September 1, 2014.
Yeah, I know, its been a while. Things are going really well here as we make our transition back to dirt life. Christy has been busy with house hunting and the girls weddings while fixing other peoples broken boat shit has kept me out of trouble. Mostly.
Recently I had to add 50 amp service to a customers catamaran. The owners will be living aboard here in Annapolis this winter and decided to add some serious auxiliary heat so additional amps had to be made available to them. I installed 3 outlets for radiant heaters and added an auxiliary heater to their new marine reverse cycle system.
This boat has always been a pack rats wet dream so I was really glad to get the bulk of the work done before the owners scheduled move aboard date. Unfortunately, the new electrical panel wouldn't be arriving until after they and the balance of their crap were on the boat.
A few days after they moved aboard I showed up with the new panel in hand to finish the installation. I took as many tools as I could carry down to the boat and knocked on the hull. The only answer was a barking dog inside the boat. I made another trip to the truck for tools and after piling them on the dock, once again rapped on the hull with no reply. I phoned my boss who assured me that he had talked to the husband, who was at work and that the wife knew I was coming. While I was on the phone I made my final trip to the truck to grab my vacuum cleaner.
Vacuum in hand I started to step aboard when I heard a voice behind me say “What do you think you're doing?”. It was the wife. She was a boat length behind me walking down the dock. I turn and start to explain who I am as she backs away while rifling through her shoulder bag. I have an appointment, I'm wearing a clearly marked company shirt, hell, I've met the bitch before and she's digging through her bag looking for a weapon.
Fortunately for our hero its only a can of pepper spray. I explain that I'm here to install the panel that we've been waiting for while the trigger happy bitch is deciding whether or not to blind me. After a beat or two something clicks in her tiny brain and she realizes that I’m supposed to be here. She tells me how lucky I am that she didn't spray me. I reply with “you're lucky you didn't or you'd be installing your own damn panel”. She points out that “people just can't be too careful”. I'm still holding the vacuum which I raise to eye level and point out that yes, after I stole her valuables I was going to tidy up. With the introductions done, I loaded my tools aboard.
The boat is piled high with garbage bags of stuff and there is barely enough room to stand inside the boat.
I laid out my tools on the
cockpit table and got to work. Shes satisfied that I'm not the devil
and evidently we're now best friends. As I start to work she gets
down on the only open spot on the floor and starts to play with her
small dog. She's got this extended baby talk thing going on.
Nummie, nummie, nummie, biddle, baby biddle nummie..... For like
five minutes. Now I realize why she needs the pepper spray because
shes driving me crazy. Then, out of nowhere she announces “we've
been together since 1986”. Math pops through my head pretty quick
and I know there’s no way that the dog is almost 30 years old but I
can't help myself and I say “Wow, he doesn't look that old”.
|The starboard hull is packed waist deep. The V berth on that side is packed to the ceiling and the head is chest deep.|
She fixes her dull witted eyes upon me and says “No, my husband and I have been together since 1986”. Okay, good to know. Maybe she prefers to communicate in random blurts so I reply with “Wouldn't it have been horrible to have witnessed the Hindenburg disaster?”. I know that shes wondering whats wrong with me while I’m wondering how long the umbilical cord was around her neck during the birthing process.
|At least the conditioner will be a snap to install. The access is great once I move some stuff.|
|She was making lunch here in the galley when I left. How, I don't know.|
After a short while she announces that her chore for the day is to wash the boat, including the cockpit. So now I have to bring all my tools inside the already claustrophobic boat. Its so tight that in order to open my drill box, I have to close up the Fein saw, etc. So the boat is closed up, its over 90 degrees, I can't turn on a fan because I’m cutting fiberglass and I don't want to blow glass dust everywhere. Its easily over a hundred inside the boat and I’m starting to sweat. Profusely.
So the dog and I are both trapped inside the sweltering boat and I realized that if PETA showed up they would rescue the dog. Isn't there any group that champions the rights of Broken Boat Shit Fixers? Wheres my PETA? And then the dog started to lick me.
I'm standing at the panel and this foot tall dog has started to lick my shin and is working his way around my leg until he gets to the calf where he switches legs and starts on the other one. The sweat is rolling down my back, traversing the crack of my ass, running down my legs and Fido is lapping it up like its prime rib. Bill au jus. Its salty, its cynical but it needs a little something....I dunno, maybe some pepper spray.