A bit has happened since the last post. I "fixed" the engine. Which turned out to just be the need to reset the emergency shutoff. Silly me. I don't particularly want to talk about it but here goes. Turns out every Detroit Diesel has an emergency shutoff that essentially closes off the air intake which will kill the engine. This is in place because diesels can "run away" with no way to stop them in rare circumstances. In my looking over the boat I must have pulled the emergency stop lever. The shutoff has to be reset on the engine itself and not knowing this I couldn't figure out why the engine wouldn't start. The silver lining is that I know a great deal about the fuel system and a fare bit about the engine itself now having replaced fuel filters and bled every last bit of air out of the fuel lines possible.
After that minor bout of absentmindedness, I got the boat out on the water! Serge (previous owner) and friends were nice enough to come out with me the first time. We motored out the inlet a ways and set the anchor. Serge gave me a tutorial on setting the anchor and using the windless which I much appreciated. We had a nice lunch at anchor then the rain came. We motored back and I had my first attempt at docking Blue Starr. With high freeboard, bowsprit and a mast, the wind can take her as it pleases. In Port Alberni the wind is drummed up around 3:00 in the afternoon everyday without fail down the inlet and perfectly situated to keep Blue Starr off her dock location. Needless to say I was a bit nervous. Despite her size and weight she is quite maneuverable and plenty powered so the first attempt went very smoothly.
I've done more sanding and varnishing so parts of the deck are starting to look nice again. Once the bright work is mostly complete, I'll paint the topside and deck houses and she'll really be looking good. My first project was to varnish the port side rub rail. Today I decided i'd turn the boat around 180deg and do the starboard side. But what fun would it be if I just turned her while tied to the dock? So I took her out for a while just Otto and I. Last week I also rigged up the foresail so today we got to motor out of the inlet and sail most of the way back. With a rotted out mainmast I really didn't have too much faith in the foremast either so the sailing was short lived and probably won't happen again until both masts are replaced. The second go around of docking was a bit nerve wracking as well since I was doing it alone and the wind was well, being wind. The people on the powerboat behind me were kind enough to come catch lines. I suppose they were kind people or just terribly worried I was going to smash their poor boat which they snugged up next to me leaving me in a parallel parking (docking) spot with only 3-4 ft to spare on the bow and stern. Despite the high potential risk, docking went smoothly again and all in all it was a great and much needed sailing excursion. You can tell this boat is a thoroughbred even sailing under foresail alone and the trip instilled in me a huge drive to build two new masts and get out to do some real sailing.
In other news I received the other half of my Alfa wifi setup and its working great. Not so intuitive or well guided to setup but, its up and running now and I must say I am very pleased with it. I have been able to stream shows/movies on the boat so that's impressive and with the network extender now I can connect multiple devices. Days are filled with work on the boat, cooking and trying to keep Otto entertained. The barometer is falling and they're calling for rain the second half of the week which will give a nice break. I'll have some time to get off the boat, do laundry, find a job and figure out where I want to head after Port Alberni.