Origo Stove Repair


, , , ,

TIDEPOOL came with an Origo 4300 stove. This is a great, simple stove that can run on alcohol or electricity. We’ve only used the alcohol part. There are two cans full of fiber that you fill with alcohol, and then you light them like candles. We can cook for three or four days on one filling. Also, alcohol is safe to have around, you can put fires out with water, and nothing wants to blow up.

Almost nothing.


We woke up one morning in Canada to find that the hinged, tempered glass lid had returned to dust overnight. We never heard a thing, which is amazing since we were sleeping four feet away.

A new replacement part required stupid money, if it was really available, so we decided to make our own. We spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to use art glass like we did on the refrigerator top in Bright Water, but we couldn’t find a place to get the art glass tempered.

Finally, we found a piece of 1/8 inch thick 6061-T6 aluminum, cut it to size, hit it with the belt sander and then a disk sander, sprayed it with clear matte finish, and glued it onto the old hinges. We like it better than the glass. Winner winner chicken dinner.




The United States Navy has had some difficult times this year in the Pacific, with three collisions and a grounding. They just released an astonishingly candid account of the incidents that is worth reading.


Both fatal collisions were due to issues directly related to recreational boating.

The USS John McCain ran into a freighter because (among other things) there was a confused hand-off between different control stations. Several years ago, a boat screamed into the anchorage at Sucia island at high speed, then ran over and got stuck on an anchored set of mooring lines.

Excell on Spar 011406

The new captain had driven his new boat from Bellingham using the flybridge controls, then came below to attempt to moor. He was unable to switch control authority in time to avoid driving right over two very large, very tight ropes that ended up between his props and his rudders.

I was about to use a hacksaw to cut the lines and free him when the park service finally showed up.

In the USS Fitzgerald collision, the watchstanders failed to correctly identify and avoid other vessels in a complex environment. Our sort-of-modern commercial radar and AIS system does that all automatically for us, but the Navy bridge upgrades have been spotty and non-organized due to funding and other issues. A mess.



Please read and review Jimi & Isaac Books!


Performance Chart


Since we got the new prop mounted, we decided to run some data. The chart shows the performance of the boat. The clear place to run is at 3600 rpm and 26 kts. The weird thing is that you’d pick this speed anyway. You can feel the boat lighten up and quiet down. Running faster is just more agitated. Running slower is boring and sluggish.

For best economy, we can run at 1200 rpm (very slow) or 3600 rpm (on a clean plane). We prefer faster.

When the boat is happy, everyone is happy.

Tidepool Cruising Data

Please read and review Jimi & Isaac Books!

Great Day for Mermaids



The weather guy said we’d have two more warm days before winter, so we loaded up the mermaids and headed out.

Everett has an amazing sandy beach just outside of town. It’s actually dredge spoils, but we can live with that.

First the Gurlz reviewed the instruction manual. If you don’t have this book yet, or all the other books illustrated by Sheena Lott, go buy them now. We’ll wait. Jessie’s Island and A Morning to Polish and Keep are the most important ones.


Next the gurlz made a dry run, to inspect the beach equipment and develop a plan.


Then they hit the beach.




Even the gulls were impressed.


Please read and review Jimi & Isaac Books!



, , ,

We took a truckload of Bright Water stuff and other boat stuff to the marine garage sale at Fisheries Supply in Seattle. We got there at about five am and set up a table with a Coleman lantern in the center. The bright light helps attract buyers.


Nancy sold everything in the first five minutes. Or so. Anyway, we were out of there at about nine with significantly less stuff and a little bit more money.


We tried to spend the money as quickly as possible before it spoiled. We removed the ancient macerator pump from Tidepool’s poop management system and converted to a gravity drain.


A bronze valve is more reliable than an electric pump.


If we’re moving, at least a little bit, the boat tilts enough so that all the “water” will drain aft and out of the boat. Of course, we only drain the holding tank when our legal team has reviewed all pertinent law and cleared us for a voiding operation. It’s generally a four-day review process.


