Day 22, Chatterbox and landing gear problem

We had a wonderful breakfast at the lodge and headed out to go up the Jarvis Inlet to Chatterbox Falls. It was an extremely long Inlet and it was a gorgeous sightseeing flight even along the inlet there were many waterfalls coming down the granite cliffs from the snow above.

  It was hard to believe that those snow capped mountains went straight up from sea level like that! Chatterbox Falls is in a very steep narrow fjord off of the main fjord. It has a narrow opening and then a wider pocket with an island, and then another narrow spot before a slightly wider spot where the Falls are. With extremely tall mountains and such a narrow canyon, I did not want to take any chance on coming upon a extreme downdraft or updraft. I flew close to the mouth trying to feel for strong turbulence and then we went into the first part and made a circle where we could look carefully at where we would land in the inner part by the falls. It all felt good and it was spectacular to land in the bottom of that gorge, absolutely breathtaking!

Here is a YouTube of it.

We then went the rest of the way up the inlet sightseeing more waterfalls and even some small glaciers and then headed back past the marina because it was not time yet for the current to subside and give us our opportunity to try and dock.

We decided to go South to Sechelt where they had an airstrip that sells fuel. When I put the landing gear selector down, three of the wheels came down for landing but one did not move. The pump was still running and trying to put it down but that wheel was still up in the float. I tried once more to move the switch up and back down but that wheel still would not extend. I could have tried hand pumping it down but it seemed like I probably had an oil leak and I chose to leave the gear up and land in the water by town where I had seen some other float planes docked. First just in open water I looked for leaks and tried it again but it did not work so we taxied over and docked by the other float planes. The dock attendant was very helpful but he was about to leave for the day and we would be stuck there because I did not feel comfortable with our fuel quantity for flying back to the resort and then somewhere else to get fuel. We decided not to troubleshoot anymore and his boss said he had to get cash from us for any fuel because they are not set up to sell fuel. He drove me to the ATM and then we put about an hour’s worth of fuel in. I was thinking it must be the piston seal leaking in the cylinder that extends that wheel and that I would be leaving the wheels up only landing on water all the way back to Sonoma County! I decided to try and pumping the gear just in case that gave me some new information and sure enough it did. I found that the emergency hand pump selector lever (on the floor by my right heel) was in the up position and not in the neutral position where it needs to be for the electric pump to work right. I was sure I must have moved it with my foot by accident but when I pointed it out to Julie she said that when I told her to put the water rudders up with the black handle she saw that and moved it to the up position. She felt terrible, but I could totally see how she thought that’s what I was telling her to put in the up position, (two days before). We still had some time to kill before the current was supposed to reach its lowest point so we dropped into a beach along the way just for fun. It was a beautiful spot and we waited around the shallow water picking up souvenir rocks and looking at the little baby crabs. 

We got back to the marina and tied up for the night and had another wonderful meal with incredible views at the lodge.