Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Mini-Celebrity

  Holly and I went up to the boat yesterday as planned, but the work I had intended to do didn't happen. Working on a boat is like chess, sometimes you don't make a move for hours.
  Once I got there and got her settled in her "stateroom", I went below to contemplate my strategy to rearrange some equipment in the engine room. I keep an old milk crate down there, as there isn't much headroom to stand, but plenty of head room to sit, and sitting on the milk crate to wonder what to do next is the easiest thing to do in the engine room.
  Considering that Swing Set is getting hauled out for bottom paint soon, I decided that to start taking things apart right at this point would not be in our best interest, especially since I didn't want to be working on the boat while it was at the boatyard and we were going to have a survey done before relaunching. Plus the work I needed to do involved taking the exhaust apart on the starboard engine. I didn't want to take it apart and then have to reassemble it for the drive to Polestar Harbor before the work was done.
  I did get it straight in my mind as to how I was going to approach the relocation of our water pumps and accumulator tank once I began the work. "Gettin' my mind right" is a big part of the process any time work like this is involved, and it's time consuming. Nowadays it takes a stint on the couch with Holly in my lap as I ponder any given problem.
  Once I finished tackling the issue of my equipment relocation, I realized all that thinking about work made me hungry. I put Holly back in her room and tackled a bologna sandwich. Feeling a little bit guilty about not having accomplished much for my morning, I got industrious and scooped Holly up for a game of fetch in the cockpit. Our game of fetch involved some lessons in negotiating the stairs to the flybridge for Holly. Those stairs are steep and the first one is the hardest but Holly just hopped up onto it right away. Her next attempt was not as successful and for her part, the lessons were done for the day. Any further fetching was to be done on the level areas of the boat.

  Another item on my agenda is the mounting of our watermaker. It's a Katadyn modular unit that I'm going to install in the "trunk", which is the compartment on the stern that houses our shore power cords. The pump is recommended to be mounted in an area that does not exceed 105 degrees, so that leaves the engine room out. Also, the membrane unit should not be located in a hot area either. Both of these components will fit in the area I have planned for them, but there are some options as to how I'll mount them, and I hitched up my jeans and got to thinking about solving that riddle too.
  I did some measuring after studying the installation manual, did some more thinking and studying, and finally arrived at a plan different from the one I had originally had, a much better plan too. Mounting the motor and the pump can only be done vertically if you keep the components side by side. You don't want a potential leak on one component to leak onto the other, as oil from the motor can damage the pump, and water from the pump can damage the motor. But mounted vertically side by side removes the chance of this happening, and makes more use of the room I have to work with. Mounting the unit up off the floor of the space will reduce the likelihood of getting it drenched with sea water on occasion too.
  Happy with my recipe for the watermaker mounting, I made a list of stuff to pick up at the hardware store and since I made the list on my iPhone, I took time to check emails, facebook, and the stock market. This all being done with the help of Holly, who again took up residence on my lap.
  Hard work makes time fly, so in order to pick up Rosie from work on time before a stop at St. Charles Boat and Motor, I gathered up our things and buttoned up the boat to head out.
  As I stepped out of the car at St. Charles Boat and Motor, I realized that I must be a sight; Holly in her pink collar and leash and me with a wrinkled T-shirt and both knees blown out of my Levi's from all the climbing in and out of the engine compartment. I walked in and as I passed the parts counter, one of the fellas says, "Hey! I know that critter! She's on RiverBills all the time."
 I replied, "Yep, she's the one. This is Holly", and went to grab the tube of 3M 5200 adhesive that I was after. I talked with the owner some at the checkout area while the two girls working there made nice with Holly. She didn't make a fuss in the way of barking at her new friends like she is prone to do.
  It was "See you later, Holly" as we walked out the door. I got a big kick out of her celebrity, even though I'd been going in that place for 25 years and never received that same kind of treatment. Not that it was ever bad treatment mind you, but you know what I mean.
  We had a rush hour drive from the boat to pick up Rosie, all the while Holly lay cuddled in my lap, oblivious to the nutty traffic. I muttered to myself with each passing driver that had a cell phone stuck in their ear, but wondered if driving with a dog in your lap is any better.
  Rosie was right on time and was met with plenty of attention from Holly as I told her about the nice treatment she received at the boat dealership on our stop there. I also impressed Rosie with tales of my accomplishments on the boat all day, and I had the blown out jeans to prove it.

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