Home Again

Hello all,

We wrote last just before we got to the Reynolds Park Marine Centre. The water there wasn’t quite as deep as they said it was but by plowing through the mud with our winged keel, finally we did reach the dock and tie up. Friends, Bill & Barb on a boat called Snuggery, drove us over to Green Cove Springs Marina to retrieve our car from the storage yard. But, it wouldn’t start. With a boost, we got it up and running. For a while.

The next day, Bill and Barb drove us to WalMart to purchase a new battery. And we thought that we were all set. I did many loads of laundry and Murray started his laundry – sails and lines. George & Barb dropped in for a visit the next day and we had a great time catching up with them.

The work was progressing. Murray needed some parts for the Honda outboard ( the impeller had disintegrated! )and I had some shopping planned as well. So, we took a day off for a road trip. We got the parts in Palatka, went to Sailor’s Exchange in St Augustine where I found some yards of sunbrella at a good price and then on to the outlet mall. The day was getting on as we headed back towards Green Cove. Just as we approached the Shands Bridge, a couple of miles from the marina, I noticed that the radio had stopped. Murray said that he had no instruments either. Then the car started to slow down. Slower and slower it went. Finally it stopped, just before the highest point of the bridge. It is a two lane bridge and now it is 4:15. Rush hour is starting. Horns honk as traffic backs up behind us. Eventually, four police vehicles show up. But, just as the car stopped, Murray put the transmission in “park” and it won’t come out without any power. So, although the police vehicles are equipped to push us, it cannot be done. Murray jiggles and wiggles the lever and finally pushes down on it and the transmission shifts to neutral!! Eureka! They gently nudge the Volvo with their SUV and get us rolling over the high point of the bridge. We drift slowly down the other side and meet the tow truck that was called. He tows us back to Reynolds Park where Murray borrows Bill’s battery charger yet again.

But why would a brand new battery die? The alternator wasn’t putting out. And it had been re-built just before we left Tillsonburg. So, we contacted an alternator rebuild guy in Orange Park and drove over to see him, after disabling the headlights to conserve power. He checked it all out and said that he would remove and repair it tomorrow ( Thursday ). Bill and Barb again came to the rescue, driving us back and forth. But, by 4 pm, we were running! Now, time to make final preparations for the haul-out tomorrow.

By 8:30, we were in the slings. And before 2 pm, we were on the road north, with the boat all tidied up.

So, friends come to the rescue once again. How wonderful it is to have so many friends scattered all over this huge country.

But, now we are back home, becoming re-acquainted with our neighbours and friends in Tillsonburg. The phone works ( another long story! ) and has the same number. Call when you have a chance. Or e-mail. Either address will work all summer.

Hugs to all,
Murray & Heather

Progress

Hello everyone,

When I wrote last, we were anchored at Titusville. In company with Flextime, we headed north from there on Monday the 30th. And, as I had promised Jane, we saw lots of roseate spoonbills on the islands near Haulover Canal. They were in the sky, the trees and wading in the water. Due to the shallow waters around the islands, we could not get very close but made good use of our binoculars. The day went well with no groundings by either vessels, even during our transit of the ICW near Ponce Inlet. Both boats anchored in Daytona that night and we invited Bob & Jane to join us for a fish dinner.

With another early start the next day, we again made good time. Until we arrived in St Augustine. The bridge tender told us that, due to construction, the bridge would be closed until 8 pm that night. It would then be open until 7 am the next day. Both times would require us to travel in the dark. Not our favourite option in the waterway. We dropped anchor to await 8 pm. After a couple of hours, I called the bridge tender again to check on another opening the next day for cruisers further south of us. He announced that the bridge would be going up at 4 pm, in about 15 minutes. I quickly called Flextime and both boats hauled anchor and headed towards the bridge. The sun was setting before we found a spot to anchor for the night but we were glad of the chance to move on.

During the night a cold front came through with high winds and lots of rain. It continued to rain in the morning and we got a late start, waiting for a break in the weather. The two boats anchored at Blount Island and we rowed over to Flextime for the last evening of cocktails and card games. In the morning, Windswept IV headed off upriver, fighting the current all the way. Flextime was headed to St Mary’s, GA to haul there.

The weather stations reported expected high winds for Friday, so we continued on to the dock at Reynolds Park Yacht Centre on Thursday. Now the work was to start. But first Murray had challenges with the Volvo. It turned out finally to require a new battery and friends on the dock here drove us to the store.

George & Barb dropped in for a brief visit on Saturday and it was wonderful to see them! They had a long drive ahead of them so could only stop for a couple of hours. But, it was great that they took the time for a visit.

The work continues and we will be hauled out on Friday. Once we get the cover on and the final jobs done, we will hit the road north. Friends in Ohio have offered us a bed for Sat night and it will be nice to see them again. By Sunday we will be back home in Tillsonburg.

There the phone and internet should be back on and we will be able to talk to you all at the drop of a hat. Until then, take care and hugs from

Murray & Heather