MAY 28, 2017: Motors run better with fuel

No dinghy- or buoy-bumping disturbed our Saturday night slumber, and we again slept late. Walt celebrated the Eucharist for the two of us shortly before noon, and we gave thanks for a safe journey to this splendid sun-saturated bay! We sought out shady spots in Braesail’s enclosed cockpit and read, composed mail, and watched watercraft, large and small, human and engine powered, parade past us, and at one point noticed a drone buzzing about above some of the nearby boats like a giant, noisy mosquito.

A little after 1 pm, we climbed aboard Coracle, loaded our plastic sack of garbage, and motored over to the float and the ramp that leads to the park’s registration station. The tide was so low that the water next to the float was too shallow for the outboard motor’s propeller and the tender’s bottom to negotiate, so we had to row around to the other side. The ramp from the beach to the top of the bank, where the registration forms and garbage can are located, stood at about a 30-degree angle, and I needed the strength of both arms to pull myself up to the top! There I registered Braesail for another night, deposited our garbage in an over-full container, and backed down the ramp, clinging to both rails, because my shoes were too slippery to provide good traction.

Off we then motored to the other side of the cove to pick up the can opener Walt had requested, to get a quart of engine oil for the outboard motor (Walt had left our spare in our Everett garage), and to enjoy some shaved ice. As we were approaching the float below the little general store, Coracle’s outboard motor sputtered and died, and refused to be resurrected. We were only a few feet from the shore and in only a few inches of water, and again Walt rowed, this time around a number of large  boats, and found a place to tie up. Here also the ramp from the shore to the top of the bank was extremely steep and provided even less traction than had the ramp to the registration station. We pulled ourselves up (good upper-body exercise!), Walt picked up the can opener and some 10W40 motor oil, and we ordered some shaved ice: pineapple for Walt and lemon for me–wonderful on such a sultry afternoon! We ate at a little table under the shady canopy of shimmering green leaves provided by the spreading branches of a huge maple tree, and then made our way back down the ramp, I stepping backward and planting my feet at an angle because of my slippy-slidey shoe soles. Walt made it to back to Coracle with the remainder of his shaved ice intact, but then spilled it while untying the tender (of course!); I’d finished mine before descending the ramp so that I’d have full use of both hands and arms to support myself on the way down! Walt had determined that the motor was out of gas, and so rowed around to the fuel dock (cheers for oars!) while I walked over to the pump to lighten his load, but there was quite a queue of people waiting to refuel their craft, and so we decided to row back to Braesail and use the fuel stored there. Walt had also noticed that he’d bought 10W40 oil instead of 10W30, but that’s the only kind the store had in stock, we were told, so he located some 15W30 oil in a storage locker to use for the time being. Back beside Braesail, with topped-up oil and a tank full of gas, the outboard motor sprang happily to life as expected, and we decided to remind one another to check fuel levels before taking Coracle for a long ride!

After a sandwich lunch, Walt and I both took naps, I in the bow cabin where it was a bit cooler, and he in the stern cabin, his favorite spot. After a sandwich lunch, Walt and I both took naps, I in the bow cabin where it was a bit cooler, and he in the stern cabin, his favorite spot. We spent the rest of the afternoon reading and writing, and Walt finished evaluating his online students’ papers at long last–overall evaluations come next. Walt grilled steaks on the barbecue in the stern of the boat for a late supper as too-long-absent cool breezes returned to the cove to provide welcome relief from the heat, to ruffle the water ‘s surface, and to cause Braesail to swing gently back and forth around the mooring buoy, providing us with a continuously changing view of our surroundings. We retired to our comfortable stern cabin bed after listening to “The Compline Service” and “The Organ Loft” on KING-FM radio and planning Monday’s journey.

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