Naturally, while all the tedious strenuous work of repairing the fuel tank was ongoing, daily life continued. Provisioning, laundry, rigging the boat, all the routine steps to prepare our Angel for a season of cruising had to take place.
We had a few more surprises in store. The morning after I inflated and launched the dinghy, I found one of the tubes completely deflated. So I traced down a leak, made the repair, and then moved on to servicing the outboard. The little engine started immediately and idled just fine, but the throttle plate was stuck closed. I couldn’t go anywhere.
This little task took several hours as I had to remove the carburetor from the engine, take it apart, and gently drive the throttle shaft out of the bore. I then sanded the shaft until all corrosion was removed, and the shaft turned freely. Joy and I are very thankful for my many varied career experiences. My 11 years of experience in the construction and automotive repair fields pays many dividends.
Finally, with great excitement and a little nervousness, we departed the dock heading out to anchor, one month after the project all began. We faced a few days of testing and adjusting things, final provisioning, and waiting for a break in the weather.
And waiting some more; the winds this year were amazing. We kept seeing forecasts of 25 to 35 knot winds gusting to as much as 45 knots for days on end, and seas running to 15 feet. We do not even consider departing in these conditions; we would just be looking for trouble. Boats were pinned to the docks and holed up in anchorages all over the Caribbean. No one was heading out into open water.