A long, hard road

After our exciting trip to N’Awlins (be sure to read about the trip, link on the sidebar), we relaxed for a day, hoisted our sails, reprovisioned, and set sail in the Gulf of Mexico.  The weather forecast being what it was, we actually crossed Mobile Bay, and then headed up the intercoastal for about 90 miles to Shalimar Yacht Basin, where we planned to spend the night, as very high winds were called for.  After going to the fuel dock for a pumpout, the motor wouldn’t start.  After an hour working with it, I got it started and moved into our slip.  Upon closer inspection, there were more problems that appeared more serious, and would require more in-depth investigation.

I investigated, ordered new parts, priced new engines, priced old engines, priced hauling the boat and installing, and went back to work on the engine when the parts arrived.  They were half right, and half wrong.  I ordered more parts, and had an impatient day waiting.  It’s still cold here at night, I want to get into turquoise water, when I stand on the bow of the boat and look hard, I can see it!

It is Thanksgiving weekend in the US this week, on Thursday, so if I’m not ready to leave Wednesday night, I will be here for the extra long weekend.

The trip to Shalimar was just like New Orleans, a contrast of the old and destroyed, and the new and beautiful.  There were wonderful new boats on the water, and there were sunken sailboats, only their bow and mast above water, and sailboats that had been stripped and just left on the banks.  There were nice new marinas (no docks, just posts and Mary Beth had to jump, difficult for her, especially with laundry), and there were so many marinas that appeared vacant.  The new high rise buildings and the old, ruined homes just left to rot.

The pure white sand is fabulous!  One person told us it is ground up quartz, I’ll have to research this a bit to see why it is so white.  I am not sure what this guy is fishing for, I tried to reach him on the radio to see, but he didn’t answer.  Perhaps he couldn’t understand my accent!  I know when we hear the tows on the VHF we can’t understand them, and constantly have to ask them to repeat.

We did some sightseeing around Shalimar, close to Destin with the courtesy car from the Yacht Club, and toured the Eglin Air Force Museum.

The closest I have ever come to acting mechanical was when I was a teenager; I had an old Rambler that threw a piston out the block.  I bought another old Rambler and attempted to switch motors.  Neither one ever did run, so both were junked.  So when I told MB I was going to take the motor apart and install a new head gasket, she was hesitant.  However, we actually did it.  By the time the parts arrived (well after the Thanksgiving weekend), and were installed, it was two weeks since we arrived.  No matter, it runs, and no leaks.  I can now say I am a fixit man as well as a sailor.

One more point, when we left, both MB and I agreed that six months into the trip, either one of us could veto the rest, and the trip would be called off.  No hard feelings, no regrets, just sell the boat and go to St. Pete for Christmas, then head home.  Six months to the day was Dec. 2, two days ago.  We went out for a shrimp dinner, and had our meeting.  MB said she wanted to continue the trip, as did I, so we go on.  She had her chance to back out, and didn’t take it, so don’t tell me she’s not a sailor!

And for the person who suggested I give my boat a Viking funeral at sea and go home, I say “balderdash”.  We will go on!!

Tomorrow we move.

Love to all,

Joe & Mary Beth Amelia
S/V “Pot ‘O’ Gold”

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4 Responses to “A long, hard road”

  1. Bob Becker Says:

    Congratulations to you both!!!! Lot’s of “us” (1974 Sabre 28, Atomic 4) are vicariously living your adventure. Thanks for sharing and enjoy the Holidays.

  2. Dorothy and Bob Archibald Says:

    Congrats on your decision to continue………. we will go with you via the internet…….. It was great seeing you both and will see you again soon.. Anxious for your stop here in St. Petersburg

  3. lucas Says:

    Hi uncle joe and ant marybeth it’s me lucas. we got a good inch and a hafe of snow today the roads are slipery. HOPE FULLY it will cepe snowing so that we won’t have school monday!!!!!!!!! todd said he will get the snowmobel out tomower so we can ride it. In school i leared how to use dragon naturley speeking. on my report card i got 5 b s 3 c s and 2 d s. but i get lotes of home work from my techer. and im trying to get a A by the end of the school year. one of my drems is to travel arawnd the world. like you are!!!!!!!! for my birthday im geting to go boweling with 10 of my frendes and im geting a ac/dc cd called black ice from my mom. shes the bomb!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    love your biggest fan LUCAS XOXOXOXOX
    P.S I HOPE THER IS STRONG WINDES SO YOU CAN COME BACE SONER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XOXOXOXO AGAIN.

  4. Carl Says:

    Nice to see you guys are having fun. Been checking on you now and then. Got the postcard. Lots of snow and cold here. Enjoy your trip will think about you guys over a drink and a hot tub. From the crew on Drummond Island best wishes

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