Monday, April 30, 2012

A leaky trunk in the Buick and a puzzle for Rick

Sometimes, we have to do a little work on the road and occasionally, we are presented with a puzzling situation. This was certainly the case with a leak in our tow car.

We have enjoyed our Buick LaCrosse tow car seen above and Rick particularly likes the sun roof feature. We have had very few issues with the car, but in the last couple weeks, we have noticed that there has been quite a bit of water in the trunk. 

In fact, the spare tire well, seen above, had about 4" of water in it. Rick had a great time taking everything out, sponging the water out and letting it dry. He wondered where the water was coming in and checked the weatherstripping, but that looked OK. Then he removed all the trunk lining. 

Finally, he poured water around the trunk (no leaks), the front of the sunroof (water drained under the front of the car -- OK) and then around the back of the sun roof (no water drained to the ground!) Bingo! Rick found that the water from the rear sunroof drain was coming right into the trunk.

Here you can see the water actually running through the drain hose into the trunk. This pipe should connect to the rubber grommet/drain seen at left which then drains water to the outside of the trunk. You can also see several wires running outside the grommet -- which should run THROUGH the grommet! 

 This is how the grommet and drain pipes looked after the trunk lining was removed. The wires running around the grommet are the problem and come from the installation of a trailer hitch and trailer wiring. The installer (NOT Rick!) should have run the wires through the center of the grommet, so that the grommet can be fit into the hole of the body to allow draining. 

After a fair amount of effort on both side drain grommets, Rick ran the wires thought the center as seen here, re-connected the trailer wires, weather-proofed the connections and installed the grommets and drain pipes. This is how it should look. Finally, we have a trunk that will stay dry!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Lake Greenwood Motorcoach Resort - Nice spot!

We headed from Brunswick, GA towards Clemson, SC and decided to spend the night at the Lake Greenwood Motorcoach Resort. We had seen their displays at various rallies we attended and thought it would be fun to check it out. 

The resort is right on the bank of Lake Greenwood and features sites right on the lake. While a bit off the beaten path, it is a very tranquil setting.

We had a nice drive in site that was right on the lake. The lots can be rented, or you could purchase one if you wanted to set it up as your home base. Our coach had plenty of room on the spacious site.

Orinda loved the view from our lot and it was very peaceful. It will be interesting to see how this new resort develops. 

Of course, there was a nice clubhouse and pool that also overlooks the lake. The park is about 15 miles from Greenwood, SC, which is the largest town in the area.

 We enjoyed the sunset from our coach and had a very restful night. While not an inexpensive site, it was fun to splurge for a night to check out a very nice resort.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Back on the road! First Stop Brunswick, GA

Well, our winter in Florida has come to an end after a great season at the Olde Mill Stream RV Resort (we look forward to returning next fall!). It looks like we will be heading west to see a new grandbaby, so our first step is to head north out of Florida and head toward Clemson, SC to visit friends. Our first stop was in Brunswick, GA at the Coastal Georgia RV Resort. Located just off I-95, this new park is a perfect stop of one night or much longer.

We were impressed with the level, pull thru sites that were fully equipped with the latest hookups. Plus, the nightly rate was quite reasonable, which explained why they were fairly busy, even on a week night. 

Orinda was delighted with the magnolia bush on our site which was just beginning to bloom with large, fragrant blossoms. What a beautiful sight.

All the roads in the park are paved and wide enough that our 42' coach had now problem maneuvering even when towing our car. This is not always the case at some parks where corners are tight and sites are close together. 

There is even a nice pond on the site where you can fish if you want, although Rick did not get that chance. All in all, this is a perfect spot to spend a night or explore the Brunswick area.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dora Canal -- A new trip with lots of wildlife!

We took advantage of the great weather to take another cruise down the Dora Canal and surrounding areas in the hopes of seeing more birds and wildlife and we were not disappointed!

Our first destination was down this small side canal off the main canal. Rick has often seen birds and gators in this lightly traveled area and hoped we would see some interesting wildlife. It is hard to believe you are within a few hundred yards of a busy road as you cruise though this wild looking area.

