In April of this year, we brought Curiosity from Palm Beach Gardens to Annapolis. Our plan was to keep the boat in Annapolis for the Spring and early Summer and then take it north to Nantucket for the better part of July and August. So here we are in Annapolis awaiting our departure north. And “awaiting” is the operative word as we’ve been in Annapolis since June 30.
Prior to June 30, we had a fair amount of work done on the boat. The most important was the 1,000-hour maintenance for the twin Cummins engines. We knew this maintenance was looming and planned to have it done in early June so that we’d be ready to go north right after July 4. We hoped that the maintenance would be all that would be need to be done. But this is boating; nothing is ever that simple. Every time the mechanic came up from the engine room there was yet another part that was rusted, leaking or otherwise broken and needed to be replaced. So we replaced two aftercoolers, several water pumps, one manifold and miscellaneous other parts. All were installed. We set out in mid-June for a sea trial. All was going well until we started to increase the rpms. The mechanic emerged from the engine room and announced we had to return to the dock; one of the coolant hoses was leaking. It would need to be replaced and ordered because it was not in stock, of course. The first of several delays.
While all this was going on we decided, when we had a free moment, to launch our dinghy and see how the outboard motor was performing. We hopped in and cruised out to the mooring field in Annapolis Harbor. Jim cranked the engine up, and it died. He restarted the engine. We puttered again, cranked it up again, and it died again. This happened another 3 or 4 times, at which point we decided that the engine needed service, probably just a new carburetor or spark plug or both. Well, that would have been too easy. Remember this is boating.
We called Burr Yachts, the east coast Fleming dealer because we needed to return to Florida but the coolant hose still needed to be replaced, the boat still needed a sea trial to make sure there were no other problems and the dinghy motor needed to be fixed. Burr said they could conduct the sea trial for us and would bring Curiosity back to their dock in Edgewater (about 1 hour south of Annapolis by water), fix a few of the miscellaneous items that were outstanding and fix the motor. Great! We returned to Florida. Burr informed us that the sea trial went well. Great! Then we found out that one of those miscellaneous items was more complicated than we thought. This was a UV filter that sterilizes the drinking water. It consists of a light connected to a ballast. We all thought the light just needed to be replaced, but of course it was the light and the ballast. More time (and money). Then we learned that Burr’s outboard motor guy, who “can fix anything”, couldn’t fix the motor. So off the motor went to an outboard motor business in Annapolis. They couldn’t fix it either. Apparently all the bolts were seized up and couldn’t be drilled out. The long and short of it was that we needed a new motor. More time and more money. Then we learned that the large fire extinguisher in the engine room was badly deteriorated and couldn’t be recertified. That needed to be replaced too. Again, more time and more money.
So, when could we leave? We had no idea. We left Florida on June 30, expecting to spend the 4th of July holiday in Annapolis and hoping to depart on Tuesday, July 5. On June 30, we went immediately to Burr and picked up Curiosity. The UV filter had been replaced. The fire extinguisher was on order and would be installed on the 5th in Annapolis, and the dinghy would be returned complete with a new motor by “mid-week.” Well, l am writing this blog entry on July 5th and we’re not underway. The fire extinguisher is not here yet. But it is only 3pm, so there’s still time. We hope the dinghy will arrive tomorrow, but we’ll have to see. If we get delayed enough, we may have to change our plans, because I need to be in Stamford by mid-August to spend some time with father and give my sister a break. But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
On the positive side, we have been treated to wonderful weather here in Annapolis since we arrived on June 30. Usually Maryland is swimming in 90 degree temperatures and high humidity by the beginning of July. But we’ve had a string of days of low humidity and 70 and low 80-degree days. It couldn’t last, of course. The 4th of July saw high humidity, clouds and rain. We had planned to attend the Annapolis 4th of July parade, Naval Academy Band concert and fireworks on the waterfront. The rain put the kibosh on the parade and concert, but fortunately the fireworks went off as planned. Our slip mates at the Annapolis Yacht Basin, Bob and Patty, invited us on board their boat to view the fireworks along with another couple from the Yacht Club, Chuck and Ginny. Bob and Patty’s salon was perfectly situated for viewing the fireworks. They were fabulous, and we had a great time.
So, we’re sitting in our slip, trying to finish the few chores we have to get ready for the trip and hoping that we’ll be underway by Thursday.
As I was reading this entry over, Jim got an email from Burr. Apparently the fire extinguisher is not going to be installed today. It will be here tomorrow or Thursday at the latest. Still no word on the dinghy. We’ll see.