We woke up early the day after pulling into Key Largo, and started making calls. Thankfully there was a diesel repair guy in town that seems to be pretty well respected. We also talked to the guy that polished our fuel in Ft. Pierce, and a fuel polishing guy here. It seems like the consensus is a bad fuel line is the primary culprit of all of our problems…well that and a clogged air filter, and a broken halyard. Jacob spent the rest of the day walking back and forth to Napa Auto Parts (about a 20 minute walk each way) for parts, and replacing our fuel line. Meanwhile we had a nice breakfast on the boat, cleaned up after all our big sailing adventures and everything being spilled everywhere (we have to remember to put up the lee clothes before we put up the sails!), and the girls and I got to check out the cool local pool. The pool was all that it was cracked up to be. It had a pirate ship, several slides, and diving boards. The girls were in heaven! In the evening, Jacob finished putting in the new fuel line and we gave it a test run while tied up. So far, so good.

Audrey giving Lark's bum a scrub

The famous pirate ship pool, with Audrey off the high dive. 

Lorelei was too short for the high dive, but she made do! 

Over the weekend Jacob also changed the oil and cleaned the air filter, which was terribly matted with Sweet Pea hair and grease! After another test run with all of that done, the engine sounds completely different! We are excited to try again for Marathon. First though, we will spend a week exploring Key Largo.

We found some really good sushi in Key Largo. Unfortunately we ordered way too much, and we couldn't bring it home to our ridiculously small fridge. 

Lorelei helping me give Fluffy Man a bath. 

My little Ukie playing the uke. 
We took a few hours to dinghy around the canals of Key Largo which was really fun. We saw some cool lizards along with some troublesome outboard issues. The engine actually quit shifting while we were in the middle of a canal. It would have been scarier except that we were in neutral at the time, so we just sort of drifted. We called a few people while floating around and trying to get it all going again. Thankfully, one of them answered. His phone had bad reception and the phone call only lasted 30 seconds, but in that short time he gave Jacob all the information he needed to fiddle with it enough to get it going. We were able to find a Mercury dealer that could take a look at the engine, so we hauled the thing into a cab and brought it over. Thankfully it was a minor issue, and they fixed it up for us and we were ready to pick it up the Friday before leaving town.

dinghying around

big lizards
While we were in Key Largo the girls and I also took a tour of Island Dolphin Care. It was such a cool place! They provide dolphin therapy for kids with special needs. We got to sit in on some of the sessions. The dolphins were truly awesome. They played with the kids, did some fun tricks and were so gentle. It was great to see the kids light up around them. It brought back lots of memories of working with Sweet Pea before I had Audrey. After the therapy sessions the girls and I sat around outside and watched the dolphins some more. They were so interested in us and kept swimming by and stopping to look at us. At one point Lorelei was waving at one, and she stopped and waved back. Such amazing animals! Audrey was so present in the moment too and I was so proud of her for it. She said, ‘Mom, I feel like this is a moment of a lifetime.'

making friends with dolphins (I also put a neat video on Facebook on 4/2 - https://www.facebook.com/april.champness)
Mother and baby (4 months)

GranMiri and Papa came for a visit while we were in Key Largo, which was fun! We went out to dinner, swam in their pool and went snorkeling at John Pennekamp State Park. Oh- and they took me to the grocery, which was a real treat. We have been walking so much that it was great to ride in a car somewhere! 

playing at John Pennekamp State Park

The snorkeling was interesting. The girls are getting really used to wearing their masks and were excited to go, but once we got there the water was sort of murky and it was really freaking Audrey out. Also, she thought she saw a jelly fish. Lorelei and I went out about 100 feet and saw some remains of a sunken ship and some parrot fish, but it was pretty murky getting there. Also, the girls had some super itchy spots on them. Lorelei’s were all over her stomach and Audrey’s on her knee. GranMiri thinks maybe they were jellyfish larvae, so we took a quick freshwater rinse and decided to have some ice cream instead of getting back in the water. 

Taking Sweet Pea for a swim. 

making new friends

boat kids
A couple of boats down from us we met some new fun boat kids too! The girls loved playing with them, and spent an afternoon playing in the water around their boat.