So our outboard was afflicted with ethanol poisoning, again. This whole ethanol problem begins with our government's pandering to the agricultural lobbies and ends by killing small engines all over the US (why are other countries so much smarter about these things?), including chain saws, lawnmowers and all sorts of small engines, especially outboard motors. Ours has now been to the hospital five times for these afflictions, all caused by ethanol.
Today we were all ready for it. We had called ahead to the Fernandina Beach Outboard Hospital and told them we would be coming with lights and sirens at 1500 hours with the latest victim. We expected to see experienced technicians gowned and ready with an outboard motor ambulance at the dock. In fact, we just got some excuses why they couldn't be there. They left us with a story about not being able to release it for as long as 48 hours. Too long, as we are on somewhat of a schedule. We cancelled that group (Oh, when are we going to ever have universal heath care?) and went back to the boat. And did I mention we were out of groceries?
En route we met a couple guys on a charter boat on our dock. The moral of this story is that it never hurts to bullshit with other boaters on the dock, never. To make a long story short, they gave us the keys to their vehicle and then called up "Leroy," who fixes outboards, directing him down to the dock to minister to our needs. Leroy showed up minutes later (without the gown and ambulance, but we were beyond caring about sanitation issues by now) and hauled the outboard away for emergency care, while we took the charterer's truck to the grocery store. Yes, the truck was a little messy, but...
A short time afterwards, we had filled up on groceries, gone to the recommended local eatery and Leroy brought the motor back, fixed. Life is good, and people are great. The moral of this story is that it never hurts to bullshit with other boaters on the dock, never. Fernandina Beach is a great and friendly town. Capt. Jeff