Lack of Power, That was our Dilemma

Ocean Isle Beach

December 17, 2018:

The rain cleared and it was time to scoot out of the quiet little town of Southport, NC. Every day is truly a new adventure while living and traveling on a sailboat. When we started heading south, we were really trying to grind out some mileage. Make some progress. We would stop to spend the night somewhere and keep on trucking. Most spots were simply a resting point, a place to sleep, get some showers and move along.

This was exactly the case when we got to Ocean Isle Beach, NC. We arrived and took the girls to the office where we snacked on some treats leftover from a holiday party. Then, the girls and I took a walk around, exploring a bit, while Daniel fixed dinner. After we ate and watched the beautiful sunset, the girls went to bed. Later, Daniel and I took showers and hit the hay. We woke up to some dolphins off our stern, ate breakfast, started the engines and took off towards Myrtle Beach, SC.

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Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

On a few occasions, we have gotten stuck in a place for longer than anticipated. When this happens, there is a mix of emotions. I, personally, like knowing we are going to be in one spot for a few weeks. I enjoy settling in to some sort of routine or normalcy. Some places are better than others. I do get antsy when I’m in one place for too long. I guess I’m an adventurer by nature.

Myrtle

We stayed in Myrtle Beach, SC for 19 days. This is approximately 18 days longer than we originally planned. Plan A anyway. Plan B was to stay a few days and visit with Grammy and Grandpa, then take off to meet my mom in Georgetown for Christmas. In this case, we were forced to move on to plan C, D, E, F and G.

Here’s what happened: we woke up in the middle of our first night in Myrtle to our shore line connection sparking. Yes, I said SPARKing. Needless to say, we needed to fix that… Oh, and when I say “we” woke up, I mean, I woke up to a burning smell and Daniel standing in front of golden embers, tapping it with his fingers, whispering, “ouch, ouch!” He had been awake over an hour after hearing a humming sound and seeing an electrical arc. During the sparking, he shut off the power and the games began…

All of this happened on an unusually cold night, even for December. To keep warm, we had been using two space heaters, one for our cabin and one for the girls’. When the electricity went kaput, we believe possibly from a storm surge, we fired our generator, ran an extension cord, and were able to plug the heaters back in. Oh, again, when I say “we,” I mean, I stayed in bed under the covers while Daniel went up top in the FREEZING cold. He fumbled around with gasoline, in the dark, which he proceeded to spill all over his pants, stinking up our cabin. But, the generator started and we stayed warm. He truly is THE BEST.

Prior to getting the needed supplies to fix our power issue, the marina let us borrow a converter which we were able to plug the extension cord into rather than running the genny. We used a 6-plug extension cord for about a week to keep our phones charged, our fridge cold and keep the heat going. It worked just fine. It’s amazing how little you actually need. When Grammy and Grandpa arrived, we took advantage of having a vehicle and Daniel and Mike went to the nearest West Marine to buy supplies to fix the shore power.

December 20, 2018: dinner with Grammy and Grandpa at Mr. Fish in Myrtle Beach, SC.

December 20, 2018: dinner with Grammy and Grandpa at Mr. Fish in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Back in Business

My favorite scene from this whole ordeal was directly after Daniel replaced all the fried wires and the port for the shore power. It was ready to be tested, to see if it worked. He plugged the brand new shore line in to the boat, uncoiled it, and began walking forward to plug it in to the marina outlet. He made it to the bow and discovered a small, overlooked detail: our new cord was too short! All we could do was laugh.

He took yet another trip to West Marine to get an additional cord. Then, again, he got everything plugged in but, when we tested it out… still no power! It turns out the breaker fuse also needed to be replaced. So, one trip to Lowes, a you tube tutorial or two, a handful of prayers and wala! The power turned on! FIXED! Back in business! Merry Christmas!

I do have to say that I am so very proud of Daniel and his persistence. He’s not afraid to dive into ANY project. He thrives when he needs to fix something. In this case, he had NO electrical experience. He read and researched and simply figured it out. I really admire that about him.

Grammy and Grandpa left on the 22nd and my mom arrived on the 24th for more Christmas festivities and quality time. On Christmas morning, Daniel made a delicious Eggs Benedict with asparagus for brunch. This is a tradition my mom and I have been doing for years which I hope lives on! While the girls napped, Mom and I took a long walk. Then, she headed back to Charlotte. I feel so incredibly blessed to be so close to my family. They are truly a gift from the Lord. It means the world to me that they make the effort to come visit us on our journeys.

