Sunday, November 14, 2021

We have arrived

We arrived at Glades Boat Yard on Monday morning, November 1st.

It was a struggle this time around. Sanibel had been on the hard for 19 ½ months and it showed. We’ve never left her that long and she hasn’t been so filthy dirty since we bought her. Her topside was covered in a black soot. The boat yard tells us its soot from the sugarcane factory. In addition, this return hasn’t been without endless problems.
After we splashed Jimi dropped the solar panels to get a charge on our battery bank and then later went to start the engine, but it wouldn’t start. After much testing he determined that starting battery was bad. He kind of suspected we would need a new starting battery, so it wasn’t a real surprise. That evening we went to Wal-Mart and bought the only one on the shelf in our size. After hooking it up and some cranking the old diesel engine started. And as always she purred.
That night after the sun began going down Jimi noticed the battery levels dropping. Long story short – the next day he drove an hour away to Sam’s Club in Naples, Florida hoping they would have some in stock. First he had to buy the Sam’s membership. The shelves were empty but Jimi pleaded with the employee to check the back. Low and behold back behind a pallet they found five batteries that would work for us, however we only needed four. He bought them. He expected he would be able to keep the old batteries and bring them back, but after removing them from the engine room he noticed they were swollen and certainly no good. We drove back to Naples that night to return them as cores. And we had power again.
Next it was time to test the dinghy and outboard motor. Upon launching the dinghy Jimi noticed the transom delaminating (separating) from the tubes. REALLY? What’s next? At this point we have no interest in buying a new dinghy, so my husband being innovative as he is, fixed the dinghy with 3M marine 5200. We let the dinghy float over night to make sure there weren’t any leaks and all looks good. A bit a good news is the outboard motor started on the first pull – it’s almost too good to be true.

We spent a couple of days and nights on the dock at the boat yard and they were getting a little antsy about us being there. It’s not a place where people stay; vessels are usually only staged there for ‘in and out’ status. So we anchored by the dock until we can get a little more sorted out before we sail away.
Thursday morning we got in the dinghy to head to shore. We need to put the car in storage and sort things out with the boat yard, so we could motor on down the river. Guess what??? The outboard motor would not start…like at all…like even a fire. Jimi checked the fuel line and a number of other things, but decided to put it on the back burner so we could get going. He rowed us to shore so we could take care of business and then rowed us back to Sanibel.
We got underway. Our plan was to motor about 12 miles to LaBelle, Florida. The city has a free dock, free water and free electricity for up to three days. The trip went pretty well except the diesel engine is smoking and the autopilot isn’t working. Ho-hum.
We went through the first lock, which was an 8 foot drop (not sure of the official terminology) and then an on demand bridge in LaBelle. We were nervous about backing into the slip…but it was smooth as butter. We stayed here for a few days to get things sorted out.

While I was at the library working, Jimi did a preliminary scrubbing of Sanibel.
I’m so thankful he did this especially after waking up to a craft fair right here where we’re docked.

That morning we walked to a local coffee shop, the strolled the craft fair and Jimi icleaned the carbourater on the outboard.

We left Labell in Sunday and anchored in a quiet little cove for a few days.

Next stop was Fort Myers beach. We arrived on Friday - now nearly two weeks on the water.

Coming in to pick up our assigned mooring ball Jimi said "One of my favorite things about Ft. Myers beach mooring field is the commercial fishing operation still active here."

We stayed at Fort Myers beach for the weekend and made sure to get in some rest and relaxation.

Beach time!

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