News from the Dawn Treader
and the SunChaser
The big news for the start of April is that our generator stopped and would not start again.
It was a hot night at the boatyard and the Air Conditioner was on when it happened.
It was Saturday the 27th of March so we had to wait until Wednesday the 31st to take it into Fort Myers after Dawn’s Doctors appointment.
We did not know if we would need to leave it there.
It turned out that the Cummins shop (They make Onan) could remove the generator and we could take our motor home and bring it back when it was fixed.
Transportation is always on our minds both in the boat and motor home as we do not tow and there is no way to carry something other than a bicycle on the boat.
I went to my annual wellness checkup on April 1st (great day for it) and everything was just great.
The Cummins Repair call while I was at the doctor so we leaded back to Fort Myers.
The original estimate was $2,400 however it turned out not to be as severe as originally thought.
The final bill was $1,172.51.
The cause was that the brushes in the generator part wore out and caused the generator part to freeze up.
Originally they thought the whole generator needed replaced but it turned out it was ok!
So Dawn, myself, and our motor home, are now all healthy again.
The Sailboat front is also going slower than we wish for it to progress.
Right in the middle of replacing the Fuel Injection Pump we discovered that the Thermostat Gasket was not included in the parts order and so there is not any available for 100 miles.
The other issue is the Expansion Tank needs some welding and machining as some of the seal lip was corroded in the seal area.
Hopefully all will be finished for the engine work by Friday the 23rd.
While were waiting for the machining and welding we took a trip to St. Petersburg and checked out Don’s Salvage.
There was not anything that was needed at this time, but it’s fun to look.
There are goats and chickens running around loose now!
We also visited two Solar Shops and one was closed and the other only did residential.
There has been a rash of defective controllers coning from China and 3 have been returned already.
The current one on the boat is maintaining the batteries but it does not function as advertised.
For a break we stayed 2 nights on the Sunshine Skyway Tool Road in the Sunshine Skyway Fishing Pier.
For the price o the toll, access to the Sunshine Skyway Turnpike and Skyway Fishing Pier, (Two Axel Vehicles are $1.50.)
There are 2 rest stops and both have north and south access to each pier.
The piers are the old highway that led to the original bridge called the Sunshine Skyway Bridge which collapsed after a freighter struck it May 9th, 1980.
The freighter was pushed off course by a microburst and collided with a coast guard cutter and a pillar holding a bridge span.
An entire section of the bridge fell into the ocean taking a number of vehicles including a bus.
One person survived the fall.
There are memorials to the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter and others that perished in the accident.
The new bridge was designed to repel any such accident in the future.
There are reinforced concrete barriers well out from the bridge structure now.
Heading back to the boat two more repairs took place, some minor delaminating on the rudder and cleaning out the Raw Water Strainer.
The rudder took 4 days.
Cleaning the strainer took 4 hours.
The strainer had to have the hoses cut off before it could be removed and cleaned!
One other problem cropped up involving the Expansion Tank and Exhaust Manifold.
A fitting broke while replacing the Expansion Tank and the one for the manifold had to be drilled out and taped for the flair fitting and then the copper tubing was cut flared and fitted.
We spent two days and over 100 miles of travel trying to find something that did not exist because the guy ar plumbing made a mistake.
After finding the RIGHT TOOL it took me only 2 hours to complete the repair!
We took a break and headed to Deep Creek Campground to stay for 3 days (Monday –Wednesday) and had lunch at a great little place on the Peace River called Nav-A-Gator.
Foods great and weekends they have live entertainment.
During a trip to Lemon Bay, Dawn completely re-arranged our food pantry.
She bought some stack drawers that fit the space perfectly.
This eliminated the bulky crates we have been using since 2018 when we bought the motor home.
Dawn also came up with bags to organize our clothes in the closet as well.
Lemon Bay is also the site of Indian Mound Park, which is a genuine Archeological Site, and the location of The Englewood Sailing Association. We have been members since we arrived in Florida. We attended a reunion of sorts at the Adult Sailing Class Graduation. The club recently obtained some new sailboats.
The compound was mostly built by our friend Steve Rosen, who also helps with our boat!
It is becoming HOT and we normally would not be here still. We have had extra expenses because of other people’s mistakes and necessary use of the Air Conditioning which runs off of the generator which burns about a gallon of gas and hour. Al in All the last 3 months has been frustrating to say the least!
After the TAP Engine line debacle, Dawn and I took a short (3 day) vacation and revisited Deep Creek Campground. Due to a SNAFU on the web site our reservations were confirmed before the official opening of the Campground. However, they honored our reservation and after a short overnight stay at the Sunshine Skyway Rest Area we headed back to Deep Creek.
The main reason for the break was thunderstorms preventing work on the boat anyway.
More Adventures, of Charlie and Dawn, at the boatyard.
Dawn and I showed up to get ready for the mechanic and do final preparations to take the boat out.
The two main things on the menu for our weekend were to add coolant to the engine, check for leaks, and drop one anchor to clean out the locker and wash the rode as it sat on the deck for 3 years.
For the first time since I asked the woman 2 boats down not to park under our bowsprit, she was not parked there.
So, I obtained a traffic cone and placed it under the bow and lowered the anchor.
After removing the anchor, the rode was coiled into a big orange bucket and filled with soap.
The next morning that woman pulled her red car out and backed her white car out so she could put the red one right up to the traffic cone and bucket again under my bow and directly under the other anchor! (She drives the white one and leaves!)
Dawn wrote a note and placed it on the windshield indicating she should stop parking under the bow.
So she called the sheriff!
I honestly do not know what she expected, however the entire episode totally backfired on her.
The sheriff asked her why she went to all that trouble to move there in the first place and that I was within my rights to request her to move.
Meanwhile the other sheriff and I discussed his sailing days on the Chesapeake.
She was forced to move her car and I left a message with the office.
She went away MAD!
Today, April 28, 2021, the mechanic and I started the engine.
After running it a short while, the engine started putting oil in the water which indicates something had cracked or blown.
So...after saving for 3 years to finish this job we are calling it quits as far as the sailboat goes as we can no longer afford to do both!
Our options are sell the boat for whatever we can get for it or replace the engine.
We simply cannot afford to replace the engine at this time so the sailing dream is over!
We will remain in Florida for some medical issues then head to Mexico and visit some friends on the way!
Many of you are not aware that we also write an RV Blog and post regularly on MeWe (I got banned from FaceBook as did many of our friends)
We have created 3 web pages which also have a Campground locator and Restaurant Review at no charge to travelers.
I also wrote a book for those thinking of RV travel.
Please visit our web pages and give us some feedback!
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