Last night we drove all night to be here for a press conference at 9 am. We did not have enough gas and getting it is not that easy in Europe. Everyone seems to be on diesel and there is none at the docks. We are trying to run light so that we can run fast so we have to stop a lot.
When we stopped at this little town, I walked up a ramp to a park area and started asking directions to a gas station. They all spoke German and very little English. I finally talked a couple of young ladies, Seven and Miriam, into giving me a ride. They were kind and took the time to get a couple of friends to ride in the car behind us.
I was impressed with her kindness and her common sense wisdom. She was willing to help a stranger, yet wise enough to be safe, so many of us find excuses not to help. I am guilty of not helping sometimes.
The gas station called the police after seeing us fill nine jugs. They pulled us over and then followed us down to the docks getting excited about the I AM SECOND Wounded Hero Voyage.
After that we drove off into the dark. Can you believe the busiest river in Europe and one of the busiest rivers in the world is not marked with lighted channel markers? Much of it has no lights at all. We were driving into the darkness and it always seemed that the canal would just open up as you got close to the end.
About 60 miles from our destination we ran aground. It was just a couple of inches deep and we are loaded down with weight. It was a hard rock bottom, the boat took it fine, and unfortunately the prop did not. The jack plate broke a thousand miles ago. Big waves often don't do equipment any favors. Since the jack plate was not working we could not suck the prop up into the tunnel. The prop hit one of those rocks and wiped out a couple of blades. So at zero dark thirty, we were out changing our prop and moving on again.
We only have a base map on the GPS so winding through a channel without lighted markers was fun. But we kept at it and arrived on time for our press conference. Unfortunately the Press, well they were not quite as committed.
But they are coming tomorrow.
Many ask “How long we are staying?” The answer is we don't know. We have to make arrangements to ship the boat back and fly back ourselves. We are trying to find sponsors for a publicity tour that could pay for the shipping or if we are lucky we can find a ship going that way with empty space.
It is very important that we get back soon as there is a lot of interest in our story. That publicity is the publicity that we will use to raise most of the money for the Do More Campaign to help wounded heroes.