Friday, June 28, 2013


I've been a bad girl!

We've covered a lot of ground since my last post.  We're even in another country since then!

A week ago we left our anchorage on the west side of Sidney Island, Canada and crossed to Roche Harbor to check back into the US.

Roche Harbor Marina allows a temporary tie for short visits to the resort, so we went up to the Lime Kiln Cafe for what we call 'cheeseburgers in paradise', and to replenish salad fixings at the Company Store.  We anchored for the night and went back to the dock the next morning for coffee and donuts.

Then off to Friday Harbor!  We spent several days visiting friends, having coffee at The Bean, and more cheeseburgers at Herbs.  Whew!  Lots of 'junk' to walk off, but we DID plenty of walking too -- to church, several trips to the grocery, an eye appointment, and to pick up packages from friend Steve who graciously has been our 'depot'.

Then there was the big walk we took with Steve and his microship, from his lab near the airport to its new slip at the Port of Friday Harbor.  But that deserves its own post.

At present I am writing from Port Ludlow, on our trip down the Sound to Bremerton, where we will visit my son Micah, and where we leave the boat for other travel next week.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cow Bay

On Tuesday we returned to Cowichan Bay to meet up with friend Rick Fletcher as he was doing a scooter tour of southern Vancouver Island.

We radioed the Wharfinger at Fisherman's Wharf and their available space was perfectly situated.  We finished setting our lines and turned off the engine.  And I hear a shout 'KRISTI!'  They can't mean me; who would be calling me?  I was sure that our friends Bob and Marilyn were not on their boat.  I thought Bob was away on a job.  But I look over and they are both  there!

They were JUST ready to leave their slip when they saw us coming in, so they waited and came over for a quick chat.  I learned my lesson.  ALWAYS check ahead.  Turns out, since they were leaving, we could have used their slip for the night.  Oh well.  Rick would be looking for us on the wharf.

Bob and Marilyn have many RV friends, and some were coming from Florida!  They had gotten word that the friends had made it to Helena Montana, so it looked like they were actually going to make it (there were previous attempts to visit, that fell through).  So Grey Hawk was leaving to go to Port Angeles to meet their friends and take them on a boat tour of parts of Puget Sound.  Safe travels, all!

After Bob and Marilyn returned to their boat and sailed away, we cleared a bunk in the v-berth -- Al calls it the 'horizontal storage unit' -- for Rick to spend the night.  Rick arrived in his riding gear, topped with a bright yellow safety vest.  Al saw him ashore and went to meet him.

Rick brought a very welcome bottle of Columbia Crest wine!  Cheese and crackers, French bread and butter, wine and conversation start off the visit.  Salad and chicken tikki marsala are consumed, and the boys go to the back deck to enjoy the sunset, scotch and Cuban cigars.

I am doing the dishes and looking over the bay when I see this eagle fly in to enjoy the view also.  I call him the Captain.

I finish up the dishes and head out to make sure the boys have seen the eagle and to join in their conversation for a while, staying UPwind, even though these good cigars are not as offensive as most.

Rick was the skipper for three charter sailing trips we have taken with him, the first introducing us to the San Juan Islands, and the last the Canadian Gulf Islands.  We and he and his wife Christie have boated together on numerous occasions, aboard Viking Star for Christmas Ships, and cruising the Columbia River on their small sailboat.

Yesterday morning Rick left to continue his scooter trip and we went to the chandlery and the bakery.  We left Cow Bay around noon, and went to Sidney Spit to hang out for a day or two more in Canada.  Once we arrived there, we double checked the weather report and found high winds were forecast for Haro Strait, and we would not be very protected at the spit.  So we pulled anchor and moved to the cove on the east side of Sidney Island where the locals have a dock and dropped anchor among a huge colony of Canadian Geese who calmly swim back and forth along the shore.  We roll a bit from the ferry and freighters passing on the Strait, but it is not bad.  Al checks the buoy reports for Haro Strait and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and they show winds from 20-30, as predicted.

I vote for just staying here, using our last lime to marinate some chicken for dinner, and use up the last of our 'garden vegetables' before crossing back into the USA, probably tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Portland Island

We moved from Bedwell Harbour to Royal Cove on Portland Island Sunday.  We were here two months ago and had our first stern-tie adventure.  Surprisingly, we have not used a stern-tie again until our return!

Yesterday was a perfect day!  We got off the boat and took a hike.  The mosquitoes were not in thick clouds this time, but I caught one on my neck.

