I'm sure by now all our readers are wondering if we fell of the edge of the blog. As it happens, the foot surgery, while ultimately successful, had it's share of problems in the form of a bone infection. No, we never made it to the Bahamas. By the time I could be sure it was totally cleared up, getting to the islands would have been akin of paying full price to see the last 15 minutes of (insert your pick for all-time best movie EVER).
So we stayed in Fl. had fun locally, saw many friends and worked on some house projects. We also started thinking about how much we were missing on the water. We are surrounded by rivers and of course the Gulf of Mexico and all it's small Keys and shoreline is within an hour of us. "We need a small boat." I told Al. It only makes sense to have something we can explore the shallow areas and wilderness that can only be reached via water. Besides, I have a boat blog. No-one wants to start reading about how my gardening is coming along, or what color I painted the spare room. We need to be on the water for multiple reasons.
We settled on a pontoon boat. Comfy, large enough for a few friends, able to host a porta-potty (critical at our age as I don't see myself shlepping onto swampy wild shores to squat among the gators and skeeters.) Something we can trailer and putt-putt around Fl. on while maintaining a level of comfort.
I have a queer knack of deciding to get a boat, then stumbling across someone wanting to give away the same type of boat. My luck holds. All we had to do was remove the boat, hanging in straps, under a covered boathouse, over a dried-up lake. Of course the lake bottom was still soft and mushy. Of course the SUV had to remain up on the original shore, nearly sixty feet from where the boat lay. Of course half the boat had to be dismantled to get clearance under the boathouse. But six hours after we started, we were staring at a new to us boat in our backyard.
Then the cleanup began. Did you know that bats find an unused outboard compartment to be an excellent bat-house? Al found four inches of bat guano in the bottom of the cowling. Everything was in good shape, but stained to the color of creosoted fence posts. Out came the boat wash. The boat laughed at it. so the arsenal of outdoor bleach, acid wash, and comet cleanser took it on and won.
Al tore apart the 40hp outboard, and found three frozen carburetors. We should pick them up any day now. He didn't have the carb cleaner and tools to rebuild them himself, but has been working on the wiring, and cleaning the fuel tank, replacing the kinked fuel line, and everything else that needs to be checked out before launch.
So here she is. All 20 feet of her, cleaned and getting ready to take us (and you, via the blog) along on our summer of fun on the water.
I'm naming her "Summer Journey".