Today, Dad found more welding that is going to need done. We also fitted the hose fittings back onto the sea cocks. Now, I am back at the hotel room and relaxing while Dad puts the second coat of primer on the boat.
Boy, All that mess. Pretty soon, we will be able to get the boat moved to a cleaner area away from all of that poisonous sand. As the sandblasting is wrapping up, Dad is prepping the cracks in the deck for primer and paint.
All the welding is done and we have to put two more coats of epoxy primer on the boat before the anti-fouling paint is put below the waterline.
We started to work on the boat last Friday. We drilled out some of the old steel fittings and replaced them with stainless steel ones. We also eliminated about six holes and are going to move them. It was a lot of welding and grinding.
The boatyard guy is also doing some sandblasting.
This is the first time the boat has been out of the water since 2005. There is some paint missing, but there in not that much damage. Even though we ran over a floating nun on the Ohio River at night, there is not one chip out of the steel! If that would have happened to a fiberglass boat, it would have cracked. Compare an army tank to an eggshell.
Today, We made it! We went to the beach on the opposite side of the Barrier Islands from Big Lagoon. We anchored the boat in Big Lagoon in the Intercoastal Waterway and took the dinghy over to the island. We crossed the sand dunes on a walkway and went out into the surf. There were four foot waves in the gulf. We rode the waves. It was a lot of fun!
On our way back from the beach, Dad noticed that the dinghy was missing. He swam 1/2 mile back to Aspiration. Aboard Aspiration, He drove until he found the dinghy. After that, He paddled the kayak over to the other bank and drove the dinghy to pick me up. Good thing it was not gone for good!
We are less than 100 miles from Mobile, Alabama! After that, there is about 30 miles to the Intercoastal Waterway. and about 50 Miles to Pensacola, Florida on the Intercoastal!
Sorry for the long wait. We have been very busy with locks.
A few days ago, we were still on the Tennessee River. While anchored overnight, because of the hydroelectric dam shutting down, the river level fell two feet. Due to that, the keel of the boat got stuck in the mud and it was leaning to the side when I got up in the morning.
The first thing we tried to get everything loosened up was walking back and forth on the boat to try to rock it. That did not work; we took the second anchor and put it into the dinghy. Dad tied a rope and fender to it so it could be retrieved. On the boat, we winched the set anchor, but the boat did not budge one inch. After that, Dad listened on the VHF marine radio and heard a nearby towboat. Dad contacted to towboat and some empty barges. The towboat crew saw us on the [Leaning] Aspiration on the side of the river. Finally, The towboat deckhand threw us a huge rope to tie to the cleat on our boat, gave us a big tug and back to floating. Hurray!
Even though the towboat captain said that we need to help each other out and it would have costed nothing, Dad threw the deckhand $200 as a thank you gift. $100 for each!
Boy, I am glad we got out of that mess 🙂