Thursday, October 26, 2006

Underway At Last

At Sea, N 37 25 W 76 12

At last. The engine is repaired, and we are underway. By tonight we'll
be in Norfolk and tomorrow night we'll be in the middle of the Great
Dismal Swamp.

It has been a long and frustrating wait in Urbanna. The starter on the
engine failed on Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon our friends John
and Mary Ann joined us for a week's sail. We couldn't find a mechanic
on the weekenend. On Monday morning I went to a nearby boatyard. "Yes,
we can fix it," they said, "but our mechanic went on a sailboat race
this weekend so he may not come to work today." I got a name of
another mechanic in Deltaville, about 15 miles away. His answering
machine says, "I'm away from the shop today. It may be a while. You can
leave a message if you want to." As of today, he still hasn't called
back.

On Tuesday morning the boatyard mechanic came by and it took him only
seconds to confirm my diagnosis. "Yep. She's shot," he said. I was
prepared for the next bad news that a new starter would take two weeks
to obtain (Just like Dapper Dan hair pommade), but no. There was a
Perkins dealer nearby who has a starter in stock. (I'll write another
blog later about Trans Atlantic Diesels, that's good story). We drove
over in John's car and picked it up ourselves.

The mechanic didn't come to install it Tuesady. More frustration. On
Wednesday morning he came, we put the starter in and made it work. By
1300 on Wedneday we were able to sail away from Urbanna. We took our
new friend Gary with us (That's another story yet to come in another
blog.) Boy it seemed like a very long wait.

On the other hand, our prolonged stay in Urbanna was very pleasant.
Urbanna has only 500 permanent residents, and it seems like we know half
of them already. We know the people at the marina, and at the boatyard,
and at the hotel, and at the crab house, and at Moos, and the
librarians, and at the grocery store, and we know Gary and Nell, and the
other resident boaters in the harbor. Heck, we could probably run for
Urbanna Village Council seats.

The weather has been unseasonably cold and windy. Near freezing at
night and in the 60F region during the day, but the daytime winds have
been blowing hard more than 20 knots so it feels rather cold. That's
too bad. Often the seasonal temperatures around here this time of year
are in the 80s.

With company onboard, I'm not finding much quiet time to sit and write
blogs, but I'll catch up in the near future. We have a lot of neat
stories to tell.

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