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  • Writer's pictureMaggie Tate

A Boat is a Hole in the Water....

Finding a place to do the 1000 service on the boat was a little tricky to coordinate. We had to find a Volvo mechanic, close to an airport so we could get to a conference in Colorado at the end of August and time our arrival with the right weather. Yacht Basin Maria fit ALL the requirements and also let us come in a day early due to the weather. They did the 1000 hour service (oil change, belts replaces, hoses fixed, and a million other things I'm not going to list.) They also did the generator service, fixed a problem we couldn't solve and did some general looking over the boat. Happy they found a loose fitting on our prop shaft. Very good to keep that attached to the boat! Bruce has been a hero and has done all our other maintenance on the boat for the trip and wanted a good mechanic to give it a once over at this point.

The best thing about the loop is still the people!!

Three stories:

#1 My long time friend Elizabeth came to visit us on the boat in Holland. It was so great to reconnect with her - it had been at least 25 years since we'd seen each other! Old stories, new stories and a lot of catching up. She drove me to Saugatuck on Saturday for some touring since we couldn't take the boat out that day (all the marinas there were full.) On Sunday she graciously drove us to Grand Rapids to catch a flight to Colorado for Elixir Conf where Bruce was teaching a class.

#2 While in Aurora, CO we were lucky to see Brad and Kristin from Altitude Adjustment. We traveled with Brad on the rivers in January as he was moving his boat to Florida! We also were able to see Mike and Beth from Texas (who now live in OK) who were in town for a concert that week. They both saw from the instagram pics that we were near and reached out - what a delight! It was a week spent reconnecting with people!

#3 Our first full day in Holland we discovered Playa Restaurant. We met Michael and Pam on the patio with their adorable poodle, Piero. We started talking, sharing boat stories and we invited them to stop by the boat. And they did! We had a lovely visit discussing Ranger Tugs and the Great Loop. The reached out to us while we were in Colorado and offered to pick us up at the airport in Grand Rapids and transport us back to the boat. We were so grateful for the offer! The kindness of strangers is really incredible. (Our friend Elizabeth, Kristin and Brad, Mike and Beth)

On Saturday of Labor Day weekend, we pulled out from the dock, headed down the fairway to the fuel dock on our way to South Haven. The engine started shrieking (not the technical term, but you get the idea.) Our alternator was out and we went back to the service slip at Yacht Basin. We were VERY grateful it happened when it was easy to get back to a mechanic! Labor Day meant no labor and no shipping and we were delayed nearly another week waiting for parts for the repair. So, when life delayed us, we enjoyed the beach!

Since we had a few bonus days in Holland, I reached out the Pam and Michael (and Piero), and we met up for dinner again at Playa! What a fun night for dinner, a walk out to the beautiful boardwalk and incredible sunset.

Always grateful for the kindness of strangers and fortunate when they become friends.

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