Thursday, November 27, 2014

Home, sweet home...Pensacola

Wednesday, November 27 – Happy Thanksgiving!

Pensacola will be our home for a few more weeks. Last Friday we got our repaired alternator back and a new combiner installed for the electrical system. The repairman then decided it would be best for us to get a diesel expert in to work on the generator, since the output from generator was still a problem. Wayne called several services recommended by the local Westerbeke distributor...and wasn't having any luck getting anyone out to look at the problem in the near future. One of the calls was to a fellow with his own diesel repair service, Mark. Several people had referred to him, but would quickly add that he usually stayed booked up. Well, Friday afternoon, late, he called and said he would come by after the job he was on and look at the problem.

We had rented an Enterprise rental for the Friday – Monday weekend rate of $10/day, so we were up in the northern part of Pensacola when he called. We met him at the boat at 4:30 and he worked until 7 on the generator. I won't go into the technical details (cough, cough) but will summarize the situation by saying he fixed what was the “obvious” problem...and in the process he uncovered a more sinister issue. There was a “slapping” or “knocking” noise in the generator that couldn't be attributed to the normal operating sounds. Mark thought it might be caused by faulty fuel injectors, and that would be a pretty easy fix. The other things that could cause the slapping...not so easily fixed. There had obviously been some work done on the generator sometime in the past...and that work may have caused some of our problems now.

Friday night Mark removed the three injectors and placed them in a quart size baggy. On Monday morning, Wayne and I drove up to Atmore, AL, about an hour away, to have the injectors tested. They came out clean, no problem. [Oh, if I'd only been able to take pictures in the Atmore Diesel “office!” It looked like they'd given up cleaning years ago. A filthy padded Swifter mop sat in a corner draped with cobwebs. From my perspective, across the room from Travis' desk, I could see all the dirt and debris under the desk, about 2” deep, I'd say.) A mounted moose head was on the wall with two costume hats perched on its “rack.” And Travis was a gem! Answered the phone with “Pam here!” and charged a whopping $9 to test the injectors.]

So now we were looking at something that would require a rebuild...and that would cost almost as much as a new generator. Bottom line: after much consideration (for our peace of mind, etc.) we decided to take care of this issue with a new generator. Mark ordered it on Monday and it will likely be here around December 8-10.

On Monday, we will move the boat to Bahia Mar Marina, about 1 nautical mile from Palafox. Mark spends a lot of time at that marina and with us close at hand he will be able to dismantle the old generator and have it out before the new one comes in.

In the meantime, we've adjusted our plans (and expectations) and are feeling optimistic. We started looking forward and called a small marina in Ft. Myers Beach to see if transient space might be available for the month of February...and it is! Fish Tale Marina is located behind Santini Plaza on the south end of the island...a location we prefer. Gone is my problem with getting up to my art workshop on the island from downtown Ft. Myers where we'd originally planned to stay!

We've explored more in Pensacola, some by car, by bus, and some by foot. Last Thursday we caught a bus and went to the National Naval Aviation Museum. We'd visited back in 2010, but at that time they were working on a new exhibit to include aircraft from Vietnam and Gulf Wars. They had also added a section on lunar travel.

Loved the tires on that lunar rover! I could use those on my Golf!

The bus trip was worth the price of the fare (.85 for seniors). Great people-watching experience. ;-) Trouble is, the bus system is pretty limited in coverage and most routes seem to involve an hour's wait between buses.

We've lunched at several places, all good:

Al Fresco Pensacola, a collection of food trucks (Airstream trailers, actually) with a variety of food choices.  Perfect spot for lunch on a sunny Pensacola day!

McGuire's Irish Pub - They brew their own beer and their fish and fries were delicious.  Just seeing the inside of the place is a treat.

Hub Stacey's – Great little bar in a century-old building. Good, huge sandwiches.

Joe Patti's – Great seafood market about a mile from the marina. We bought already steamed shrimp for supper one night. They've got a great selection of seafood. If you're not hungry when you go in, you will be before you leave!

We walked over to our “new” home as of this coming Monday, Bahia Mar Marina, to check out the place. Looks very nice and protected (Palafox is a little rocky-rolly on the transient dock). We had lunch at Sam's Seafood and Steaks on the way (gumbo and shrimp salad)....then split a pecan cobbler with ice cream at the Oar House, Bahia Mar's onsite restaurant. Comfort foods. ;-)

While we had a car last weekend we found a frozen yogurt shop, Wild Honey Yogurt.  We hit two frozen yogurt locations before we found one that was still in business.  I hate to see this trend die just when we've gotten on the wagon!!  Thanks to Carol for that!!  ;-)

Yesterday I walked to the Ever'man Grocery downtown, a whole foods type place, and picked up some special vittles for Thanksgiving.  We're having homemade Autumn Soup with cheese and crackers today.

I toured the Pensacola Art Museum which has an exhibit titled: Guild Hall: An Adventure in the Arts. The exhibit features works by a variety of “significant” artists (oh, to be so labeled!) that lived and worked in East Hampton area of Long Island, NY, over the past 140 years. The names I recognized were Chuck Close, Jackson Pollock, and Andy Warhol. I enjoyed the whole exhibit. Then I checked out the museum's gift shop and picked up (well, bought...I don't want to get caught again) a few items.

Coming home from the museum I saw a commotion at the county court house.  Turns out it was a group of carolers in costume...with an Elvis impersonator signing Elvis Christmas tunes.  This one guessed it...Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree!

While walking around here we spotted a LittleFreeLibrary.  Take a book, leave a book...

And...we're seeing fall colors!

Again, Happy Thanksgiving! This and every day we are grateful for each other, for our families and friends, our health, and for the opportunities afforded to us in life. 'Til next time...