A westerly view towards Fulford Harbor.  That squared off mountain is very visible from many places in the San Juan Islands, and I had always wondered what it was called.  I am still not sure.  It could be Mt. Maxwell, or Mt. Belcher.  

I swab the deck, preparing the boat for company.  Al takes a much needed nap -- he has not been sleeping well, or at the least, waking while it is still dark -- very early on these long summer days.  When he wakes, he sets off on another oyster hunting expedition (I am happy with beans and wieners).  When Al returns, he says he's got something for me!

It's not very 'pearly' (kind of a dull white kidney bean), but it is a nice addition to my 'treasures from the sea' collection.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Spirit of Freedom Visits

We completed a circumnavigation of South Pender Island yesterday, returning to anchor once again in front of Poets Cove in Bedwell Harbour.  We settled in to check our email and facebook, and there is a message from Pamela saying they will be clearing customs at Bedwell today, and where were we?

We were at the right place at the right time!

They came over from Reid Harbor on Stuart Island this morning, and we had a nice visit on 'Spirit' first, then at the cafe for coffee.

They wanted to keep moving north to prepare for a Georgia Strait crossing on Monday, so after a couple of hours they were off -- sails up!

The anchor is set, and Cliff hoists the courtesy flag.

Pamela, Angel, and Cliff
Pamela and her friend Tami were the hosts for the South Sound Sail-In that we attended in Filucy Bay last June.  She gave us excellent advice for cruising the South Sound, and offered great hospitality at her home on several occasions through the summer and fall.  They are on their way north for the summer, staying closer to home for longer than they usually do this year, getting to know their new granddaughter, Kourtney.

We hope our boating paths cross again later this season!

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Year with Solar, or is it: “Wait until he figures out what a monumental waste of money that was”. . . . .

Less than a month after installing our two large Solar Panels on Viking Star I overhead a passerby make the above statement to his companion.  I did reply to him that he was a bit presumptive with his judgment and that modeling indicated they would have a ROI of less than 5 years.  I can tell you he just discounted me as one of those ‘fantasy’ types.  Well, here we are – a bit over 1 year on this system and I think it would be good to look back and see how well they actually worked.   Was installing Solar a great idea, or as so elegantly put a ‘monumental waste of money’?

Before deciding to place the panels aboard, one of the greatest difficulties I had was getting actual DATA from folks on how their panels performed.  I got things from ‘All We need’ to ‘Great’, to ‘Fills my batteries by 11am’.  (Monumental guy did not have any panels, so I am not considering his input).  But without exception:  all the ‘observations’ were gut feelings.  No real data.

Being a (at one time, before crossing to the dark world of Marketing) Engineer – this just would not do.  So I set out to model the panels, you can read more about that here:

To get actual data - the charge controller I purchased has data logging capabilities.   But before we get much further, let’s make sure some ground rules are established:

  • We cruise in the Pacific Northwest- if you are somewhere else, likely your results will be different.  (See the Modeling post to learn more).
  • Our  ‘Cruising’ season is March through the end of October.  During this time we are very rarely in port, and even more rarely have access to low cost shore power.  

That last point is a critical one, as it means -- almost without exception -- every AH we consume we need to make on the boat.  Either via the large 270A  Leece Neville alternator attached to our main engine, or via the Kubota Dc generator -  OR  via the Solar Panels.  And this, to be fair, is huge.  It is VERY EXPENSIVE to generate electricity on a boat.  I estimate it costs $1.14 / 100Ah running the DC Generator – direct costs only (Oil and Fuel).  That does NOT include any amortization for the original cost of the Generator, or depreciation for its replacement.  Every 100Ah costs over a buck….   And with us away from the dock so long, costs add up very quickly!

OK, on to the results.  Here is a graph of the actual daily AH log as provided from the Solar Regulator.  The thin purple line is the actual daily results – you can see cloudy days and sunny ones.  The black line is a 15 day rolling average - to try and smooth things out a little.  Finally, the thick blue line is what the modeler predicted our output would be.

1 year actual results
(Click on image for a larger version)
You can see the modeler did a rather good job of predicting.  In fact, over the year the Actuals were 2% greater than the Modeler predicted.  Looking behind the scenes in more detail:  Over our cruising season (March through the end of October) we produced an average of 124.7Ah/day.  We saved 245 hours of run-time on the generator and that results in a raw ROI of 5.5 years.   Figuring in the Federal Tax Credit, it drops to 3.9 years.

