Day 175, Year 10: West Marine Withdrawal
Date: Friday, April 3, 2015
Weather: Sunny, Upper 70’s, Wind Easterly 10
Location: At Anchor in Palm Beach, Florida
Today ended up to be a day of taking public transportation to buy a couple of items we really needed for the boat. Mark REALLY wanted to go to a West Marine store to buy a new starting battery, engine oil, and a new switch for our main bilge pump, not just because he loves West Marine, but because he also loves the employee discount. But the closest West Marine seemed just too difficult to get to via public transportation. This left Mark with definite West Marine withdrawal. But he took a deep breath and suggested we find a Walmart where we could at least get the battery. Ever since Kevin and Claire left, Mark has had to jump start the starting battery by hot wiring it to the house batteries in order to get the engine started. After a few twists and turns in our day, we ended up buying a new battery at Home Depot, not Walmart, but the engine will still not start. Now Mark believes we didn’t need a new battery at all! It is probably a corroded negative terminal, but I’ll have to continue this saga in tomorrow night’s log after Mark has time to trouble-shoot. But I can tell you about our crazy day. After deciding that West Marine was too far and too difficult to reach, we looked up the address for the closest Walmart. We realized that there was no way we were going to be able to carry a heavy battery on and off two different buses and then a couple of blocks from the bus stop to the dinghy dock. So we knew we would also need to buy some sort of rolling cart. We stupidly left our handy little cart in our storage unit back on Cape Cod. Mark’s research told him that a Home Depot might have the kind of cart we needed, so we looked for a Walmart near a Home Depot. Bingo. We found such a combination a few miles inland with a public bus to take us there from the Tri-Rail Station. We took the local trolley to the train station and then caught bus #43 to Walmart. But when we got there, we found a Walmart Neighborhood Market that sells only food. I didn’t even know such a thing existed, so I did not narrow my search. I’ll know better next time, but from where we were, it would mean another bus ride and more than a mile walk to the Supercenter. We were willing to do this, but we hoped that maybe the Home Depot across the highway would have a cart and a battery. And they did. And there was a Publix supermarket right next door so I could buy eggs, yogurt, and English muffins. So in the end, we had success. And we have a new battery whether or not we need it.
Other than our little shopping excursion, we did little else today. This was a well-deserved day off. I didn’t even get up to listen to the weather at 6:40 am. But I’ll be up tomorrow morning to see what the latest forecast is for late next week when we will be leaving here. We now have internet and can get NOAA weather and other weather/wind reports, but nothing is as good as Chris Parker’s early morning synopsis and forecast for off-shore travel. So like it or not, I’ll be up every day before the crack of dawn to hear what he has to say. It is such a gift to have his expertise to guide us at no cost. Enough cruisers who want to talk to him directly and get specific information on their travel plans are subscribers to his service that he willingly shares his information with the rest of us. We can’t talk to him, but we can listen in. So thank you, Chris Parker.