Tantalisingly close…

Today we should be off exploring the Tennessee-Tombigee Waterway. Instead, we are massaging Bushranger to full health. Upon inspection of the turbo charger, our most methodical mechanic discovered seawater corrosion and life-threatening damage. To say the least, we are happy this discovery was made before we set sail. With only one engine, it may have been the making of a neptunian story with a watery end. No worries – all is in hand. New turbo charger install, finishing touches to be made, then sea trials begin … hopefully this afternoon.

Last Monday we drove back to Claire and Brad’s home in Franklin, Tennessee, in time to celebrate Ben’s 5th birthday. How lucky are we? We are able to visit the kids and grandkids each year. We were surrounded with a magical ambiance one evening when we dined in an antebellum mansion, Homestead Manor. We had cocktails in the conservatory, partook of sustenance in the library, and had a private tour of this fine southern establishment, complete with trip to the cellar and climbing to the third floor to see bloodstains on the floorboards from the soldiers wounds when the mansion was used as a hospital in the Civil War.

Saying goodbye is never easy. C1BF7234-C237-42D3-AE1F-09DCDB660E7E.jpegOn Friday we left after waving goodbye to Nash on the school bus. We drove the Natchez Trace. The trail was created and used by Native Americans for centuries, and was later used by early European and American explorers and traders. The trace links way down south in Mississippi through Alabama and to Nashville in Tennessee. (We are talking Daniel Boon and Davey Crocket country!) The Natchez Trace Parkway is a beautiful drive through glorious foliage and babbling streams and waterfalls, tree-tunnels and panoramic vistas. A very nice way to meander back to Bushranger and see something other than highways.

Next epistle will hopefully be written under way.

Such is Life!

Awakening – Bushranger’s point of view

It has been a long hot summer. I bade farewell to the Admiral and Captain in May and settled down for the break. Pretty simple really, just the bare essentials operating and I had little else to do but remain afloat. As summer progressed the spiders descended. They dropped into the most uncomfortable places and I really became quite itchy as they nested. It was a relief every six weeks to get a thorough hose down and clean to remove the pesky critters.

With fall (autumn) approaching I allowed a frisson of excitement to run down my keel as I awaited the crew’s return. I knew the time was close as Terry (the mechanic) came aboard and cleaned out my heat exchangers (for those who don’t know, its like having a really good blow of your nose). I felt so much better and ready for anything.

Then the big day. THEY ARE BACK. From a sleepy, sweaty Deep South break all of a sudden I came to life. Systems came alive. Tanks filled, cupboards and fridges bursting with food. Volts and amps were correctly directed, motors and fans spun up, those annoying spiders were banished forever. Finally, I pulsed into life as first my main engine and then the generator throbbed into contented life.

Being ready in all respects, on Saturday we cast off lines and I was once again able to cruise the waves in a short shakedown jaunt around the local area. The Admiral demonstrated admirable skills in some touch and go berthing drills – I was never once nervous. We returned to our slip (berth) just the three of us unassisted and contented.

Now for a little respite until castoff next Saturday, when we will begin our journey to Florida.

Such is Life!