Installing a Bilge Pump

bilge pump with float switch

The bilge pump stopped working on the Rock ‘n Row, and it inspired me to spend some serious time in the engine compartment. Since I was going to all the trouble to access the bilge pump, I decided to shoot some pictures and video to help give beginner boaters an idea of how to install a bilge pump in their boat. . How to Install a Bilge Pump The best place to install a pump is in the lowest point of your boat. This isn’t…

Degreasing an Engine Compartment

degreasing an engine

I’ve decided to spend the next couple months doing some much overdo maintenance in my engine compartment. Over the following weeks, I’ll be documenting my activities doing some serious fiberglass repair and engine tuning. The first step however, is degreasing the engine compartment. I’ve decided to document the process because these are common activities that every boat owner needs to do, and new boat owners are often times apprehensive when tackling these chores for the first time. While not nearly as dirty as fixing marine…

Dungeness Crab Cakes

We are very fortunate to live and to boat in an area where dungeness and red rock crab are readily available through a good part of the year. During the open season, we are able to catch, cook, clean and preserve enough to cary us through until the next season. While we are in open season, we feast on fresh caught crab dipped in butter or in wonderful salads while putting up the remainder for our use when fresh caught is not as available. The…

Gunkholing in the Salish Sea

gunkholing in the san juan islands video

From Wikipedia: Gunkholing is a boating and sea kayaking term referring to a type of cruising in shallow or shoal water, meandering from place to place, spending the nights in coves. The term refers to the gunk, or mud, typical of the creeks, coves, marshes, sloughs, and rivers that are referred to as gunkholes. While not necessary, gunkholers typically seek out the serenity of isolated anchorages over the crowds of marinas and popular bays, and a minimal draft is preferred, since gunkholers tend to go…

Anchor Watch

Anacortes picture

So… I have now been up for about 5 hours at anchor watch. Well, not really ‘anchor’ watch as we’re not at anchor (thankfully). I should start at the beginning… Annie and I had a crazy busy week. Friday evening came around and the weather forecast was marginal – 10 mph winds steady throughout the weekend. 12 mph is the magic forecast number where things start to get really uncomfortable. Also, based on experience, I can tell that when the weather forecast calls for steady…

Marine Engine Heating and Cooling Problems

We have been salt water sailing and cruising for many years and have had a variety of issues connected with the heating and cooling of our inboard (and outboard) boat engines. This article deals primarily with inboard boat engines though most of the same issues apply to outboards. Cooling System Basics Inboard marine engines have two basic cooling system configurations: Fresh Water with heat exchanger, or direct raw water cooling. The primary difference between fresh and raw water cooling is that a freshwater cooled engine…

Rosario Resort – A Honeymoon Destination!

lovers pond at resario resort

An Accidental Honeymoon On Thursday evening, Sherrie & I took off from our home port in Anacortes, with the intention of spending 3 or 4 days out crabbing, salmon fishing, whale watching, visiting Garrison Bay, just cruising the San Juan Islands. On our way out, we experienced some engine heating problems (See article on Marine Engine Cooling) and so decided to beach the boat and do some diving to try to clear the problem. Our efforts were not very successful so, on Friday afternoon we…

Hope Island Marine State Park

The Victoria Clipper Shuttle

Labor Day weekend dawned and my wife and I were badly needing a get-away. Things have been just crazy at both of our jobs and stress had been running high for several weeks. Before setting out on the boat, we decided on some criteria our destination had to meet: Be calm and relaxing Have good crabbing Be somewhere we haven’t visited before Skagit Bay and Similk Bay, tucked between Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands met this criteria nicely. To be fair, we had been to Hope…

Shaw Island County Park and Indian Cove

We had quite an adventurous weekend on the Rock ‘n Row. My friend Andy was in town. He and a bunch of friends (including me) went to James Island for a welcome back party. As this was forecasted to be one of the nicest weekends of the summer, a lot of people were out on the water. I got to James Island at 4:30 PM on a Friday and the dock was full, all the buoys were taken, and several campsites were already full! I…

Cat Tails Plant: Plants You Can Eat in the Wild

plants that we eat

Cattails are one of the most important survival plants for foragers to know. They are widely covered in edible plants books, but there are rarely details on how to prepare the cat tails plant after harvesting it. This post shows you how we prepare cattail stalks for use in a stir fry or other dish. Cattail stalk can be harvested from early spring till mid or late summer. We rely on this common edible weed as a staple food when we are on both long…

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