Dial 911…

Today certainly got exciting around lunchtime, but before I tell you about the accident and show you the pictures, let me go back to earlier this morning. You know how I love the suspense.

It was an early start for a non travel day but chores on a liveaboard boat cannot be put off but just so long. I had numerous items of maintenance to address. First, I had to clean the Condensator. Some may remember this is a device that sucks condensed water from the AC pan under our bed and pumps it overboard. It needs to be cleaned every so often, but this time it was shallow water that was it’s problem. As we pulled into this marina on Friday we churned up a good deal of mud and usually this is no problem for the AC because it is not running while we are moving. But I had cranked the generator when we were waiting for the RR bridge and left it on so the boat would be cool when we arrived. It was 87 degrees after all.

And so the muddy water was sucked up into the AC units and a dockhand told us that muddy water was shooting out the two overboard pump holes. I knew this would likely cause a problem but took a wait and see attitude. Or maybe I should say a wait and listen attitude because that is how I know it is not working. As I lay in bed and the unit comes on it will make a different sound when the water is backing up. Sort of a gurgle. This means I have a few hours to clear it before the water will overflow the pan and run into the bilge.

Some of my technical readers might recall that I had recently modified the plumbing for the Condensator to make this chore easier. This would be the first test. What before had been a two hour plus job hanging upside down, cutting my arms and bruising my chest is now a 30 minute snap. Jan assisted and I am most pleased.

On to checking the engine fluids, draining the fuel filter bowls and pulling the engine zincs. Two sacrificial zincs needed replacing. Better them deteriorating than our engines’ insides.

So I suppose you are ready to hear about the accident. We were heading out for the day’s adventure but first stop was a Home Depot. I am planning on extending the pole that mounts the GPS antenna and needed materials. Suddenly sirens were blaring and we were being passed by speeding police cars which slammed on brakes and blocked the road in front of us. As we moved up one officer was directing us into a shopping center. We complied and then saw why. A body was in the street. My first thought was of the racial tension but it was not about that. An automobile had hit a motorcyclist or vice versa. It had just happened. We had arrived with the 911 responders.

I know it is a bit ghoulish but I decided to stop and gawk. Jan would not exit the car fearing the worst. I began shooting pictures of the body and the car. Soon I had a complete series including the police questioning the car driver who claimed he never saw the biker. And miracle of miracles the biker was not only moving, he wanted to sit up. This guy was so lucky. You can see the frontal damage to the car and the impact tore the bumper cover completely off and it is sitting at the rear of the car. A happier ending than we had expected. I attribute this in part to the fact that the biker was totally protected. In Florida there is no helmet law and many people here ride in shorts with no shirt. Not this guy. He had a helmet, face mask, long sleeves and pants with heavy, heavy boots. Here I thought he had died with his boots on and he was wanting to get up. Of course the EMT’s would not hear of it and strapped him on a stretcher. All is well that ends well and some lawyer will likely earn a fee.

Our stop at the Home Depot was successful and Jan wanted to eat at Subway. We spotted a Subway and next door was a large laundramat and we just happened to have another two loads in the car. So we decided to do laundry while we ate.

After lunch we were off to visit Blue Spring State Park. We had passed through the park on the river but there was no place for a boat our size to tie up. This is a big natural spring that is over 160 feet deep and crystal clear. It was so crowded at the park that an officer was stopping traffic and would not let a car in until one came out. Hundreds of people are in the spring swimming in ice cold water. Enjoy the photos. Jan stuck her toe in.

In the afternoon I was able to complete the task of installing an extension on our GPS antenna. Now it will not scratch the glassine window anymore and may get better reception on it’s elevated perch.

We had decided to return to Hollerbach’s German Restaurant one more time and as we left the marina a TV crew approached us and wanted to interview us. I was at first concerned this would be about the shooting, which I cannot publicly comment upon, but they were foreign journalists wanting to do a piece on boating. So we agreed and did the taped interview about our trip and took them on a tour of Cbay. They seemed fascinated. We will be on TV and they will send us a copy of the program. Unfortunately for the rest of you, unless you have Korean Broadcasting System on your cable or Dish, you will never see it. You should have seen Jan and me bowing to our guests.

Mr. Lee and Mr. Kim from KBS.

Back to the German restaurant where we sat at the bar and had German beer, sausages, sauerkraut and all the trimmings.

Oh yes, the lizard was displaying his throat sack for Jan. He was seeking a mate. Uncle Gene, Donna and Lowell, and Goree got it right. Goree even told us it was an Anole lizard. Very brazen little thing.

Tomorrow is a travel day so watch the SPOT.