January 16, 2012


New filter, lots of oil pressure….we are on our way.

Larry says “Lets see how far we can go today.”

About a mile and a half later we get a call on the radio….his engine is over-heating again.

We both drop our anchors and try to figure out what the problem is. Jim suggested removing the thermostat and running without it. We had tested it the last time it over-heated, by putting it in a pan of water and heating it up and watching it open and close. It worked but there is always a chance it’s not working all the time.

Larry’s luck is holding true to form.  We are anchored in nice warm sunshine….Larry is in the shade of a tall building. Of course, it’s probably warm in his boat with the engine compartment open and the heat from the engine.

While letting the engine cool down enough to remove the thermostat….Larry noticed a difference in water temperature between a couple of hoses that should have been the same. The only thing they hadn’t taken apart the first time, was the oil cooler hoses. This is what he found. 2 big pieces of old impeller fins. They’ve been there a long time. The ones Larry uses are a light blue.


Evidently they were free floating and restricted once in a while. Once everything was put back together we hauled anchors and were on our way.

Here’s a pretty picture.  Larry, Diane and A Dollar More….under their own power.


Here’s a nice boat taking a picture of us…while we take one of them.


Another pretty cruiser.


A Dollar More entering one of the locks.


Diane handles one line and Larry another from the bow.


A Dollar More is dwarfed by this big fishing boat. You should have seen the wake before he slowed down.


And he’s off and running.


Here’s an Albin 27 on a lift. It also has a hardtop. It looks like the covers are to protect the vinyl side curtains if it has them.


You can see what our bottom looks like…..everything painted green is under water. Gives you an idea how much water we need under us.


We are passing thru the pasture land area and have seen lots of cows. Must be time for their end of day drink. One group had a couple of calves that were running and kicking up their heels and having a great time. They entertained us for a while. Jim had fun talking to them with the air horn. Some ignored it…others stopped and watched us go by.

These Cattle Egrets can be found around most cows and horses.


There is a marina out here in the middle of no where. A sailboat is anchored near the entrance and we’ll anchor there as well. It has been a good day.


We’ve decided to head back the way we came. We’ll skip the trip down the Gulf Coast to the Keys. With the engine problems and the prescription problems it doesn’t seem like a good idea to head out into an area that is kind of remote.

Larry has found a place where he can get filters, so we’ll head back to Ft Myers and he’ll pick them up.

It is a cold, windy day…..how lucky can we get….and I do mean lucky.

A few miles out of the anchorage at Ft Myers Beach, Larry gave us a call….he was losing oil pressure. He dropped his anchor and tried another repair. The anchor wasn’t holding and we drifted back into the channel. We decided to rig a towing bridle and we’d tow A Dollar More to the anchorage at Ft Myers while Larry worked on his bilge.


When I said we were lucky it was cold and windy…I meant it. We were not looking forward to a Saturday morning on the water in this area. Because of the cold and wind….the only boats out were several sailboats and a large group of “go fast” racing type boats. Neither create a big wake. There were one or two cruisers that did but after our wild ride the day before, we considered ourselves very lucky to have to water mostly to ourselves.

Once we got the the yacht basin, Larry tossed us the tow line and dropped his anchor in about 5’ of water. While turning around…we ran aground….not 2 boat lengths from Larry. I went to the bow and Jim gave it some fuel and we were off. (I guess it’s 3-3 now).We rafted alongside A Dollar More. Larry dropped his dingy and went for another ride. At least a mile to shore and then a 3 mile walk to the NAPA dealer to pick up the filters….then the walk back and another cold dingy ride.

We spent the rest of the day here. Larry replaced his filter and finished cleaning up the oil in the bilge.

This is the view before the sun went down.


Just after dark I put the depth gauge on and we were showing less than 3’ of water under us…up went the anchor and Jim started our engine and moved us into deeper water for the night.

It is cold, we’ll run the generator all night for the heater, the heating pad on the bird’s cage, anchor light and depth gauge. The depth gauge has a 3’ alarm on it. I wanted to know if we swung at anchor what the depth would be. Sand bars all around this area.





My last post was out of order…but had information about the engine overheating on A Dollar More that adds to the story.

Nice night…..with a beautiful sunrise.


Some days it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed….especially if it’s your birthday and it’s Friday the 13th.

Larry was up early….as usual…but needed to make a trip into town to pick up a prescription at Walgreens. He can dingy over to the marina dingy dock, (at least 1/2 mile in cold lumpy water), then catch a trolley or bus to the mainland ..to Walgreens. Sounds easy, huh?  Sometimes it is…today it wasn’t. He got the bus…(wrong one)..took a sight seeing tour, explained to the bus driver where he wanted to go and got on the right bus.  Had all kinds of problems with the prescription and getting it filled etc.…back on the bus to the marina and another dingy ride to the boat. Dingy stowed on the swim platform…ready to go.

He opened his engine compartment to do his daily check and he found a bilge full of oil…..finding oil is great if you are a prospector….but not in the bilge. A wire tie or something had worn a hole in his oil filter…..and he didn’t have a spare.

Jim and I dropped our dingy in the water and headed over to a canal that had a grocery store with dingy access, according to Active Captain. We’ll pick up some needed supplies and extra oil for Larry.

Larry did a repair/patch on the filter. It needs to set for several hours so we’ll spend another night at anchor.

Jim is coming down with the cold that I have….I am on the mend, so a day of rest and sleep will help us both.



1.8.12–1.10.12 (posted out of order)

I’m playing catch-up here. I haven't been feeling good and not didn’t get on the computer.

We had a beautiful sunrise. As you can see….we are underway very early. Tide is in our favor.


The water is getting more beautiful as we near the Port St Lucie Inlet.

We are in the Okeechobee Waterway. Been thru our first lock. 5 more to go before we reach the West Coast (Florida), and into the Gulf. These are much easier than the locks on the Tenn-Tom Waterway. They hand you two lines…one for someone on the bow and one for the stern. You just keep pulling line in as you go up. On the Tenn-Tom, you had to hook a floating ballard built into the wall, with your own line and then fend off fore and aft, and it can be a rough ride with water pouring in.

As we were leaving the lock…Larry’s boat started overheating. So we pulled close to shore and rafted head to tail with both anchors down, to keep us out of the channel.

Larry and Jim would work on it…start it…work on it some more…etc. Changed the impeller and cleaned things out…still overheated. They quit for the night and Larry was up early working on it this morning.

Larry called Indian Town Marina to see if they had slips and rental cars available in the area, in case we need to go get the trucks and trailers to haul home. While on the phone, the mechanic suggested he may have picked up some trash in the lock, to run it in reverse for a few minutes…sometimes it will come loose. We had been towing him so he tossed me the line and gave it a try….guess it worked…it’s not overheating any more.

We made it to Indian Town Marina and are tied up for the night.

The couple with the sailboat that had swamped it’s dingy are here. They entered the lock right behind us. Jim was able to chat with them while the lock was filling. They had been having some problems with their diesel engine, but sounded like it may have been solved.

Jim did the laundry, Diane made supper….and I stayed aboard so as not to give anyone else my germs. I am feeling better, but not over it, yet.

We filled our water tank and jugs. I took a nice long hot shower, aboard, then we topped it off again. We’re ready to leave early in the morning.