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Thread: Karma vs Stupidity

  1. #1
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    Default Karma vs Stupidity

    Today's karma started out good with a couple of specific acts of kindness, progressed nicely through lunch and a discussion of the Annapolis Boat Show and whether or not I should use that as an excuse to go see the folks at Chesapeake Light Craft.

    At some point during lunch it was decided that today would be a good day to launch SARAH as there is a race Saturday and I did actually get a little work - if you consider recaulking a couple of problem areas and applying bottom paint after being hauled out greater than 6 weeks ago work - done.

    Again, this was decided at lunch and I called the yard manager and he returned my call +/- 1:05 pm. I was already changing gears and clothes but it was close to 1:30 when I got to the yard.

    David Gage may chime in and post the pictures I sent to his cell phone as all I was carrying was my cell phone and quickly learned how - in the sun, without my glasses and barely able to see what I was doing - to take a picture and text it to him.

    So I pull into the yard and the travel lift is headed to SARAH! It's less than 30 minutes from my call asking if they can launch me today, and I actually had to drive in-between boats to head them off. I've still got stands to paint under, areas to touch up, the battery charger needs to be plugged in, and I need (if nothing but for my comfort) to test make sure the bilge pumps are working and assess the situation as far as lines, fenders and what not being in the right places and ready to be deployed.

    In the positive karma points, I always take care to work well with the yard guys. Some people come in and are so rude. As far as the yard guys go, one of the two handling the launch is a super nice guy and the other is a bit of a creep. But both are probably making a whole fifty-cents or so over minimum wage, so while I'm careful to make sure the creep is on the other side of the boat when I lean over to stir the bottom paint, I don't think it merits being rude.

    So the person that helps me ("Wilson") arrives FINALLY and we get the launch underway.

    Well this is where the stupidity kicks in. I did some brief Googling trying to find the answer for the disease I'm sure that I'm afflicted with. Main symptom = sporadic (and some times disastrous) episodes of stupidity. Henceforth SEOUS (Sporadic Episodes of Utter Stupidity)
    Last edited by Concordia...41; 09-29-2009 at 09:51 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Karma vs Stupidity

    So the travel lift brings SARAH around to the launch slip, and I've even got a brush to touch up bottom paint because I ALWAYS see a spot right before she goes into the water...

    We hit the water and I've got fenders ready, lines ready to deploy, current predicted, and wind direction noted. In fact, in the 7 (by my count) trips in and out of that travel lift bay, this was our personal best (at least a 9.5) exit.

    Wilson is at the helm and I'm setting up lines to dock, but at some point I notice not only is there the regular amount of water coming in the boat, THERE'S LOTS OF WATER COMING IN THE BOAT.

    Of my two bilge pumps, one is running. One isn't. I try to inspire the one that isn't with combinations of choice language, cleaning the strainer, physically turning the little wheel thing on the bottom, and whacking it against the closest floor. Mind you, not all at once. Just various combinations in various order. I received mixed results.

    Basically it would work for a bit or not.

    But water is coming in consistently.

    I grab the manual bilge pump, which I had ensured was on board and had placed in a handy location, and disregarding all of my information on Jimmy's herniated disk thread, I proceed to pump into a 13 gallon trash can, and then jettison myself and said trash can at least half full of water, up the companion way and over the bridge deck where, thankfully, gravity finished the job.

    We managed to make it to the dock, but multiple requests for an emergency pump STAT produce ZERO ZIP ZILCH for results. Also, we are at the end of probably a 1200' dock, and there's no sign of life or anyone resembling someone bringing a pump and power cords (which I yelled at least 4 times over the sound of the engine, which we didn't want to turn off, as I was pumping for all I was worth and dumping I don't know how many gallons of water out the companion way).

    All the while, the person that helps me, who some of you know, is "critiquing" my bilge pump installation and trouble shooting.

    GRRRRR! The good news is that as the boat was steadily gaining water, he finished the final touches on the installation the manual cockpit pump, which he ordered months ago and which I didn't finish because one of the connections HE supplied was the wrong size.

    At this point I believe I zeroed out my karma because when, as I'm up to my ankles in water, pumping with all my might, and blowing out another disk in my back in the process, when he suggested that I should have finished the cockpit bilge pump installation before launching, I looked for a blunt object in which to inflict a painful, if not lethal, blow to the lower point of his cerebral cortex.

