Friday, December 7, 2007

A Little Hick-up

“I don’t want to ruin your day, but… we have a problem.”

“What do you mean?”

It is December 1st, a Saturday, and we are anchored in Kilkenny Creek. The “town” Kilkenny is nothing more than a marina, a seafood restaurant, a few houses and lots of trees. Those nice big ones, life oaks, with Spanish moss draped over the branches. We are in the middle of rural Georgia. Mark just checked the port engine.

“It looks like we have water in the gear oil. That means there is a leak in the sail drive. Let me check the other one…”


“Yep, this is not good. The same problem here. The oil is cloudy, almost milky looking.”

“Shit!” I know what that means: we have to get hauled again, and, we are not supposed to use the engines anymore.

Mark researches some information online (luckily we picked up a wireless signal), to make sure the problem is indeed a problem. Then, he calls a few marinas and boat yards. Unsuccessfully: the marinas can’t haul a boat as wide as ours, the boat yards are closed in the weekend.

When we entered Georgia and came down on the ICW, we passed a place called Thunderbolt Marine. An enormous warehouse carried that name and a few big boats. Massive motor yachts were docked alongside. The biggest sail boat we have ever seen was getting work done on the dry, together with a small cruise ship and a handful of other biggies. “I wonder how much it costs to get hauled here”, we said with our eyebrows raised. “Nothing we can afford, probably…” “But I bet ya, they have a big enough lift!” We smiled, gave the yard a big berth, and continued south.

Well, that yard seemed to be our only option at the moment. Their website doesn’t mention prices. If you have to ask, you can’t afford it… But, what could we do? No options were available, and neither was useful information. So, we left Kilkenny and turned back north for six long and slow hours. We only used one engine at a time and waived disheartened to all the other cruisers going south.

Mark and I docked our cat in the yard, being the smallest boat around. After patiently waiting for two days, we got hauled on Wednesday. And here we are, on the dry again. The sail drives are getting repaired and in the meantime we work on some other projects that needed to be done. The people from Thunderbolt Marine have been very helpful and accommodating so far. Let’s hope we get everything done in a few days, and we don’t get a heart attack when looking over the bill.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you're still in Savannah, try "Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room" for lunch, it's incredible - and reasonably cheap.