I really wasn't going to write a post about having my boat hauled out.
Unless someone falls in the water, these posts usually tend to be of more interest to the boat owner than anyone else. There is this ridiculous investment up in the air where boats have no business being, hanging by... what are those slings made of anyway?
The boat owner is both petrified and fascinated to see the side of the boat he or she would never ordinarily see. Wow, look at the through-hulls and the propshaft and the zincs and the crud on the waterline and the...well, you get my point. If it isn't your boat, none of this is terribly interesting, especially when there's the new Sarah Palin book out that you've been dying to read.
But this post isn't about any of that. It's about a truly remarkable occurrence that happened to me today, just before all of that.
A funny thing happened to me on the way to the boatyard.
I'd been planning this whole business for two weeks now. Take the day off from work, get all of the stuff out of the boat that I woud need this week, sleep on the boat the night before so I'll be there in time, check in with the yard to make sure all signals are 'go', and a million other dumb details.
So, there I was, a half hour to H-hour, lines rigged, fenders set, crosswind gauged, my delicate back-down-the-long-narrow-channel-and-turn-at-the-very-last-moment-gracefully-into-the-travelift-slip maneuver thought out and cleverly planned to the nth degree. I turn the switch to start the engine and - no, not the old dead battery cliché, this was a new twist. The engine starts, but, oh no, only a trickle of water dribbles out the exhaust where torrents should be. The dreaded cooling water interuptus that has struck terror into the hearts of diesel owners for generations.
But even that is not the point of this post (please be patient, there is a point). When the engine absolutely, positively must start because you've got to get to an appointment you can't reschedule, it almost never does. No cruising boat sailor will be at all surprised by that.
What happened next is the truly astounding part.
I recognized there was a problem (for me, quite an accomplishment in itself), CORRECTLY diagnosed the cause on THE FIRST guess, had the correct frommet wrench already on the boat, IN THE CORRECT SIZE, managed to get the hose off the through-hull without destroying the through-hull or all the skin on the back of my hand, had a screwdriver the right diameter AND length to clear the clog, got the hose back on the through-hull and both hoseclamps re-connected without destroying the through-hull or all the skin on the back of my hand, restarted the engine - and water shot out the exhaust! A 100 per cent successful repair on the first attempt!
I slumped back into the cockpit, stunned. In five years of working on this boat, that had never happened before. The perfect repair! By myself! No trips to West Marine. Not three trips, not two trips, not one trip! None! Did I mention there were absolutely no trips to West Marine?
I backed the boat very carefully out of the slip and cautiously worked my way over to the boatyard. I was especially focused on the tricky crosswind maneuver backing down to the travelift, with that sneaky little turn at the very end. I nailed the boatspeed, executed a perfect dead-slow backing turn, stopped the boat inches from the dock, lightly stepped off, bow line in hand, and shot my best nonchalant 'hey' to the travelift operator. Two perfect guy-stuff maneuvers back-to-back in the same day!
I have now used up all of my good Karma through the end of the year 2027.
If I were smart, I would declare victory and make this my last blog post ever.