Someone took our props

 
 
Tonight will be an evening of tying up some loose ends and generally catching up. We are still at Clearwater Yacht Club and looks like we will now be here until at least Friday morning. There are many worse places to be stuck. We are surrounded by beautiful homes and expensive boats. The Club has a restaurant where we will dine tomorrow night and attend a Cruisers’ Club meeting where I may have to reluctantly speak. I am so shy about such things. My regulars can cease laughing now.

The photo above is of the tiki bar at Turtle Cove Marina back in Tarpon Springs. That is young Vladimir, an immigrant from some former Iron Curtain country. He asked could he be in my picture. To him this was a treat coming from a place where you probably could not own a camera. He was so pleased with the result. Amazing how we are so jaded that we do not enjoy the simple things. Vladimir does not have a computer so I will have to mail him a copy when I get a chance. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Just some of the bird life we are seeing. Clicking on any of these will produce a popup in larger size. We would join the Audubon Society if they were not such a liberal organization.

 
 
The approach to Clearwater is fairly impressive.

 
 
 
 
Settled in at the Clearwater Yacht Club.

 
 
 
 
A birthday dinner at the lovely home of Ray and Arline Cutro. Ray is an engineer and artist, having designed the house and created much of the artwork such as the glass piece over the mantle.

You may remember we ate three times at Mama’a Greek Cuisine in Tarpon Springs. Our waitress was Bonnie and she was fantastic. Ask for her if you go there. When I told her I had left our folding bikes behind the restaurant she said I should bring them in and walked outside with me to roll one in herself. We parked them in the bar. Now that earned a better than average tip.

Today while I took a healthy bike ride Jan went to Walgreens where she met a nice lady named Celia. Jan told her about our trip and she said her daughter Tessa who is in the 7th grade wants to be a writer and would enjoy reading about our adventure. Tessa if you are reading this, it is not one of my better efforts so go back in the archives and read some of the more exciting ones. 

Today I had a real workout. First thing after breakfast I removed the battery charger. Regulars know this is the third Xantrex that has gone bad on me. The first failed after 10 days, the second lasted 60 days and the third 45 days. I should have learned my lesson on the second one. 

Out came the folding bike and the charger was strapped on the luggage rack. I had been told that West Marine was approximately 6 miles over the causeway bridge(that is the one in the picture above entering Clearwater) but whoever estimated that distance never rode there on a bicycle. Thank goodness I have been living a healthier lifestyle to keep my heart pumping. It was a pleasant ride and I really got to see the city up close and personal. At West Marine a fine young man named Julio handled my problem after much explanation. Trying to exchange something costing over $400, that you bought on the internet, had to have replaced two times, do not have a receipt for and wish to exchange for a completely different manufacturer, is not an easy sell, but I can be convincing when I need to. When they agreed I sat down with the catalogue and phoned my expert, Vice Commodore Tommy Gray, for an opinion. He agreed I should go with an old line company Charles and that was that. Our new unit should be at the store on Thursday. The bike ride back was much quicker because it was mostly downhill and I did not have to worry about that charger falling off in the street. Ray has kindly offered to drive me back on Thursday to get the new one.

I stopped for a sub lunch and arrived back just before my diver Brent arrived from Suncoast Propeller. He was most efficient and within 20 minutes had both props off the boat. That is $6 a minute if you are interested and very reasonable. The port prop was dinged up, but not too bad, and the starboard looked fine though we will scan it too. Brent had me to start the engines with props off and run up the rpm’s with the engines in forward gear. He then dove down and looked at the spinning 2 inch diameter shafts to see if any wobble was detected. They were spinning true. Oh by the way Brent said he had an audience the whole time. Five large sheepshead fish were watching his every move. I asked him why he didn’t invite them to dinner. We hopefully will get the props back on Thursday.

Enough for tonight. It is way past the grandkids bedtime. Alex, Lucas and little Miss Margaret go to bed and sweet dreams.

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