So, for a boat cruising in the rainy Pacific Northwest, the Solar Panels have a ROI of under 4 years.  And best of all?   I do not need to listen to the Generator during most of the time as a result!   In fact, we are back into the time of year where we likely will not need to use the Generator at all until the end of September.  And then only when we do Laundry.

(To see all our posts on the Solar Panels, click here: )

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Canal

Last you heard, we were in Montague Harbour.  From there we've been to Glenthorne Passage, Ganges, and Bedwell Harbour.  And this morning we had another 'first'.  We passed through Pender Canal to Port Browning.

Al asked if this were our first canal.  I had to think, for quite a while, but finally agree.  Did we pass through anything like that on our Columbia/Snake River trip?  Not that I remember.  What about that channel by LaConner?  No, the Swinomish is a natural waterway.  Yes it's been dredged, but it's natural.  'Canal' implies manmade.

We had some conversation about ways this compared to THE canal -- the Panama Canal.  The Panama Canal is between North America and South America.  Pender Canal divides North Pender Island from South Pender Island.  Both canals are in a north/south orientation.

Between the buoys and around the bend to the left...
(After a short 'Securite' call on VHF-16 before entering - to avoid meeting someone headon..)

Theres a small bridge.

We are about as big a boat as can fit through!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Bakery Boat???


Kristi and I are in Montague Harbor again, and this time at the ‘beginning’ of the Season (we are here after the 3-long after all!)   So, where is the Boat?   The Bakery Boat?   Found a photo of her on Flicker, know what to look for.  But even though there are about 50 boats anchored around here, no  Bakery Boat.

Kind of feeling like Marvin the Martian from the Old Bugs Bunny cartoons:   “Where is the ka-Boat?  There was supposed to be an edalicious ka-Boat!”

Oh Well, to the marina.  Perhaps the Ice Cream stand is open now.  (They were painting it last time we came through).  And maybe the Pub-bus is up (we walked last time..)

Update:  Found their BLOG:   Hum...  Nothing posted since last Fall...

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Silva Bay and Gabriola Island

We have been resting and recovering.

On Thursday morning I sent an email to a couple we met early in our Canadian adventure, on Tod Inlet.  We have kept tabs on each others location, and this was just another in a series of 'check-ins'.  Marilyn answered back 'Check your voice mail!  We are very close!'

We did check voice mail, and then Al called them back.  They were in Pirate's Cove, just around the corner and through Gabriola Pass from us, and they were willing to dinghy over to meet with us!  Our dinghy does not have that much range or power, and I worried a bit about them coming through the pass, but I knew they had been through the pass before and knew what it could be like.

We set off for shore and got a start on getting our land legs back.

Al had noticed a marine railway in the shipyard!  They also have a small Travelift.  But it was the big wood boat on the railway that had him most interested.  (Later talking to the owner/operators, he is now excited to possibly do Viking Star's next haulout here.)

We stopped at the liquor store to replenish our supply of Jameson Irish Whiskey, and also pick up two bottles of wine.  The attendant was very helpful and informative, sharing information about the new bus service on the island, letting us know the Silva Bay grocery closed a couple of years ago, but even offering to give us a ride to the Village when his shift was over.  We told him we were fine for the moment and were hoping to meet friends very soon.

Bob and Marilyn did arrive safely, and we had a pleasant couple of hours at the pub with them.  Then Bob and Al stopped and talked to the crew in the shipyard, while Marilyn and I continued on to chat and enjoy the view of the bay.

Bob and Marilyn ready to head back to their big boat, Grey Hawk.  This couple covers a LOT of area by boat, car, air, and their converted bus.  They are very fun and interesting to visit with!  We so appreciate their coming to meet us.
Friday was a bad fibromyalgia day with a rough morning, but a two-hour nap in the afternoon did wonders.  The details of the day are a blur, but I know we didn't leave the boat.

Yesterday we rode GERTIE (Gabriola Environmentally Responsible Trans-Island Express) to the Saturday Market and the Village.  There was a coupon in the local paper for a free ride for the bearer and a companion.  This service had JUST begun this week.

At the market we picked up several goodies (that are not on our 'diet') and then went to Bad Rona's for coffee and a yummy flourless cheesecake, which was actually more like a frosted brownie.  The grocery store seemed quite expensive, so we only got necessities and plan to visit Ganges on our way south.

For the time being, we are very comfortable in Silva Bay and don't plan to leave for another day or two.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Tiny Ship Was Tossed

'Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale -- a tale of a fateful trip...'

It just follows that after posting about a 'three hour tour' and making reference to the Gilligan's Island theme song, we would fulfill another line -- 'the tiny ship was tossed'!

