That was the plan...... anyway?
After a travel day that began getting up at 3:30 am, so I could eat, shower and drain my plumbing to prepare for winterizing my attic dwelling. I first took the 3 plus hour Skyline Shuttle from Duluth to the Minneapolis Airport, then a 2 hour wait and the 3 hour flight to Orlando, then an Uber ride to the Greyhound Station, the 3 hour bus ride to Jacksonville and another Uber ride to where the boat was.. I finally met the boat about 10:15 pm. I slept very good obviously and didn’t wake until we were already underway... motoring down the St John’s River to the ICW. The plan was based on the forecast to stay on the ICW motoring by day and anchoring each night. This would be for about 5 days, then we would head out into the Atlantic and sail on down to Key West. From there we would head for Mexico and on to the Rio Dulce with the first good weather window. That was the plan.
Then several hours down river the engine substantially increased RPMs then surged a bit and eventually stopped.. we had moved off the channel and dropped anchor. The owner/captain didn’t know what to think of it.. he’s a aircraft mechanic so a pretty good mechanic in general concerning Diesel engines. He got it started again but we turned back upstream as he didn’t want to get further out until he assessed the situation. At some point it happened again so we anchored again. This time he called USBoating for a tow and we got it started again and continued on upstream as the tow boat was heading toward us downstream.. Anywaybthe owner decided to cancel going down to a Rio Dulce and would be putting the boat back ‘on the hard’ to work on it. After making sure he wouldn’t get it fixed and decide to again head down to Rio Dulce after all.... I got off the boat in Jacksonville. Another Uber ride back to the Greyhound Station. I was planning to return to Pensacola, Florida after spending a little time in Rio Dulce to look at a certain used sailboat so Pensacola was my new destination.. it was about 11:45 am when I got to the bus station. I went to get a ticket and she said next bus there was at 9:45 pm and arrived to Pensacola at 3:30 am. The ticket from the counter would cost $94 but she said if I booked it online it’s cheaper. Their WiFi worked at this station unlike Orlando... ticket price online $46. So all these poor people that can’t afford a smartphone or tablet end up paying double? That’s insane!
It’s almost 7 pm now not much longer until i can get on the bus... I have contacted the broker for that boat and he’s going to pick me up at a McDonalds next to the Pensacola Greyhound Station, take me to look at the boat, then take me to my hotel. I’ve booked a room one night ... tomorrow night. So, I’ll be spending this night on the bus ride and from 3:30 am on, at the Pensacola Greyhound Station...moving to the McDonalds when it opens at 5 am. The broker is meeting me at 9 am.
I don’t exactly know where I’ll go next but not back to Duluth and not to Rio Dulce. I have the night at the hotel to decide. I could end up buying this boat but I do want to look at several others before I decide. One boat that I thought was in Clearwater, Florida, I found out from this broker is now in Antigua. I’m not sure I’ll be flying to Antigua, but I might check airfare. I’m also continuing Tom look for another volunteer crewing option but it’s kind of late to find a good one.
The boat I’m looking at tomorrow is a 1980 Islander Freeport 36, designed by Bob Perry and was the basis of his design for the hugely popular Passport 40.
Photos from today..