    My karma permanently dipped several hundred points because after what seemed like 30 minutes of pumping, loosing ground, being critiqued as to my bilge pump installation and maintenance, and no response to our calls for help, I actually thought about the fact that I have enough insurance on the boat to at least pay off the credit card debt I'm still carrying from the restoration and let someone else finish her. I wouldn't just let her go, but it did cross my mind that if she went down in the few feet of water where we were, the insurance would write her off and hopefully someone would make her right. Again, permanent negative karma.
    Last edited by Concordia...41; 09-29-2009 at 09:53 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Karma vs Stupidity

    So, with exactly zero help from the yard we manage to "mule" the boat back 60' or so against the current to the point that I could resume pumping and we could steer the boat back to the travel lift.

    For the record - as of a few minutes ago - I am still in an argument as to whether the boat should be picked up full of water. Full is an overstatement, but I was adamant that the slings only be used to stabilize her until the pumps (human and mechanical) could catch up.

    So, back to the karma thing.

    Via human and mechanical pumping we made headway against the water and actually got things to a point where we were making progress and and not less than 3 pumps were in some variation of working.

    At this point, the yard was closed and everyone had gone home. I called David Gage on the ride home and brought him up to speed. I make a quick turnaround at the house, let the dog out etc. and headed back to the boatyard via the corner store for a much needed 6-pack.

    Well, I pull in and not only is there one of the local homeless guys is in the parking lot, but he's mumbling (more than normal) and has obviously pissed on himself. I grab a six-pack and chat with the store owner - the whole time debating whether or not to ask him to walk me out to my car (there's no one else in the store) - and finally decide - since there's probably a small danger that this guy is intoxicated and/or off his meds or whatever to mention that "that guy" in the parking lot is really being weird.

    So the store owner immediately comes from behind the counter (all the while assuring me that whatever-his-name-is won't bother me) and comes outside. I was a couple of steps ahead of the store owner - but he immediately starts yelling at the homeless guy The store owner is Pakistani, but I'm guessing second generation American. At any rate, his English is good but he's a little guy and he's right in big burly homeless guy's face yelling at him. "You don't speak to my customers. You scare that lady."

    So I get in the car and drive away, all the while watching the store owner berate the homeless guy, thinking that now my karma is really in the deficit because I got some homeless guy yelled at.

    By the time I get back to the boatyard, I fully expect the whole end of the street to be engulfed in flames of perdition, but thankfully all is well AND not only is the 110 pump working, but both of SARAH's 12v pumps are working as designed

    Go figure.

    In an effort to restore any resemblance of karma, I called the nice boat yard guy, who left his number and who I felt, because he had to punch out and go when things were still critical, would be worried, and let him know that all was well.

    But then as I turned off of US 1 to head for home, the homeless guy who wet himself and got yelled at was digging in a dumpster.

    SARAH is ok and this poor man is eating out of a dumpster. I just don't get the karma thing.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Karma vs Stupidity

    Man!! And today's karma award goes to........
    Well done, Margo!
    Still very proud of you.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Karma vs Stupidity

    Wow. That sounds like a heck of a day.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Karma vs Stupidity

    Did you leave the log paddlewheel fitting out? I only ask because although I would never do anything like that, an awful lot of water comes in when you do , not that I would know , or anything.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Karma vs Stupidity

    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    Did you leave the log paddle wheel fitting out? I only ask because although I would never do anything like that, an awful lot of water comes in when you do , not that I would know , or anything.
    Actually, now that you mention it, during the "chaos" part of the program, My Captain My Captain flipped the cover off the instruments and "requested" knot and depth.

    In all seriousness, during any crisis or stressful event - spinnaker wrap, whatever - my response is "tell me I'll do it" but in this case, as I offered to turn on the instruments i.e. stopping pumping at the the cockpit and going below to flip breakers, about the time he responded that he'd "like to know his speed and depth" I realized (and reported) that the paddle wheel wasn't in.

    Because.... Captain Ride-My-Ass ALWAYS says that if you don't want any slime or growth on your paddle wheel you should always pull it and put in the plug when you come in after a race.

    Thus, if we are not in motion, the plug is in and the paddle wheel is out.

    BTW - SARAH has the cool new do-dad with a single transducer that is part depth and part paddle wheel. Like DUH! How come it took so long to combine to functions into one thru-hull?????!!!!!

    Anyway, I transgress.

    Also, on an unrelated note, after a series of serious lightening strikes to neighboring boats and a minor brush with SARAH, I disconnect all instruments from the backbone cable. In my case it makes sense because the boat sits unused 90% of the time, with occasional outings weeks apart. Part of the routine dockage and disembarking program is to disconnect anything and everything.

    As I was down just now checking on things I noticed the cables loose from the back of the ST-whatever and realized even if I had stopped pumping and turned the breakers on, everything was disconnected....
    Last edited by Concordia...41; 09-29-2009 at 09:06 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Karma vs Stupidity

    Soooo the plug was in... where was the water persisting in from?

