Back Aboard

Our little motorhome was finally out of the transmission hospital and we started making plans to head back to the boat. On Sat, we got the Rialta back and by Tuesday we were loaded and on our way!

Thursday found us at Green Cove Springs Marina where we were scheduled to move from storage to the work yard on Sat. But, the work yard was impossibly crowded and we were not looking forward to trying to work in those conditions. So, we examined our work list and projects that needed to be done and decided to go straight from storage into the water and skip the mayhem in the work yard.

Luckily, we found a power cord strung to our boat. Using that, we buffed and polished the hull. In storage, you are not allowed to stay aboard but, again luckily, we had the motorhome. Murray checked all of the thru-hulls because any work on them would have be done out of the water. We had ordered a new speed/depth unit but were able to use the existing transducers, which also saved removing and replacing those thru-hull items.

The bottom line was that we launched on Tuesday, Nov 11th! Then we motored a short distance up the St John River to Reynolds Marine Park where we tackled the rest of the job list.

Our under-deck autopilot had been leaking hydraulic fluid last winter. The company that made the unit had been sold right after we bought it. In the summer, we contacted the new owners, ComNav, and they informed us that they do not support AutoNav. So, our plan was to take the parts to a hydraulic repair facility in Jacksonville, buy the needed seals and Murray would make the repairs. Off we went, parts in hand. The repair spot in Jacksonville couldn’t supply seals but looked up the AutoNav name on-line. They still had a website! And a phone number! We had never looked as we had been told they were defunct. We contacted AutoNav and the seals needed are being shipped to us! One job under control but not finished.

I had purchased a chartplotter to be mounted at the helm. That mounting process has been keeping Murray occupied for the last two days, down in the bowels of the cockpit locker, running wires. But, it is almost finished and will be a super addition to our vessel.

On two successive days, we shopped! And I don’t mean wandering the stores, looking at stuff. I mean SHOPPED! The bill at Costco was $500 and at WalMart, $400 plus there was the stop at ABC liquors. But, those supplies will feed us for 5 to 6 months, only requiring the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables. And if the mailboat is delayed or the fresh stuff is all gone, we have canned vegetables aboard.

The plan had been to depart here this weekend but my order of books has delayed us. The third book, Gertie’s Big Mouth, is being printed but the company has been very busy and my order hasn’t shipped yet. We hope to have them in hand before Thanksgiving and that will let us cast off from the dock.

In the meantime, there are always things on the job list to keep us busy.

That too is life aboard,
Murray & Heather

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