Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Home Again at Olverson's

Living on a boat is a bit like being a gypsy. We wander from place to place, rarely staying for too long at any one. Each place has its charm or event or people and places to see or a dog park. But where is home? I mean, where is that place that feels familiar and comfortable, where people know you and will always stop to lend a hand?

When we left Solomons we anchored in St. Mary's, MD off the college docks. There's a great little beach right there. We can take the dinghy up to the St. Mary's College docks and let the dogs run and swim. Every afternoon the students fill the cove with small sailboats and wind surfers. It was the perfect spot to ride out several days of high winds. Our plans were to leave there and anchor up the Corrotoman River at a place highly recommended by Cassie and Godiva on September Song for dog romping.

Unfortunately, when we went to put the dinghy back up the automatic tilt began emitting a pittiful groan and stopped working. A functioning tilt on an engine our size (40 HP) is a necessity if you want to beach the dinghy for dog swimming. It had to be fixed.

Now it might seem strange but fixing something like a dinghy can be a bit of a problem when you're living on the water. Most outboard places are inland catering to the weekend boater with a boat and trailer. We have the boat but no room to store a trailer. In addition, this is the busy time for these folks as they begin winterizing boats and preparing them for storage. No one would commit to looking at the boat any time soon. We needed help.

A call to Freddie at Olverson's Marina and the calvary was put into motion. Boats were rearranged to make space on the dock. Boat trailers were found. Parts were ordered. Trucks were offered to haul her out. And true to the male psyche a flotilla of men were quickly gathered around the engine. The offending part was a badly corroided tilt motor which "simply" needed to be replaced.

As these projects always go, little went smoothly. There were uncountable trips back to the boat for tools, phone calls, devices, etc. Bolts were broken and pins were jammed. By last night it was back together but still not working. Finally this morning in pouring rain with Mike Thompson's advice and a bit of work with a Dremel tool she was back in order.

Now we wait for the rain to stop pouring so we can bring her back on the boat and hopefully head for the Corrotoman River tomorrow. The kids are dying to swim in a new spot. But if it weren't for Freddie and Steve and Mann and Mike and this familiar place called Olverson's, who knows where we'd be heading. It was nice to be home for a few days.


Anonymous said...

While your blog fuels my imagination of waterway yet traveled, my true enjoyment comes from your traveling companions Dyna and Dylan . We were cared for by our two Shih Tzus for sixteen years...they never failed to bring a smile to our face and sunshine into a dark day. Thank you for sharing your travels.

MV Red Head said...

Ahhh...the truth is that our real enjoyment comes from our traveling companions too. I don't think any boat or any waterway could ever provide 10% of the satisfaction we get from living with our cold-nosed friends.

Only someone who has experienced something similar could ever understand that.

Matt said...

Absolutely! Life isn't complete without a pair of 4 legged canines to share it!

Unknown said...

The definition of cruising is repairing your boat in exotic places.