Key West, Florida ended up having all we needed to get back into ship shape.
A boatyard, a travel lift and a NEW shaft! 😳
When we got to Key West, we anchored out at a free anchorage in company of almost 400 other boats, according to the harbor master, until we could figure things out, where was what, and how to accomplish it all. It only took a couple days, to find food, fresh water and make an appointment to haul out.
Those several days gave us also enough time to explore some other Keys for snorkeling and just rnr.
When we hauled the Gem out at the boat yard to fix the cutlass bearing, we ended up pulling the shaft out too, mainly to inspect it thoroughly.
Come to find out, it had enough wear and tear on it that it too needed replacing.
So, we ordered a brand new shaft, ouch, ours was the original one, some 40+ years old, and the one thing that was never really inspected, fully....or replaced, until now.
And here, at anchor, we are planning our next leg of our journey to the Panama Canal... it is a challenging and time consuming task.
We did take the chance to visit with and join our dear friend Mick with M/V Phantom for dinner while he was coming back from the Bahamas, going back up North. It was soooo good seeing him! We sure miss him and his company.