August 9, 2009.
On Wednesday the youngest girlchild graced us with her presence. She's been away, backpacking through Europe for a month so we were really happy to see her and hear about her trip. She’s been pretty busy between screening for a new roommate, working and getting ready for her last year in school. She was debating going back to Jersey to see people or trying to squeeze a visit in with us. She kinda just called up and said “hey, can I?” and the next thing I knew she was here. She and Christy did some fun stuff together during the day. It had been brutally hot so when I got home from work we opted to take the dink down the creek and into town for dinner.
My favorite place in town is kind of a working mans pub called the Armadillo. It’s kind of dark and a little seedy but serves the best damn food in town. The menu is kind of limited but the servings are copious and really good. It also doesn’t hurt that there’s an ice cream parlor right next door. So after dinner we walked further into town and stopped in for some ice cream on the way home for the dinghy ride back to the boat. It’s really nice to have Ashlee spend the night, especially since it usually ends with ice cream.
On Saturday I had to work for just 2 hours to finish up a job and get a guy underway. Until the phone rang that is. We got a call from a guy we fixed a few days ago who had a different problem and just HAD to have us there ASAP. Fine. While we were on the second boat the marina refered a third guy to us and as we’re taking care of him a fourth guy showed up and begged us to come over to his boat when we were done.
The last guy had just come into port and his A/C wouldn’t work. The catch was that he had 2 bigass Detroit twin turbo diesel engines crammed into his engine room. You know, the same place his 4 air conditioner units were. He had a thermometer on the wall in the engine room that read 128 degrees. It was humid as hell in there and the engines were so hot that you couldn’t touch them. The companionway between the engines was only a few inches wider than I am. As the boat gently rocked it was pssst, a burn on my left shoulder. Pssstt, a burn on my right tricep, pssst, another on my left forearm, back and forth repeatedly. It royally sucked.
Fortunately, we were able to find a burned out board that controlled the A/C water circulation pump. We couldn’t get a new board until next week so the owner opted to have us hotwire the pump to run continuously. So, he had A/C for the weekend and we were soon on our way home.
So since I had some time for myself on Sunday I spent it, how else, that’s right, fixing the generator. Armed with the newly purchased service manual I was able to successfully set the timing. I did have to remove the head to make sure that I didn’t bend a valve or damage the piston. It all went well and was back together in a couple of hours. When I was done I cranked the engine through by hand and all appeared to be good. I forgot to bring my torque wrench and feeler gauges home from work so I’ll have to put the finishing touches on it tomorrow evening after work. But as of right now things are looking pretty good.
It was pretty damn hot today and as a result the local Mexican crabbermen were pretty drunk by the time afternoon rolled around. There was one guy that obviously gave up on crabbing so he could dedicate his attention to drinking. You never go swimming after eating but after drinking……nobody ever said anything about that. He was swimming along in the slowest dog paddle/ breaststroke I’ve ever seen. He was going from one anchored boat to another and hanging from the anchor chain to rest. So inevitably, he got to our boat. I was sitting in the cockpit with my post generator celebration cocktail as Miguel Phelps swam up and started hanging on our chain.
He was not hurting anything but I have every confidence that this WILL become a problem. I was sitting there trying to remember my high school Spanish. I can remember “Donde esta el banõ? (where’s the bathroom?) and “El pluma esta en le tabla”( the pen is on the table). But when it came to “get your hands off my boat before I have to choke you” I was drawing a complete blank. I must have been absent that day.
Both dogs were standing directly over him looking straight down at him. I briefly considered flashing my wallet and screaming “Immigracioń” to watch as he set a swimming record on his way back to the woods. Then slowly but surely I watched as the dogs made their way back from the bow, still looking over the toerail as Seńor Phelps made his way aft. Is he kidding?
I got up, strapped on an attitude and made my way aft. I lookd over the stern and was met by the grin adorned face of a slobbering drunk. This guy was completely shit faced and hanging on our swim platform. He couldn’t speak any English and I didn’t need to use the bathroom, so we were at an impasse. The awkward moment was broken when I realized that not only couldn’t he speak English, he was so drunk he couldn’t speak Spanish either. He had little drunken eyes rolling in his head, a flat out stupid grin on his face and sounded like a baby with a spoonful of carrots in his mouth as he attempted to speak. How am I supposed to cop an attitude with that? I looked at him and said “Adios senor, tu familia esta en la tabla” (Goodbye mister, your family is on the table). Hey, it’s the best I could do. His eyes kind of clouded, his grin widened, he waved and swam slowly back towards shore.
With an international incident averted Christy and I decided to take a dinghy ride down the creek to try and beat the heat or at least feel some breeze. We were almost a mile away when my phone rang. Our friend Jeff was on the line and he asked me “Bill, are you aware that you have a Mexican hanging from your bow?” So I turned the dink around and headed back. Then Jeff told me that the guy had once again made his way to the stern and was now attempting to get up on the swim platform.
So we made our way back to the boat and as we came around the last bend in the creek we were met by the sight of this guy hanging from our swim platform. He had one foot up on the platform and was hanging by both arms from the dinghy lifting lines. His head, ass and the rest of him was down in the water with both hands and one foot up in the air. We pulled right up to him without him realizing that we were there. Christy announced our presence by screaming at him “hey, get off our boat!” while I removed his hands from the lines. She was so loud that I was even startled. He swam slowly away from the boat out towards the middle of the creek. He looked back like a sad, a very sad puppy that’s been sent on its way.
I dinghied over to the other crabbermen and their families. I explained that Senor Phelps was pretty drunk and shouldn’t be out in the river clinging to the boats. They thanked me profusely and called Miguel back to shore. As I made my way back to the boat I passed Senor Phelps and he had his drunken grin back on and waved as we passed. Puppies evidently have short memories.