The day started off beautifully. We pulled anchor from the beach at 7:30 (slept in) and then dodged all the fishing traps to the main channel heading up , northwards, the Delaware Bay towards our destination, a canal that links the Delaware River to the Chesapeake Bay (avoiding open ocean). 

We had to motor again, as the winds were from East and then northerly at 5 to 10kms, which definitely did not have the power to allow us to sail in that general direction. Motoring is tough as it is a loud Diesel engine and you end up breathing some fumes for most of the day.  

At 12 the transmission sounded strange and it turned out that the bolt holding the shaft and transmission together had sheared again. But this time the shaft didnt slip out as David had added a stopper to it the last time. That was really good as it meant we didn’t have to dive under the boat to put the shaft back in.  

We had 2 sailboats ahead, and radioed to ask if they had a bolt the right size. One of them, did. A couple we had chatted to in Waterford , Dave and Karen from “Here and Now” . They were amazing. David rigged a bag at the end of our super long boat hook and the men got the boats close while Karen and I, did the exchange. I reached with the hook and she placed the bolt into the bag and then I brought the hook back without dropping the bag into the water. It worked. David was able to replace the broken bolt and Karen and Dave followed us in case.  

Sure enough, at 17:15 , the bolt sheared again. There was obviously an issue with the alignment of the shaft as the bolts were all shearing. David decided to do the walk of shame and call Boat US. It’s like CAA on the water. Dave and Karen stayed until we confirmed that the tow was coming.  They were wonderful to wait with us and gave us reassurance as the water was still quite big there. We had been about 30 min from our anchorage at Reedy Island where Tony was waiting for us. 

When you call Boat US, the US Coast Guard calls and makes sure that they communicate with you until you are under tow. This is reassuring as you know that they’ve got you in case the tow doesn’t make it. I have to say the professionalism of Lte. Anderson and Brandon from Boat US were unbelievable. They were thorough and clear and explained everything in detail. 

Brandon arrived with 2 kids in tow, watching , I assume their dad rescue some dumb sailor. It was dark by then and he explained the manouevres that he would do. Initially he used a line on our bow, and we just tried to follow with the tiller. After getting close to Delaware City, and the closest marina, we stopped and he put his boat beside us and tied up beside us and just hip guided us through a narrow canal, about 80ft into our marina dock! I am amazed at the way they can move the boats and push and pull other bigger boats. 

David and I were tired after a long day. We ended up at the dock at about 20:00hrs and got tied up for the night. What counted was that the shaft broke in a safe place, no big storm or open sea so it was definitely a blessing. We decided to make sure the issue was fixed properly before heading out.  David did some investigating and found the shaft was misaligned and the coupler was defective. He was able to find the part and had it shipped to the marina but we didn’t receive it until the afternoon of the 26th. Which meant the mechanic wouldn’t be able to adjust it until the 27th. David prepped everything and inserted the new coupler which looks nothing like the old one and that way the mechanic at the marina does not have too much to do.


Delaware City Marina is 3US$/foot /night and then 2$/foot/night. As our dollar is about 76cents US right now, it makes for an expensive stay. The nice thing is that they have hot showers, a laundry facility and a book shelf. We took advantage of all of those amenities and I washed all our sheets and small rugs and dirty laundry. We walked all over the small city and found most businesses close in October.  Other than being the first City in the First American state , Delaware City is a beautiful small town on the Delaware River. It also boasts of being the first City where a black person in the 1850’s was able to purchase their own land in Polktown! They also started their own church. History is huge here and they commemorate people who played important roles in their country with parks and signposts. 

On Sunday, missing our Parkway family church , David and I visited the methodist church and were warmly greeted. Nancy, the preacher spoke of our “dash” –  The little mark between our birth date and our date of death. What kind of life do we live between those 2 dates? She called the sermon, THE DASH.  Her husband who introduced himself, offered and took us to buy parts we needed for the repair. Later, I joined their study on Tuesday night and met some lovely ladies and had a wonderful time sharing the book of Acts! I made them laugh as I told them I was so excited to spend time with people due to the fact that it’s been David and I pretty well all the time in a 37′ boat for the last month! They laughed as they knew EXACTLY what I meant.

Hopefully tomorrow, Thursday, the 27th, we will have a new coupler installed and we will be confident that our propeller and engine will take us to Florida without further problems!!

Dave and Karen on “Here and Now” following us up the Delaware before our last breakdown.

Brandon our super sweet and professional BoatUS rescuer towing us from the front and then from the side. Thank you BRANDON!

One of the man lighthouses on the steel posts in the middle of the Delaware. I can’t imagine living there in a storm!

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