The years seem to fly past. And the years in groups for 4 seem to fly past as well. Every 4 years Transport Canada requires all passenger carrying vessels to undergo an extra thorough underwater inspection. The rudder comes off, the drive shaft is removed to inspect the bearing surfaces and the area where the stuffing gland wears, the through-hull fittings are dissambled for inspection and the anchor rodes are flaked for inspection too. In preparation for this event I vacuumed all the bilges of the boat (Really! Vacuumed. This is the COLUMBIA III,you know). I lifted all the engine room floor boards and washed and rinsed the floor boards and the bilge and then I oiled the remaining bilges so all was ship-shape for the TC Inspector.
This year we pulled the mothership out of her shed, and she certainly looked drier and shinier and happier for the protection. It usually takes a day and a half to travel to the Nanaimo Shipyard where the familiar crews are waiting for us. This is a big, industrial yard more use to large ferries and military contracts so the Columbia III seems a pristine gem in a field of rough . . . These guys aren’t use to taking their shoes off to enter an engine room!
Here is a hero shot of me in my favorite location . . . . the engine room work bench . . . ok, ok, the wheel house on a beautiful summer evening is a close second! And yes, you will allow me to think it’s a “hero” shot . . really it is just a grease monkey in the bilges.
I love this shot. I was using the time I was in the shipyard to get to some tedious tasks. One was to update the inventory for the ship’s stores: filters, spare parts, supplies etc . . including all the spare hoses, belts, fittings, soaps, cleaners, toilet seats (really) and a lot more. But we ARE a small family business and the cell phone rang when I was deep in the stern storage area (lazarette) bundled in lots of warm work clothes, and someone wanted to talk about a tour and then decided to book a spot . . . so I ripped a lid off the nearest cardboard box, and used my feltpen to take the details . . . not quite the “office” the guest might have imagined I was answering from . . . but few find fault with the service or the boat come summer!