Well, we’ve appreciated all the comments and off-blog communications offering support of nearly all kinds: lots of moral support, plenty of good advice…but no economic support! Hahaha !) Anyway, here’s the recap- blow by blow:
We went back to Salty Sam’s Marina where we’d been staying. In the morning, a diver was there cleaning another boat and for $10 he confirmed that the plug on the bottom wasn’t all the way on and turned it ¾ of the way around (I mean what else could it be….we’d had 3 mechanics look at it). So again we were hopeful and chuckling at how easy that fix was while also acknowledging that the repair of the gas flow thingamajig was lucky to have done before any bad damage had occurred. Well, within an hour we knew that the leak remained unresolved.
A chat with the mechanic here cinched the fact that a haul out needed to be done:
A quick test showed that the area around the plug was in bad shape and loose but no other damage or issues; so luckily they got to it right away while we went out to kill some time:
Back at the marina, the guys were working hard finishing up the repair and had added another item (or two) unrelated to the leak to the work order:
N did a few hull things too while it was on the rack—caulking with sealant a few places and rubbing a waxy compound on the intake area with some “magic” stuff that Cousin Gerry insists will keep the growths substantially at bay—we’ll see!
With the boat re-launched we got on our way! Yay!
The new props seem to be superior. RPMs lower and speed higher even out in the open Gulf under gentle chop and light breeze. All went smoothly re-entering the ICW through the cut from the Gulf, anchoring uneventfully and we launching the dinghy to head to the white sandy beaches (hahaha forgot to take pix…but you know by now: they’re white and abut the mangrove trees!) BUT we thought, “Gee, let’s just lift the hatch up and relish in the glory that it isn’t leaking anymore.” UGH!!! Well it was (and remains) leaking. VERY disheartening…feeling like Bill Murray in Ground Hog’s Day movie….hey, it IS Ground Hog’s Day! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9hq5jZrFTbE But we handled it nearly as well as Bill and proceeded with the evening after a quick heads-up call back to the mechanic.
Ziggy and B traipsed around on the beach greeting a few other dogs for a bit and then back to the dinghy with N to grill yummy filet mignon and corn on the cob and finish off that acceptably medium quality boxed red wine we’ve been working on.
We were the only boat at anchor and so snuck ashore on the Hyatt’s private dock for a moonlit walk on the beautiful beach and little sandy trail. We repeated the trespass in the morning and then, after breakfast, got on our way back to the marina for a pleasant and uneventful 1 hour cruise back.
Now I am encroaching on the next 2 –day –reporting period here, but I know you can’t wait 2-3 days for this cliff-hanger: Bottom line: Boat needs to be hauled out (again), engine removed, parts ordered and transom repairs made which will include fiberglass work to solve for a crack that seems to have suddenly now become visible to this mechanic after all the others (including him) examined it before. OK! So we DO think this is the problem…I mean what ELSE could it be??!?! So we are going to enjoy the boat and the weather over the weekend and on Monday it will be “on the hard” for at least a week (probably 2).
Here’s what we face (more or a little less) every time we lift up the hatch and then use the bilge to draw it down.
In the meantime, have a good weekend and enjoy those Super Bowl nachos. More later!