Monday, August 15, 2005

Running Late!

Why does everything seem to happen when you are running late? I am the type that is never late to work. Yep, just check out my time card. When I do run late bad things are bound to happen and the other day was no exception.

In truth, I was only two minutes late, but that is not like me and I still felt the pressure I put on myself. You know the feeling. You champ at the bits at every stoplight and curse at the law-abiding citizens who are going the speed limit when you are late. C’mon, confess! We all do it, though we know that we shouldn’t!

I screech into work and quickly size up the situation. Nothing. No one is around and no one is waiting with a whip and chains next to the time clock. I check the docks on one side of the property. All is as it should be. I go out to the Bluff and look over the docks on the river. From the Bluff I can see all but maybe two or three boats at the most. All looks good. My heart is beating almost normal again so I go into the kitchen for my usual cup of coffee. Actually it’s a cappuccino/espresso combination that I make myself, but that’s another story.

Now I have my coffee and I am starting to breathe normal and my VHF radio crackles to life. The voice on the other end asks, "Sam, did you know you have a boat sinking on the front docks? It’s too far gone for me to do anything for it, do you think you can come take a look?" That does it! Fear and self-loathing for being two minutes late consumes me for all of about, oh, say, three seconds. Then it’s Dock Master Sam in his crisis mode.

As an aside, let me just say here that more boats sink at the dock than anywhere else on an annual basis. I save two or three boats a year from going under, so it’s not like I don’t know what to do in these situations. In fact, I am pretty highly trained in that regard and have never lost a boat yet that wasn’t already completely submerged when I found it.

I go out to the front dock at break-neck speed in my trusty golf cart. I run down the ramp and sure enough, it’s one of the only three boats I could not see earlier because a huge yacht parks on the shore side of that same dock and hides these few boats from view if you are on the Bluff.

 

 

I am very relieved, because I know immediately that I can save this boat. At the same time, however, my heart sinks because I know the owner of this boat. He is my dentist and he is the salt of the earth. More than once he has done emergency tooth repair for me and wouldn’t let me pay him a dime.

I go to the maintenance building and collect my huge crash pump and hoses and grab the maintenance director for help on the way. Together we fire up the gasoline motor on the huge water pump as he guides the hose into the hull. I have to board the boat and stand on the far edge to make the boat lean over enough to stop the water coming in over the transom as the giant pump kicks in.

In a matter of about three minutes, the hull is pumped dry to the point that we want to get our smaller electric pump to finish off the job. This pump is about four inches in diameter and only six or eight inches high.

We plug in the small pump that can go deeper into the hull and nothing. It does not come on. I try another electrical outlet. Still nothing! I look closer at the pump and see that the last user of the pump must have pulled on it using the electrical cord to move it around and part of the wiring is pulled out. It figures!

The boat is stabilized pretty much at this point, so we go to my desk and take the electrical pump apart and rewire it. It takes a while but we get it done and finish pumping out the boat.

This is a picture of the brand new electrical pump I bought later in the day as a back up so that I’ll never have to wait again.

As for the boat, the engine never went under, so there’s no problem there. The side of the boat that went under is the side most of the electrical wiring is located on so most of that will have to be replaced. I towed the boat around to the hoist later in the day and got it out of the water and back on its’ trailer.

This all seemed to prove my point that for me, it never pays to be late. Something will ALWAYS happen.

36 comments:

madcobug said...

WOW! that was some morning. The pictures were good. It was a good idea to get the spare electric pump. Glad that you were able to keep the engine from going under, now that would have been really costly and the Dentist might have taken all your fillings out to cover the cost. LOL. Have a good afternoon. Helen

ally123130585918 said...

That was a terrific tale - Will you charge your Dentist - I wouldn't if I were you - remember he has a drill - and at times have it in your mouth HAHA lol.........lLovely Pictures....Made the story so real... Ally

rollinghillsides said...

A great story, I sure enjoyed it!   Thank goodness for guys like you, you surely saved the day!   Have a great week .....  

robinngabster said...

Sam, what makes these boats sink...I mean for fear of sounding really blonde...did they like have a hole in them?  I grew up with boats in my family but living in AZ we didn't keep them in water (Lake was too far away) , we kept them at our house on the trailer so I never really heard of someone going out to their boat one day and poof it was under water. So in very plain words can you tell me more?  :)

memes121 said...

