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