On the 11th day b4 setting sail I found my head in the engine room. The intent was to change the 4 hoses that are probably as old as the boat. Challenges started immediately. One hose is obviously too big. Even the best clamp will not properly secure the ends. It would help if I could identify the parts of the engine. For today I agreed to call the end facing the forward cabin the front of the engine. That leaves the side of the engine where I check the engine and transmission oilnthe rear end.

The next challenge was finding the old clamps. One Is on the underbelly of the engine. The warning from my engine mechanic to learn to work on the engine blindfolded suddenly made sense. After solving that little dilemma things got exciting. Within an instant of feeling proud that I got one end of the longest hose off water flew out. It was as if I struck a hole in a dike. No doubt this hose is attached to a water pump.

What got scary was when I uncampled a shorter hose sitting atop the engine. This one looked simple enough until green slimy looking liquid pored out. It did not smell like fuel (oops, I mean diesel). At this point I felt a tinge of frustration. So I did what I heard Francis Chichester did whenever he faced an emergency. I went to the galley and fixed myself a drink. I am not sure what Chichester drank but for me it was a chilled glass of cranberry juice. By the time I finished the glass I called a trusted friend, my sea captain, Kirk.

What a relief to hear his words of empathy. He quickly identified the green slime as antifreeze. With a few more suggestions and bantering about life in the engine room I was relaxed enough to call it a night. Calling it a night is a good thing so I can keep my 6 am date to walk on the beach.

P.S. Finally on this 11th night before setting a course north i still have to stop at wallynworld to buy granola bars for a volunteer appreciation program I am charged with hosting at 8 am tomorrow. Well, Sleep tight my friends, soon we will all be sailing...

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