Although the work on Peeler progressed slowly this season, by early April the contractor had finally replaced the roof, having constructed soffits on the side where the addition was removed. Although the contractor still had more to do, the new soffits were all bare wood that needed to be painted. So with Sandy and Ken’s help we primed and caulked all the bare wood. That was the best we could do in the time we had left.
Finally, there was one more task to do. On our last Saturday, Kim from Kim’s Open Door called asking if Dave could drive the bus to the tutoring program on Saturday. Sure thing. And with that done, we were done for the season. Sandy had left the Wednesday before. Ken and Karen headed out that same Saturday. And on Monday, it was our turn to say goodbye.
Until November . . . well sort of.
The list of tasks needed to get Orion Jr back on the road and on the water was getting shorter. Dave checked the tires and topped off their air pressure. He also moved the tire pressure sensors from the RV and reprogrammed the Tire Pressure Monitor at the lower pressure required. After some debate, we decided to replace the batteries on the boat with 2 new Marine group 24 batteries. The load they could carry would be 25% less (150 amp-hours vs 200), but the advantage of having fresh batteries (and therefore a known entity) at a good price was worth the change.
Then, there were the leaks. The rain that exposed problems at the house next door, also reminded us of problems on the boat. The port side settee in the Main Saloon had a huge puddle of water. And the bilge pumped out a lot of water. We were able to eliminate several possible sources (portlights, hatch boards, shrouds), but narrowed in on a small crack in the port cockpit seat. We made a temporary repair and will look for the next rain to see if we are right.
Cathy’s 60th birthday had a delayed reward. After the last of the Spring Break crowds had departed, we headed to Orlando to visit Universal Studios and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We tasted some butterbeer, shopped at Honeyduke’s in Hogsmeade, rode the Hogwarts Express, watched a wand choose its wizard at Olivanders in Diagon Alley, and even ventured into Knockturn Alley. We toured Hogwarts and took the Forbidden Journey ride into the chamber of secrets and rode with Harry and crew on their escape from Gringotts. There were lots of wand-waving wizards around, but we left the magic tricks to those who were willing to pay $50 for a wand. (I don’t think so.)
On a couple of occasions we left the park early. Once to visit with Dave’s sister Wendy and her husband Dave who drove up from Bradenton. And once to see the Blue Man Group show, which was funny and weird but still a good time. We had earned tickets to see it, so our admission was free. By Friday, we were ready to head back “home” to Jacksonville. It had been a good break and a great birthday gift.
It took us 2 days to reach Poquoson towing Jr. The first of which was pretty uneventful. But the second day was a different story. Less than an hour out of Lumberton, where we had stopped for the night, a tire pressure alarm sounded. While we had seen a few false alarms over the years since installing them, this was certainly real. The front passenger tire on the trailer was leaking air through a sizable opening on the inside. Big enough that you could hear the air escaping despite the noise of traffic on I95.
After a very long day, we pulled into Steve and Linda’s yard, very glad to be there. Let’s hope launching the boat will be a little less eventful.