The waterways of America’s heartland sucked the living energy out of me. Out of all of us. It was 1000+ miles. 98% of it was less than exciting. 2% was exciting, but usually not in a positive way. More like in a “Holy CRAP that barge is CLOSE!” Or “It sure is foggy out here today. Did you hear something?”

But we made it. And I will recap the rest of our adventure from Demopolis to Mobile, AL. Soon. As soon as I can bear to think about it without crying.

Meanwhile we are set in Mobile. Been here since 27 October. Because we FLEW down the river. And been waiting here because we have tickets to fly to Minnesota this Thursday for the Donnelly family holiday get together. Been working. Playing. Doing stuff. More on that later. This post is to assure everyone that we are:

1. Alive.
2. Well.
3. And still dorking stuff up!1

Evidence to support #3 is presented:

We have been here a week and I have been procrastinating servicing the engines. It is a pain in the rear. I’d rather do anything else. I get all sweaty. Ick. So I waiting until Saturday, even waiting until later in the day, after all the marine supply stores are closed. Because nothing will go wrong.

Happy Engine.

First engine done in three hours. Not a record, but I changed the lower and upper oil, changed the spark plugs (which were nasty) and changed out the fuel filters. No problems. Lunch break and we hoisted engine number two. Drained out the lower unit oil. Replaced the oil. Put in the level screw. Disconnected the oil pump fitting from the fill hole and tried to put the fill screw back in place. Wouldn’t go in…slippery oil…fumbling ensued…and the bolt dropped. Onto the piece of insulation I had in the well to PREVENT STUFF FROM FALLING IN THE WATER. Where it bounced twice and found a gap in the barrier from said water. And threw itself to FREEDOM!


That was the sound of the bolt hitting the water. And the sound of the end of the service on the engine. All the oil drained back out. Because, of course, I didn’t have a bolt to stop it. And I don’t have a spare bolt, because why would I have an extra key piece of the motors, essential to the running of the engine? I called a ton of places. All closed. I banged my head against the engine. Didn’t help but I felt better. We tied it up to the support, got a bolt that filled the hole (but won’t work other wise) to keep water out and called it a day. Or two…will get out on Monday, get a bolt, and finish up the work.

Oh yeah. And get a spare.

More posts to follow.

1At least I am still dorking stuff up. Jan and AJ are rocking on, firing on all cylinders as always.