It’s been a funny summer! I really think the intense heat and humidity stretched out over so many weeks has been cause and effect for strange and unusual events in these parts. I want to show you want looks on the surface like just another pretty picture of the boats and waterway.
Notice anything out of place? Let me show you a little closer shot.
Notice it yet? Something just doesn’t look quite right, does it? Can you see it in this next one?
I’m almost afraid to go into work after my two days off anymore. Two weeks ago I was greeted by a sinking boat. Yesterday I find this. Okay, here’s what happened.
I arrived at work Wednesday morning on time and started my usual opening routine. I checked the printout on the fuel tank monitoring system, turned on the VHF radio base station and powered up the handheld VHF radio I wear on my belt all day. Then I checked the phone messages. I had one. Here’s how it went:
"Sam this is mmmpppfff… on (static) we left the dock this morning at six o’clock and hit mmmfffffppp (static) (static) engine may (static) hanging. Please rush (static) (static) check immediately (static) (static) call us back at mmmppfffpp (static) 9 (static) 94 (static) (static) Click.
My very limited appreciation of cell phones was not enhanced by this urgent and almost completely garbled message. Fortunately I recognized the voice and knew where to start looking on the docks for a problem. I thought to myself, "Engine hanging? What in the world?" You can see above what I found.
The departing boat had been caught up in the current and lost control. That boat hit the boat docked next to it as it was leaving and ripped the outboard engine off of the dinghy as it hung on the davits at the stern. The dinghy, by the way, is normally in a horizontal position on those davits. The force of the collision pushed the dinghy into a vertical position and it got caught on the davits and stayed that way.
Once again I grab the maintenance director because I am working alone on Wednesdays now that school has started. My summer help is in classes during the week these days. We launch a marina boat and go out and inspect the damage.
The force of the collision pushed or pulled the engine that was mounted on the back of the dinghy so hard that it separated the engine from the engine mount. You can see that the mount without the engine is still on the dinghy in this shot.
The net result is the engine is hanging just above the water held only by the control and electrical cables. This is a thirty horsepower engine and is not light by any means.
I send the maintenance director up onto the sailboat and I lift the outboard motor up to him in stages until we get it resting on the deck as you can see in this picture. Whew!
I take many pictures of this situation because I am sure there will be an insurance claim filed on this one.
Later I got a call I could actually understand from the boater that hit the other boat. After I called the owner of the boat that got hit, I started to relax. Except my right arm was all prickly and itchy now. I remembered why.
The gasoline and oil that was dripping from the fuel tank on the dinghy got all over me as I was lifting the outboard from the water. I went to a sink and washed my arms. Checking in a mirror to see if there is any more grease, oil, or gas on my arm, I noticed my freshly starched uniform shirt. It is now covered with grease, gas, and oil! Sigh!
After I took my shirt off and scrubbed it for what seemed like an hour with a special degreaser, I began to think maybe I just shouldn’t come to work on Wednesdays anymore. By the way, I did get most of the stains out of my shirt and shorts. Oh well! All in a day’s work, I guess!