Engine

Hello everyone,

We got some good news last week – the engine is repairable! And will cost less than a replacement! That was good to hear. But the dollar stays very low so it will still be very expensive. I have to put in a call to our investment guy to transfer more money to our account! That is what it is there for, I guess.

Murray has been working on all sorts of projects. He is so far down the list of jobs now, that he is doing teak! He hates sanding and varnishing, so that is the bottom of the list. We had hoped to explore more of Vero Beach this week, but he worked too much and we didn’t get anywhere. Except a movie – Full Monty. Very funny.

We could have an engine back in the boat by the end of this week or the first of the following one. Then sea trials begin – a couple of days of motoring around here. Then we can go!!! The end is in sight – we are not spending the winter in Vero Beach!

Mostly I spend my time writing e-mail, cooking and cleaning, sending e-mail, reading, shopping and chatting with other boaters. Murray helped the boater next to us on Monday and they took us out for dinner in re-payment. That was great. They live here in the complex. Then on Thursday another boater took us out sailing with him. It was blowing 30 knots and we just sailed up and down the waterway. It was good to get out on the water again and he appreciated having someone on board who knew what to do. So, we haven’t just been working. On Wednesday, we took some friends to the grocery and hardware stores. They are moored in the municipal marina and the stores are quite a ways away. And, luckily, we have been loaned a car.

Today is sunny but cool here – should get up to low 70’s in the sun. But the sun shines! That is what I missed in the winters back home – sunshine. We are going over to Jeff and Heather’s house so Murray and Jeff can work on the little car. They are replacing the timing belt. I will be able to send e-mail while I am there and answer anything that comes in.

Well, I hope everyone up north is well and avoiding the flu bugs. We have been very well – not even a cold! We are not in close contact with as many people as before, I guess. Or maybe this sunshine is doing something more than wrinkling my skin!

Take care everyone, and remember spring will be there soon!

Love,

Heather
Heather & Murray Rand
aboard Windswept IV
Ham Radio VE3 ZUA

Position Report

Hi Guys,

We are still in Vero Beach at Grand Harbour Marina. It is a golf-condo complex that is full of beautiful homes and gardens. If we must be stopped for a while this is wonderful. Jeff and Heather Vandyke have loaned us a little car so that we can get around. And the weather has been very warm- 70’s or 80’s. We went to the beach and swam on Christmas Day!

Jeremy was down for just over a week at Christmas. It was great to see him again and to show him the dolphins and even the manatees. He was lucky enough to see both. And he laughed out loud just the same as we do, when the pelicans crash into the sea.It was a good visit. The Meyer family included us in all of their celebrations. So we had quite a family around for the holidays!

Right now we are awaiting the news on the engine. Murray, with Jeremy, Jeff and Fred’s help, pulled the engine out during the holidays. The shop just started to tear it down on Monday. There is a lot of wear on most of the parts. But everything is covered with a gooey sludge. When our engine overheated 2 years ago, the oil turned into sludge and plugged up the engine. The oil that was put in later didn’t do its job of lubricating. So….. we may have to replace the engine. Should hear the word on the repair estimate by Friday.

Since all we can do is sit and worry about the situation, we decided to see the country. Murray’s cousin drove over from Ft Meade to pick us up and then took us to St Pete’s area where George is (Murray’s brother). We are staying here for three days and seeing the sights here. Yesterday we played in the huge waves of the Gulf of Mexico! And I have the gravel rash to prove it! One of the waves threw me like a rag doll and I landed on my knees. But it was fun and I went back for more. Even convinced George, Andrea and George’s friends Gayle and Muray to go into the water.

Today George is going to take us on a tour of the hot spots. The weather is quite overcast and it is not a beach day. Yet anyway. It can change in just a few minutes from cloudy to sunny.Or visa versa.And rain out of a sky that seems cloudless!

When we get the engine back ( probably not for 2 more weeks ) we will head on south and over to the Bahamas. We hope ! We will have to wait for a weather window and that may take some time.

All the best to everyone. We will keep in touch.

Heather
Heather & Murray Rand
aboard Windswept IV
Ham Radio VE3 ZUA