November 27th, 2009 john

Day: 350  Miles: 00   Total Miles: 3284  Locks: 41

Note the day-counter above has been frozen.  We will not increment the day counter until we return to the boat in the spring.

Hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.  Barbara and I especially enjoyed the day, celebrating with family and friends of old. 

Last Sunday, Barbara and I left Memphis and traveled east, with Jason, Heather, Emery, Owen, and Oliver in two cars.  We spent the first night in Crossville TN visiting good friends Bob and Claudia (more like a home invasion).  Then on in the morning to Asheville NC where we had a candlelight tour of the “Biltmore”, the Vanderbilt castle-like mansion in the North Carolina mountains.  They had singing and dancing groups in the mansion with over 50 Christmas trees, fully decorated for the holiday season.  What a site to see. All the grandkids were wide-eyed.

The next morning we were off to the north for a long day’s drive to Bethlehem PA and a visit with cousins Wayne and Linda.  Another invasion it was, but again very enjoyable.  Then our last leg brought us to Bedford New Hampshire where we are staying for four or five days, visiting with many good friends of old.  Jason has his 20th high school reunion, so we just decided to make a trip of it. (I guess somehow we got traveling in our blood.)

We had a great all afternoon Thanksgiving Day dinner with good friends Drew and Mary and all of their children, grandkids, and special friends.  What a great afternoon.  It did not do my diet any good. Yes, I have put myself on a diet.

Besides the diet, many things have happened since we left the boat in winter storage in Brewerton NY.  Our trip back home from the boat was a pleasant three day trip with a car that was full to the brim. (And I mean full.)     We arrived home safe and sound. And Jason had done a good job of making the house clean and presentable.  However with being away for a year, we soon discovered that there was a long list of “to do”. (Oh, do I miss the boat.)

Health-wise we are all doing well.  I have seen all of my doctors and all has gone well.  It looks like I will get a knee replacement on Feb 5, so that should give me enough time to rehab and return to the boat in late May.

In preparing for the surgery I have rejoined Weight-Watchers and am trying to shed a few pounds.  It is a loosing battle especially during the holiday season.

During our absence the Emery El is busy.  As we were traversing the Erie Canal we started to develop an oil leak from the transmissions. So when we got to our destination I had them looked at first thing.  The verdict was that they needed to both be rebuilt.  When I bought the boat, the surveyor had warned that the transmissions were not in great shape, therefore, I was able to get a substantial reduction off the asking price.  I was very fortunate that I had been able to get another 4500 miles on the old transmissions.  I had been doing a detailed research on the transmissions and replacement options.  The reputation of the particular brand that came with the Emery El was not great so rather than rebuild, I decided to put two new transmission into the boat ( a different brand).  So what’s a few more boat dollars?  Ok, so it is a lot of boat dollars.)  But at least we will be leaving the country on new transmissions which will be one less worry.

I also came up with a list of other things to fix on the boat, but we will wait to see what the transmissions cost before we go forward with some of them.

Enough of an update for now.  We hope all of you had a good Thanksgiving and will have an enjoyable holiday season.  We will try to touch base around Christmas, but until then safe travels and following seas.

”Capt” John

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