Well, the leaky fuel tank was cut into about 15 pieces and removed from the engine room, one piece at a time. Messy job, but well done by the professionals here at Atlantic Yacht Basin. They made a template for 2 smaller tanks to replace the leaker, so the fabrication of the new aluminum tanks is underway. It will take about a week for the new tanks to be made, so Stel and I are doing miscellaneous boat projects as we practice patience. After the dirty work was done, we asked to be moved out of the machine shop and onto a face dock, where we could have fresh air, sunshine and a continuous parade of beautiful boats passing by. It’s great seeing all the boats coming and going, however there are risks to being in the middle of all the action. Yesterday, while I was running a grocery store errand and Stel was preparing lunch in the galley, she looked up to see a large Great Harbor yacht pulling into the dock in front of us to get fuel. From her viewpoint, it was towering over her, much too close for comfort. As a few excited words started flying between its crew members, Stel jumped up on the deck, but nothing could be done to prevent the crunch!! The wind had caught the stern of their boat and swung it into the starboard bow of the Estrellita! She handled the situation well but it is a helpless feeling when you are not able to do anything to prevent a collision with a boat of that size. Miraculously there was minimal damage to our railing and hull. The husband and wife crew could not have been more apologetic and willing to pay for the repairs. It could have been much much worse, so we are thankful for the outcome.
We are in the town of Chesapeake, about 30 minutes from Norfolk, where the America’s Great Loop Cruisers Association Rendezvous took place last week. It was a wonderful 4 day event with other cruisers involved in the same adventure. Their were about 150 people, mainly couples, who were there to learn about the first few legs of the trip which takes you from Norfolk, up the Chesapeake Bay, off the coast of New Jersey, into NYC, up the Hudson, through the Erie Canal, across Lake Ontario, through the Trent-Severn Waterway, into Canada’s beautiful Georgian Bay, down Lake Michigan to Chicago and then down the river systems of Ohio, Missouri and Mississippi. It was a busy 4 days, but lots of fun as we anticipated what was ahead, visited the boats of other cruisers and met many interesting couples from all over the country and Canada. The toughest thing about the week was seeing all of them leave Norfolk and start their journey up the Chesapeake without us.
But God is good! As a result of us being left in lower Virginia, our daughter Katie, her husband and our 2 grandchildren were able to drive to our location for a surprise Mother’s Day visit. They love the boat as much as we do, so we all spent Saturday enjoying marina life on the water. After treating us to a seafood dinner they spent the night on the boat with us! The only thing that could have made it better was to have our son Sam with us too! He has just finished his semester at North Greenville University and has headed toward Charleston to start his summer job. We missed you Sambo!