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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

S/V Blondie-Dog Finally Gets her Motor Fixed and Goes Out for a Day Sail...

S/V Blondie-Dog finally has her outboard motor in working order again.

I do nevertheless say this with a bit of trepidation because that motor just might happen to hear me say pleasant things about her and decide once again to start acting up like a malcontent little kid.

It goes without saying that the last thing that I need at this moment is for that motor to start giving me any more grief and crappy attitude.

My four stroke outboard motor now happens to purr like a cat when put in idle, and when given a little gas, can wake up all the neighbors with all her loud screaming. In any event, both are most certainly delightful sounds to my ears.

But all this only happened after yet another complete overhaul of that motor and after yet another meticulous cleaning of the carburetor. It was an effort that went to waste because that carburetor was almost instantly clogged up yet once again... the only difference being that the carburetor was now encrusted with salt crystals and not varnish from ethanol gasoline.

I can understand gasoline and ethanol gumming up a carburetor to some extent but not salt since it could only mean one thing and that is "bad gas"... and that could only mean that I was somehow remiss in preventing that gas from getting contaminated in the first place.

It occurs to me that I should have replaced the gasoline in my five gallon gas tank in its entirety after my sail on down from Marco Island months earlier. While sailing, I had taken on some heavy seas and had ocean spray continuously crash down into the cockpit and onto the gas can while under sail.

It was only after a good while of sailing in those heavy seas that I noticed that the air valve on the can had been left in the open position and that a puddle of sea water had accumulated on top of the cap. There was no telling just how much water had treacherously seeped down into that tank.

That open valve was just one of a number of "oh f***" moments on that sail down from Marco Island that day. However, the very distinct possibility of unwelcomed salt water now residing inside my gas tank didn't register as a critical priority at that moment.

Nevertheless for whatever compelling reason, I had somehow elected to put that sailing ordeal completely out of my mind and later totally forgotten to check my fuel for water contamination.

In any event, the motor does work now and it was a delight to finally motor on out of the harbor the other day for a quick day sail on down to Bahia Honda Key and back. Winds were comparatively light and there was but a little chop in the water. These are the Keys so it goes without saying that both the sky and ocean were as blue as can be imagined.

My lady-friend visiting on down from Marco Island and I sailed out on the ocean side parallel to the Seven Mile Bridge. You may even perhaps recall the movie "True Lies" and of the action scene that seemed to last forever on that bridge with Arnold Swarztnegger and Jamie Lee Curtis.
(incidentally... *** damned, she was hot!!***)

That day-sail was my first delightful, easy sail aboard S/V Blondie-Dog and reminded me of the numerous occasions when I once sailed my AMF 21' sloop off the east coast of Puerto Rico some fifteen or so years ago. The only thing missing were some cold beers but that was by choice before slipping on out of the harbor.

So yeah, I've got my fingers crossed that my outboard is something that I can now rely upon at any given moment.

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