Friend, you can't blame yourself for things going wrong because you were two minutes late! Late or early, it would have happened. What is important is that you did your job. You took care of it. Your job is so interesting!

chatzeekay said...

Yea what makes a boat sink?  tell us will you. HATS OFF TO YOU !!! Wonderful entry well written and great deatails...

louie0768 said...

Better late than never is what they say! And with a good track record, well, you're entitled. I personally am never on time no matter how hard I try. I have ceased cussing at other drivers as I think about how if I would've gotten up 5 minutes earlier and not pressed that snooze knob, I wouldn't be behind the tourists! And they can't hear me anyway. ;)

What a way to start the week. That boat was sinking early!!!!! You weren't late, the boat was just being impatient! Your dentist was testing your gratitude and loyalty to him.

I hope the rest of your day was less eventful. I hear your frustration with that broken pump. It's a common occurance in our house. We buy something new and go to use it the second time and it's kaput. Funny thing is is no one seems to know how it got that way. It was like that when they went to use it...hmmmm, what I wouldn't give to be a detective. LOL

Glad you could save your dentists' sinking boat. What a beautiful boat. That outta be worth a few more root canals or extractions?

sieblonde said...

Good grief you hit the dock running this morning.   You might have been late but you weren't too late.  I can't believe that in the middle of crises mode, you took pictures!   Ok, so they might have been for insurance purposes, but it's so neat  that we get to see them and share like that in a your day.  Here's to pictures and happy endings!  

mechants said...

Oh man, that's awful! But at least you saved it, right? Good job.

Where in the world do you find a dentist that won't let you pay?? I need one of those!

Ari

candace636 said...

Why was it sinking? (yes, I am blonde)
Candace

stupidsheetguy said...

Whew! Sam to the rescue! I can see now, why the dentist might be hesitant about collecting money from you on the dental work...he might be talking about his boat in past tense!

Good job. Those pumps are a godsend.

Jimmy

olddog299 said...

Great story, Sam, and the pictures are the icing on that cake...

Don't you just wish you could throttle the numbnuts who hauled that pump out by the cord? We used to solvent weld pad eyes on the pump cases and tied polypropylene rope to them. Wire-tied the cord to the poly with a nice 6" loop at the pump end to keep it from being pulled too tight with the rope. Then attached (?) a handle of 3/8" threaded rod by changing the big center bolt for a stud, washer and nylon locknut to secure the cover with a couple of bends in the top to make an easy grip -- that kept the yahoos from pulling them out by the cords. Didn't keep them from dropping them on the stone quay and cracking the housing, though...

Get some rest, guy. Tomorrow's another day and they haven't stopped making fools as near as I can see.

wil

judithheartsong said...

alls well that ends well:):):) Love your stories my friend. judi

childebrand1968 said...

Forget Mohammed Ali~YOU'RE the greatest!

I am so impressed by your job.  It sounds fun to me.... but keep in mind I deal with toddlers, so anything else sounds fun  ;)

Thanks, again, for the play-by-play in pictures.  But how do boats that are docked sink?  Rough waves?  You'll have to enlighten this novice of all things nautical :)

Aren't you off tomorrow?  Get some rest.... even with Trenton there :)  Maybe it'll be a good day for him to watch a movie while grandpa rests his eyes in his recliner  :)

Oh... and yeah, I do yell at people in my way if I'm late for something  ;)  Sometimes I do it in another language... mostly so my Gracie girl doesn't pick up anymore bad words!

At least I'm not a third-finger-flippin road rager  ;)

Thanks for sharing your day!

Cat~

cyndygee said...

Yet ANOTHER blonde,
                    BUT, why do they suddenly just sink?

sunnyside46 said...

why would the boat sink while it is just sitting there?
great story, well told
Marti

anmyatt said...

They should change your name from Dock Master Sam to Superman Sam after a day like that!  WHEW!  ~Nikki

onemoretina said...

    You should be patting yourself on the back instead of kicking yourself in the pants, Sam.  You did good, so take it easy on yourself, my friend !  Tina

mutualaide said...

For fear of sounding like a real red head....what ever makes a boat sink at dock?  I'm thinking a plug was missing, but that's the easy thought.

The lively telling of the story and your pictures brings the moment right to life!

tillysweetchops said...