Boopa and the girls on Christmas Eve, aboard SV Alive, while docked in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Boopa and the girls on Christmas Eve, aboard SV Alive, while docked in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Contentment

The two weeks after Christmas had scattered thunderstorms in the forecast and travel wasn’t practical. It was as good a place as any to be stuck, I suppose. We were walking distance to our necessary spots. We had clean showers and laundry facilities. I tend to struggle, at times, to simply be where I am. I’m either looking backward or forward. Rehashing the past or anticipating the future. Can you relate?

Abby, my almost 3 year old at the time, taught be an important lesson while we were in Myrtle Beach. Daniel and I were itching to move on to the next stop. Somewhat irritated, that there was so much rain. Abby, on the other hand, discovered one of her favorite new games… puddle jumping. She took the rainy conditions and turned it into hours and hours of joy by swirling and twirling and hopping around in puddles. What a precious memory. Imagine, if I was in my head, hustling and bustling, with the wrong perspective, I would have missed it.

Whether it’s puddle jumping, witnessing first steps, learning ABC’s or the delicate task of clipping a newborn’s nails, there are these times as a mama where I pause and think; there’s only going to be ONE of this very moment right here. EVER. l’ll breathe it in and enjoy the ride. I don’t want to miss a thing.

Puddle- jumpin’ Abby.

Puddle- jumpin’ Abby.

We ended up staying in Myrtle Beach until the 6th of January. Then, we headed to Conway, SC, which had been destroyed by Hurricane Florence. Followed by Murrells Inlet, SC, which was totally flooded and had some of the nicest shower facilities yet. Then, we went to Georgetown for a week and Isle of Palms for a month. More on this next time.

Power

It has been over 2 months since we set sail for a new location and we haven’t slept on our boat, as a family, in 6 weeks. I keep thinking, “why on earth is it taking us so long to go serve? Why are we having these hiccups like blown shore lines and lightening strikes?” Although, I do have some theories on this.

Ultimately, the conclusion I’ve come to is this: I don’t know! I can’t even begin to understand. My role is obedience. Trust. I believe when I was baptized 7 years ago, I was filled with the Holy Spirit. God’s power is IN me. This is what propels me. NOT my understanding.

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“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. -Proverbs 3:5-6

Each step is only another piece to the puzzle. There is a bigger picture. He is preparing us, shaping us, giving us the tools we will need. I received a message from God in a quiet time the other day that brought be to tears. I sensed the Lord showing me He literally made me for this life. On the sea. On the move. God has been molding me for this my entire life.

Many have asked, “Has it crossed my mind that maybe these setbacks were signs to get off the boat?”

My answer: I take all things into consideration, so, maybe for a millisecond, but, God has been clear with me. He has given me assurance after assurance. Plus… it’s not rocket science. It’s right there in his word. This song talks about it:

“You said GO into the nations as your final words,…

I will carry your name to the ends of the earth.

I will carry your love and shine with your light till the whole world knows you and lifts you high.”

-Driven by Love, Lindy & The Circuit Riders

Glorify God and make the name and love and peace of Jesus known: there is no greater purpose. There is no stopping me.

How’s the Boat?

Daniel made it home from Florida about a week and a half ago. He got A LOT of work done! He fixed the blown breakers, fuses, running lights, some of the cabin lights, the radio and the sonar. We purchased a new solar panel and solar charge controller which still need to be installed.

The major thing we have remaining is our starter motor and solenoid. (Our electrocuted starter motor is pictured above with the scripture.) Without a new one, we wont be going anywhere. Daniel contacted the company that has the starter and solenoid to go with our old Perkins diesel motor. Until they are installed, we are essentially “dead in the water” as they say. The truth is, without God, we are dead, but with His power in us, we are ALIVE.

This Friday, we are heading to our annual family reunion and vacation in the Adirondacks. Once we return to Charlotte, the 25th of August, we are packing up and heading back to Miami to return to boat life. The thought of this makes me so giddy I could burst. I can’t wait to see what the future holds…

Let your light shine.

Sharing this journey with you is truly a pleasure. It’s a dream to have people read my writing so, THANK YOU! If you want a notification when I make a new post, e-mail your name to SVAlive@yahoo.com.