Saturday, January 22, 2005

Boat maintenance -- the Never Ending Story

22 January 2005

PARADISE VILLAGE MARINA, NAYARIT, MEXICO -- The price of procrastination on a boat is either a lot of money, or a lot of work. Sometimes it can be both.

What you see in the accompanying photo represents a lot of work -- about an hour -- to get one-half of the assorted sea life off the bottom of the admiral's inflatable dinghy. The boat has been in the water for at least two weeks -- probably more -- and during that time, enough sea life adopted the bottom that I could have simply declared it a reef and let it adrift. But, that would never do, so I yanked off the engine and pulled out the assorted cargo (a gasoline can for the engine, oars, a empty wine bottle, a sponge, assorted tools) and hauled it onto the dock for the amusement of my neighbors.

I watched many of them march by on their way to the beach, boogie boards at the ready. But most of the captains mentioned that within a day or so, they were due for some maintenance work on their inflatable boats. Quite a trendsetter, I am. And now my dinghy is high, dry, and best of all, quite clean on deck where I will deflate it and fold it neatly into its case and cover.

The day wasn't entirely lost to such chores, however. Three stories were written and one interview was conducted, even though I was almost sans voice the whole time. Lucky for me that source only needs one question to talk for 20 minutes. So I know a lot more than I really needed, but it will work its way into future epics, I'm sure.

The boogie boarding was actually dangerous yesterday. The waves were larger than anything I have ever seen at Paradise Village. The red flag was back up but anyone tall enough to reach the counter got a boogie board. I saw a few injuries and on my last run (it's always on that last run) I managed to get the tether that's clipped to my wrist wrapped around my ankle. I rolled a half-dozen times and end up on the beach knotted up like a kindergartener's shoelace. Only my pride was injured, but I decided to keep the tether loose for future adventures.

Because even higher surf is predicted with a new weather front this next week.



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