Sure enough, we had gone only a few yards when we spotted this owl who was carefully watching us. We were surprised to see this fellow since it was almost noon, but apparently he was up and looking for lunch.


Soon after, this group of ibis (we think) came into view. These are beautiful birds and it was fun to see them together only a few feet away from the boat.

We left the small canal and emerged in the much more popular Dora Canal. This mile long waterway is about 3 to 4' deep and winds through the cedar trees. Still, we can usually see some interesting wildlife in the canal.

Here is a normal Dora Canal resident who was not concerned about the boaters at all. He looked to be a good size gator and is surely the master of all he surveys.

While the gator was interesting, this osprey nest stole the show. Here, an osprey is returning to the nest and we wondered if the hawk had caught anything. Soon after, we found out.

Here comes the other osprey with a nice fish meal. One look at those talons and we could tell that the fish never had a chance. Now this is a real fisherman!

This made for a great finish to our canal cruise and we headed off to the waterfront restaurant for lunch. A great day all the way around!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A nice boat cruise on the Harris Chain

We took a great boat run on the Harris Chain of Lakes and the Dora Canal, which is a beautiful waterway that connects two of the lakes in the area. Our pontoon boat is perfect for these runs and easily seats the 7 of us.

The canal is full of wild animals, especially birds and gators. This critter was a big boy and was easily over 10' long. 

The birds are beautiful and this great egret was happy to pose for us. 

 Here is another gator which was not at all afraid of us. The gators are at the top of the food chain and certainly know they are in control. These are very impressive predators.

One of the great things with a cruise on the canal, is a nice lunch at a waterside grill. We especially enjoyed the chance to eat outside on the porch in perfect weather. That is why we are in Florida for the winter!

On the way back, we cranked up the motor and experienced a nice breeze on the boat. However, Jim's cap was a bit loose and flew nicely off and into the lake. Fortunately, Jim is good with a boat hook and was able to rescue the cap from a watery doom!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Rick's Martin Outboard Restore Project

All this boat show activity has caused Rick to pine for his restored Martin outboard. So, what better way to scratch the old outboard itch, than to post his video of the restoration effort.
Rick was delighted with the way the motor came out and it now seems like a real bridge to the early 1950's. They sure don't build them like this anymore!

I plan to bring this little motor to Florida next season and run it on our small Ghenoe, which should work great. It is't everyone that can run a motor that is the same (young!) age as the operator!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tavares Boat Show Part 2

There are so many great boats and related items, we will have to have two entries on the blog. Many of these boats date from the late 1920's to about 1955, with most seeming to range in the 30's to 40's. It is quite a labor of love to restore one of these to like new condition.

In addition to the great classic boats, the Tavares lake shore is also a full-fledged seaplane port. As a result, seaplanes moved in and out of the dock area during the show, which added an interesting comparison to the classic boats.

Wow -- here is a boat that traces her heritage back to Alexander Bell's boat building business (part of Bell Labs) in Baddeck, Nova Scotia. This boat, "Tolka" was built in 1928 and used by Bell's partner, Casey Baldwin. This boat is now in perfect condition -- but it sure wasn't always that way as you can see below.

Here is the Tolka before it was restored after sitting in a field for 40 years. This give you an idea as to the amount of work needed to restore it to pristine condition. 


 Now, the Tolka is virtually perfect. This is just an amazing glimpse into the past!

Of course, Rick always goes GAGA over old outboards! He thought this 1957 Johnson was in great shape and would love to bring it home.

Sure enough, a vendor was featuring Rick's favorite -- Martin Outboards! Rick has a special place for these as he has restored one of these himself. 

In fact, here is Rick's restored 1951 Martin 60 (about 7.2 hp). This motor was purchased new by Rick's grandfather who gave it to Rick in about 1978. Rick dismantled it and restored it a couple years ago. Now, it runs like a new one and brings a real smile to Rick!