Posted by: powellpjc | March 29, 2009

Cooling my Heels


So I drove back across the Great Plains in three days to Thunder Bay. It was a lovely drive. Clear skies, no wind and +18C. I could see the flooded farmer’s fields when I got into North Dakota. Those poor folks must live in fear every year knowing the river is going to rise.

Needed to return for the rest of my stuff. Books, keyboard, kitchen utensils and tools would be the major categories. If I’d been better organized I would have had everything boxed up and ready to be shipped but I’m not and never will be.

Took my car in for servicing and got some startling news. The 2002 car with 120,000 km needs a new engine. Seems the catalytic converter failed and started belching upstream back into the engine. I knew it was burning some oil for the first time in its life but I never dreamed it was that bad. Turns out the converter was still covered under warranty so the engine change is on Nissan. It does, however, cause me delay in returning to the coast. I expect three more days before I can head out for the last time.

I do have some concern about crossing the border this time with my worldly possessions. I have a batch of papers set aside for the purpose with my bill of sale for the sailboat and other supporting documents. I imagine I’ll be thoroughly questioned by the border boys but I don’t see why they won’t let me pass. We’ll see.

The boatyard boys are hard at work painting the bottom of the boat, changing the cutlass bearing and a few other underwater tasks now that the boat is high and dry.

We have the mast laid out on sawhorses and when I get back I’m going to attach mast steps with rivets or SS screws. The ability to quickly get up the mast is very helpful when navigating in shallow coral waters. It is much easier to see the hazards from a few metres up and there is also the ability to retrieve lost halyards and a dozen other mast head jobs.

It will take me another three days to drive back to Portland but the drive across Montana is very pretty and with some good music and some fast food a guy can enjoy the ride.

Forgot my camera cable so no pics for a till I get back.


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