Well for a start, every day since we arrived we have seen wind speeds over 40 knots, sometimes for hours on end. At times the screaming sound of the wind is confirmed by anemometer readings touching 55 knots! This is not good weather for sailing "outside".
One fisherman told me that the weather doesn't affect them much. There are various restrictive time periods when, by regulation, fishing is allowed and they always go out. In contrast though, close observation and chats with various mariners yield that a number of fishing boats are waiting out the weather here before journeying on or heading for their fishing grounds.
So we are going to leave when the wind dies down, right? ... well not right away.
Earlier in the blog, leading up to Tuktoyaktuk, we described a problem in which any significant use of engine power led to water ingress around the propeller shaft. We found all four engine mounts to be compromised and eventually had them re-welded in Tuktoyaktuk. At that point, we believed the problem to be fixed but nonetheless have babied the engine a little bit ever since.
|150 tonne boat lift|
At any rate, while we could live with the problem when no opportunity for repair existed - and when we were offshore sailing rather than motoring anyway - that was no longer the case. We would feel very silly having left a repair facility if the water ingress increased and we needed the engine for coastal navigation, anchoring and so on.
We now have parts on order which may take another week to arrive. In most harbors, we would then be able to lift the boat out and leave it in the yard while we work on it. The lift would then drive over and transport us back to the water. Here though, we need a calm day to haul the boat out of the water. It cannot be left out because the high winds here could topple it over. Thus it must remain in the lift while we install these underwater parts [prop shaft seal, underwater bearing etc] and will then be launched immediately after.
THEN [again if the weather suits] we will be able to get underway up the coast in our journey towards Victoria.
We know this is frustrating for those who await us and who follow the progress of our journey. It is frustrating for us too as the weather gets colder and the season advances ... but it is the safe thing to do.
We are waiting for furnace parts too. They wouldn't have incurred a delay [we're tough right!] but while waiting for the essential drive train parts, we thought we would put as much right as possible. And our failed refrigerator has already been fixed thanks to the tender ministrations of the refrigeration technicians at the seafood cannery.
Meanwhile, we see the ever changing light patterns on the high surrounding mountains as sunshine and squall alternate against the steady backdrop of swiftly moving cloud. This is a place of great beauty.
And the people who make this small town their home or workplace are an endless delight - both to meet and to learn from.