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Making Friends

I have been working on the boat project since last fall, and I have spent a considerable amount of time online chasing down parts and various supplies to make my ideas come to life. Boxes have been delivered to my front door from vendors on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, both coasts of America, and many places in between. Seawater pumps from a vendor in California, cogged belts from Texas and stainless steel from Kentucky, to name a few. I had so many boxes coming that I lost track of it all and did not know what was coming at times! One thing that happens when you start searching online is that you can unknowingly drop into a rabbit hole taking you away from the original search, but that is not always a bad thing. During one search I found “The Pursuit Owners Club” and joined it. I asked some questions and answered some, and before long I had been contacted by two different men named “Dan” with the same boat that I have. Dan #1 is down in Florida. His boat has the same engines as mine and he is doing quite a bit of fiberglass work to his boat. We both are interested in the work each is doing to our boats and we have traded information and pictures, lots of pictures. One thing that helps a lot is sharing vendor information. Cutting down the search time for parts is a great help, and finding it faster and with the lowest price is a bigger help! His boat is on a trailer at his house, and he is able to work on it almost daily. Mine is about 30 miles away, and I have only been going a few times a week. When spring arrived I had to keep up with outside chores as well, so my progress has been slowed a bit. Dan #1 will have his boat in the water by mid May. I hope to be in before the end of May. Dan #2 purchased his boat in March down in Florida, and had it trucked up to Ohio at a marina on Lake Erie. He moved up to this boat from a smaller outboard and the many systems onboard are new to him. He has had many questions about the boat and how different things work on it. I always try to take pictures of any projects am involved with on my boat, and when Dan would ask about this or that I could refer to my pictures and e-mail them to him if needed. It’s a good feeling to be able to help out a person even though we have never met. About ten years ago my heart stopped while I was alone at home and I passed out. Lucky for me I woke up and called for help. After many years of first aid courses, I learned the first thing to do in that situation is to call 911. So the first thing I did when I woke up was to call... my wife. She called 911! Anyway, after being in the hospital and having my heart stop again I ended up with a pacemaker. Kind of a new and shocking experience, so I ended up on the internet and found the “Pacemaker Club”. Not to be confused with the boat Pacemaker, it is a place to ask and answer questions about the experience. So I posted questions and one lady responded and asked if I had a bucket list. I mentioned long distance cruising and a trip called the “Great Loop”. If you are not familiar with this trip let me give a quick rundown. Say you start in NY Harbor. You go up the Hudson to the Erie Canal, take that to either Lake Ontario by way of the Oswego River, or take the Erie Canal all the way to Lake Erie. On to Lake Huron and Michigan and eventually to the Mississippi River. Follow the river south to the Gulf of Mexico, over to Florida and up the east coast and back to New York harbor where you started. Great loop completed. Well over time as we e-mailed about our pacemakers her and her husband decided to do the “Loop”. In no time they were in Florida and bought a 40 foot trawler. They took lessons and in a few months, they headed north on their “Great Loop” trip! We kept in touch as they headed north, and when they got to NY they docked their boat and took a train out to Port Jefferson. I picked them up and took them to a hotel, and later took them to our house where we had a great dinner and chatted on about all sorts of things. They eventually finished the loop and sold the trawler. They had sent me all sorts of pictures and there is some astounding beauty along the way. Back home in Seattle, they bought another, larger twin engine trawler and went up the inside passage to Alaska and back! We still keep in touch talking about boats and family. In the meantime I am closer to getting started on our trip. The engines are ready to go back in the boat after just a few more details in the engine room. The plastic thru-hull fittings should be replaced now, while the engines are out. They are much easier to get to. Those fittings are now 20 years old and seem to have sun damage more than anything. It would be a shame to go through all this trouble only to have one of those go bad once the boat is back in the water. I also have a brand new water heater to install, after those fittings are done. I have cleaned the bilges, and moved the engine fuel filters from the front to the rear of the engine room. I had to do that to make room for the new front engine mounted seawater pumps. A few more items and we should be ready to get going. I wonder how many friends we will make on the way?

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