So … a new transmission. That’s what we were debating anyway. There was the option to rebuild the old one. Mechan-Eric told us he could take it apart and look at it to see what condition it was in, but we knew we had put that thing under some serious strain, I mean — enough heat to make her lock up, fracture and ultimately fail. That’s a lot of heat, right George?
For a small price bump and a lot of peace of mind, we decided to just go ahead and replace it. Eric found one on Ebay for us but the stupid seller wouldn’t let him buy it and get it shipped out until the auction ended (15-20 days) and there is no way we could wait that long for the boat. We were jonesing to get back out there. So, enter our broker, Kevin, super-sailor and (on this day) solver of all problems. Kevin found us a transmission on Craigslist that was just right. Some sailboat guru down in Jacksonville had a brand new one he had bought a year ago for a project boat that he never got around to.
Can’t imagine why …
Regardless, it was just sitting on his shelf so he was nice enough to sell it to us for a smooth $2,300. Ouch! Boats hurt the bank! But, our boat was parked in Carrabelle and the only way to get her home was to slap a new transmission in there, so we clicked and bought baby! Our new transmission was on its way.
In the meantime, we couldn’t just leave her sitting there all alone in a strange place, weird barnacles growing on her and fish nipping at her, and no one to wipe her deck and tell her how “purdy” she is. Uh-huh. Not our boat! So, we headed down to the ole’ Apalach area to pay her a visit (it was the first of many we would make down there) and give her a little TLC. We had several things we wanted to do – inspect the bilge to make sure we didn’t have any significant leaks, get the propane tank to have it re-filled, make sure the stuff in the fridge was still cold and take down the head sail (the “Genny,”) so we could have the UV cover re-sewn as the surveyor noted in his survey it was starting to rip and it really started fraying and flapping during The Crossing. You know, real interesting boat stuff. (Remember, I told you sailing is hard work – don’t you forget it!).
But, we really fell in love with the sleepy little downtown area in Apalachicola. We had a great time piddling around in all the little shops, sipping some local brew and booze and mixing in with the regulars. We particularly enjoyed the Owl Café (http://www.owlcafeflorida.com/). Phillip had been there before (seriously – there’s nowhere the man hasn’t been) and he was impressed with the gourmet grub, so this time we decided to check out their more casual Tap Room around the corner:
I loved that old rickety bar,
with the ‘helm’ they made out of quirky beer taps.
Creaking floors and clinking beer mugs. That place was great. We strolled right in and asked for a drink!
Phillip’s got some serious ‘swag.’
We scarfed some phenomenal crab cake burgers and washed them down with beer and bright, fruity cocktails.
To sum it up:
But, we were eager to get to the boat to see how she was doing and get started on our projects. So, it was on to Carrabelle to check her out. We were thrilled to find she was still tied up, plugged in and seemingly chipper. I swear she wagged her stern a little bit when we walked up.
Phillip couldn’t wait to get to her and give her a little pat on the head.
Hey there girl!
We got the head sail down and started mopping up the bilge with sponges:
A lovely job that left my mits looking very lady-like. Emily Post would not approve!
We also visited with our “boat neighbor” who was tied up next to us at the dock and who claimed to be ‘piddling around on the boat’ to avoid the ‘nagging Misses.’ Can’t blame him there. But, he took a real liking to Phillip (can’t blame him there either) and followed him around like a lost puppy, curious to get into whatever he was getting into. “What ya doing now?” He would say, every couple-a-minutes. But he was quite the character, with a hot bod.
That’s right ladies, take it in:
And, a rockin’ 70’s bowl haircut. Like Captain & Tennille:
But far more Tennille than Captain. (And just in case anyone felt the same – Captain sure was giving me a creepy serial killer vibe in this pic … Staring at me with those beady eyes … *shiver* )
Our neighbor was a lot of fun, though, and he offered us up some great wine (real easy way to win us over – works every time!). We shared a glass with him, toasted the sunset and shut her down for the night.