Tom, lmao. We were lucky in some ways. It was leaking oil then, I noticed a bit of a sheen on the planking, but didn't think too much about it. When I finally found the trans oil dipstick, it was very low. I remembered that it had made progressively more noise when in gear. I should have noticed that the corrosion on the shaft was slowly disappearing into the deadwood. But all's well that ends well, if I didn't harm it by running low on oil. We live and learn.
By the way, I had a GREAT crew.
Sabre, I spent years sailing a 26' yawl without an engine for that reason (others too). Don't think I'm not going to start practicing coming and going under sail......