We got ready to leave Jacksonville heading for Navarre, a small town in the panhandle overlooking the Santa Rosa Sound. All the slides were in, and the jacks were up when John started yelling at me that I had forgotten to lower the satellite dish. Hmmm, I know I pressed all the appropriate buttons in the right sequence and even heard the motor of the dish stowing, so needless to say, I was confused. I then looked at the display and it read EL motor home failure. We have had the satellite dish for over four years and had never seen this message. So, I tried to stow it again and the got the same message. The dish just would not stow. We couldn’t leave unless the dish was stowed. So we had no choice but to do the millennial thing, use our phones to GTS. What is GTS, you might say? (Well, it’s google that sh..!) Fortunately, we found an illustration showing us what to do to stow the dish manually. Perfect, it appeared to be a simple task, except we had to go up on the roof to execute it. Anxiously, up on the roof I went and after trying unsuccessfully for a while we decided to call several repair shops and mobile repair companies. None could come out to help us right away and even if they could, they really did not know what to do. The situation was that John had NEVER been on the RV roof. I simply would never let him. I cited health reasons but honestly, I was not even sure that the rear ladder would hold his weight and became really concerned as he suffers from mild acrophobia (fear of heights). Naturally, John falling off the roof was certainly not in the plan. I was so proud of him, although scared, he managed to climb the ladder, remove the necessary bolts, manually stow the dish and climbed back down. What a relief!!! I asked him if he had taken the opportunity to look at the roof, as he had never been on it and he said, absolutely not, his concern was to get up, get the job down, not fall off in the process and get down as quickly as possible. That was one problem solved but we still needed to figure out why we received that message to begin with. While John was driving, I spoke on the phone with a Winegard technician directly and received the instructions on how to recalibrate the system. She even emailed me the instructions for the future. Upon our arrival in Navarre, I successfully followed the instructions and VOILÁ our satellite dish was back in business. John was happy and life was good again.
Santa Rosa Waterfront RV Park is a lovely, small park right on the Santa Rosa Sound. The sites were a bit close together but the owners were in the process of adding shrubbery in between them to create more privacy. It has a beautiful pool area, but even nicer, our site backed up to the Sound and we could hear the lulling sound of water lapping on the shore all day and night long. Add to that a soft blowing wind and oh dear, we were in heaven! I decided to soak it all in as much as possible as we would not be able to enjoy this type of view in a long while.
The following morning, while sitting outside and enjoying the view, we thought we smelled gas. We have two LP tanks. As both valves were closed we didn’t immediately register where the smell was coming from. Upon inspection of one of the tanks and it was cold and sweaty. Now, that was unusual. As luck would have it, a mobile RV service person was two sites away so I posed the situation and he came over only to diagnose the problem. He informed us that albeit rare, the tank was bad and needed to be replaced as it probably had a small leak somewhere and that it was not worth repairing and it would be more economical to replace it. Wouldn’t you know, just down the road, less than 10 minutes away was a Camping World location where we purchased a new tank and just for good measure, new valves as well. John replaced everything and we were good to go.
We took a drive to Pensacola Beach and returned via the scenic route through the Gulf Islands National Seashore, located in Santa Rosa Island, all the way to Navarre Beach. Imagine being in a totally desolate area with pristine, crystal clear emerald green water, sand so white it’s blinding, giving the appearance of sugar, and so fine you sink in it as you walk. Imagine seagrass swaying back and forth in the wind trying to keep pace with the waves lapping on the shore. The beach is my happy place for sure.
We again met up with our friends, Melodie and Joe, at Florabama for lunch. We appear to be traveling in the same direction, only just a few days apart from each other, and this happened to be one of the places in which our travels overlapped.
We took walks on the beach, played golf, ate seafood, took in beautiful views of the Sound and even watched incoming storms, and even made new friends.
After a week in Navarre, leaving Florida brought bittersweet emotions. We knew this time was coming but now that we actually left, it was exciting. We will not return for several years as there are many other places to visit.
With that in mind, we made our way toward Little Rock, Arkansas via Vicksburg, Mississippi.