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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Wet Weekend

The boat mission went over well. I did not forget the drain plug. Forgetting the drain plug is a great way to have a BAD TIME. When you forget the plug, there is a hole in your boat below the water line. Water, being a pain in the ass, finds its way into that hole. Then your boat fills up with water and sinks. Not good.

But preventing this from happening is easy. Do not forget to put the plug in. My boat has two plugs made of brass. I keep the plugs in the engine splash well so it is hard to leave them behind.

The ramps were empty today. Sort of. I got to them really late. It was almost noon before the boat was wet. The people that went along got here late, and then there was the having to go to the supermarket for food and shit. By the time I got there the parking lot was full, but there was a lot of room at the overflow lot.

And there was a member of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary there. I thought maybe he was doing vessel safety checks, but he did not ask me if I wanted one. So who knows what he was doing there. Except for maybe stating the obvious.

See the ramps were empty when I got there. Most of the time you have to wait in a line for someone else to launch or get out. But not today. I just pulled up to an empty ramp. And here is this guy "helpfully" pointing to an open spot. There are something like 10 ramp slips there and two were in use. Finding an open ramp was not really hard.

And then before I backed the boat trailer into the water, I got out of the truck and PUT THE DRAIN PLUGS IN and untied the Bimini top and got my dock lines ready and raised the engine and so on. Usually I get this done while waiting in line. But there was no line to wait in today.

So the guy says to be "you should do this before you get to the ramp. We get very busy here". So I looked around at all the nothingness and empty ramps, and then said "normally I do this stuff while I am waiting in line, but today there seems to be no line to wait in. Also, I like to give my trailer wheel hubs a little time to cool off before I dunk em".

Why give the hubs a little time to cool? The wheel hubs get hot from towing. There is grease in the bearing hubs. The grease turns into a liquid when it gets hot. The heat also causes pressure yo build up in the hubs. Now if you dunk em in the colder water, the temperature drops along with the pressure. As the pressure drops salt water can get in. This will rust the shit out of your bearings, which accounts for most trailer breakdowns. Let the wheels cool a little before dunking them and this problem is not really a problem.

I know that the guy was just being helpful, and it is great he was there doing the safety checks. Safety checks are important. Most people are clueless when it comes to what you are supposed to have on board. So the safety checks run you through the exact same checklist that the cops will use if they stop you. If you are missing flares, or they are expired - and the auxiliary catches it during a safety check - no problem. You are told that the flares are expired and they need to be replaced. That is it. No ticket. No fines. You know what you have, what you do not have, what you are supposed to have, and what you need to buy or replace. Very useful. Should you ever need this stuff you want it to work! And the auxiliary will never ever give you a ticket or fine or anything else you do not want.

Let the cops find you without the required equipment and you get a ticket. And you may even be ordered back to port. Not good. The police and the enlisted USCG guys do not play games with required safety equipment. Required means you must have it. You will get a ticket, and you will probably be ordered back to port. Your day is over.

But come on! How the heck can I get everything ready before I get to the ramp if there is no wait to get to the ramp? Think man! That is what your brain is for! I intend to get in the water as soon as I can. If anyone wanted to launch they could use one of the remaining 8 open slips.

I did get a complement about my genius dock line system. My system is so perfect, and ANYONE can help me get the boat off the trailer. I take one long line and tie one end to the bow cleat and the other and to the stern cleat. Now I take a shorter line and tie a knot that makes a temporary loop around the longer line. So now the shorter line can freely slide along the longer line - which is tied off to the bow and stern cleat. I hand someone on the dock the short line, back the trailer in, and push the boat off. Now the dock person can control both ends of the boat with one line. And all they have to to do secure it to the pier is put the loop over some piles. No problem. Nobody has to know how to tie a single knot. Just drop the long line over something. Now I can pull the trailer off and park the truck, without having to secure my boat to anything first. Slick as owl shit.

Today I get to go out on another boat. A larger boat. For on the water training. I will learn how to assist with a vessel tow. And other cool things. Practical useful things. Fun and cool things. Things that will make future trips out in the boat more fun because I will possess more skills and stuff. I will be able to handle more situations that I may encounter. In theory.


Blogger Cheesemeister said...

Sounds like a wild day!
Sorry I haven't been around much--trust me, it ain't you. I've been sick. First mental issues, now I'm running a fever like an inside of a volcano. I think it's food poisoning. Whatever it is, don't get it. It sucks!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you want to see a wild shark, cross me and I gaurantee I'll draw lots of blood

Blogger TLP said...

uh huh. I understood every word of that rope thingie.

AND just where are those d*mn pictures you took yesterday????

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

CM - food poisoning usually just gives you the squirts. The worse the case of food poisoning is, the more "squirty" the squirts are. Sometimes it comes out like water from a super soaker. Only stinkier.

QZ - that almost sounds erotic. What if I still want to see a wild shark?

TLP - I only took one photo. I forget to post it. I shall fix that now.


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