Desolation Sound oysters cut another hole in our twenty-year-old dingy, so we decided to get a fresh one. It’s a little heavier, but the tubes are bigger and it stores in the same place. It’s still only 53 pounds, so it’s easy for Nancy and I to carry ashore, even if the 2 hp Honda outboard (30 pounds) is mounted.


We installed a new house battery to replace the failed one and decided to upgrade the solar panel as well. We sold the 50W panel and on/off controller and bought a 100W panel and a MPPT controller. Because the controller is better, the swap should actually get us about three times the power.


The panel install is cleaner, too, although we will see some shading from the radar dome. I didn’t want the big panel up in the air when we’re driving down the highway. I even pop-riveted a NASCAR air dam onto the front of the panel so it doesn’t get ripped off the roof. Probably overkill, but spiffy none-the-less.


I built a navigation computer and media center out of a TV and a RaspberryPi micro-computer. It runs OpenCPN for navigation and KODI to watch videos. It’s supposed to receive AIS, too, using a cheap add-on, but I can’t get that to work. We’ll see.


Please read and review Jimi & Isaac Books!




This is the inside of Tidepool, looking forward. Lots of room.


This is Avare anchored in Pendrell Sound. Tidepool is rafted up to port. They had already been out for four months, exploring the area north of Desolation. The water here is the warmest on the North American Pacific Coast. It’s about 75 degrees American. That’s about 45 Canadian. Or so. Maybe 8. Dunno.


We put a piece of plywood in the bottom of our dingy to stiffen the floor. Now it will plane with our two-horse motor. It feels faster when you’re in the boat.


Tidepool at anchor in the estuary mouth at Manson’s landing. Tidepool is in about two feet of water. Avare, the green boat behind us, is in about thirty feet of water. Interesting place.


The best way to anchor in a fjord is to drop your anchor right offshore in fifty feet of water, then tie the back of the boat to a tree. The anchor can’t drag straight uphill.


Please read and review Jimi & Isaac Books!

Bugs, Birds, and Snakes.

This is a snake in a lake. Not that unusual, but interesting none-the-less.


This is a similar snake in the ocean. Unusual, at least for us. It was dipping it’s head underwater and eating something off the rocks.


Two completely different dragonflies.


We wuz swimming in this lake. Then we saw this leech. Then we wuzzunt swimming no more.


This great blue duck was remarkably unconcerned about stepping over our shore stern-tie ropes.


This duck plays for the All Blacks. He performed a Haka for us.


Please read and review Jimi & Isaac Books!

BC Water and Tree Pictures

Not all trees are beautiful. Some are trying to kill us. I guess they can be beautiful and try to kill us. It’s not binary.


This is a lake above Grace Harbor. We didn’t go swimming. Really, really pretty though.


This is the hike above Pendrell Sound. The floor of the forest was duff. Lichens and pine needles. Apparently there are no decomposers.


This is the hike above Roscoe Bay. We did go swimming here. Lots of recent blow-down. They must have had an interesting winter.



This tree fell down in Von Donop inlet. No word on the noise it made.


Nice little cove behind Otter Island. Sheltered and quiet, but the weather had already cooled.


Please read and review Jimi & Isaac Books!

BC Firesmoke.

British Columbia spent most of the summer on fire. The second week of our trip, the wind shifted offshore. Usually this would mean spectacularly warm, dry weather, but not this year.

We were at Manson’s Landing when the wind shifted. The first thing I noticed was the color of the road: orange and blue. Manson’s Landing is chock full of … free thinkers, so I figured it was an art project.

Nope. It was haze. Pretty sunsets, though.


You could even see the sunspots. Our son Pender took the same picture the same weekend in central Oregon, which was also on fire.


The haze dropped the temperature 15-20 degrees and took most of the sizzle out of the scenery.


Please read and review Jimi & Isaac Books!