Wednesday, February 11, 2009

On our way for the crossing.

Yesterday we left Miami on our way to a small island called “Pumpkin Key” about 30 miles south. The goal being to get more south than needed to compensate for the Gulf Stream current that will push us north. The watermaker being fixed and producing water so pure that we will likely need some mineral supplements, the boat is now ready for the serious passage to the Bahamas. Well, at least that what we thought. Dark forces, it seems, were at play yesterday to make sure we don’t get to Pumpkin Key and not a minute after we raised the anchor Danielle noticed that the port engine throttle did not respond to the control level. It was running but was not going faster or slower???? I then put my repairmen hat and jumped in the engine room to found out that the control cable for the throttle had just snapped. A control cable for a boat engine is a big cable similar to the one used for the breaks on a bicycle. It is easy to fix, when you have a spare one!!! While I was scratching my head to figure a way to fix this, the dark forces were still at play. Danielle complained that there was a strong gas smell in the cockpit and sure there was one. After investigation, I found out that the gas line of the inflatable dinghy had a 1” crack and was leaking its gas.
The good news is that the Yin and the Yan of the universe created opposite forces to help us fix the issues. For the dinghy gas line we unbelievably happened to have bought a brand new one the day before as a spare! But the control cable was a bit more complicated. We stopped the boat at an anchorage point a few miles down the road and it just happened that “Slow Mocean”, a boat we know with Blake and Sunny on board, was there. Blake went on board to help me out while Danielle contacted Hans, a very good mechanic in Clayton NY. Hans quickly gave me the information we needed on the cable and with Blake’s help Danielle, who had already managed to get online, found a store on the other side of the bay that had it in stock. Blake happened to have a parcel to pick up at the marina one block from the store so he took me there with his boat. We found the problems around 11:00 am and at 5:00pm they were both fixed! After five months of dealing with boat issues we are now getting pretty good at it ;-) Of course, all the stars aligning at the same time helped too!
Since we left one day earlier we are still on schedule for Pumpkin Key and our crossing.