Well, this will make all our friends in Maryland feel good. We are in Titusville and it is 9:20am and in the 40s with a very cold northerly wind. I had to wear my heavier coat, hat, scarf, and gloves to go to breakfast today.
It has been a while since I last blogged and the reason for that is we have boat problems, again. We motored down to Titusville for the launch of the TDRS rocket with one of the engines not sounding quite right. When we came to moor at the marina we lost the use of our starboard engine making it impossible to tie up against the pier without help from the marina staff. The boat has had to be pulled out of the water to be inspected. So, now we are living aboard a boat placed on blocks 10 feet up in the air. The only way in and out is up a aluminum/aluminium ladder. Which brought on another problem. The first night we were here Mia went missing. We could not find her anywhere on the boat so had to looked around the boat yard at 11:30 at night. We finally found her on the ground about 10 boats away from ours. How she got down is anybody's guess. Did she jump down 10 feet or go head first down an alum ladder, which she has never done before? We will never know as she is now locked in if we go anywhere.
The missile launch was a let down. I tried to find out on the internet how to take night photos so armed with camera and tripod, Gary and I headed for the water front to look in the direction of the launch. A man on bicycle came over and spoke to us to give us advice on which direction to look. The launch was scheduled for anywhere between 8:48pm and 9:40pm so we were in good time. I practiced a few night shots which turned out quite unsatisfactory. The man with the bike stayed with us giving us advice. The next thing we knew the man shouts "there it is", what I thought? The missile had been launched and was well up on the horizon looking like a rocket firework. No smoke, no fire just a pin prick in the sky. I tried to photograph it but all I got was a streak to one side of the lens.
In my mind, I thought it would be like watching the shuttle craft take off. Apparently, we were too far away for that effect. I wrote to NASA asking if they could repeat it the next night!!!! I never heard back from them!!!!!
We have now heard the problems with the boat. Here we go:
1. The engine was loose, only 1 bolt out of 4 was holding the engine down. Because of that we were taking on water causing the bilge pump to go.
2. The drive shaft was bent causing us to have to buy a new one. This has to be made for us in a machine shop.
3. The alternator on the port engine is not working properly causing the batteries not to be charged up correctly when motoring.
We need a paint job, fibreglass work, engine work, machine shop work. We do not know how long we will be on dry land so will probably rent a car for a few days to at least see something of the area.
So, any donation towards the repairing of the boat will be greatly appreciated. Send your donations to pooroldjohneys.broke!!!!!!!!!!!!
I must say, however, we are at the nicest of boatyards we could ever wish for. The employees are wonderful. Kind, considerate. We are only hooked up to a 30 amp plug so cannot run air conditioning (not needed today), heater (needed today) or any appliance taking a large amount of electricity. We have breakfast and lunch with the employees in their boat shed. They give us advice about where to eat on a night.
One of the employees won the lottery 2 weeks ago, $800.000. The rest of the crew say he is the nicest of men, will do anything for you. He took a few days off after winning the money so the rest of the employees had to decide who would make breakfast and lunch (he is the cook). Yesterday, he went out and bought a new truck (never bought a new car in his life) and his wife bought a turbo charged Nissan. He said to her "you are 54 yo do you really want a turbo charged car?" and she said "you bet". Everyone is so pleased for him. He is hosting a party for everyone on the 9th of Feb which is so kind of him.
The marina has manatees and they just love fresh water. One of the employees, Jerry turned on a water hose for me and let it drip from a pier and told me to sit and wait and the manatees will come. I sat down with legs dangling over the pier and lo and behold 2 of them came, poked their snouts out of the water to catch the drips. I was enthralled. I took several photos which I will put at the end of the news letter.
The marina also has lots of ospreys, pelicans and storks. I sat for a long while trying to catch a photo of a pelican diving into the water as they go with such an undignified splash that you can hear from quite a distance away. I was never quick enough to get the picture I want so will keep on trying.
Because of the problems with the boat there will be not much to tell you about. So, I will take a short break and be back when there is something interesting to tell you.