Friday, January 13, 2012


Coconut Grove, Miami, FL 25º43.533N | 80º84.321W

One of the many rewards for sitting tight in Miami is that all our cruising friends are passing through, most on their way to the Bahamas. Some dear folks from Canada ( that you haven't met here ), who we met in the Bahamas, stopped in for a couple of nights waiting for a weather window to cross to Bimini. We enjoyed lolling around Coconut Grove with them, having lunch, sipping Cuban coffee, eating gelato and prattling on about stowing dinghies, anchoring, religion and life's lessons.

They had just invested a lot of money in upgrading their Beneteau and invited us out to see the new features, including several things that make us quite jealous, such as a massive arch and a new Tohatsu 9.9HP outboard.

As we puttered up to their boat with our Tohatsu 3.5HP, way out in the Dinner Key mooring field, we were surprised to see them standing on their swim platform with the new motor.

They had been hoisting it off the dinghy, onto the big boat when the hoist failed and the one-week-old motor fell into the dinghy and then into the water taking the captain with it.

In true Canadian style, he was standing there dripping wet, caressing his beloved new engine saying through gritted teeth, "I am so mad right now. I am so mad," in the calmest voice you ever heard.

In case you aren't familiar with saltwater, this little dunking was just short of catastrophic. Saltwater is hideously destructive, especially to metal. Any misstep at this point could have rendered that new motor kaput. For instance, if the water had been too deep to retrieve it quickly or if it had happened somewhere that help wasn't at hand...horrors.

The dealer told them, "Get that motor to a mechanic, ASAP," so with the motor back on their dinghy, Chip towed them, with our Tohatsu 3.5, into the marina.

Apparently outboard motor baptisms happen a lot around here. The marina dumped the thing immediately into a dedicated "bath" to rinse away the saltwater. Then they changed the oil repeatedly until it no longer appeared cloudy.

And, voila, from underwater to ready for the Bahamas in less than three hours.

I just love a happy ending -- and happy friends who now report a safe passage to Nassau.

No comments:

Post a Comment