Day 8, Year 1: The Having of Wonderful Friends and Family . . . and a Missing Bolt
Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Weather: Winds 30 to 50 knots, Rainy and Cold
Location: Town Dock, Lewes, Delaware

This is the log for Tuesday, October 25. Starting at about 3:00 pm on Monday and extending into Tuesday morning, the winds were blowing anywhere from 30 to 50 knots even here at the dock in a protected area. Wilma was passing about 400 miles offshore, but my daughter Heather explains to me that the winds were not from Wilma herself, but rather from a meeting of the hurricane with a low forming on land. Heather is becoming a weather junkie on our behalf and is e-mailing and calling us with her weather tips. Very helpful!

It rained most of the day and seems to get colder every hour. We do have heat in the boat right now and that’s a good thing. David Laux, the person working on our engine, came around noon and spent the rest of the day trying to remove a bearing on the prop shaft where it enters the v-drive. I have to tell you that I had never heard of a v-drive until last Saturday and I think I could have continued to live a happy and healthy life without v-drive knowledge. But as fate has it, I am learning new things about everything down in the engine room and realizing that I should have taken a greater interest before. Anyway, after using a torch for 4 hours with little or no luck at moving anything, David decided to go for removing the whole v-drive. He wasn’t sure it would work, but it did. In fact, he discovered the source of our problem. There are four bolts that attach the oil cooler to the v-drive itself. One of those bolts was missing and others were loose and that was the source of the transmission fluid leak from the v-drive. He removed the remaining three bolts and emerged with the v-drive in hand and a smile on his face. It had been a frustrating afternoon, but it did end with success. He is hoping to be able to find new bearings locally and get the v-drive reinstalled by the end of tomorrow or Thursday. At that point, I will leave for the medical class in Hampton and Mark will sail the boat around to the Chesapeake. We will wait in Oxford, Maryland, for the new engine to arrive and David will install it there. At least that is today’s plan.

Now about the having of wonderful friends and family . . . I know I have mentioned this in other logs, but it is truly overwhelming to get the e-mails from so many of you. Concord Yacht Club friends, friends from the Concord School District, friends from New Hampshire Public Radio, our three children, Justin, Heather, and Heather’s husband, Jed, Jed’s mother and father, friends from Shipyard Quarters back in Charlestown, our brothers and sisters and their families, and our new friends here in Lewes. We always felt like we worked too much and didn’t take enough time for friends, but right now we feel very supported by a whole host of you. Your confidence that we will get through this and continue our voyage a little smarter, albeit a little poorer, is most heartening. Thank you.

And now for a story about a new friend. Yesterday, Carl Stein, a local physician that we had met on the dock last Saturday when we first arrived, came by in the pouring rain to invite us to his house for dinner. His wife, Melissa, is a teacher, and their 14 year old son, Alex, is a sailor. He is currently racing a Hobie and has grand plans for future boats. While we were talking before dinner, Carl explained that he had become a doctor later in life. At one point, he had been a fisherman in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and had survived a December boat wreck and subsequent sinking. That was the end of fishing for Carl, but he went on to build boats. He got his Master’s in Engineering from the University of New Hampshire and later decided to become a physician specializing in anesthesiology. He mentioned doing his residency at Yale and that prompted me to ask if he happened to know Richard Wiklund, a friend from Shipyard, who is an anesthesiologist and was at Yale at about the same time. Carl looked at me and said, “You know Dick Wiklund?” It is a small world. If I understood correctly, Carl did his residency with Dick. He also told us something about Dick and Claire that we didn’t know. Carl said that Dick once owned a 44 foot Morgan, the same 44 foot Morgan that was hauled down a street in New York City in the movie Romancing the Stone. Dick and Claire, is this true? Until tomorrow . . .

051025 Day 8 Boston to Norfolk, USA–New Friends, Carl and Alex Stein