Posted by: bearcruzer | November 1, 2009

McGiver Mike

Oct 26 -27

We took Mighty Mouse back into the Marina.  Plan for the day, Mike will meet up with the Ranger Maintenance Crew and the Tour Boat Crew to Scrounge Parts and Crystal will Ride with Capn’ Carl’s Boss, Capn’ Frank into Homestead with the Old Spare Prop to hopefully find pieces to attach it or a New Prop and Hardware.    It felt strange to have my feet on solid ground again for an extended period of time.   I was still moving.   Capn’ Frank and I had a nice conversation on our way to Homestead but unfortunately none of the Marine Parts Stores could help us with parts to attach the prop or a new prop and they all wanted me to leave the old prop to have someone else look at it to determine if they could find a replacement.   I told them I couldn’t leave it as it was the only prop we had and If Mike could locate parts to attach it, I dare not return without it.  I stopped by the bank and picked up some groceries while in Homestead.   Capn’ Frank and I returned to Flamingo with hopes that Mike was able to find something that would work.   Mike came back into the Marina to pick me up and told me he thought he almost had enough parts to attach the old prop.  He just needed some washers for spacers that he thought he might be able to get from the rangers maintenance dept. in the morning.    I’m sure glad I went with my gut on not leaving the prop behind at any of the parts shops.   On Tuesday morning we rode back to the Marina early and walked through Mosquito Alley a 1/4 mile walk through the mangroves over to the Ranger Maintenance building.   They were able to provide Mike with some washers but he had to modify them by drilling out the center hole to make it larger.  Thank goodness he brought his tools.  Mechanic Mike attached the prop with the bits and pieces he had gathered and we left Flamingo about 11:00am.  Mike asked me if I was up for an overnighter to make up lost time.  I told him I was barring any more unforeseen problems.  The wind this day was directly on our tail, also not Dancing Dolphins favorite point of sail.   We attempted to raise the Main Sail with our electric winch and blew a breaker.   For a time we were without any of our Navigation or Instrumentation.  Needless to say at this point I was near tears again but not with joy.    Electrician Mike was able to get us back up and running once again.   We continued throughout the day and into the night.   We discovered that the chip that is in our Garmin does not have detail for the West Coast of Florida and so we had to navigate with our charts and some basic Waypoints.     We took turns piloting the boat and sleeping and arrived just south of Ft Myers Beach at about 4:00am.   We began to take the outside route west of Sanibel Island but with the change in route the 4 ft waves began to hit us broadside again and the ride was getting a bit rough.  We opted to head on into the bay and follow the lit markers to the ICW and on up to Charlotte Harbor.  We followed the lit markers as far as we could.  It was still early and when we ran out of lit markers we anchored and waited for it to get a bit lighter before continuing on our journey home.

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