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Trenton, Ontario, Canada
In June 2012 we started the Great Loop in our Bayliner Explorer. This blog is for family and friends who would like to follow our comings and goings and , for now, our getting ready for the trip. If you read this blog we would love to hear your comment& suggestions.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

The good and the bad and the ugly.

After leaving Cape Coral we passed through two locks and stayed the night at River Forest Marina, to visit with our good friends on MV Green Door, Kathy and Terry. As they always do they spoilt me with steaks on the bbq cooked to perfection. It was wonderful to see them again.
As you leave the Fort Myers area and continue on the Caloosahatchee canal , the scenery becomes more farm land

Lovely Spanish moss covered tree

This nice lady opened the train bridge for us in Fort Denauld

Gorgeous Bougainvillea growing besides the canal

Strange locks on the Okeechobee waterway...they just open the gates and let the water in...

Visiting with MV Green Door, Kathy and I were showing off our red and green toenails  

The next morning we headed to Moore head and because of an excellent weather forecast for Lkae Okeechobee , we decided to do the crossing as well. The waters we smooth and calm and the 3 hours crossing went without a hitch.
Don't ask, don't tell.

Smooth calm waters, just as I like it!

Port Mayaca
The water was high enough that they didn't need the lock closed but they kept it closed because the water in Lake Okeechobee is very dirty from the sugar cane being burnt and they are trying to contain the polluted water.
 Late that afternoon we anchored in the St Lucie canal among many alligators, we kept a close eye on they as they kept a close eye on us.

These are big ones, at first rather shy but as it got darker they came nearer and nearer.....

Poor boat

Last lock for a while !!! 

We had noticed quite a bit of water in the bilge and as we were running the pumps to empty it, we noticed a sheen on the water. NOT GOOD>!! Sure enough, we were leaking anti freeze. Gary thought it might be that the pressurized radiator cap needed to be replaced so when we got to Stuart we stopped at a marina, Gary took his bicycle to NAPA and got an new radiator cap.

Bad news, it was not the radiator cap and as we were making our way to Gary's cousin's house on the St Lucie canal , it became abundantly clear we were in deep trouble!

So the bad news is we had to replace the head gasket on our port engine. Finding parts for a 35 year old engine is near impossible and when you do, it is exorbitantly expensive.

Good news, Marty and Bernie ( Gary's cousins) had a lovely dock we could tie up to while waiting for our parts all the way from Washington State. How lucky are we??!! So Gary got busy removing the head of the engine, he cleaned all the old gasket material off and found the head to  be in excellent condition.
Marty ( Gary's cousin) and his wife Bernadette met us on the St Lucie river in their pontoon boat.

Tied to the dock - In the evening we would have a Manatee hang around the boat .

Cleaning the head and putting on a brave face, it is a hell of a job!

While he was cleaning, scraping old material off the head, he managed to get a metal splinter in his eye. Marty drove him to the eye doctor and they removed it. He has to take some antibiotic drops but is feeling much better.

In the meantime we were entertained by the family. Bernie and I went for pedis and I got some much needed (Not for groceries) shopping therapy. They took us to the beaches around Ft Pierce and to Sailors Exchange, a huge consignment / second hand store for boating stuff. We bought a dingy cover for $40!!!!!!!!!!! We loved that place!!

Bernadette is quite the artist ,This is a recycled bicycle wheel that she hangs in the garden as a suncathcer

Scenes from their back yard.
Bernadette has a gorgeous Night Blooming Jasmine tree, the fragrance is unbelievable!! The also have papaya , banana, orange, lemon and nut trees in their garden. it is like a little paradise!

Marty and Bernie were excellent hosts and we thank our lucky stars we broke down on their dock.

Finally the parts arrived and at 5pm Gary started putting the head together. I helped a little but mainly he did it all finishing around midnight. He started up the engine and everything worked splendid!!

Tired, dirty and wounded ( look at his poor head) but very happy at midnight as the work on the engine was done and everything seems ok.

Ok , so the name of this blog is The Good ( good luck that we broke down at Marty and Bernie's dock)
The  Bad ( head gaskets needed to be replaced and we had to wait a week for parts due to snowy weather up north) The Ugly ....the Gators :)

Hopefully as you read this we will be mobile again, and anchored at Hammock Bay just near Stuart. Then we will slowly make our way to Lake Worth in the hopes of getting a good window to cross over to the Bahamas. be continued


  1. God looked kindly on you and allowed it all to happen in His good timing.....You probably could not have had this breakdown at a better place EXCEPT if it were at the Yost House in Cape Coral !!!! Glad to read that motorhead Gary got the job done. Git 'Er Done Gary !

  2. Gary,

    you and I have the same hair (i. e. no hair) line. It took me half way around the loop and MANY bloody gashs to the head before my now engine room routine includes a manditory padded hat before entering. Love to you both from Blue Heron Captains Barb and Craig (and Admirals Joey and Bailey)

  3. Dears Friends.
    We are very happy that you foud a wonderfull place to have some problems with the engine and avoid the same problem when crossing to Bahamas. You two are very lucky...

  4. Hi guy's Alan & Brenda s/v HAVEN here from Trenton club sorry to hear about the engine trouble and hope all is back on track. We are currently in Miami (16 Dec) and waiting for a weather window to Bimini.
    Heading to the Exam's probably Georgetown. We where hoping to catch up over a sociable but may have to wait as your crossing at Lake Worth. Save travels.
    Alan & Brenda s/v HAVEN