Thursday, March 5, 2009


It became neccessary to put out an all-bulletin call on the VHF radio calling, " ALL STATIONS, ALL STATIONS, WOULD THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR TAKING THE GLOBAL WARMING PLEASE RETURN IT ". It is hard to believe it is still so cold in March with nights below zero.
Now isn't this the perfect sign for a cruising couple. Couldn't help myself, just had to pose for that one. Meantime the "QUEEN" has been complaining about the growing callouses on her right hand and she is left-handed. We finally worked it out. Get ready for this one......... Pumping the toilet. Who knew cruising could be so much fun.

We are now anchored at Mile marker "45" 'New Smyrna', a beautiful little community on the blue water entering from the ocean at Ponce Inlet. Strong tidal flows but beautiful clear water. "SVEA"s gear shift finally gave out and this time the bullet was bit. We installed a whole new throttle and gear shift mechanism. Amazing what can be done with just a drill, bolts, nuts, some metal flatbar and an angle grinder.

Deep in the bowls of SVEA's engine and gearbox area, the new Morse control cables are attached that will allow the mechanical gearbox to be operate by a single lever control instead of the sixty-six year old foot, hand and mouth contraption. Yes, you use your foot to push the gear lever into reverse, your hand to push it into forward gear and you use your mouth to swear each time you do it. It had to go, despite its vintage appeal. It still is hard to believe that SVEA went twice round the world with this set-up. When we finally pulled it apart we found the teeth basically missing from the splines on the gear shift. They could well have broken in the Indian Ocean,.... who knows?

Two whole days to get it done. A very kindly "Seven Seas Cruising " member Charles Adams of the yacht " FREEDOM II", from New Smyrna, took us to South Daytona to help get the various parts and then long morning walks to the nearest "ACE Hardware" only to once again discover the beauty that is Florida and to see spring bursting forth. There is hope for warmth after all.

'SVEA' is equiped with a 45 HP diesel engine. A "WAUKASHA 180 DLC" Now if you go to the Midwest there will be a few oldtimer corn farmers who will tell you..... " Yes, I remember those engines well. We used to call them ' WALK ASHORE' for you just never knew." So far the engine has performed remarkably well since leaving from North Carolina and other than sixty-six years of accumulated dirt in the fuel tanks, the engine should last many more years.

Tomorrow we motor for eight hours to TITUSVILLE FL, very close to Cape Canaveral, where tomorrow night there will be a lift-off of the latest space rocket on a mission to explore the 'Milky Way". It shouldn't be too difficult to navigate to the "Milky Way" for we can see where that is from right here. Its not like its staying between the markers in the ICW, now is it?


Orpailleur said...

Promises to be a great trip - you haven't even arrived in somewhere exotic and you're already fixing things - good luck.

robin said...

Finally figured why I couldn't open the blog...user error on my part. Sounds like it has already been quite an adventure. Laurie, you probably need to get some gloves for that right hand! Weather is warming, finally. Hope all is well. I'll call and we can catch up soon.

Anonymous said...

Last week I had a bad day at the office. I know you've been feeling down lately, so I thought I would share my dilemma with you to make you realize it's not so bad after all.

Before I can tell you what happened to me, I first must bore you with a few technicalities of my job. As you know, my office lies at the bottom of the sea. I wear a suit to the office. It's a wet suit.

This time of year the water is quite cool, so what we do to keep warm is this: we have a diesel-powered industrial water heater. This $20,000 piece of equipment sucks the water out of the sea. It heats it to a delightful temperature. It then pumps it down to the diver through a garden hose, which is taped to the air hose. Now this sounds like a darn good plan, and I've used it several times with no complaints.

What I do, when I get to the bottom and start working, is take the hose and stuff it down the back of my wet suit. This floods my whole suit with warm water. It's like working in a Jacuzzi.

Everything was going well, until all of a sudden, my butt started to itch. So, of course, I scratched it. This only made things worse.

Within a few seconds, my butt started to burn. I pulled the hose out from my back, but the damage was done. In agony, I realized what had happened. The hot water machine had sucked up a jellyfish and pumped it into my suit.

Now, since I don't have any hair on my back, the jellyfish couldn't stick to it. However, the crack of my butt was not as fortunate. When I scratched what I thought was an itch, I was actually grinding the jellyfish into the crack of my butt.

I informed the dive supervisor of my dilemma over the communicator. His instructions were unclear due to the fact that he, along with five other divers, were all laughing hysterically. Needless to say, I aborted the dive.

I was instructed to make three agonizing in-water decompression stops totaling thirty-five minutes before I could reach the surface to begin my chamber dry decompression.

When I arrived at the surface, I was wearing nothing but my brass helmet. As I climbed out of the water, the medic, with tears of laughter running down his face, handed me a tube of cream and told me to rub it on my butt as soon as I got in the chamber The cream put the fire out, but I couldn't poop for two days because my butt was swollen shut.

So, next time you're having a bad day, think about how much worse it would be if you had a jellyfish shoved up your butt.

Now whenever you have a bad day, ask yourself: Is this a jellyfish bad day?

May you NEVER have a jellyfish bad day!!!!!