We absolutely HAD to take advantage of the last day for a below-wholesale pricing deal offered to us through Club Nautique at West Marine, so off we went on Saturday to spend money. We had made a list of possible purchases and price comparisons ahead of time, much of which came directly off of our “To Do” list, so it wasn’t as though we planned on making any frivolous purchases, and we didn’t. We bought a second propane tank, a bosun’s chair, some new dock lines, an AM/FM antenna, a couple of jacklines, a new power cord and adaptor, and a new, longer furling line for the new headsail – all of which were things we had to buy sooner or later, out of basic necessity or safety. We did resist buying a few things we had on the list, however, due to the fact that even with below-wholesale pricing, the pricing was still better at other stores online. And then Rick bought some supplies and equipment from the local diesel shop for doing our own engine tune-ups. But by the time all that was done, it was really too late to start the engine tune-up, so we relaxed a little and prepared for the evening get-together with our dockmates to see the Sausalito Yacht Club Lighted Boat Parade.
What a gorgeous night it was for the Lighted Boat Parade: clear, cool, and no fog whatsoever. Our group perched itself along the top of the cement wall bordering the shoreline walkway just north of the Sausalito Yacht Club. The parade leader was a large motor yacht, decorated abundantly with white icicle lights, who played holiday music so loud that I swore you could hear it all the way to San Francisco; the music really put us in the mood. As this gorgeous, double-masted, gaff-rigged scooner, with lights trimming where all the sails would be, came motoring into our view, the full moon appeared behind it, just over the Tiburon hills. It was thrilling, almost spiritual. There were at least two dozen boats, all decorated differently, from gorgeous to ghastly. One decorated power boat with another outstanding sound system had a lovely woman on the bow, scantly clad in a santa’s hat and not much else, singing a very sexy rendition of “Santa Baby.” Sausalito is really fun.
Sunday, for the second Sunday in a row, we really wanted to go sailing, but we’d promised ourselves we’d do the engine tune-up that we hadn’t gotten to Saturday. And it was a good thing we did – the engine wouldn’t start, again. Rick spent several hours trying a number of different avenues to get it started but to no avail. In the meantime, I did some Christmas shopping, helped him with the engine work, and did some touch-up on the outdoor brightwork. We had just about come to the conclusion that we were going to have to call in the experts to address the engine, when our dockmate suggested that Rick and he set a date to take one more look at it together. They did, and Rick went back down to the boat after work on Tuesday. They cleaned out most of the sediment in the fuel filter and bled the air out again, this time all the way through all of the fuel injectors, and, behold, it started! Rick changed the oil and then it started again! So we may have it licked, although Rick still has a suspicion that a faulty manual fuel pump may be leaking air into the system, so we’ll see.
So once again, we had a weekend on the boat where we didn’t actually get out and sail. We really don’t want to make a habit of that, but wintertime does seem to be the time to take care of all sorts of maintenance items; after all, the wind is either non-existent or wailing, and the weather is questionable, often cold. In any case, it is still a barrel of fun to go down to the boat, hang out on it and in Sausalito and with our dockmates for the weekend, and it is satisfying to make progress on getting the boat and ourselves closer to cruise-ready at each visit.