5 September 2013. The Big News.
I am currently anchored in the Carrabelle River.
A couple nights ago was momentous -- and thanks to a boat
friend I have spent an embarrassingly little amount of money on a new engine
and transmission for my girl. Currently I have a gasoline power plant way
too large for this tiny boat and, well, it is just not right. A small
diesel has been on my wish list for ages, and now, well, I could not be
happier. Bob on Maverick sure knows the way to a girl's heart -- right
thru her engine block!
This is the hero of the story, Bob on Maverick with has
ever present camera case:
I am facing the quandary all boaters face
at one time or another: do we take the time from cruising to make
something right, or deal with what's not quite so, and actually go places?
It is is a tough
choice and this time I have decided that time on the hard is worth the
improved boat at the end of the process.
You see, it comes down to the reason I am in Carrabelle. I
left Apalachicola and was cruising along toward here, planning a couple
weeks layover, when the engine bogged and died. A couple times hitting the
start button and nothing happened so next I lifted the hatch and saw what
no one ever wants to see: oil and water atop the engine. It is grey and
ugly. Frustrated and sad would be an accurate description of my emotions
at the time....
Bob said "You NEVER want to see milky oil.
That can be catastrophic to an engine."
My friend Bob has been my defacto cruising partner on this
part of my journey. We speak on the phone almost every day.
Still, it was fortunate that the engine didn't catch when I
tried starting her. That would have made things worse and trust me when I
say they were bad enough. Argh. Thank goodness for TowBoatUS
Copper Belly is one of the Carrabelle
TowBoatUS rescue boats
Captain Dave hauled me into Carrabelle. I am anchored in a
perfectly lovely spot across from
C-Quarters Marina. [http://www.c-quartersmarina.com]
There are fabulous folks
there too. But anyway, the problem with the engine was a blown head gasket
(fixed that, including replacement of all gaskets on the way to the top)
however, my confidence was rocked. For ages I was hoping to find someone
who had a little diesel and wanted to trade.... Hey, a girl can dream,
Well, I suppose it's natural to wonder how my good fortune
with regards to the diesel all came
about. It's because we're boaters. You see, when I was on the east coast
Bob Winter on Maverick was and is still a friend. He needed wiring done, a
water filter installed, spreader lights fixed, et al. Well, over time lots
of little things and like true boaters, no money was exchanged. Out here,
we help each other. [Oh, and don't think Bob was taking advantage -- there
were dinners involved! Shrimp ones. I love shrimp.]
But anyway, often wannabe's wonder how they will make money
afloat. Seriously, it is not about money so much as helping other people. I
help you and you will help another individual, and eventually it will all
come back. Good things simply happen. That is not to say that money is not
necessary. It is!
There is however an active trading
I replaced a sheave at the top of a mast once for two home
baked cookies. They were good too.
Given away charts I no longer needed
Passed along a Garmin45 to a guy
Recently a friend wanted to try using a GPS and I had a hand-held
Garmin72 with 12-volt power adaptor cord so now its his
A dinghy (a sailor had none and I had two)
It is all just stuff,
That is what folks do and I believe the sense of camaraderie
that exists on the water is exacerbated because we truly are alone.
Cruisers travel so we do not get the opportunity to establish a long term
knowledge base unique to the various areas we visit. We are on our own and
thus tend to unite and help each other.
Boaters who have been out for a while usually have a
generous spirit and are a pleasure, so help your buddies and who knows?
Three years later a fellow cruiser might just make your life totally amazing. Have
I mentioned Bob's taking payments? How cool is that?! Of course I
will name the engine BOB.
Have you swapped out an engine with a completely
What went wrong?
What do you wish you knew then that you now know?
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In the Bilges,
Lonely No More ~
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