Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Carlisle, you have a bouncing baby boy

Yes a number of years ago some doctor whose name I do not know said those words to my parents in the old City Hospital in Columbus, GA. Tonight we are at the Clearwater Yacht Club celebrating that day. Those who know me well know that I do not wish to celebrate, but no-one will let me slip quietly by. All day the phone and computer have sent well wishes and for those of you who forgot, belated cash gifts are always in vogue and I will probably need them when you read this. 

Tonight’s blog will be short and sweet with no pictures. It is nearly midnight and I am just getting started.

We left Tarpon Springs around 1000 and passed the spot where we had run aground. This was to shortly be a haunting reminder. When we finally got to where we could speed up the boat had an unwelcome vibration. I experimented with idling one engine and then another to determine which one might be at fault. It was the port side and that was the side closest to the side of the channel where we ran aground on Saturday. Sounds and feels like we bent something. It only vibrated above 1000 rpm’s so we kept it at 1000 and turned south for Clearwater. This meant a maximum speed of only 8 mph but we only had about 25 miles to go today.

Along the way we watched porpoises play and two musclebound guys in a speedboat run aground three times within 5 minutes proving that persistance does not always pay off. I told Jan to watch when I saw them coming up because my chartplotter showed that there was only two feet of water where they were going. Quite entertaining but I will bet their bill will not be as much as ours.

We arrived at the Clearwater Yacht Club about 1400. It is a wonderful facility and we want for nothing. An afternoon of phone calls to various marinas left me feeling as if my wallet had been lifted. One place wanted $8 per foot to pull the boat, $85 per hour for the work plus cost of outside labor to fix the props and said we would have to stay in a motel until at least next Monday while they worked on it. I was sick. After consulting with friends I decided to take a more conservative approach. Tomorrow a diver will arrive to go down and assess the damage. Hopefully he will just have to pull the props,, without dropping something vital in the mud, and then take them to Suncoast Propeller to be scanned and repaired. Then they will be returned and installed sometime this week and solve our problem. This is likely to cost at least $1000 and if it does not fix things then we go back to square one and pray we can find a more reasonable repair facility to pull the boat. This could spiral out of control quickly so keep a good thought for us. I will let you know ASAP.

Tonight we were invited to have dinner with new friends Ray and Arleen who we met at the Rendezvous at Joe Wheeler. They have a gorgeous home about a mile from here and opened their home and hearts to us. Such a delicious meal and they had no idea it was my birthday until we got there but they already had ice cream and cake planned for dessert. Arleen worked for an ice cream manufacturer of a boutique brand only sold in Florida. Part of her severence package was all the ice cream she wanted for life. It comes in 3 gallon containers for the ice cream shops and we had our choice of many flavors. We settled on Rum Raisen and Rocky Road.

Now I must get some sleep. I will try to post pictures of the diver removing props tomorrow and we will see what shape they and we are in.