About one week after our departure from Charleston, I entered a blog post that mentioned waking one morning, not to the aroma of Dark Columbian coffee, but to the distinctive odor of diesel fuel. We discovered that we had a slow fuel leak in the port tank and we tried everything we knew to do to patch the tank enough to continue. We finally came to the conclusion that it was not fixable and that it was time to replace the fuel tank. Ugh! We started our research on where to have the work performed and after talking to a number of other local cruisers, we were pointed toward Atlantic Yacht Basin in Chesapeake, VA.
So, here we are with the Estrellita in a covered boat shed. She is still sitting in the water, but completely covered by a 25 foot high work shed called the Machine Shop, one of about 15 impressive boat storage structures built over the water. We had never seen anything like this in the Charleston area. The Machine Shop is where they do the dirty work, which is exactly what it will involve to cut this old tank into little pieces and remove it from our engine room. For now, we are living on the boat in the shed. But, when the dirty work starts, we may need to temporarily move to a motel. We were told that it would take about 3 weeks to complete the work. This is not what we wanted to hear, but if we are to face serious repairs and a delay along the way, this is a great place for it. The repair yard has one of the best reputations on the east coast and all of the employees have treated us with a great deal of kindness and professionalism. As an extra bonus, the waterfront is beautiful and we are surrounded by great restaurants, grocery stores, shops and churches. We have already had some good laughs about our interesting living environment. It will be a good memory, for sure.
One of the benefits of being stranded in this area is that it is only about 20 minutes from Norfolk, which is where we planned to stop for a week to attend the annual Great Loop Association Rendezvous. It is a gathering of people who are presently on the journey, planning on doing the trip in the future, and those who have completed the loop. We rented a car and will be commuting to the event for the next 5 days. It will be a great opportunity to meet fellow ” loopers” and learn more about how to plan for the journey ahead.
We have been living on the boat for approximately one month now and loving our life on the water! There is no way to describe a “typical” day because, honestly, every day has been different! While most house-keeping chores take much less time, grocery shopping or doing laundry can take an entire afternoon! New challenges and surprises pop up regularly so we are learning not be too attached to a routine or a plan for the day! Weather is much more a factor in our daily life. Flexibility is a must and an “attitude of gratitude” goes a long way! Living in a condensed space is much simpler too – as long as we keep down the clutter and store our belongings away in their places! No room for dishes to pile up in the sink or space to leave tools lying around! What we do try to do is maintain a routine time of devotion reading and morning prayer! As a result we have grown more aware of how we daily depend on HIS guidance and constant provision!