Friday, February 20, 2015

Day 4

Traveling from Charlotte Harbor to Stuart.....what is mind boggling to me is that what took us three days by boat ( the trip from hell across Lake Okeechobee) took three and a half hours by car!!  It was still a very long day on a round trip jaunt across the state of Florida, seven and a half hours in the car. (Heck we could have been in Georgia in that amount of time!!!) I definitely needed some restorative yoga when we got back to loosen my limbs :-)
One thing I did ponder was how much more interesting it is by boat as you can actually take in what you are seeing at eight miles per hour, although in the truck I did get to see everything twice so what I didn't comprehend the first time I may have the second!

Of course Bob got to go on the road trip. He looks forward to seeing all the cows and horses
 when going through Central Florida, 'Cowboy Country' although we haven't seen one yet.

Dr. Mike....the one who will be doing the "surgery"....
do you think that's a positive face or a OMG what have I got here!

The operating room......SCARY!!!!!

Oh yes and as we got there and I went to put on my flip's (dumb enough as it was 37 when we left the boat)
I found out I had two different shoes on!!  I thought maybe I could go with starting a new fad???
Who looks at feet anyway, right?

So things are in  Dr. Mike's hands now...I am sending POSITIVE thoughts into the Universe.....He DID ask what color we wanted it painted....that sounds good, right???????

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Transmission Day Three

Yesterday Gary got the transmission off the engine and shaft and formulated a plan but we had to wait for our truck key to be over nighted from Naples so he could get lumber to build his 'contraption'.
( When one doesn't understand the process it becomes a contraption) .
Anyway, this morning he dove in head first .....well actually feet first, but that just doesn't sound right....

Gary has spent most of his life in engine rooms ( mostly inaccessible holes in the floor)
ours is bigger than most but unless you are a midget still  pretty close quarters.

Breaking it loose late yesterday.  Of course the bolts were rusted and took some
patience to get off, but Gary is a 'get 'er done' kind of guy and I really can't remember him ever
giving up. Sooner or later it becomes a challenge and he always wins.....Man Over Machine!

Chained to a 2x4 lifted one shim at a time.  (I got to put in the go girl!)

The objective here was to get it out of the "hole" so it could be hoisted
out of the engine room. Building slowly to the crescendo.

Out of the depths of the bilge and into semi daylight ready for the final lift to the saloon floor
and out the door!

After many offers of help extracting a 157 pound mass of iron (I was not one of the those stepping up to the plate, shims...yes, weight lifting..not so much)  it came down to a somewhat frenzied group effort.  Gary had called friend Brian to help him get it out but to do that we had to move the boat back about 12 feet.  
Next we found out that the yard had 2 boats going in the water and we wouldn't be able to move the boat back as we are on a very short dock that they use for boats being launched and hauled. BUT the owner of the yard, Brady is not only a great guy but much younger :-).  He came aboard, checked out the situation, got Smitty his yard man and before we even knew what was happening had the transmission out of the bilge, out of the boat and up the dock.  I think Gary was a little nostalgic, thinking 20 years ago that would have been him.  

But actually as I left it 2 days ago the dismantling in the tight quarters WAS the hard part....the rest was just brawn.  I think we can both say....."we are very thankful for all who are so willing to help out in the boating world."  
My only downside was it all happened so fast, (there were five guys in the saloon) I didn't get pictures of the process.  Oh well....go with the flow!

Tomorrow morning we will drive across the state to Stuart where the "transmission hospital" is awaiting the transplant.....

We shall see....and we are praying  "it's not a terminal" prognosis!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tie A Knot and Hang On

The name of this boat says it all!!!!  We are once again back at Charlotte Harbor Boat Yard...not by choice!
We had been waiting for the winds to abate so we could start south and Sunday and Monday looked like good enough weather for us to get to Fort Myers before the winds picked up again with yet another cold front coming through...(at least none of them has brought snow to South Florida)  Getting away from the dock was a piece of cake but stopping for fuel started the snowball effect rolling.  Queuing up for fuel had us in a holding pattern in Fishermans Village Yacht Basin for almost an hour.  No winds, sunny warm day, equals boaters filling their tanks for a day on the water.

We finally got moving at noon and it took four hours to get to Pelican Bay Anchorage off of Cayo Costa State Park as you can see we weren't the only ones with that idea. Pelican Bay is the nicest anchorage on Charlotte Harbor and  is accessible only by boat or ferry. You can go ashore at the park and walk over to the great beach on the Gulf side of the island so it is a popular place.

We saw what we thought was to be our first of many beautiful sunsets in the next few months..........

then Here Go Again........

