Saturday, September 25, 2021

A new motor, a cold winter, and another epic road trip

Low tide at the MYC exposes the old dock legs, which remind me of chess pieces

The new motor is on its way. They are building it as quickly as they can. I can't magic it here any faster.

Once it gets here, the mechanics will work on it when they can. We can't jump over other people who have had appointments for months. I can't control how easily the swap goes. It might be smooth as butter, but more than likely it will require additional parts and problem-solving. Rushing any of that isn't wise.

The winter weather is coming. I can't do anything about that.

Foggy morning view 

Our plan was to get the new motor in and high-tail it South in November, catch up with friends and sail to the Bahamas for the winter. The soonest the shop could commit to releasing us is Thanksgiving. So... LATE November. Mmmmm OK... Possibly Sketchy between Maine and Virginia.

Every local who heard my plan made the same face. Eyebrows way up, chin tucked, lips pursed or in an o-shape. So maybe high-tailing it outta here in late November isn't a good idea.

After seeing this face on yet another local for the umpteenth time, I realized that my desire to stick with the plan, to be in the Bahamas for the winter, was potentially putting Minerva and us in danger. Oh. The PLAN again. Once again I've somehow become attached to a PLAN. Haven't we learned this lesson yet?

Lance and I must have both gone to bed thinking on it and we both independently woke up with the same solution. The smart, safe thing is to leave Minerva in Maine on the hard, and let the shop do the work at their leisure. When we reunite with her in May we'll get the added benefit of sailing Maine for the Summer of 2022. We can break in the new engine properly and slowly, no pressure attached. We'll get to sail the summer with Al. We'll be close to the shop that did the engine work, in case the relationship between the new engine and the old prop needs tweaking.

So we reluctantly signed the winter storage contract, gave away all our canned food (apparently cans explode in a hard freeze), and picked up a one-way rental car for California. Cross-country road trip here we come.

Minerva on her way to winter storage

As it turns out, it's possible to feel everything at the same time. Mad because the motor failed us - we were expecting another couple of years of service on the rebuilt engine and wanted to schedule the replacement at our leisure with our favorite mechanic in NC. Happy because our friends will sail on to warm water snorkeling adventures this winter. Sad because we won't be with them and we miss them already. Excited to see our West Coast peeps.

Starting to get excited about the road trip itself but haven't had the bandwidth to give that any energy yet.


  1. Into every life some rain will fall or for sailors the winds will slacken. It's all part of the adventure. Enjoy your cross country adventure. Stay safe and healthy.

    1. Will do. We will sail to Stuart someday. And rum will be drunk.

  2. No battle plan survives the first shot.

  3. Looking forward to that part, too. See you soon.