Dream Away Update 12-Sep-2004


It has been very busy since we left south Texas. Even those plans changed. The weather was so bad for the month of June in Corpus Christi and Houston, we could see no good reason to leave Port Isabel, Texas. We did attempt to leave near the end of June, but I started having the engine overheat problem and we lost all of our instruments crossing the Laguna Madre. Going up the GIWW (Gulf Intercoastal Water Way) without a depth sounder was something that I did not want to do, so we turned around and went back to Port Isabel. We decided to stay in Port Isabel until after the fourth of July.

I was able to trace down the instrument problem to a broken solder joint in the wiring of the Sea Talk bus from the autopilot to the instruments on the boom gallows. The over heating problem turned out to be a “new” impeller on the main engine raw water pump. The impeller only had 85 hours on it, but seven of the eight blades on the impeller were cracked. It turns out rubber has a shelf life!

After the July fourth celebration in Port Isabel, we got under way on July 5th, heading north to continue our journey to Florida, via Houston. We made several stops on the way north, but generally had a good trip. We were under a bit of pressure, as we had to drive to Tampa to attend to family business, on the 15th of July. We arrived into Watergate Yachting Center the night of July 13th.

The next two days were spent getting the boat ready to be left. Since we did not know how long we would be in Tampa, we had to prepare the boat like a storm was coming. We removed all of the sails, the roller furling Genoa, the mail sail and the mizzen sail. We removed the Magma grill, the man overboard pole, the lifesling. Any thing that had windage and could be removed, was taken off of the boat.

As it turned out the, trip to Tampa was not necessary. We did not have to drive to Tampa, so we really got into the project list. Because of the up coming hurricane season, it was decided to leave all of the sails off of the boat, just in case, and it would make the projects and repairs easier.

I am going to have the admiral (Kitty) type up the maintenance and repair log that I have been keeping since we arrived in Port Isabel the first of June. If you wanted to get into all of the details of the projects, you can read that log entry.

Over all, the summer has been spent fixing the items that broke or needed upgrading. Finding and repairing leaks, and finishing projects that would have been done if the original plan had been kept.

It is now September and we are very glad that we had the problems back in June that kept us in Houston over the summer. We would have been in Florida during all of the hurricane activity so far. Our present plan is to stay in Houston/Texas until the middle to late October and then sail directly to Tampa. We will be in Tampa visiting family, and leave there in time to get to Miami for Thanksgiving.