    You are going to tell us, aren't you.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Karma vs Stupidity

    Whew. Quite the day! So what's the story on Sarah? I know you've had a lot of work done on her lately. Off hand, that much water sounds like a sprung plank at a butt. Happens now and then.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Karma vs Stupidity

    "Captain Ride-My-Ass"


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Karma vs Stupidity

    I'm glad things turned out ok.

    Quote Originally Posted by Concordia...41 View Post
    Well this is where the stupidity kicks in. I did some brief Googling trying to find the answer for the disease I'm sure that I'm afflicted with. Main symptom = sporadic (and some times disastrous) episodes of stupidity. Henceforth SEOUS (Sporadic Episodes of Utter Stupidity)
    This is evidently something I'm afflicted with. I had two valves set up for my diesel raw water intake in order to service the strainer. Before starting I remembered to open the thru-hull valve but not the inline. Fortunately I caught it before too long. I was able to solve that problem by strapping the strainer valve open. I wish there was a cure for the general condition.
    Will

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Karma vs Stupidity

    Sorry for your nail-biting aggravation. I'm sure your karma will be coming around real soon Margo. Sarah will probably have dry bilges in no time at all.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Karma vs Stupidity

    I always launch with the floorboards open and don't leave the travel lift dock until I'm sure I'm not in colander city. Travel lift drivers tend to be the prima donnas of the boatyard world, sounds like you have a good relationship with yours.

    I'd say Mr RMA was in more of a panic than you and I'd give him a chance before rushing to change your status on Facebook. Calling for instruments is a typical hot shot panic call, buy him a dinghy and tell him to go and learn to sail properly.

    Desperately worried to find out what the problem is and glad you didn't sink. Let's hope it's something simple.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Karma vs Stupidity

    Well here she is getting ready to head for the water




    And here is somebodies wet lil toes



    You can see from the sheen on the wood that the water level was certainly above the floorboard level !


    I am not as much of a writer, but I get a texted picture of a lift with Sarah on it and think Hot Damn we're sailing this weekend, Then I get another and another and I am off to a meeting at work. During the meeting 2 more texted pictures. This time the one you see above of the waterlevel (after it is finally under control and showing promise) and one of a very stressedoutwornouthaddituptohere boat owner, which cannot be shown in public! But in the end, all appears well and looks like sailing this weekend !yay!
    Last edited by davidagage; 09-30-2009 at 12:41 PM. Reason: because I have the power
    "The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content thenceforward with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting place." -Arthur Ransome

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Karma vs Stupidity

    Just to follow up on Gareth's comments , I always valued the launching time ( although for 20 odd years that was off a trolley and ramp) because it was an opportunity to carefully watch for the first creep of any water and where it was coming from.Often its not where you expect. For us ( a biggy)it was the stern post around the rudder area, not the garboard as so many people advised and thought.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Karma vs Stupidity

    NADM (never a dull moment).I hope all is well.
    LIVE FREE OR DIE..............TRYIN'

  17. #17

    Default Re: Karma vs Stupidity

    Margo, I think you've got a bit more good karma stored than you give yourself credit for.

    But, you missed a perfect opportunity to top up the tank... after you were relieved to find SARAH was doing well and that you'd finally caught a break, then saw the homeless guy digging in the trash for supper, you should have made a quick drive to a local sandwich shop for some take out to give him. Pay that break forward! And if you missed it this time around, file it in the back of your mind for the next time.

    Have fun on the water!
    "I want a boat that drinks 6, eats 4, and sleeps 2." -Ernest K. Gann

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Karma vs Stupidity

    Hi Margo,

    What doesn't sink us, makes us wiser!

    Sounds like a lot of water for a month out and you fixing what you thought were trouble spots. What's the diagnosis?

    I believe you were wise not lifting her full of water.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Karma vs Stupidity

    Hi All -

    It's slowed down considerably, and in fact the smallest of the bilge pumps (a Rule 500) and has been keeping up with it just fine.

    Several folks guessed right, but I'm giving it to Gareth for the colander analogy. We just rushed and were too cocky.

    Counting the first grand launch and three hauls since 2007, this makes the fourth exit from the travel lift and we'd been so over prepared and had such good luck the last three times, we just got cocky. The bad news is that it was very nearly very bad and no one's fault but my own.

    Stocked up on karma today by stopping in the middle of the road (residential area) and catching a scared gray-faced beagle that limped across in front of me. Spent about 20 minutes crouched down talking to her and telling her it would be ok while another bystander got a hold of the owner.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Karma vs Stupidity

    Any news? Good or bad? Hang in there, kiddo!

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