Monday, March 06, 2006

Well, the scourge of the airwaves is operational and has begun her career as an onboard ham radio communicator!! Today, March 6, 2006, at 1220 hours PST, I actually talked to some guy in California. Barry had taken the ham installation and operation course on Sat. and we had 10 Bluewater Cruising members aboard this morning to look at our ham radio and its installation. Our installation passed the inspection with a few minor changes to be made and then we tried to contact this guy that runs a boating net in California. We could barely here him but the course conductor could actually make out what the guy was saying and he was receiving our signal not too badly. That was a real good thing; Barry still had doubts about whether or not the radio was working.

Then later after everyone had left, I turned on the radio again and heard somebody running a contest to see how many people he could contact, so I replied. It was quite neat to talk to the guy, we didn’t chat too long as he wanted to get to other people, but he did ask how come someone with my call sign was transmitting out of Victoria. Once we move we are supposed to change our call signs but I really like mine, it indicates that we are from the NWT and I do not want to change it.

To continue on with the Ham Installation course we went on two other boats and looked at their set up and saw how their radios worked. The other two couples were also living aboard their boats and they are in Sidney so we will have to make the effort to get to know them better. This week we are taking a celestial navigation course and then Barry will go to a rigging course in a couple of weeks.

The guy that was supposed to install our holding tank has put us off for another week, this is the second time he has put us off, so if he does it again we are going to look for someone else to do the work. We would like to have that done and finished. We pick up our liferaft tomorrow. I have finished putting together our medical kit, except for the prescription medications, so preparations are moving along as they should.

We are thinking of entering a 66 NM race that takes place on April 1. It is possible that we could be racing over night so that sounds like something we would like to do. The boat is more suited to that type of racing than your around the bouy type races. We have to get an official PHRF rating for the boat so have to submit our sail sizes to a committee that will assign us a handicap rating. Down here you can’t just say well I have this kind of boat and they look up your rating, you have to send in sail sizes and types, etc.

We went out on Friday and sailed around one of the U.S. San Juan Islands. There was a lovely breeze of 12-17 knots with very little waves and it was a wonderful sail. There are a lot of beautiful log homes with gorgeous settings on the San Juan’s. I think a lot of people have their Pacific Northwest summer homes on these islands. We didn’t get in until after dark, but Barry didn’t even freak out and I docked the boat in the dark without a problem. Barry’s Mom moved residences last week and we spent two days up island helping her, so life has been busy and full. All the trees are full of blossoms down here and the weather is gradually warming up, I washed the boat down yesterday and then sat up on deck in my shirt sleeves with some wine and cheese and read my book. It sure beats working!!!