We had Caroline and Carter for just about a whole week.  Again, I wonder if heading off into the wild blue yonder is really worth missing them grow up for a couple of years.  They are always a blast when they come over.  Everything is not always Candy Land great, but is a very RARE occasion when things are horrible with them.  And then, I wouldn’t even say horrible.  Probably just bad.

We spent some time at the marina park and pool, watched a lot of movies and took them to the Museum of Fine Arts of Houston.  Too young?  Never.  Exposure to great art and music always has an impact at whatever age.  Start early.

They were wonderful at the museum.  They did get tired after about 2 hours, but they both saw things that they liked and a whole lot that they weren’t really interested in.

Here’s a painting that caught Carter’s eye.

After the museum we went over to Hermann Park and had a picnic with some horrible PB&J sandwiches.  Let me just say that the bread makes the sandwich.  I suppose that I have just gotten used to eating PB&J sandwiches on crappy bread.  I don’t really complain about it, I just eat it.  The kids didn’t complain either.  They just didn’t eat them.  Fortunately, strawberries and goldfish saved the day.

We went walking around for about 30 minutes before we had to head back to the car because the parking was expiring.

Then it was back to the boat to rest and have dinner.  Here’s Carter sporting the latest Sumo Diaper.

And Caroline wanting to know why I wasn’t taking a picture of her.

They were picked up Sunday afternoon.  They both cried when they were leaving after being here for a week.

Monday was our last day at the marina.  That morning I cried a little bit myself because easily seeing them is no longer a reality . . . at least in the short term.

So, we pulled out of the marina and ran amud (aground except it’s in mud) where we always do:  right at the ICW and Harborwalk Marina channel intersection.  We were literally 20 feet away from the ICW.  No matter which track we take, we hit mud.  I plotted a course on TOP of a previous course that was OK after we had run amud and gotten pulled off.  Still, we ran into mud.  It all worked out fine.  We got unstuck and continued motoring to Offats Bayou in Galveston.

On the way, we found out that our waste pump diaphragm had disintegrated.  Stinky mess.  That piece of plastic attached to the handle should NOT be sitting at that angle.  It should be parallel to the body.  Sheesh.

Parts to repair and upgrade it were going to be roughly $80 shipped.  A whole new pump was $92 shipped.  OK, just pony up the extra $12 and get a new one.   Not a problem right now because you can’t pump overboard in coastal waters.  I mean, who really wants to be swimming in someone else’s pooh?  But, we will need it once we get out into the open ocean.  A whole week worth of pooh is probably less than a single Blue Whale pooh.

Today I lowered the dinghy to take Jodi to the dock so that she could get a lift to go get the car.  The outboard has worked fine . . . every . . . single . . . time I have used it since I spent hours rebuilding the carb and starter rope assembly.  Not, today.  The pull rope broke right off.  Then the brand new starter recoil spring that I installed broke.  How is THAT even possible?  Then the engine wouldn’t start at all.   Found out it was flooded.  Thanks again stupid EPA gas tank.  Got it all cleaned and drained and finally get her started.  Runs OK.  I take a spin around the bayou.  The choke has to be partially closed, but I figure it will be fine for a day until I can disassemble and clean the carb again.  Right as I get back to Emet, it dies.  And won’t start.  I have to have Jodi at the dock in an hour.  Scramble to get it started.  Finally.  Load up, motor over, and it dies right as we reach the dock.  Well, I’ll just paddle or row back.  HA!!  The wind was gusting quite a bit.  No matter how hard or fast I rowed, I would make very little progress.  It didn’t help that Emet lay directly upwind.  As I was rowing nowhere, I thought, “How did those other folks with no outboards row back and forth?”  Well, they must have had a dinghy that was design to be rowed.  Here I was in a dinghy designed to get on plane with an outboard.  I finally gave up and rowed back to the boat launch/dock, which was now downwind.  From there I planned to pull the dinghy over to one of the personal watercraft rental places and ask them if I could launch from their dock and then Emet would be downwind from me.  The employee was Australian, or at least he had the accent.

“I’m a minimum wage employee and here you are asking me to put my ass in a sling to help you?  I don’t get to make that decision.  The owner does.   Well, he doesn’t get to really either.  The building owner does.”

“I tried rowing back and I couldn’t do it in this wind.  And that’s the reason I came over here and asked.  I didn’t want anyone to get in trouble.  You or me.  I’m not asking you to get in trouble.  ”

“If you couldn’t row in this wind, well, mate, I would say that you should work on your muscles then.”

“Thanks.  I’ll figure it out.”

So, I sat in the shade and talked with 3 guys that were more bat crap crazy, pro/anti government, and conspiracy theorist oriented than me.  Jodi says that I have a propensity for attracting “crazies.”  They were really nice, otherwise.  As I sat sweltering and parched, one of them actually offered me a drink straight out of the blue.  That’s actually what got us started talking.

Jodi got back, sat though about one hour of 2 of the guys talking to me, and then we paddled back together.  She suggested we sell this dinghy and buy one that can be rowed efficiently.  Ehh…we’ll see.

After the sun went down, I took the carb off, disassembled it, and cleaned it.  Quite a bit of crud came out.  I have no idea how it gets in there.  My thought is that the float bowl is rusting.  Stupid EPA and their ethanol.  (Reference 3 guys comment above.)  There was rust on the inside of the bowl.  I’m not sure that it could account for the amount of crud in the carb.  Put it back on and all I’ll be if it didn’t fire right up.

Who knows.

It’s been a rough start to our “simplified” life.   And to put the spoiled cherry on top of the melted sundae, there’s a horrible, putrid, constant sewer type stench in the air in this bayou all the time.  NO, it’s not our broken waste pump or holding tank.  When I was motoring around in the dingy before it died, the smell was all over the place.

Maybe it won’t be so bad if the water is crystal clear blue with white sandy beaches and coconut palm trees.

Jodi said that maybe God is telling us not to do this.  I said, well maybe, He’s just seeing how bad we want to do it, but I don’t know for sure.  Funny how God works, isn’t it?  We can spin a situation, however we want.

As soon as that new waste pump gets here, we’ll at least make it back out into the Gulf.  I do like sailing there . . . so far.



Published On: 2017 August 1

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