On Monday morning I decided to be productive and found that the generator was about 17 hours overdue for an oil change. I had a filter and the one gallon of oil that it takes, so I went ahead and accomplished that task and then set out to dispose of the used oil, so it was off to Aqua Yacht Harbor in the dinghy.
Aqua Yacht is well known to anyone who travels through this area. It's located about 2 miles down the Tenn-Tom from the Tennessee River, near where we are anchored. I asked a couple of workers there where I could dump my gallon of waste oil before I found the tank just inside the large service bay. I was surprised to find out that they had to pay to have waste oil taken away. You'd think there would be a market for it with the price of the stuff new.
Rosie waited in the dinghy with Holly while I did some shopping in the ship's store, and I hit paydirt. Everything I had been looking for since we were at Green Turtle Bay, plus a circuit breaker I needed since I installed the water maker back in St. Louis, was found at Aqua Yacht.
I got my 15 amp rocker circuit breaker, a GFI receptacle, a 30 amp male plug to repair a spare shore power cord, a stainless steel hanger for our life ring, and I got real extravagant and bought a new U.S. flag because ours did sustain some damage in the severe storm we encountered in Pisgah Bay a few weeks ago, and what the heck, the 4th was coming up. I also bought supplies for our main engine oil change due in 20 hours. I could do it early and have a place to dispose of the waste oil, but at the price of an oil change, even with me doing it, I'll take it to the limit, as the Eagles say. Good oil runs anywhere from $20-$24 a gallon and the thirsty Caterpillars need 6 gallons a piece for an oil change. Add the cost of filters and it's no cheapie. The main thing was that they had everything I needed. I left quite a few dollars poorer, but Auto Zone is hard to come by out on the river, so I was very happy.
We loaded up the dinghy to the gills with our purchases and took them back to Swing Set to stow everything away when I realized I had forgotten to inquire about a part I needed.
It was too hot to return on Monday, so we played in the water and tried to stay cool for the rest of the day, but the temperatures were actually better and we didn't run the air conditioner on Monday at all and we had a nice cool night for sleeping with the hatches open.
On Tuesday morning after some minor chores, Rosie and I ran back over to Aqua Yacht and I got to talk to the service manager Tom about getting a stainless steel chafe guard made for Swing Set. You may remember me trying to get Little John to make one so our friends Jerry or Brett could bring it down while we were in Kentucky Lake, but I guess he was too busy. They don't do fabrication at Aqua Yacht, but Tom called a place about 15 miles away and they agreed to make it and Tom was going to pick it up and have it back the next morning, the 4th of July! Since I don't like issuing blank checks, I had the audacity to inquire as to the price of said item and Tom just said that, "It'll be cheap". Good enough for me, and he was right.
Rosie and I motored over to Sportsmans to stock up on more beer and then it was back to the boat and more water activity. It was a hot one yesterday and the cove we were in had quite a few boats in it. The cove is small and cozy, you can hear the mothers yelling at their children all throughout the cove. We decided to take a field trip with the dinghy back over to Waterfall Cove but there wasn't much going on over there. The wind started kicking up, so we decided to head back to the boat to make sure our two anchors were holding.
We had canned chicken and dumplings for dinner, and you wouldn't think so in this heat, but it was really good. We are getting to the point of needing to visit a supermarket pretty soon, but we have plans for that on Friday. After dinner, we retired to our respective places in the salon to read and both of us nodded off. It was dusk when we both woke up and Rosie mentioned wanting something sweet, something she never does. I mentioned ice cream, so it was off in the dinghy we went. Both Grand Harbor and Aqua Yacht were closed, but the trusty Shell station called Sportsmans had pints of Blue Bunny ice cream and I brought two pints back to Rosie waiting in the dinghy. My baby wants ice cream, my baby gets ice cream. Rosie wanted to wait until we were back at the boat to eat hers, but I suggested that if we waited until then, she'd be eating a milkshake, it was that hot. It was dark by the time we arrived back at the boat after idling the whole way, but we have running lights on the dinghy. We played dominoes before hitting the hay with the new books we got by exchanging two we had over at Grand Harbor.
This morning right after a great 4th of July breakfast, I left Rosie at the boat and headed over to Aqua Yacht to get our chafe guard. The piece was made exactly the right size and Tom had one of his guys countersink the screw holes and give the stainless a polishing so it matched the anchor roller on Swing Set. By 10 A.M. I was back at the boat and ready to install it.
The guard is the piece between the windlass and the anchor roller. We needed it because we have chain as part of our ground tackle now and the chain was rubbing on the deck and would eventually wear through the gel coat and look bad. This chafe guard matches the anchor roller and will look good for years to come.
I told the fellas at Aqua Yacht that we'd be back in on our return from Knoxville, whether we needed service or not, just to say "Hi" if nothing else. It will be good to know that if we do need something, we'll be able to get it done at Aqua Yacht Harbor. We were also told that we could have stuff delivered there if we needed it, so we were happy about that. We might need some medicine delivered to us at some point, so now we have a place.
Because we are in need of groceries, we plan on staying at Florence Marina probably Friday night. We'll leave our anchorage here on Thursday morning and stay on the hook about ten miles this side of Florence on Thursday night. Friday will mark one month since we last bought any substantial amount of groceries. I figure if we have to stay in a marina once a month to use a courtesy car to get supplies, it won't be too bad, plus this weekend is supposed to still be very hot and I won't mind changing the oil with the A/C on.
See? It's not all fun and games here on Swing Set.