Sunday, April 28, 2013

So…I Guess We Wanted to Stay in Titusville After All

We left Vero Beach on a beautiful day for a longish day’s cruise to Titusville, Florida’s city marina. We were out on the water for eight and a half hours where we were under sunny skies, clouds, light rain, then clouds and finally back to sunshine. Our plan was to stay in the mooring field there on Saturday night and then on Sunday make an eighty statute mile trip up the Marineland Marina, a fairly new facility that caught my attention. The weather was supposed to make a turn for the worse for several days starting on Monday so it was important that we made some wake on Sunday.

(Cruiser’s note: When we were at Titusville Marina last year the mooring field was vast with dozens and dozens of mooring balls. This year the field looked smaller. We asked the manager about this and he said that they did remove about half of the mooring balls because they were not getting used. ????)

In the mooring field in Titusville
Why Knot was built here in Titusville in this facility.
Sunrise in Titusville

 Arriving and getting secured in the mooring field went smoothly and we were hunkered down for the night. In the morning, as is the habit of boaters, the first thing to do is the check the weather. (By the way, our errant generator worked wonderfully.) The forecast had changed slightly so that the rougher conditions had shifted to Tuesday. Also we had decided that eighty miles was too long for the weather window so we modified it to take a short twenty-five mile trip to New Smyrna Beach on Sunday and then forty miles to Marineland on Monday. The only thing that was a must was that we needed to cruise to the Titusville Marina docks to pay our bill and to give Lisa a chance to buy a very spiffy top in the gift shop that caught her eye last year. She says that it was the only marina tee-shirt she saw on the entire loop that she wanted. Yes, Ma’am! Gladly, Ma’am!

The engine fired up effortlessly (remember this fact), we pulled up our lines from the mooring ball and we puttered onto the fuel dock of the marina. Lisa and I went into the office, paid our bill, bought the shirt and headed out to the boat. Lisa pulled the lines and I went to the fly bridge and, low and behold, the engine which started effortlessly no more than thirty minutes earlier would not do a thing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. The big goose egg. Get the picture? I tried all of the “starter-not-doing-its-one-and-only-job” tricks: I tapped on the starter motor with a hammer, I jiggled both of the gear shift levers to see if the starter safety interlocks were stuck, I cursed (That did’t work. Damn it.), and looked at Lisa hoping she could cast some magical spell on it. Alas, it would not start at all. I walked down to the marina office and got a business card of a local marine technician. Forgetting entirely that it was Sunday I called him and told him the story. I think I woke him up. He very nicely said that he would be glad to come on over. He did. He even brought his assistant with him.

Unfortunately the news wasn’t good. After he ran all of the tests he determined that the starter was kaput. It was rebuilt once already by the previous owner during our purchase. To quickly retell the story, we were all on board to go on the sea trial and the boat would not start. Amazingly the owner was able to call a mechanic buddy who was able to get the starter out in a short time and then, even more amazingly, get it rebuilt overnight so that we were able to go out on the sea trial the next day. So I guess the bottom line is that we exhausted the grace that was bestowed on us for having a rebuilt starter. So there we were tied up to the fuel dock. Fortunately the first slip on that thoroughfare was empty so with the help of a couple of the marina staff we smartly walked the boat out and around the end of the fuel dock and into the slip. (Our extra-long lines are always handy.)

...more manatees...

...and Lisa, um, looking at the manatees. (To Lisa this is just as good as Marineland. Fine with me!)

So anyway, back to Titusville…Last year we had an inkling that we would want to stop in Titusville someday. We don’t know much about the town itself but it is right across the Indian River from the Kennedy Space Center. That would be cool to see. And I think that Lisa was a bit disappointed not staying here and I felt bad about that. So as the fates would have it we are now safely tied up in the Titusville Marina with absolutely no way of leaving, and we’ll make the best of it. Lisa is already making our plans to go to space center. This marina is also interesting in that it is a bit of a haven for manatees. It seems the marina is filthy with them. That’s cool, too. So except for the delay we are guessing that things are as they should be.


Anonymous said...

While at Titusville try to get to the Dixie Crossroads for lunch or dinner. They have good food. Sorry about the starter. Is it being rebuilt again, or is a new one on order? We're sitting at the Charleston City Boatyard awaiting two new windows. The current is wicked in Charleston and we busted a couple of windows against an anchor on a sailboat. I'm sure we'll see you along the way. Bill & Joy - Proud Lady

Kermit and Katherine said...

You can't catch a break!! We are leaving Fort Pierce on Tuesday assuming all goes well with our rail repair tomorrow. The plan is Tues pm in Cocoa Village, Wednesday weather permitting either Titusville or New Smyrna. We will try to stop to say hello!! Katherine on Good Karma