After our tour and a side trip to Deep Cove for groceries and water -- no fresh veggies without a bus ride, we got milk, eggs, and ice cream -- there was nothing left for us to do in this area but decide when to make our crossing back over the Georgia Strait to the Gulf Islands once more.

As I recall, the forecasts were for winds 5-15 knots both on Wednesday and Thursday, but with SSW the direction on Wednesday, and from the NW on Thursday.  Neither of the Canadian weather sites that I have been watching predict wave heights, like NOAA does, but these winds speeds were nothing we have worried about in the past.  Asking Al which wind direction he felt would be most favorable, we decided to do our crossing on Wednesday.  We even re-arranged some other plans to make it so.

Looking back, one thing we did not do, that we will endeavor to do in the future (it WAS a learning experience, after all) is to LISTEN to the weather broadcast on the radio.  We are just such computer fiends, relying merely on internet for our information.

We had pulled the dinghy up onto the boat the night before, so we just had coffee and breakfast, pulled anchor, and set out, timing to pass through the two narrows in Vancouver Harbor at the right time.  The only casualties of the trip were the two wine glasses -- the last two of our Titanium crystal 'break resistant' wine glasses -- that I had forgotten on the window shelf.  When we passed below the Second Narrows bridge at the same time that two tugs were coming up, the wine glasses jumped off the shelf to their explosive deaths on the stairs to the aft cabin.  I immediately put on my flip flops and got out the broom and dustpan first, then the vacuum.  Ugh.  Not good to be rocking wildly with your head down.

But that swept up, we continued on without incident, and found ourselves out on the Strait, about 10:30 or 11.  We had 20 nautical miles to go to our destination -- about 4 hours.

Just about an hour later, we heard an announcement on the radio for a special weather bulletin, listen to channel 21b.  NOW the forecast called for winds 15-20, from the NW.  (Later they added '.. increasing to over 20 later in the day')  Just what we had hoped to avoid.  Oh well.  Current conditions given for many sites told us that we were in the thick of it, but the worst sea state we heard said 'three feet, moderate'.

I remember Al saying, 'Well, at least we will learn what the Georgia Strait is like in 15-20 winds.'  Yup, we did.

A bit later, as we cleared the muddy Fraser River influence with the many logs and other debris in its field, the waves began to build.  As they grew to what I gauged to be 6 feet, and occasionally splashing over the bow, I felt myself becoming tense, and knowing that we had about three hours to go still, I decided to go to the aft cabin and ride it out on the bed.

It takes a LOT of concentration and self-talk to keep myself calm in situations like this, and I cannot make the effort to speak.  When Al looked and saw me on the bed, I just waved and hoped he understood that to be 'I'm fine. Don't worry about me.  I'll be okay here, just get us there.'

Self talk.  Prayers.  Deep breathing.  NOT looking out the window and seeing walls of water, or clouds rocking as we crashed over waves.

The contents of the medicine chest had all fallen into the sink below.  I could smell perfume, and found the small container -- of course it was my favorite -- that had its lid knocked off.  The magnet could not keep the  door shut even without any contents to knock it open, so I tried to clip a towel on it to keep it from banging. The freezer is on a slider, and relies on a wedge to keep it in place under the counter.  The wedge kept falling out.  So I stuffed a pillow in above it, which worked, most of the time.  Every so often I would have to rise from the bed and replace the pillow, or the towel on the medicine cabinet, which left the books unattended and falling off the shelf.

Jesus, I could sure use you to calm the waters, now!  'Be not afraid.  I am with you.'  God, just keep Al strong!

It was NOT fun.  But we made it through.  And we did learn.

As one final power move by Al brought us into the channel to bring us to Silva Bay, the calm was SO welcome.  I came back up to the main cabin, patted Al on the back and asked, 'So how are YOU doing?'  His answer was 'No.'  I said, 'What?  Your brain must not be working right.  My question was:  How are you doing?'  He said 'If you ask me if I knew it would be like that, would I still go -- my answer would be 'No'.  I never want to do that again!'

I had gauged the waves to be at 6 feet when I went below, and I know it got worse after that.  I asked Al how big he thought they were.  He said he was too busy to really assess, but at one point he looked alongside the boat, and there was a wall of water he could not see over.  From all information, I believe they were 8-10 feet.  This is officially the roughest water we have been in.  The next morning we noted that our wind gauge had hit 43.

