We Started the Great Loop!

Howdy! January 30, 2022 at 10:25 our boat neighbors in Kennedy Point Marina gathered and tossed the lines as we started out on America’s Great Loop! It was the coldest day in 4 years, but the sun was bright, the winds calmed to under 6 knots, and we entered the channel from the marina to the ICW. Woohoo!  While Momma was securing the lines and fenders, Poppa’s smile faded and he calmy said, “We don’t have steering.” Momma stopped fiddling with the lines and was quickly up to the flybridge with her eyes really wide.  Poppa spun the steering wheel around to show that the rudders weren’t engaging. Ruh-roh! Poppa used the engines to steer us just past the ICW channel and we dropped anchor.

After some initial troubleshooting, Poppa chose the Phone-a-Friend option. Our boat neighbors until about 5 minutes ago, also own a Carver. Jeff and Poppa talked through things, and agreed we must need power steering fluid. The cap to the well that holds the fluid was stuck, so while Poppa tried to pry it open, Momma was frantically searching for a bottle of hydraulic steering fluid in every crevice of the boat. She came up empty. Jeff had a bottle, but we were far enough away that it wasn’t a safe trip out in the dinghy. We called TowBoat US to get us back to the marina to try to fix it. It was going to be a 2.5 hour wait so Poppa kept trying to open the cap. But Jeff, or in this case Super Jeff, found a boat that was leaving the marina and they agreed to drop-off the fluid. The Finally approached us from the channel and Poppa extended a boat hook from our stern to theirs. They got it on the second attempt! We didn’t catch their names, but a huge thank you to the crew of Finally for their assistance. Also greatly appreciate Jeff and Ruth on King George V for going above and beyond in helping us out. Thank you!

Now we had to get the fluid into the tiny opening. Poppa asked for a small funnel and Momma came back with a meat injector syringe. The syringe worked! Poppa kept spinning the wheel as it filled and at 12:50 pm we started the Loop, again!

The rest of the ride was great! We went through the Haulover Canal and followed the ICW to New Smyrna Beach. We saw at least 50 dolphins, lots of crab traps, and it was a beautiful day! We pulled into the Marina about 4:45pm, and after the boat was secured, Momma took me up for a walk. #LoveNSB.

We took a long walk and picked up pulled pork sandwiches from Yellow Dog Eatery and decompressed.

From this trip, we will be adding to the Departure Checklist, and figuring out why Nebo isn’t working for us.

Lots of love,

3 thoughts on “We Started the Great Loop!”

  1. Chip, Pat and MoJo

    LeeLoo, Momma ,and Poppa,
    Chip, MoJo and I enjoyed meeting you guys in Chesapeake, VA at the Great Bridge Locks Park “marina.” We are excited to watch your posts of your trip around the Great Loop and LeeLoo’s antics. We may run into you again as that park is MoJo’s #1 request for his walks!

    Best of luck as you continue your adventures and we’re hoping for good weather for the remainder of your stay.

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