First, we took the dinghy to a dock near the welding shop. I stayed with the dinghy while Dave walked through a boat yard property and across the street to the welding shop. He came back with good news. They would fix it today by 3:00. Dave asked Lucy, at the desk, how much it would be. She said she didn’t know and would have Dave talk to the welder. He said about $80. Dave heard Lucy make a little squeal in another room, so he said $60, heard another squeak and then said $50. So really, Lucy did know what he should charge.
There is a fuel station by the dinghy dock that sells gasoline. So Dave took his fuel tank with the dirty gas and an empty 5 gallon jerry can. He had his jerry can filled and asked them how he could dispose of the old fuel. They said they would take it for free!! We were quoted $100 back in the states. So Dave tipped him $5 and they were both happy.
Dave headed to the Mercury dealer and hardware store while I headed to the grocery store. The nicer one, Maxwell’s, is about a mile from the dinghy dock, but worth the walk. We didn’t need much. Mostly we wanted some fresh vegetables to make conch salad-peppers, tomatoes, jalapeños and limes. We had onion and orange juice. That’s all you need. Dave ended up meeting me at the grocery store, so we picked up a few more things that I wouldn’t have wanted to carry, like milk, tonic and flour.
When we left, our back packs were heavy and it was getting hot. I also had 3 dozen eggs in my pack. We haven’t broken an egg yet carrying them back to the boat in our packs. We decided to have lunch in our favorite local restaurant that had air conditioning, the Golden Grouper.
We still needed to pick up the welding part. Dave was concerned about walking through that property again, especially with the no trespassing signs. It was a long walk with heavy back packs, full bellies, and high humidity. So we decided to give Rinssor the taxi man a call on the VHF radio. He picked us up at the restaurant, took us to the welder, waited for us, and took us to the dinghy dock all for $10 and a $5 tip. There went my good deal on milk and tonic, oh well.
Back at the boat, it was about 3:00, so we decided to head to Elbow Cay. It takes about 2 hours to motor there. At 4:40, about one mile away from our destination, our engine started racing really fast and smoking!!! It wouldn’t slow down when Dave tried to throttle down. So he shut off the engine. (We found out later that it was a good sign that we were able to shut it off. Sometimes it keeps running until something blows, which can also put a hole in your boat.)
We regrouped, thought about anchoring right there, but decided to sail into an anchorage outside of Elbow Cay where we have anchored before. The winds were really light, so it took us about an hour to get there. We had to tack a couple times to miss some islands off of Elbow Cay.
Dave was able to lower the anchor by hand. The windless only runs when the engine is running. We usually back up the boat to set the anchor. But we had left the main out, turned the boat so it would pull against the anchor, and called it good. I dove the anchor and it look OK, not as set as usual, but it was real sandy and uphill if we did drag anchor. And we made sure no one was directly behind us.
By now it was about 6:00. Dave didn’t want to start into anything tonight. He wanted to do some reading about what could be the problem first. So we made our conch salad, enjoyed the sunset and the lighting of the light house. Then Dave set to reading. It sounds like we had a “runaway” engine. Something was feeding the beast fuel from a different source. So we will track that down or end up having a mechanic look at it.
What a day!!
|cleaning our produce-so pretty in the sink
|our first conch salad was great!
|since nothing else was working, Dave didn't have to either
|we haven't used this chair on this boat over the last 2 years!!
|even the clouds to the east were colorful behind the light house