I do not consider Viking Star to be particularly 'tiny' -- we LIVE on it after all -- but it most definitely was tossed!  We spent an hour picking up, and then poured some wine (Al was wishing for scotch), and spent some time enjoying the sun on the back deck.

For the past year, since our last 'event', I have said of our full-time cruising adventure:  It's all been good but 3 days.  Well, add another one.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Three Hour Tour

I need to get this post in here before moving on to our latest adventure (we are still decompressing from THAT).

On Saturday we left Port Moody, entered Indian Arm, went around the hook to Bedwell Bay.  Perhaps we SHOULD have stayed at Port Moody another day -- this seemed pretty crowded!  We had heard that there was a lot of activity on the weekends.  There were two 'rafts' of several boats, stern-tied to shore.  A few 'resident' boats on mooring buoys, and maybe 12-20 boats at anchor?  Music was playing and people were having fun, but it was not at all obnoxious.  We pretty much just stayed on the boat and enjoyed the show.

On Sunday everyone pretty much cleared out, except for one or two other boats.  Aahhhhh, so peaceful.  Except for the ravens pestering eagles.

Monday we completed our tour of Indian Arm.  We knew there were VERY limited places to anchor, and if you did, you probably would only want to stay a few hours -- a 'lunch-hook' -- rather than overnight.  So we thought it would be a long day for us.  Well, we were already part way into the Arm, so it went a lot faster than we had thought.  We saw what we wanted to see, and then returned to Bedwell Bay.  As we approached I looked at the clock and thought "Three hours.  We just took a 'three hour tour', and the Gilligan's Island theme was running through my head.


We will be travelling almost due North from Bedwell Bay, through water so deep our instrument cannot read -- a mountain valley underwater.

What we believe to be a powerhouse.  There is a mountain lake above, and there are big pipes.  Does water come down from the lake to create power?

Around the point, another.  This one looks  like it has been added onto a few times.

Beautiful homes line the southern portion of the inlet, but they are very remote.  We can see no visible road, though we suspect one follows the power lines?  I took this shot mainly to show the rough gravel 'driveway'.

Aahhh, Granite Falls.  It is interesting to look at the series of photos I took as our perspective changed  while Al piloted by.  The upper reach came into view first, and more was revealed as we came around the point.  This is the most 'complete' view we got.

A close-up shows more of the Granite!

Historic Wigwam Inn is now a Royal Vancouver Yacht Club outstation.    A couple of other yacht clubs have outstations too -- the only marinas in the Arm.  Members Only!  

Another falls above the Wigwam Inn.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Cost to Cruise - May 2013

May came, and May Went.  We spent our allowed two weeks anchored in False Creek, Vancouver BC.  Visiting the City and Friends met along the way.  Had a wonderful time, and likely will return.

Also in Vancouver we had access to the CITY...  Eval:  Cities, we have found, tend to make our bellies larger, and our wallets thinner.  Even so, May turned out to be not so bad cost wise.  Perhaps it was the using up of the stores we piled in during the 1st part of April.

Viking Stars cost for May

The City allowed access to hardware shops and I purchased needed parts to install a holding-tank overboard pump-out, for future use as we move more North where Pump-out station do not exist.  Moorage, though it seem low, in fact reflects only 3 stops. . . .  Groceries I attribute to a combination of using up stores, easy access to the 'lower cost' shopping center in Vancouver (just 5 blocks away from the Dinghy landing!) also impacted by the higher amount of Dining Out (ala:  Mom's Grilled Cheese and the original JapaDog, Yum!).  Most of you already know the Personal figure:  SHOPPING!!!  (See, I do the same thing - but get to disguise it as 'upgrades' :-)    )   Note from Kristi:  You could call my new capris and shoes an upgrade too, from the favorite pair I realized was over 5 years old.  Also 'upgraded' my cosmetics. I admit it might be a stretch to call the new book releases from a couple of favorite authors an upgrade, however! Gee, the 'little things' do add up quickly!

Medical costs at $0 reflecting our new International  IMG Policy. We continued to use the Generator a lot - though in looking at least years April / May, not total out of line.  Perhaps 30% higher hours reflecting the new ease of use, and tendency to let it idle down while topping off the batteries.  And Solar is starting to get on its legs, but did miss the modeled output by a massive -6% (139Ah/day vs. 149Ah predicted).  We now have a full year on the new panels, look for a summary post covering their performance...

Monday, June 3, 2013

Highlights of the Past Week

We met Dave and Sandra last year in the San Juan Islands.  Now that we were in THEIR stomping grounds, they picked us up from the Sky Train, showed us around, and took us to their house for dinner.

