Gremlins!! Where do they come from and Where do they go? Thankfully the Annual Christmas Boat Parade was ON for a bit of a Distraction!
As we transited the last leg of our journey down the ICW,
we motored on through the mile markers, making way. We'd come from St Augustine and anchored at Daytona, then Addison Point, then Melbourne.
Somewhere between negotiating the surprisingly heavy traffic (for a non weekend),
and sometimes getting a giggle from the sights along the way,
we finally hailed Vero Beach Municpal Marina, asking to come alongside for fuel, water and a pump-out. All that done, and bonus, we left them our propane cylinder for a fill-up before tossing off the lines and picking up empty mooring ball number Nine.
It was a Déjà Vu type of time, hard to believe that we'd been here as total newbies, four years ago almost to the day. What miles we've covered since then.
We were looking forward to some R&R. Vero Beach is a great place to walk around after a few days of being boat bound, complete with a free bus that takes you to some great provisioning (What? More food to buy?) or to the Beach or to link up to other GoLine Buses and destinations. So when we woke up the next morning, and before we got ready to enjoy the day, Dave eagerly turned on SSB to hear Chris Parker's weather report.
"What?..." He exclaimed in Swearing, which had me jump out of bed, Post Haste. "What??..." On a boat, when looking forward to some walking, some dining, some shopping, a swearing type of What?
is never a good thing.
The SSB screen was flashing. Not dead, but not tuning.
Just flashing. And not to bore you with details, but I spent much of the rest of the morning GO'fering while The Capt'N was trouble shooting and sourcing the possibilities and ruling them out, from wire to wire, from end to end. This included winching him up the mast, only to find that the wind picked up from dead calm to way too much, I needed to bring him back down, Post Haste.
So, since that job got relegated to the back burner for the time being, we opted to run some errands instead. Until we assembled the newly refurbished outboard, and the newly refurbished dinghy and started the outboard, she purred at idle like a kitten, until... she didn't!
And so we spent the better part of the afternoon trying to troubleshoot THAT issue, which seemed to reside with the fuel tank. We had thought about buying a new one, as our five year old one looked like it had seen better days, and we didn't. That in of itself is a no no, right? Rule Number 597? If you think about something that needs doing, best Do It... Post Haste !!
Thank goodness for Wings with Friends with a dinghy, at Riverside Cafe, just under the bridge, where the topic of conversation seemed to hover around Gremlins all around.
As with all things in life, the sun always comes up the next day, right? The next morning the Capt'n discovered, with a laugh, that the inside fuel tank hose had somehow disintegrated off, and that's how no fuel was getting through to the hose and to the outboard. That turned out to be a McGyver type of quick fix, and voila, we had a zoom-zoom that was once again, purring along perfectly.
And so we rushed, Post Haste, to grab the free bus to the rather small West Marine store, to discover they didn't have what we were looking for, then rushed over to Publix for a few more provisions, and fortuitously all that rushing had us pant pant'ing
to the bus stop outside Publix just as the bus pulled up! Not a moment wasted, and we made it back to the boat in time for lunch, an after lunch laundry, which was then followed by an afternoon walk around to the hardware store on our way to the beach, and a barbershop visit for the Capt'n. Phew !!
Back onboard, we cleared our cluttered space away as we were planning to passage, and the Capt'n reassembled the loose wires and tied them safely for passage. Turned on the SSB one last time, and whatdya know? No flashing. What? Two days of angst, a boatload of mess, no R&R, and all that trouble sourcing now definitley confirmed where and what needed attention and fixing, but could wait until we passage South today and overnight, towards Fort Lauderdale.
A passage that takes advantage of this Weather Window before it shuts down for a week, and with the ultimate plan and high hopes of commissioning and testing our Water Maker (which you may recall, had a whole gaggle of Gremlins living in its system last Season).
We are keeping our fingers crossed that all Gremlins have jumped ship! And if they haven't, we're ready to give them a good hard Push.