Vero Beach

Since having left New Bern, we spent a month in Jacksonville FL. Part of the stay was to enable us to make the drive to York to spend some time with family before the holidays, daughter Andrea, her hubby David and our granddaughter Kyla flew in from San Francisco and the game plan was to meet them on the 14th. We had the car packed and were ready to head north immediately after a followup appointment with the cardiologist to review my ultrasound. I was not entirely symptom-free since having the stent placed in New Bern, so caution was the rule. The night before the appointment I experienced unusual discomfort and a significant spike in blood pressure, and when this was related to the doc, he put the kibosh on the travel. After a short discussion, we decided a cath was the most logical approach, so it was scheduled for the next morning, the 15th. The cath revealed 80% blockage in the circumflex, a stent was placed, and an overnight stay ordered. I was discharged shortly after noon, the cardiologist cleared me for travel and we headed for York. Whoo-hoo! 2 stents in as many months!  We arrived to frigid weather just before 2AM, and just beat the ice storm that resulted in snarled traffic and a 35+ vehicle pile-up on I95 in MD, just hours after we transited the area. Dodged a bullet!

Our visit was only 4 days, but we thoroughly enjoyed spending time with family, and were reminded with the ice and freezing slop why we choose to winter in the south! We were happy to get back into shorts! Our return trip included a side trip to Rehoboth to visit friends Chris & Joyce, we enjoyed a home made dinner and a real bed – very welcomed after our accommodations during our visit to York! We resumed our trek on Tuesday morning and arrived back in JAX by 9PM. It’s a long haul!

We spent the Christmas and New Year’s holidays at Ortega Landing, finally departing JAX on Jan 4th, and made our way south, making stop offs in St. Augustine, one of our favorites, Cocoa, and finally Vero Beach. At our stop in St. Augustine, I noticed our 15HP Yamaha dinghy outboard was running rough.  It had been running rough at Cumberland Island over a month earlier, and I had atttributed it to carburetor problems. It turned out to be more complicated, as I discovered the cylinder was wet and water could only be bad news. We pulled the motor off the dink and mounted our old 4HP Mariner 2 stroke backup. Dismantling the Yamaha revealed a bad head gasket, caused by erosion of the cylinder head from saltwater. The outboard is 14 years old, and although the Yamaha is quite reliable, nothing lasts forever. But it is repairable, and worth repairing. In the meantime, our old 2 stroke will suffice. Since we planned to be in Vero in a few days, parts could be ordered and delivered there, a good location to complete repairs.

Upon arrival at Vero, we called friends Ray & Peggy and they invited us to share their mooring ball, so we rafted up and had a bit of old home week. After a day or two, we realized our backup outboard was running warm, and some deferred maintenance came home to roost! Time for a water pump rebuild, but no spare parts on hand, and no spare motor. Uh oh. Parts on order for both the primary and backup outboard, and we’re on a mooring ball, we need to run to shore at least twice daily, or more! Ray to the rescue! He graciously offered one of his dinghys to us as we waited for parts. The Yamaha will require a new cylinder head, so a bunch of parts for that, and the Mariner 4HP needs more than just a pump kit, as it has a shaft seal leak and the housing for that is pretty far gone. So more parts on order! At this writing, it’s been a week, and some of the parts were backordered, holding up the parts needed to complete the less involved backup motor repairs. The Yamaha is engine work, and may need some assist from a machine shop to properly get valves seated into the new cylinder head- another potential delay. Well, there are worse places to be stuck!

A few days after our arrival, Hans & Peggy arrived from JAX. We’ve been leap frogging and meeting up since we were in New Bern, and enjoying the cruising company! They also needed some repairs, and I was glad to provide some generator parts to get them back in service while they order parts to replace my spares! Not an uncommon practice in the cruising community.  We also reunited with Garland & Jean, former Selene owners who winter in Vero. We always enjoy meeting up with them and if our stay permits, joining them Sunday for church services. This stay we’ve been twice! That’s why it’s called Velcro Beach! Cruisers come and get stuck!

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