Hard to Get Way From Tiger Point
07 February 2013 | Tiger Point Marina, Fernandina Beach, FL
Sylvia / rainy and cool
12/9/2012 – 02/06/2013
And so as with almost all boating projects, one should really just start right out and double the time expected to get everything done. Work continued on the engine and the tanks but there were parts to be ordered and a few glitches along the way – such as David spending over 4 hours trying to get one of the bolts put back in the engine and its mount. He finally gave up that day and he and Walter came back the next day and finally got it in. The weather is always a factor with painting the bottom. Understandably, the yard was closed a week and a half over the holidays. And that’s how it went. AND we are still at Tiger Point.
A couple of weeks before Christmas we drove up to Brunswick to see Donna and Paul from Cavalier one last time before they put Cavalier up for sale and headed back to Canada. We are certainly glad we got to know them and will miss having them around but will of course keep up with them even if they are now land lubbers. We then saw Jerry and LeeAnn on Bella head off down the ICW but right after that Minnesota friends and sailors Joyce and Carl Berdie on Running Free came into Tiger Point for some minor work. We had a great time with them and I finally got into the Christmas spirit while helping Joyce decorate their little tree. Ours was buried in a bin we couldn’t get to with the boat all torn up inside. As with so many other friends we hated to see them go but hope to catch up with them somewhere in the Bahamas this spring.
The Friday before Christmas we headed up to my niece Tami’s home in Newnan, Ga. Her brother Randy was there already as was my brother Scott. Randy was heading down to Florida for a much needed get away (the man works too hard as a programmer) but we got to spend a little time with him. We hadn’t seen him for a couple of years and he looked great. Scott was nice enough to share the crude he had gotten on the flight down so all three of us were coughing and hacking for the next 3 ½ weeks. What a bummer over the holidays. But that didn’t stop Scott, Tami and us from driving up the Thursday after Christmas to my other brother, Bruce’s in Ashville, NC. Where we immediately shared the crude with Bruce – being the fine sharing family that we are. Luckily Tami and Bruce’s son Bob never did get it so there were a couple of healthy folks to see to the rest of us.
We got to Asheville late Thursday afternoon so we were in time to head over to Zuma’s coffee shop in Marshall for dinner and the regular Thursday night Bobby Hicks pick up band get together. What a great time and wonderful music. Lorna whom we had gotten to know when we stayed the winter in NC was there and how wonderful to see her again. She was out of moonshine but Bob had half a baby food jar of it at Bruce’s so we brought it back for those times when one really needs a kick. We didn’t try it with the crude we had. I was coughing so much and so hard I figured I might hurt myself coughing from the moonshine shot.
We drove back to Kingsland January 2nd – coughing and hacking all the way. Then it was a good week and a half of just staying at the motel and trying to get better. No boat work for us during that time. We had the nicest managers at the Travel Lodge in Kingsland – Uday and Kalpna Bapu. They gave us the very best rate they could and were so very concerned about how sick we were. Several days they even brought or sent down a ginger, honey, and sugar drink that actually seemed to do more for us than anything else we had taken. We are so very glad we got to know them. After asking them if there was a good Indian restaurant around, they very graciously took us out to lunch one day at an Indian restaurant in Jacksonville. So although our stay turned into a couple of months we were lucky enough to have had them as hosts and to now have them as friends.
We finally got better and went back to working on the boat with the yard folks. The bottom was painted. The new gaskets and fuel senders were installed on the 4 diesel tanks and the engine was re-installed. The yard jury-rigged it so it could be run while we were on the hard. Jan 14th they cranked it up and ran it for a good hour. A few things needed to be tightened here and there but it was working fine. They certainly have done a good job for us here. There was finally space for us on the dock and we were re-launched on Jan 22 and we moved on the boat. We then spent the next days making sure the new thru-holes didn’t leak and that all of the systems were running okay after having been off for all of that time. Bill decided to install the new inverter/charger while we were here in case we had any issues but that went well and we were good to go. We got a good weather window on the 30th. We said good-bye to the folks here and to Meg and Greg our dock neighbors and headed out the channel on our way back to Brunswick for a month of much needed cleaning and general on deck maintenance.
Headed being the key word. Arriving we didn’t. After an hour and a half the engine beginning running erratically and acted as if it was starving for fuel and finally just stopped. We couldn’t get her started again. We made a quick call to Jackie at Tiger Point for help. Bill Callahan, the owner, is also a pilot boat captain and they were heading out the channel to pilot a commercial vessel into the harbor. David the head mechanic here and the one who had most of the fun working on the engine hopped aboard with a small can of diesel and his tools. We were without power; there was a little wind so we raised the Genoa to steady her down some although that didn’t last very long. There were long rollers that soon got to both Bill and Spanker with one hanging over the side and the other making a mess on the cockpit floor. Thank goodness for my strong stomach – so far.
After an hour or so the pilot boat arrived and transferred David to Eos. BUT there was a little bump between the bow of the pilot boat and Eos’ beam which caused about 6’ of damage to our teak rail. The rolling seas and us floating like a cork just didn’t make it easy for the pilot boat to come along side. Anyway David got aboard with all of his stuff and immediately went below to see if the engine was getting fuel. He loosened a bleeder valve to check and there was fuel so he told Bill to try it. AND it started right up. That was a mystery to all of us. We headed back to Tiger Point with David still aboard. After about an hour, the engine started acting up again so David got to see and hear what was going on. We eased off on the throttle and slowed the engine down and went more slowly into the harbor. Of course, it was now low tide and there is a small sand bar at the mouth of the creek that we weren’t sure we could get over at low tide with our 7”+ draft. We slowly motored into the creek and made it over the bar with David to tell us exactly where to be and when we were passed the problem area. The engine just kept humming along and got us to the dock.
We said hello to Meg and Greg and the rest of the folks and told them we just couldn’t leave them and so we were back. David and Bill have checked the engine out. They found some crude in a couple of the fuel filters which might have been the problem if something got passed the filters. We tied Eos up solidly to the dock yesterday and cranked her up put a load on the engine and ran her for 2 ½ hours with no problem. So is it okay? We can only hope so. Meanwhile Bob the fine local woodworker is working on repairing the teak rail. That will probably be a couple of more days depending on the weather and humidity. Then we will once again head for Brunswick.
As if there wasn’t enough going on Bill decided early 0100 Monday morning that he wasn’t feeling the best and since he has a couple of stents in his heart we decided not to mess around and see if things got better. Luckily, we had done a week-end car rental so it was off to the hospital ER. As I told Jackie the manager here, we liked it so well last year when I did my trip to the ER that we decided to let Bill try it this time. The EKG was good, the blood enzyme tests were good but they wanted to keep him overnight and do a blood test again in the morning. I finally got back to the boat at 0500 and got a few hours of sleep. The experience with all of those overnighters sure help when you have to get by with short naps. The morning blood tests were good but they decided to give Bill an Echo(sp?) stress test. He went down at 1530 and passed it with flying colors so they released him. It was a false alarm after all – perhaps he was feeling bad simply because he is still getting his stamina and all back after our weeks of being really laid up with the crude. Anyway, we now have a new stress test base line and know that after 5 ½ years his stents are doing what they are supposed to do.
Now for the trip to Brunswick and the much needed cleaning and then we will look for good weather to travel south and then cross over to the Bahamas. With all of the delay that we have had we may just be able to connect and buddy boat along with John and Joan on Changing Lanes who will be coming this way later in the month.