Joe bought a book several months ago that has great photos and descriptions of diesel engine maintenance, and yesterday he got the oil changed on the both engines and the generator, and he replaced the secondary fuel filter on one engine because it was leaking fuel. He was a bit nervous about the fuel filter because he knew he would have to bleed the fuel lines afterwards to get rid of air bubbles, but he's pleased to report that it went well and that the next time it will only take him half as long.
We had some "potty" issues this weekend that had us spraying air freshener every 20 minutes and leaving the portholes open all night despite 40 degree weather. One of us (who will remain nameless) was moaning about dying during the night from the smell and whining about wanting to go home; the non-whiner reminded the whiner that Paradise IS home! We thought that 2 of our 3 toilets had gone completely bonkers, but it turned out that the holding tank just needed a pumpout. If only all of our problems were as cheap and easy to fix; thank goodness they're almost never as smelly.
We continue to find stuff to get rid of and places on the boat to put the stuff that we do need to keep. We also still have more stuff that we have to buy--heaven only knows where we'll store that stuff.
First Mate Phil Ruppel came to tour Paradise tonight and to see what he's getting himself into. We had a great visit and I believe that all 3 of us feel that the next few weeks are going to be fun and interesting with lots of stories to share and memories to tuck away. Besides his adventures in Montana and Canada, Phil has done a lot of biking in other places; in 2007 he and a friend rode 3,000 miles from California and the Pacific Ocean to Florida and the Atlantic Ocean. He has also biked along several sections of the rivers that we'll be traveling on so it'll be fun for him to compare his experiences on land and water. Phil will bring his bike on the trip and when we get to Mobile, he'll ride the bike for 2 or 3 days to an Amtrak station (staying in motels along the way) and take the train back to Minnesota. Is that cool or what?! We haven't even started the trip yet and I know that I'm really going to miss him after he leaves us.
Tomorrow, Bob Turrentine will be here to go over our river charts with Joe and Phil, giving advice about good anchorages, hazards to watch for, and the best marinas to stay at. Bob and Linda have made the trip many times aboard the Veda L so his advice will be invaluable for rookies like us.
I had my final physical therapy session today and my therapist said I'm doing great. With little effort and no pain, I was able to bend my knee to 119 degrees, 120 degrees was the goal.
We plan to leave around 7AM on Tuesday morning; Phil is coming on Monday and will spend the night so we can leave bright and early.
Yikes, I'm sooooooo excited I can hardly stand it!
In the next couple of days I'm going to try to figure out how to add some photos to this blog (how hard can it be?) and also add info about Paradise.