Sorry about the long time since I updated the blog. I've been working on a major project. The stuffing box would always leak after we motored for just a short amount of time. The old engine mounts had sagged so much that the propeller shaft was almost rubbing on the bottom of the stuffing box! It looked fine from above (where I could see) but when I tried to run a small allen wrench under the shaft, I could tell that there was hardly any space... I tried readjusting the old engine mounts, but there were so soft and wobbly that it was useless.
So I ordered new motor mounts, raised the motor a corner at a time and put in four new mounts. Getting the motor properly aligned - up and down and side to side really took a lot of time. Its supposed to be aligned so the prop shaft coupler and the transmission coupler are within 0.003" all the way around- which is hard to do.... But its finally done. We'll take off on Wednesday and see how it works.
We are having an uphostery lady order us a new foam matress and cover too. We'll hang around this area till she has it finished.
We had been planning on getting to the Dominican Republic by July. But we have decided that with the delay for working on the engine mounts and especially that since Dana is having a baby in April, that we won't have time to get all the way through the Bahamas to the DR by July. So now we are going to take our time and check out the Florida Keys, then find a place to leave the boat so we can go to England for a month, leaving the middle of April. That's the plan for now.