Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How to shorten your boat.

Is your boat too long? Follow these simple steps:
1. Change your engine oil and then grease everything very well because you are going to be using it a lot in the next few days.
2. Don't shift your transmission into forward and reverse a couple of times to make sure that it is working.
3. Maneuver your boat to the water dock in front of your new friends and the weird German tour guide guy.
4. While your entire family yells "put it in reverse" you yell back "it is in reverse"
5. Very neatly hit a cement wharf square on with your bowsprit at the same speed you would walk across a kitchen.
6. The impact will ring your boat bell once, very loudly and clearly like a cheap amusement park game, so the whole town can see the stupid American boat bounce back off of a cement wall.
7. Simultaneously on impact shift from reverse to forward to reverse and give it full power so that after it bounces it keeps going backward.
8. Inspect your bowsprit, and notice it is now one inch (24mm) further back on the boat. Say loudly and unconvincingly "Its OK".
9. Later as you slink out of the harbor adjust your dolphin striker and whisker cables to fit your newly adjusted bowsprit. Pronounce it to your family as OK.
10. Thank God in heaven that it was a cement wall and not the community police boat that you tried to skewer.
11. Proclaim the guy who built your boat a genius because he built it to handle just such an impact without sinking the boat.
12. The next time you change your oil and pack the variable prop with grease, shift from forward to reverse a few times before maneuvering in tight quarters.
13. Smile at your daughter when she excitedly tells you about the chunk of cement missing from the wharf wall.

We are somewhere in the nebulous halfway point across Baffin Bay. Nebulous because a change in weather can make the first half take twice as long as the second half making them no longer halves time wise.

All is well, even the sprit.

Rolland for the Trowbridges

1 comment:

Brian said...

“Ode to a bowsprit”

The gears were greased, the engine fine,
our vessel, Precipice, ready on time;

We plotted course and gave a heave,
we liked the stop but had to leave;

We gave her power, heading out,
then the lookout gave a shout;

“Reverse” is what we need right now,
I see a wall close by the bow;

It was no use, her gears had failed,
the bell now rung before we sailed;

The bowsprit struck the wall with force,
the captain said, “it’s fine”, of course;

And what became of this sad mess?
the Precipice is one inch less.

-- alt ending - replace last verse --
The awful truth that brought a tear,
the bowsprit now stands in the rear.