Thursday, June 27, 2013

Day 23: Dixie Cove to Walters Cove

By the time I woke up the winds and rain had abated. I flipped the switch on the Wallas to get some heat and start breakfast. It cycled, smoked, and shut off. I flipped the switch again. This time it started, but it smoked excessively. Not good.

After breakfast I headed for Rugged Point Marine Park. The anchorage is not good for overnighting, since ocean swells wrap around and result in uncomfortable rolling. But as a day stop, it’s fantastic.

I paddled ashore and hiked to the ocean side. Miles of sandy beach, and trails crisscrossing the woods and bluffs. In July and August, this park is filled with kayakers, who camp on wooden platforms in the woods. I see the appeal. Today, though, Rugged Point was an inhospitable place. Environment Canada had issued a gale warning, and winds were reported in excess of 40-knots. Ugly water for sure.
Sandy beach at Rugged Point Marine Park
One of the trails at Rugged Point
From Rugged Point, two routes lead back to Walters Cove. The outside route skirts along the coast, with some protection offered by offlying reefs. I poked the bow out and didn’t like what I saw. Strong winds were blowing towards shore, and big, white-topped waves pounded the coast. Kelp lined the water. Because of the offlying reefs, I’d have to travel close to shore. A bit of kelp wrapped around the outboard would have me dead in the water, and the gale would have me pinned to the rocky shoreline in just a couple of minutes. If that happened, the boat would quickly be crushed, and so would I. I turned around, and headed for the longer-but-calm inside route.

By early afternoon I was in Walters Cove. I turned on the Wallas to make lunch. No dice. Smoke, but no heat. I’d seen this before and suspected the burner was covered in soot. Without much other choice, I pulled the Wallas from the countertop and placed it upside down on the dinette for surgery.

Yep, lots of soot. I attacked the innards with a wire brush, then vacuumed the soot out. I replaced the mat and wire ring with new pieces (attention Wallas owners: carry these essential spares!) and reassembled the device. Then I reinstalled it in the counter, reconnected everything, and pressed the power button. After what seemed like a long wait, success! The Wallas was running again, and much better than before. More heat more quickly. The whole thing took less than an hour. I’m going to chat with Scan Marine about why my unit seems to soot up so quickly (300 hours the first time, I’d estimate 700 hours this time). I also plan on doing this as regular, annual maintenance in the future.
Time to open the Wallas up...
Filled with soot. After a good cleaning, it runs well.

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