la prochaine!

The hull is on in its way to Cherbourg to be given a coat of paint, then fitted out with electrical, plumbing, cabinets, furniture, standing and running rigging and all sorts of other expensive bits and pieces.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Fauburg - 48° 27' 46" N 7° 28' 41" E

While in France, we get to help with the renovation of a 300+ year old house in a 1200+ year old village. Does that make it a ‘newer’ neighborhood?

We are so impressed by the work Florence is doing and her courage to take on this job.

This is Florence's new place in Obernai.  It was originally part of Fauburg.

Fauburg (light brown) was annexed by Obernai (dark brown)
somewhere between 741 and 1216 BCE

This is how it started out.  Pretty plain.

Open the walls and voila!  Beautiful beams!  Those are staying.

A big mess, but the results are going to be worth it.

The ceiling is coming down, too.  More timber beams!

A picture from the attic, looking down at the carnage.

One room mostly clean.

Sandblasting the timber beams.

New and old wall coverings, new and old timber beams

Framed walls to hold the insulation, new windows and electrical conduit.

Framing around the timber beams.

Starting to take shape!

Lunch at the hopefully-soon renovated farmhouse across the lane.

Looking from the family room into the living room, with
the future kitchen to the left.

Looking from the living room, kitchen on the right (behind the fireplace)
and family room on the left.

A makeshift kitchen is set up on the ground floor.

Shelves and coffee/tea station on the ground floor.

Progress has been made and Florence and the kids are able to live in it while the renovations take place.

It is really starting to look beautiful.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Skunk Cabbage - 49° 05' 16" S 125° 49' 23" W

The Skunk Cabbage is named for its distinctive smell - what a name for such a pretty flower!  It is also  known as Swamp Lantern, that I am not sure is much better. 

"What's in a name? 
That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet"
- Shakespeare

They are a member of the arum family and grow in swampy, damp places.  Such a colourful and prolific flower on the dark forest floor as we hiked the Wild Pacific Trail. 

The Wild Pacific Trail is stunning, with surf pounding the black volcanic rocks, the temperate rain forest with a towering canopy, dark understory and scattered ancient cedars.  The trail includes viewing areas for an artist to set up an easel and paint the spectacular scene or a walker to linger and watch the whales and seals and otters. 

There are many beautiful places on this Earth and this is certainly one of them.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Ucluelet - 48° 56' 15" N 125° 33' 38" W


Homeless is a misleading term as we still own our half of the duplex in Canmore.  There is another family living there now.  Five days ago, we packed the last few of our possessions (that we hadn't sold, gifted, donated or trashed) into the van and left the driveway.  Now what?

An opportunity to see a high-calibre indoor rock climbing competition (courtesy Megan P.'s efforts at qualifying for Western Canada Regionals) was handily located in Surrey, so that meant we could attend the competition and then visit Sean's mom on Vancouver Island.

The Hive, set up for competition

Megan is Number 265 - waiting for her chance to flash this!

Doing their thing, being impressive

Watching an indoor climbing competition is always entertaining.  The strength-to-weight ratio of these kids is astounding, never mind their flexibility, endurance, practical application of physics, etc.  Despite an overly hard final round of puzzles (yes, that's what they call the individual climbing challenges) in which VERY few of the competitors topped, Megan came in eighth of twenty in her age group.  Very cool.

After a few days on the mainland watching the competition, we ferried across to Parksville to visit the rellies and reconnect with some friends in Qualicum Beach.

We then drove to Ucluelet and Tofino.  The Pacific side of Vancouver Island has some great hiking and scenery, so out we went.

Everything out here has a healthy growth of moss.

Trail Marker

A single height canopy indicates this isn't old-growth forest

Of course there is fog!  Yay!

The harbour in Tofino

Pacific-side shoreline

Skunk cabbage, or swamp lantern


Simple but tasty lunch with a marina view!

Can't keep her out of the water

This is how we know it's ours

The first few days we were in Ucluelet, it was typical West Coast-in-April weather - rainy, overcast and windy.  Then a strange thing happened.  The sun came out.  We were treated to three days of 20 celsius or warmer.  It made car camping that much more pleasant.  We strolled around both towns, had some time on the beaches and hiked a few more trails.

Beautiful shoreline in sunshine!

Harbourview Coffeeshop in Tofino.  Blue skies!

We are enjoying our time out here and embracing the fact that we really don't have any commitments.  We need to be back in Canmore for May 3rd for a doctor's appointment but that seems like a long time from now.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Condé-sur-Noireau, France - 48° 51' 7" N 0° 34' 20" E

 While we are reducing and lightening our Canmore footprint, the fabrication team at the Garcia shipyard has been working on the hull.  Here are more pictures.

Firstly, the hull now has plates and the seams are welded shut.  It also has a towing point at the stem.  


Next, it also has portholes.  This is how they start ... just tack welded in.

And this is how they are finished.
Mmmm, brushed aluminium.
This is how we expect the topsides (hull above the waterline) to be finished.

The boat also has a centreboard.  This is all 130 kgs of it, being lowered into place.  With the centreboard down, the boat needs nine and half feet (2.9 metres) of water not to touch bottom.  With the centreboard up, she needs only three and three quarter feet of water to float.

Here, the worker is positioning the pivot into its cradle. 

The very beefy pivot pin secured in place.

The interior of the hull, showing the solid welds to the ribs and stringers.

The portholes from the inside. The flange around the porthole is meant to receive the seven centimetres of insulating foam that the whole hull (above the waterline) gets.

Check out the thickness of the aluminum, too!

The hull is upside-down right now, so these standpipes come up (down?) through the bottom of the hull and go above the waterline.  They draw water from outside the hull for use in cooling the diesel engine or for filtering into drinking water.

The aft (rear) skeg that protects the propeller shaft where it emerges from inside the hull.  Worker standing next to the skeg (for scale). 


We have been told the welding of the hull will be done by the time we arrive in France in mid-May.