February 17–nearly 2 months after buying Golden, and 4 weeks after starting to be gone over with a fine toothed comb, or wrench, or whatever mechanics use. It seemed as if we’d get one item fixed, and another would pop up needing to be addressed—nothing big, but sometimes I felt like I was playing whack-a-mole. I was getting bored and hot in Stuart, and itched to ditch the van and start BOATING! So we were glad to realize that finally everything had been done that needed doing, and we’d be continuing our journey.
On the morning of the 17th, we woke up excited–we were finally starting north—and started getting ready. Then I stupidly decided to shower, and (David) noticed there was about 1/4 inch of water in the previously dry bilge (part of boat under floorboards—first place water from leaks collects) afterwards. It turns out the shower sump pump was failing, so James Power, our hero, who happened by just to get paid for all the work he’d done over the past 4 weeks, offered to replace it right away, on a Saturday morning, his day off. We let him talk us into it. Let me mention here how deeply indebted we are (in more ways than one) to this guy. He used to work for PDQ before they went out of business, and now travels back and forth from Ontario, Canada, to Stuart Florida to take care of PDQ’s in the winter time. Smart guy, eh? He’s also a kind-hearted, soft-spoken, and incredibly knowledgeable about all things PDQ—don’t know what we would’ve done without him. As we left, we asked how he and Jackie (his wife and helpmate) were going to keep up with us around the loop, and laughed. Guess he thought we were kidding.
So we finally start out at about 11 AM (no pictures taken as we cast off lines–too nervous). Fairly uneventful trip to Vero Beach, about 40 miles away. However, as we were pulling into our slip, David suddenly had no control over the movement of the left side of the boat. He managed to slide into the slip without mishap using one engine (I only yelped once, as we approached an outboard poised to spear us) and with help from the dock master. After some sleuthing “we” (David) realized that the problem was in the connection between the port engine arm and the shifters. Bottom line—port engine non-functional. We called our hero James, and he promised he’d drive down on Monday to try to get it fixed. By the way, I realized that one day of boating equals one hour of driving; for example, his drive here will take him an hour. Will we EVER be free of gremlins? And will James continue answering our phone calls? Stay tuned….
On the positive side, things could’ve been much worse than being stuck in a slip for a few days. What if we had come in after dark? What if we’d decided to anchor in a secluded cove, or grab onto a mooring buoy instead? And so far, we’re all enjoying Vero Beach—cute little town, great weather, not many bugs, the BEST dog park nearby, clean restroom/shower facilities, bus into town on the hour, restaurants and shops within walking distance. We will try to enjoy our time here after our one day of travel, and keep trying to make lemonade. I hope I don’t get really sick of lemonade.
I’m exhausted–to bed.