Sam, thank you so much for visiting my journal and leaving such positive comments. I came over here as soon as I could and first off I was fascinated with your All About Me section. You've had a couple of serious change of directions in your life (all the more rich and varied!) First you left the world of television (cut-throat or not?) and then after over a decade of boat living you move back to dry land (I bet your legs were a bit wobbly for a while!) Anyway, I'll visit again to learn more about boats soon.
Tilly.
http://journals.aol.co.uk/tillysweetchops/Adventuresofadesperatelyfathouse/

yakima127 said...

You are SO awesome!!!  What a guy in an emergency!  Good job!  P.S.  I am almost always late...  JAE

ryanagi said...

What did your dentist say when you called him? That's a nice boat...I hope he has insurance on it.

southernmush said...

Good evening....When we go away on a camping trip my dad always longs to go to the marina but my mom always tells him we have to do sight seeing. He always talks about wanting to go to the marina. I would like to sleep on a boat just once and see what that would be like. I have always wanted to sleep on a boat as I fell asleep listening to the water. That would be perfect for me.

sierrajazz said...

I see Mutualaide already asked what I was wondering...What makes a boat sink at the dock??? But you did a great job rescuing it.  I always find when you are running late everything goes wrong, and I just quit trying to explain to everyone at work all the little mishaps that made me even later... I just say BAD MORNING, and leave it at that and they understand... since all my coworkers have them too. As always the pictures were fantastic and added to the story.

bosoxblue6993w said...

THE STORY OF MY LIFE:  planning a long voyage and i sink at the dock.

running late used to send ME into a self-inflicted frenzy, too.

mcjerseygiri said...

OH Sam your Monday went just like mine did! I rushed out of the door only 8 minutes late but that was enough to drive me to distraction. I forgot my reading glasses and cel phone. I was going nuts in bumper to bumper traffic and when I arrived at my class could not believe that I couldn't see the book. Couldn't call Rob at lunch etc. I was wondering though.....what caused the boat to do that? Did it need some other repair to prevent it from happening again? Nelle

heartsingr said...

I'm sure it was frustrating for you, but you did a great job!  That's why you're the boatman!  <g>

lurkynat said...

Dear Sam,
Wow..I actually got in!!!! Cool!!!
Say Sam, you are really a wonderful dock master! If you and your maitenence manager had not been so much on the ball , with analysing what the boats need, first using one pump, fixing the little pump and then using the other, alot of people would be without boats today! Wow What an amazing tale! And so now we know why those people at the dock are so crazy about you! Cheers! natalie
ps The boats are creepy when they lean to one side like that!It's like one bad move and no more boat!

lurkynat said...

Dear Sam,
Wow..I actually got in!!!! Cool!!!
Say Sam, you are really a wonderful dock master! If you and your maitenence manager had not been so much on the ball , with analysing what the boats need, first using one pump, fixing the little pump and then using the other, alot of people would be without boats today! Wow What an amazing tale! And so now we know why those people at the dock are so crazy about you! Cheers! natalie
ps The boats are creepy when they lean to one side like that!It's like one bad move and no more boat!

jevanslink said...

So you're one of those folks who does more before nine in the morning than the rest of us do all day, huh?  Well, better you than me is all I have to say.  Mrs. L

karensull12 said...

Well, Sam, you're going to have to be my new hero after reading this!

blondepennierae said...

I haven't been able to spend any time on the computer for a week and when I do return you are a HERO.  John and I are sinking here, but alas we don't have a dock ... John does think he is the Master, but that is another whole story.  Congats for a job well done!  Pennie

jouell3935 said...

WOW...Enjoyed how you told this...Talk about not panicking...Great SAVE!!!
Jodi

tc01hm said...

First visit here as I found your link on sepintx's Journal Gallery celebration. Great story and photos to go along. Having read your bio on the sideline (20 yrs. producer/ director et al.) the purchase of the back up pump does not surprise me. LOL!
Tess

coy1234787 said...

Great save ... great photos ... great story!
BTW ... does your dentist know that his dock
master thinks he's the salt of the earth? I think
it would be really cool to be called the salt of the
earth at least once in a lifetime!
Have a great week ahead Sam!
                  *** Coy ***

coy1234787 said...

Great save ... great photos ... great story!
BTW ... does your dentist know that his dock
master thinks he's the salt of the earth? I think
it would be really cool to be called the salt of the
earth at least once in a lifetime!
Have a great week ahead Sam!
                  *** Coy ***