First Gary noticed the anchor light wasn't working,,, grrreat....up he went to dismantle it and find our fairly LED bulb had burned out (they last forever don't you know....yeah right!).... a knot to tie

the next morning we got up ready to head out early for Fort Myers and of course the salt water wash down wasn't working......another knot to tie

Since we were anchored in a sand bottom she came out clean as a whistle so no big deal just one more repair....

It was a beautiful day and we were enjoying being on the water again and seeing all the other boaters doing like wise.  Then IT happened!!  All of a sudden the port engine sped up and slowed down....I was cleaning on the back deck....looked up onto the bridge with a "what the heck are you doing"  and he said the dreaded words...."we have no forward, I think we just lost the transmission"........Oh S**t!!  But calmness prevailed , meaning I didn't freak out as I am wont to do.  I drove while he headed for the bilge.  Final prognosis....not good, decisions had to be made...... head back to the boat yard...and TIE A BIG KNOT!
This is definitely a time when you are glad you have two engines....and that you have trailing transmissions which allow you to run on one engine at a time. ( We do this always. Alternating engines every three hours to save fuel.)
We arrived late yesterday at the boat yard and are tied to the dock.  Gary talked to a Transmission repair in Stuart....there aren't any around here...and they agreed it was the clutch.  Which means a rebuild IF (and that is a big if when talking about 28 year old transmissions that were made in England yet) he can get the parts. Right now Gary is starting the removal of the transmission and we are on our knees praying that it can be rebuilt.   All good vibes and prayers are most welcome!
On his knees and believe me, praying

Bessie's transmission....poor old girl....

This run of "issues" started a week ago when we realized our 18 month old stereo (12 month warranty of course)  on the bridge is not working .....
Then the air conditioning/heating unit started shutting itself down occasionally off  for a reason he still can't figure out.... I am thinking another sign of old age....(not him, the unit silly)!

So we have tied a knot and we are hanging on!

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Thanksgiving, Christmas and a week long visit on Tie A Knot with Dorian who flew in from Denver and then a great time with Gary's sister and my 'soul sister' Meredith, who flew in for the wedding from Petoskey, Michigan and liked us and her bunk on Tie A Knot so much she stayed until last week. I still miss you....and our tea time Sis! It has been a whirlwind of activity for the past 3 months.  I am going to make this a quick catch up and let you get to know our wonderful family and friends always, pictures.....worth a thousand words.......

Dad, Sydney, Cole and Mother photo op after Thanksgiving dinner with them at North Port Pines Assisted Living
Tony and Janet, daughter in law Chris's dad and stepmother visiting for Christmas from California.
The weather cooperated beautifully for a great boat ride on Charlotte Harbor.
Wayne, Meredith Jann, Colleen, Gary having lunch at River City Grill.  Wayne and Colleen are our very good boating friends who spent a month on 'Cool Change' in our Marina.  We had lots of fun.... they left in January for the East Coast of Florida.

After Christmas Gary helped our son Kent build a doll house for grand daughter Sydney's American Girl Doll.

Smiles all around on a job well done!

Shockin' our Tops at the Punta Gorda Chili Cook off in the park near our boat.

Another family boat ride on Charlotte Harbor

Gary, Meredith and I drove to Tampa to see Sydney in her co-starring role in the circus musical the 1st grade put on at her school.  She was the "sad clown".....she did a terrific job and I see a bright future in theatre....(of course you do Grandma).  Anyway, doesn't she want to make you cry she looks so sad, now THAT is acting!!!

                                                             THE MAIN EVENT

The highlight of the holidays was our son Cory and fiance Jessica's marriage on New Years Eve at their home in Naples.
It was a wonderful wedding, picture perfect evening, lots of dancing, laughing....a great end to 2014 and beginning of 2015.  Some memories I can't help but share.....

Meredith and Dorian the "flower girls"  making bouquets and table arrangements....we rocked it!!

Nice huh....helps to have a 2+ acre property

The Happy Couple  (sorry I cut your head off Cory) :-)

Grandson Cole...."what IS this stuff"!!!!!!

No, it wasn't THIS stuff!!

Our daughter in law Christine and our dear friend Denny Craig. Denny drove from Michigan and
got put to work...

we KNOW how to party!!!!!!

Cole showing Dorian his "moves"...he was a dancing machine....never stopped all night!

Sydney and Cole our beautiful grand kids

Oh yeah.....whoop,whoop!

So there you have it .....3 months in a nutshell.....FAMILY is everything!!

Time to sail into the sunrise now....a new year and a new chapter on Tie A Knot....

Stay Tuned