On the hard – also known as hauled out- means we are busting our behinds to get a bunch of maintenance and repairs completed that can only be done out of the water.

Before we catch up, let's take a minute and say thank you again to everyone who commented, who called, who actually helped, and who prayed to help us find Goose New Years. We believe you made the difference, and cannot begin to tell you what it means to all of us.

We left Darien Ga and our new friends to head south once again. At Jacksonville Fl, we took a turn to the west to travel the 25 miles or so up the St Mary's River to Green Cove Springs Fl.

It was blowing fairly hard and we were able to sail through Jacksonville proper, but the river takes a hard turn to the south and we ended up motoring directly into the SW 15 knot wind all morning.

This Marina is a haven for do-it yourself boaters with hundreds of boats out of the water either in long term storage as people go back to work for cruising funds, or in the yard as we all do our own work. It is quite the community.

As they haul a lot of boats these guys have it down to a science. The travel lift picks you up and the hydraulic trailer gets you from the lift and sticks you in a hole among many other boats.

Then we get to work. But first, Mother Nature decides to send a super strong cold front with 30 mph winds and 30 degree temps, followed by cold, windy rainy days. Yuk.

At least there are no bugs!

We finally get a bit of a break and get to sand and paint the bottom. We spend $150 each on 3 gallons of an epoxy paint full of cuprous oxide (copper) which is supposed to kill the marine organisms that love to grow on the boat. Before the EPA there were much better products that actually worked and were much less expensive. Now only governemnt vessels get to use those.

Other fun stuff is replacing broken thruhull valves, zincs (to stop disimilar metal corrosion), fiberglass repair to the stern tube (where the shaft from the engine passes thru the hull to the propeller), and adding two coats of paint to the boot stripe above the waterline.

A big project, and a scary one, was to find and fix the oil leak on the engine. If you remember, back last August we had to stop in Myrtle Beach for a month and basically rebuild much of the engine due to an exploded transmission pressure plate.

At that time, I decided not to replace the rear main oil seal and I had just had enough by then.

Well… It really only took a couple of hours to take it all apart again, but even more this time, to find out the oil pan gasket had gotten kinked during the install. Now with the whole thing apart it is easy to see and fix. (Easy being relative of course!)

This is a pic from the back of the engine. I have removed the transmission, ring gear, bell housing and oilpan. Now everything is cleaned and painted and ready to back together. First the oilpan ( making sure the gasket seats correctly… Hehe)

The refrigerator is acting up again, and since there is no one who seems to want to come work on it, I just ordered the tools to do it myself!

Shelly is cooking up all the stuff in the defrosted freezer, and the milk is almost warm. This makes for a grouchy crew!

No worries… We will back in the water, and heading toward much warmer climes by the first of the week and this will be just another memory!