Deneen drove us and another friend, Ilyssa, to Whistler on Monday.  It was fun to stroll the shops, have lunch, and choose some teas from David's Tea.  The rain held off until the ride home, but then it was REALLY wet.

Tuesday morning we hung out on the boat, hoping for the rain to ease up.  It did, a little bit, so we ventured out to Downtown Vancouver to retrieve my jacket that I forgot at the coat check at the fabulous restaurant Evan and Deneen took us to on Sunday evening.  Then I visited cosmetics counters at the Hudson's Bay Company while Al hung out at an Irish Pub.  Wednesday the weather was better for a big provisioning trip.

Thursday afternoon we headed out and powered through the narrows.  In False Creek we got very urban views.  Here in North Vancouver, it was more industrial.

A pile of BRIGHT yellow stuff.  Sulfur.  Wikipedia tells me that it is a by-product of refining petroleum products, and there IS a refinery here.

After we pass, we hear this ship radio its departure.  Notice Vancouver's own 'space needle', Harbour Centre.
 We anchor at Port Moody, at the east end of Burrard Inlet.

A beginners (?) sail class, being towed back to the dock.  They are SO cute!
We dinghy to shore to explore and have lunch, finally deciding on the Fish and Chips stand near the dock.  The ravens and a goose give us the eye, and one raven even makes a move when Al gets up for a napkin, even though I am still sitting right there.

Shoreline Park has nice trails.  Oh.  The bears think so too.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


“The comfortable and beautiful boats designed by Ed Monk have been treasured for cruising, working and living aboard since the 1920s. Thousands of his fish-boats, sailboats, runabouts, tugs and power yachts have been built, mostly on the Pacific coast, and often by well-known builders such as McQueen, Philbrook, Grandy, Wakefield and Tollefson. Monk's books, his many popular articles in maritime magazines, and the reminiscences of those who worked with him highlight his practical philosophy of design. His boats were intended to handle the often rough and dangerous waters between California and Alaska, as well as the open ocean, in ease and safety.”

“Ed Monk was a modest, generous and talented man, much loved and esteemed by his clients, family and friends, and appreciated to this day by the owners of his sturdy and handsome boats.”

And so goes the fly-leaf in the book: “ED MONK and the Tradition of Classic Boats” by Bet Oliver.

George Edwin William Monk (a.k.a. Ed Monk, Sr.) (1-Jan-1894 to 21-Jan-1973) was a shipwright and naval architect in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. He was active from 1914 to 1973. He designed pleasure and commercial vessels, both power and sail.  Much of what we see in the way of small power boat designs (at least those that still retain a focus on Seaworthiness and Efficiency) can be attributed back to Mr. Monk, along with William Garden another very influential naval architect in the PNW during those days.
He was by all accounts one of the most modest men in the business; he also took great interest in the boats he designed and it was not unheard of small builders (or even home builds) ringing him up with questions and getting a complete answer, or even at times a surprise drop-by from Mr. Monk himself.  It was during this time that Ed Monk Sr. and George McQueen shared a long history together of producing a number of boats that became known as ‘Monk/McQueens’.  To this day it is possible to see a glimmer in someone's eye when we pass on that Viking Star is a Monk/McQueen, but it is also true that this legacy is fading.

We have owned Viking Star for almost 13 years now, and in those past 13 years I have watched as several ‘remembrances’ of Ed Monk Sr. fade into time.   A Boater's Club has been all but inactive the past 5 years.  Occasionally there will be a flurry of ‘We need to get something going’ on the Emailing list (which is still in place), but that soon dies down.  McQueen Boatworks, like many small yards, had been struggling for years – and it too seemed to be fading.  Last week while in the greater Vancouver area I confirmed this to be true – the property where McQueen Boatworks was located is up for lease:

But there was one glowing tribute to the combination of Ed Monk Sr. and George McQueen in Vancouver.  Highly visible, and right on the waterfront:  Monk’s - McQueen Restaurant.   With its big red Monk’s sign lighting up the False Creek Harbor night.   Though I am sure very few of the patrons understood the origin of the name, still I was looking forward to eating at the deck of Monk’s, overlooking Viking Star.   Sadly, that too is no longer.   Monk’s - McQueen restaurant closed last New Year, and is scheduled to be replaced with an Irish Pub.  Now, not that I have anything against a good Irish Pub (in fact, I kind of like them), but it is noticed that remembrances of Ed Monk, Sr.’s legacy are fading. . .

A Monk/McQueen anchored in front of Monk's - McQueen