“Don’t Miss the Boat!” with Captain Jerry Taylor
We received a voicemail from a gentleman who identified himself as John Chan. His English was excellent, but I must admit his request did harken me back to old Charlie Chan black and white murder mystery movies of yesteryear, when he said, “I’ve just purchased this boat in Ft. Lauderdale, and I need it shipped to Hong Kong.” Did he want us to deliver it to Hong Kong? “No,” he replied, “But it must be on the ship that is departing the Port of Savannah five days from now. Can you do that?” We agreed that it was possible, and set about making our preparations immediately.
As usual, the boat needed some mechanical and safety issues attended to before leaving Ft Lauderdale. This included replacing the raw water pumps on both main engines, and gathering spare parts such as impellers, belts and spare Racor fuel elements. By early afternoon on Saturday, January 16, we were ready to go and left the dock at 1430 to run the 25 miles to Del Rey.
Sunday morning we topped the fuel tanks at the Boynton Marina Village fuel dock, and ran the 120 miles up to Melbourne Harbor Marina. The day began with heavy, driving rain resulting in as little as one quarter mile visibility, followed by 20 to 30 knots of wind from the West. Well, it was January, and one of those Florida winters that had it’s fair share of ripping ‘cold fronts.’
0640 Monday morning we departed the dock for the 173 miles to Palm Cove Marina in Jacksonville Beach. Just after entering the Palm Valley Cut, the generator shut down, so after taking on fuel, we replaced the generator impeller and proved it’s operation. A second nasty surprise was discovered when the dock attendant insisted that we have a ‘pump out.’ The macerator pump had appeared to be functioning but as there was no way to monitor the level of the holding tank, we had been using the shore side facilities. This turned out to be a very smart move as the dock pump out ran on, and on, and on. The macerator only made noise, and the tank was full!
Tuesday morning we departed at 0700 and ran 170 miles to the Savannah Hyatt, on the Savannah River. We began our interior and exterior cleanup, picked up a rental car from the Savannah Airport and awaited the call for our loading time.
We arrived alongside the loading dock in the port at the appointed hour, and helped the longshoremen attach the slings to lift ‘Hot Under Pressure’ onto the shipping cradle. All went well, and we returned to Ft Lauderdale by rental car to await the next mysterious phone call.
Total Distance: 421 Nautical Miles
Total Running Hours: 33.1
Average Speed: 12.7 knots
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