Wednesday, June 28, 2017

familiar waters

June 25, 2017
Day 2 - Trout River anchorage to St. Augustine
approximately 46 miles
12.45 - 19.40

After a nice sleep-in, we had breakfast and started to work. I tackled the persistent leak in the dinghy with some 5200 (silicone sealant) and Hans went upside down in the engine room to check the water pump and impeller. Three very sweaty hours later, the engine was running fine and we were on our way. 

Again, night and day compared to three years ago. We’ve spent the day motoring first north up the St. John’s River out of Jacksonville and then south down the Intercostal Waterway and the girls have been easy.

After a pit stop to wait out a rain storm, we fired up the port engine and started south for the last five miles to St. Augustine. 

We were excited to get there before dark and in time for dinner. Freja loves St. Augustine - two summers ago when we bought s/v Summer Wind we stopped for a night in the historic town and went ashore for dinner. After dinner we walked down the main touristy shopping street at night and let the girls choose one souvenir. That memory stuck and St. Augustine has always been special for Freja. She loves to walk down St. George’s street and go in all the shops, oohing and aahing at all the trinkets. Meanwhile, Matilda is a bull in a china shop and has all the store owners cringing as she runs around the stores, touching everything. Because everything breakable must be touched.

But back to the last five miles to St. Augustine. Sure enough, the port engine started overheating again. I lifted up the engine hatch and water was spraying everywhere. Somehow we managed to run the engine for over five hours trouble-free, but those last five miles, a mere 40 minutes, nope. So we fired up the starboard engine (the one to be used only in case of an emergency) and continued south. 

We grabbed a mooring ball and jumped in the dinghy to go ashore. I was frustrated and second guessing what we were doing. (Pretty much the usual story in the boating world. It’s never straightforward and something is usually going wrong, making you question your sanity and decision-making.) I looked at the sky - gray - mentioned it to Hans and we both figured the storms had passed for the day so we left the boat open. 

Once in town we stopped at Freja’s favorite shop where the girls each picked out a souvenir then we stopped in a restaurant that looked OK. The restaurant scene is transient and hit or miss. As soon as we were seated the sky opened up. And it rained and rained and rained. It was hard to relax and enjoy the meal since we were thinking of our overheating engine and undoubtedly soaked boat.

Home again in the rain and thankfully the boat wasn’t too wet. We all collapsed into bed, ready to deal with boat problems in the morning.

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