August 21, 2009.
It’s been a week since I’ve written, so let me bring you up to date. My body is once again processing food as it was designed to do, so that’s a good thing. The insurance company finally decided after 5 days, that yes, they did approve the tests the doctor ordered, so that was a good thing as well.
Work has been interesting. I’ve come to realize that most people view their boats as toys, just like when they were kids. You know like when they left their new tricycle out in the rain, their skateboard in the driveway or their Matchbox Cars where they could be stepped on, they just don’t take care of their boats. I mean there are the rare exceptions, but most guys just show up at the boat, twist the key and expect everything to be as it should.
When they turn the key and the right things don’t happen that’s when you really find out what type of person you’re dealing with. Some guys stand there and freely admit that they don’t know when their oil was last changed, but they’re still pissed that the boat has let THEM down. We had a guy the other day whose engine had been immersed in salt water, LAST YEAR! He didn’t do anything about it and he couldn’t wrap his head around the fact that his supercharger was now one giant glop of rusted, non moving parts. He was practically acting like I had taken it apart incorrectly and had caused instantaneous catastrophic rust to form. The entire outside of the engine was one giant brown block of shit.
When you finally get these people to comprehend that these things happen because they don’t take care of their toys, they just fall apart. But, but I want to drive my buh, buh, boat. The, the, the other guys are all going out to play today. Sobbing like toddlers right down to the heaving shoulders, tear streaked cheeks and the little bubbles of snot when they breathe.
Dealing with the über rich is always interesting. Most of them are in a big hurry, gotta go, gotta get outta here, can you please doing anything for us? Of course they’re the first ones to bitch about the bill. Time and a half? You charged me time and a half because I called you on a Sunday morning and you were on my boat in 30 minutes just like you said you would? Really, when’s the last time you had a plumber come out to the house on a weekend and only charged straight time? I guess bitching about the bill is how you actually become über rich.
My favorite broken boaters are the people that appear interested in what happened and why. Some people want to be there just because they can make sure you’re actually working, while others “hover” because they want to learn a bit.
I had to replace the batteries in a woman’s boat the other day. She watched over my shoulder and commented “I could have done that”. I assured her she could have and suggested a few really good books that would walk her through several repairs that are sure to be in her future. The company charges a 2 hour minimum and I was done quickly so I spent over an hour talking her through changing her own oil, changing filters, bleeding her engine and adjusting her alternator belt.
But enough about work……
Christy has been hit pretty hard by this whole “change of life” thing. She was tempted to go visit friends for the next few weeks in an effort to get out of this oppressive heat and humidity. I needed to get to a dock so we could run the A/C for a couple of weeks.
Tonight we decided to pull the hook and go up and take a spot at my bosses dock. I got off work at 1700 hours so we started the boat and started to pull in the anchor chain. We pulled in about 5 feet of chain and……nothing. We were stuck on something, something big and solid. The windlass wouldn’t budge whatever had a hold of us.
We tried going forward and back for 10 minutes with no luck. The anchor chain was straight down and piano wire tight. Shit. Christy got my mask and snorkel and I went in to check out the situation.
Spa Creek is a murky, chocolate brown stream. At the surface visibility was literally 4 inches, at the bottom visibility was zero. I followed the chain to the bottom expecting to find our chain tangled on a sunken log or perhaps the bloated dead body of one of the local crabbermen. I was relieved yet sorely disappointed.
We were entangled in an abandoned mooring. I could literally see nothing at all but what I felt was a steel post jutting up 18 inches from the bottom with our chain wrapped several times around it. To make matters even more interesting, there was a 10 foot length of chain still attached to the mooring and it was thoroughly tangled with our chain. On top of that were the remnants of several anchor rodes that were lying on the bottom and were firmly wrapped around everything. There was even a piece of clothing wrapped up in this giant wad of shit. Crap.
I didn’t have any choice other than to cut it all free before I could even begin to think about untangling the chains. Every time I went to the bottom I cut a line or three free from the tangle. I had to dive on this mess at least 50 times to clear all the crap that could be cut away. Fortunately, I only cut one chunk out of one of my fingers. Once that was done I was able to find the end of the moorings chain and unwrap it from our anchor chain.
Once free of the “post of permanency” we idled up alongside the dock and tied up, plugged in and luxuriated in some A/C. She’ll stay….