Two weeks ago LB & I packed up all our belongings, pulled off our provisions, and cleaned Yankee Girl to sit by herself while arrangements were made to get her north. I was (and still am) filled with mixed emotions. Fighting off the feeling of defeat, turning my eye to the positive, overwhelmed by the journey that was playing out in front of me, …. it was not clear on how to organize my thought.
We spent three days trying to figure out why we could not get the motor to turn over or when it did, why the electric fuel pump would get so hot that I feared that the combustion triangle would be completed. We finally came up with a work around that would get Yankee Girl down the Okeechobee Waterway a few miles where we could collect our thoughts and make a clear plan. The work around was to put a little primer bulb in place of the electric external fuel pump. Making a more direct link to the motor and allowing gravity to help move fuel from the fuel tank to the motor.
We arrived at Port La Belle Marina in Port La Belle, FL. An interesting little place along the Okeechobee Waterway. Two little blips along the south side of the river where boats go to spend their summer or to be left abandoned for the fish to examine and watch slowly sink into the dark depths. A place that I did not want to leave Yankee Girl for a long time, but we had to leave her while I figured out how to get her to Beaufort.
Trying to figure out how to get Yankee Girl to Beaufort, NC was no small task. My confidence in her Yanmar or her electrical was lost. We would not be getting there under our own power. A ride is what we needed. But how to find a ride for a 5000 pound full keeled sailboat is not the easiest task. Do you buy a trailer & then find someone with a big truck to pull it up? A pretty heavy favor to ask someone. And a simple side note, many of my friends have sold their big trucks for fuel efficient little cars or motorcycles. Or do I hire someone to move it? Do I patch something together, that could take a lot more time and logistics? Well, Deep Water Transport was a good solution in my world.
So, after a lot of miles under my wheels, a wedding, and retrieving my Adventure Dog, I headed back to Port La Belle to move Yankee Girl to Glades Boat Yard. Stepped her mast and watched her get tenderly get loaded on a very large 18 wheeler.
And then she was off to Beaufort! On April 26th, Yankee Girl arrived. Pretty much right on schedule!
What a crazy adventure! Not what I planned when I started out on this journey. The list of emotions and observations are long. The most prominent one is the willingness of others to help. Sailors pulling out extra fuel pumps out and giving them up freely. Offering ideas and past experiences to help guide decisions (and my mast as we stepped it). Coming in on a Friday after work to work on a strangers boat till late in the evening. If only all of humanity could treat one another the way I have been treated through this process, this world would be a kind and gentle place for all live. The other prominent observation is the feeling of defeat. I struggle to fight the feelings that I took on an adventure that was a little too far out of my reach. I also feel like I can understand how a mountaineer feels when she / he can not make the summit and has to make the decision to turn around. Torn by the pull of goal and the right thing to do. Doing the right thing for your crew, your gear, my home. I will rest on the decision that I did the right thing!
So now, with a clear vision and a list of projects, we are on a good tack… until the next change in the wind direction.