October 21, 2021
The last two months have been a series of repair projects. First, there was the transmission issue. We called the only technician and he told us that it would be four months if we needed any kind of repair work! So they came and took a sample of fluid, had it tested, and could not find a problem. Ken drained the transmission fluid and added new. We backed Slow Dancer in and out of the slip on no less than four occasions and no problem. Sooooo….fingers crossed that we will be just fine when we back out to leave tomorrow.
Then there was the anchor light…..or lack thereof. Ken followed wires for several days, using a multi-meter. We pulled and pushed wires through the mast and deck. Still nothing. Some power below….could it be the bulb? We hired someone to go up the mast to test it….no power. Ugh! So the problem had to be in the mast or the light fixture itself. We purchased a new light fixture and Ken went up the mast a few days later to check for power in the wires. Since Dale is not quite buff enough to winch him up, we enlisted the help of a fellow cruiser. Any project on top of the mast is not easy and tools must be hauled up and care taken to not drop anything……especially Ken! So the new fixture was tried, but no dice. The following week as Ken was pulling and testing, the wire in the mast broke and came down. It was slightly burned…..a short! He had found the problem…..now the only solution was to rewire the mast (probably the most difficult of all solutions!). Again, we enlisted some help and again Ken went up the mast in the boson’s chair. Three hours and much difficulty later, we had a new wire and a new fixture. Now the moment of truth! Flip the switch. Hooray! We again have an anchor light. We tested it again after dark and it shone brightly.
Another project that we tackled was the removal of our Hydrovane wind vane. We had added this when we first started cruising. After the addition of our solar panels, the vane was not as functional, plus we needed the transom of our boat to install davits from which to hang our NEW DINGHY!! We had found one! Just the right size but with a rigid bottom to hold up to surfing over big waves in anchorages along with a 15 hp engine to replace our little 3 1/2 hp. This dinghy is waiting for us in Port Canaveral on our way south. It will be sad to say goodbye to our trusty “Tiny Dancer”, but so nice to have reliable transportation. So, we just take off the wind vane…..easy, right? NO. Two days later we had cut and pried it away leaving some holes to be patched. It was installed with 5200….the sailor’s glue that is virtually indestructible! We sold the wind vane on the first day that we advertised it, which was much easier than the removal! OK, patching the holes was another not so easy feat. But after patching and sanding, patching and sanding, Dale finally got the right combination and all was sealed and pretty unnoticeable.
Now to order the davits and have them shipped to the marina. Measuring at least 5 times, they were ordered. The following week they arrived and we began another marathon task. They are now installed and awaiting our new dinghy.
We were able to sneak in a trip to Sint Maarten with our good friends, Steve and Shirley. While there we were able to do some recognizance for our arrival with Slow Dancer, hopefully next year!
Our headsail was stitched up and reinstalled. New jib sheets (ropes that connect to the headsail) were purchased and installed. New covers were made for the fuel cans, navigation pod and fenders.
Many hours were spent pouring over charts, books and maps to enable us to have a safe passage down the Intracoastal Waterway through Florida. We made a trip to Statesboro, Georgia to say goodbye to our sweet granddaughter, Gracie, as we leave her behind in college. Fuel has been purchased and safely stowed, parts and groceries have been hauled from a rental car down the dock and stowed aboard Slow Dancer. Yes, we sit a little lower in the water, but we may be ready! Goodbye Georgia, we enjoyed you so!