DREAM AWAY Update 01-08-2014


We had a great December of 2013 on DREAM AWAY. All of you got our Christmas Letter which explained our Santa and Mrs. Claus activities. Good work and good fun, as the looks and the expressions on all of the kids faces made it well worth while. If you are interested in more photos of the Clauses, look at the December Maintenance Log starting around December 07.

Along with all of the Santa and Mrs. Claus volunteer work, we also did a shift at the Toys For Tots booth at the Acadiana Mall in Lafayette. We worked for three hours helping the Marine Corps League, of which I am a member, man the Toys For Tots table. It was fun and interesting. The bad news about working the table was that the table was right inside one of the main mall entrances, and the weather outside was in the 30’s! We were cold during our time at that table.

Before we did our Santa Claus gig on December 14th, I was up and at em’ at 0445 that morning. I walked over to Delcambre Shrimp Festival grounds at 0515 to finish our set up and to direct vender traffic to their sites for the Delcambre Seafood And Farmers Market. It had rained most of the previous night, but by 0530 the rain had stopped, and we did not see any more for the remainder of the day.

At 0715 I quit my traffic directing job, and headed into the Delcambre Shrimp Festival building to get dressed into my Santa suit for the Pancakes With Santa benefit. Kitty joined me and was dressed up as Mrs. Claus. We worked the Pancakes With Santa benefit from 0800 until 1015. We had many pictures taken with so many wonderful children, it was a lot of fun. We then moved over to the Delcambre Seafood And Farmers Market, still dressed in our outfits, and I sat in an old rocking chair and had my picture taken with more children and some adults.

After the Delcambre Seafood And Farmers Market, we changed back into our civilian clothes, and went back to DREAM AWAY. We both had a short nap, then Kitty got into some baking to prepare for the night’s activities.

We were preparing for the Christmas Boat Parade. We attended several parties immediately following the boat parade and the spectacular fireworks display. The fireworks were great, it seemed like it was the grand finale during the whole show! It was a wonderful and tiring day!

Some of the more routine activities were getting the hose and fittings sorted out so we could empty the holding tank on the shower trailer. Once we got it all together, I was able to empty the holding tank into the new sewer fitting installed right beside the trailer. The plumber had also run a water line so we have a fresh water hose next to the shower trailer. Access to the fresh water allows us to connect the hose to the shower trailer so we have constant supply of water for use in the shower trailer. It also provides water to clean up the hoses after draining the holding tank.

I also did some more pressure washing of Pier "C" in the marina. It is a long wooden pier, and eventually I will get it all cleaned off with the pressure washer.

We welcomed some new cruisers into the marina. They are Cindy and Johnal off of the sailing yacht RUTHIE. They decided to stay here in Delcambre for at least a month. They left their vehicle in Sabine, Texas, so we took Johnal to the Amtrak station in New Iberia, so he could catch the Sunset Limited to Beaumont, and then on to Sabine to retrive their vehicle.

Johnal returned to the marina late that night. Two days later, Johnal and Cindy went to New Orleans for a week to spend Christmas with family. We will show them all of the sites around Acadiana next month when they are settled back on their boat.

When we returned to the marina after dropping Johnal off, that is when the fun began!

We noticed the power boat, CAJUN DREAM, at the end of Pier “C” was listing heavily to starboard. When Kitty and I walked out to the boat, sure enough, it was sinking! Then it all started, and Kitty was at her best making phone calls to contact the owner, find out where the key to the companion way was, and trying to get a pump.

The owner, Bill, called back and told us where the key to the companionway hatch was. I went down into the boat, and it was not good. The water was almost up to the starboard aft bunk. In the engine room, the water had come up about half way onto the generator and the starboard engine.

Kitty was not having much luck getting a pump, so T-Boy, the dockmaster, and I jury-rigged one of my air conditioner cooling pumps. We got the electricity and hoses all connected to the pump at my shop, then brought it back to CAJUN DREAM. T-Boy had to leave, so Kitty helped me try and get the pump working. Because the pump is a centrifugal pump, I could not get the pump low enough to get it primed.

Finally, Kitty contacted the mayor of Delcambre, and she was told the city has a big 2” pump we could borrow. An employee at the city warehouse contacted me and told me to come and get the pump. The warehouse is less than a block from the marina. Kitty was off to New Iberia on another errand, so I was walking to the warehouse just as T-Boy was returning from his physical therapy. We then drove to the warehouse, picked up the pump, and took it back to the marina.

T-Boy and I put the pump into a dock cart and took it out to CAJUN DREAM. We got the pump on deck, and the suction hose down into the bilge. We started the pump, and after a bit of priming, we were pumping out CAJUN DREAM. By this time, more help had arrived because of Kitty’s phone calls.

The Delcambre police chief and one of the officers had arrived. One of the Iberia Parish Marine Patrol Officers also arrived. After about an hour, we had the boat pumped out, so we called it a day. Since we did not know what caused the problem in the first place, I resolved to go back to CAJUN DREAM later that evening.

I went back to CAJUN DREAM around 2100, and it was filling up with water again! I pumped the boat as dry as I could, then looked for a leak. I found the port stuffing box was leaking in a steady stream. I went back to DREAM AWAY to get some tools to tighten up the gland in the stuffing box. When I returned to CAJUN DREAM, I was able to get the stuffing box to quit leaking. I did a final pump out on the boat to get it as dry as possible. We would see in the morning if the stuffing box was the source of the problem.

As soon as it was daylight, and with my first cup of coffee in hand, I walked out to the end of Pier “C” to check on CAJUN DREAM. It was still floating, and the water level in the boat had not risen at all. This was good news. The port stuffing box had been the problem.

We celebrated the coming of the New Year by going to a friend’s New Year’s Eve party, and watched Texas A&M come from behind and win the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

I made some additions to the Links URL on the web page. I added two links on the Government, Travel and Medical Sites section for NOAA Booklet Charts and NOAA Online Chart Viewer. I also added a link on the General Cruising and/or Fun Sites. for information about Mexican Vessel Entry Information.

Hope the New Year finds you all healthy and happy, if perhaps a bit colder than you would like. We will definitely be spending next winter much closer to the equator!



Member Seven Seas Cruising Association

WEB page http://www.dreamaway.net