A Change of Plans

On Tuesday night, while tied to the mooring ball at the Montego Bay Yacht Club and Marina, the generator alarm went off. The batteries are fully charged but the smart system in the generator figured out it would not be able to start. In the morning Gabe and I read and reread the Yanmar trouble shooting guide. I found a burnt fuse and Gabe found a disconnected wire. We fixed them but the generator was still not getting any power. We searched for more fuses and circuit breakers to no avail. Gabe decided to leave Pilar at the Montego Bay Marina until April 7 and not move her to Port Antonio. He contacted a mechanic to repair the generator. The MBYC agreed to let Pilar stay at the dock while Gabe is away. We used a Mediterranean style mooring technique. We have a long line off the bow to the mooring ball, an anchor off our port bow and lots of spring lines tying the stern to the dock.

The little white dot is our mooring ball.


We now get on and off the boat using a plank.  Aye, we must walk the plank matey.


Tiesday was our farewell day for Angela. She flew out of Montego Bay to go back to Chicago. Gabe needed a lot of help getting Pilar tied to the dock so Priscilla and I were glad we were still here to help. The winds are honking out of the east so it would have been a spirited ride to windward to go to Ocho Rios and then on to Port Antonio. Some things just work out.

Priscilla and I went for a tour of Montego Bay with our driver Leroy Simpson. He took us from the penthouse to the outhouse of neighborhoods. He was willing to drive through the ghettos during the day but not at night. There are many lovely homes on the hills with great ocean views.

Leroy Simpson and CFJ


The tech arrived around 3:00 pm to work on the generator. He worked tirelessly for four hours trying to trace the source of the problem. At last he had that eureka moment when he grabbed the main power cable to the starter and the fitting crumbled in his hand. Corrosion is insidious. Rust never sleeps. He will bring a new fitting tomorrow and we shall see if that is the solution.

John and Priscilla had dinner at Margaritaville in Montego Bay. There is another Margaritaville in Negril. The cruise ships were departing so the restaurant was 99% empty. The staff was 100% high on fresh air and ganja. The odor of marijuana wafted ever so stronger as the waitstaff eventually approached. We had a spectacular view of the cruise ships as they departed Montego Bay for their next port of call. Perhaps they are cruising to the Cayman Islands or the Yucatan.


Farewell cruise ship.  Safe journey.


On Wednesday we has the option to take a 3 hour round trip taxi ride to Ocho Rios or chill. We chose chill. There is a Hard Rock Cafe beach club less than a 10 minute walk from the marina. Priscilla and I spent a lovely afternoon at the Hard Rock. We had lunch, swam in the pool and swam in the sea. We rented two lounge chairs and an umbrella for $12.00.


Priscilla’s view at lunch


Kuhmar, the generator tech returned with the cable fitting. He installed the fitting and the generator sprang to life. Upon closer examination the water pump was leaking water all over the generator which may have contributed to the rapid corrosion on the power cable fitting. Gabe retrieved a new water pump from his vast inventory of spare parts. With the new water pump installed he let the generator run for two hours while we all had dinner at the marina. The meals were excellent as was the service. The wait staff at the marina are older and not accompanied by the whiff of a spliff when they approach the table.

Our final night onboard Pilar was a quiet one. We packed our bags in preparation for our flight from Montego Bay airport to Miami on Thursday. Leroy will pick us up at 11:30 am for our 2:12 pm flight on American Airlines. It is nice that the taxi ride to the airport will be five miles and not the 100 miles from Port Antonio. We will have a 2 hour flight. Upon arrival in Miami we will require transportation to the Grove Isle Marina to retrieve our car. Perhaps Uber or Lyft will work or there may be a train or bus to get us closer. Hopefully our car was not towed away in the three weeks we have been gone. The marina has very limited parking so the Dockmaster Jorge recommended parking in the main lot for the condominium complex.

On Thursday morning Leroy picked us up at the marina and drove us to the to the Montego Bay airport.  Our flight arrived in Miami on time.  I contacted Lyft for a ride to the Grove Isle marina.  Our car had not been towed.  We drove the 104 miles from Miami and Stuart arrived home at 8:30 pm.

Priscilla and I are glad we could accompany Gabe and Angela on the first two legs of their four year circumnavigation.  Bon voyage.

“it is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.”