Monday 24 February 2014

A Last Look At Last Year- The Dinghy Diaries: A New Beginning

   "Turn the clock to zero, buddy..."

Since the snow continues to fall, and the Marina currently looks like this:

        I figured I would continue with the regular sporadic feature series, A Last Look At Last Year.

        You might remember that, early last season,  we acquired a new used dinghy.

        You may also remember that it leaked.  I figured this could be a testing opportunity.  I decided to try out various over-the-counter not-meant-for-dinghy-repair-but-the-internet-says-it-works adhesives and compounds.
          It wasn't a time-sensitive project, so whenever I had a spare couple of hours, about once every couple of weeks or so, I'd try a different adhesive, or sealant, or wonder goop.

         I discovered from where it leaked, and patched the leak.
         Then repatched the leak,

         Then patched the patches.

         Then removed the patches,  repatched the patched patches and patched the repatched patched patches...
        And as the season began to draw to a close, it leaked.  Less, but it still leaked.


       As mentioned in the original post, we didn't need another project, or another dinghy.  I could have pulled off the patch and worked on it over the winter, but with Stately Jones Manor going on the market, I definitely did not need another project or another item in the garage, or the shed, or the workshop.

      But I thought somebody else might.

       The Birtch family had slipped their Bayliner bowrider a few slips down the Dock for as long as we have been here.    Dad, mom, a son and a daughter, just a nice bunch.  We watched the kids grow up.  We chatted to each other from across the slips, traded the occasional beer over the years.  They lived in town, so while we essentially live on the Dock through the season, they came down to the Dock to use their boat and clean their boat, and then head home.  We'd see them a couple of times a week.

       Finn loves them.  They seem to think he is okay.

       That matters.

       He's gonna miss them.

        See, at the end of the season, Dave dropped the news that he was being transferred to North Bay.  The kids were gonna finish out the school year, and then the family was packing up and heading north.  This was their last season on the Dock.

        I got thinking.

       Over the last few weeks Hunter had been eyeballing the emphysemic Zodiac. I asked him and his dad whether it would be okay if Hunter took this project off my hands.

        Hunter: "Are you serious?!?"
              Me:  "Yep"
        Hunter: "How much do you want for it?"
               Me: "Nothing.  Take it.  Just send me a picture of you using it."
        Hunter:  "Are you serious?!?!"
               Me:  "Yep"

       It's kinda fun to watch the adolescent too-cool early teen pose lose out to the giddy kid-at-Christmas goofy grin.

       A couple of days later we got it deflated and packed into it's bag and loaded on a dock cart and off the Zodiac went on a new adventure.

       A week or so later, I climb aboard Whiskeyjack after work, and there is an envelope in the cockpit.

       It's not ticking, so I open it.

       Inside is a thank you card, and inside that is a Beer Store gift card.

       Looks like I owe Rod, the man who passed the Zodiac on to me, some beer.

       A week or so later, I got an email.  This was attached:

    An old Zodiac is off on a new adventure.

    Fair winds, Birtch family.

Remember to "Talk the Dock!"



Wednesday 12 February 2014

A Break In The Weather. Please.

"Man, what a picture-perfect postcard this would make... "
                                                            -Rodney Atkins

   I am so damn done with this winter.

  More snow has hit the ground  this winter than we have had in the past four winters, total.

  With more on the way.

  As I type this, it is -23 degrees Celsius outside my window.

  I am tired of the gleeful addendum  to the weather report  "... that feels like -1,387 with the windchill!"

   (Ever notice that the cruel, cold-hearted bastard who invented the Wind Chill Factor is anonymous?  Celsius and Fahrenheit and Richter and Geiger and Beaufort all named their various scales and measurements after themselves, but the guy who came up with the answer to "Hey, how can we make a miserable season like winter feel even worse?"  is unknown.  Or In Witness Protection.}

  I have run out of places to pile the snow that I scoop, once again, off Stately Jones Manor's sidewalks.

 The driveway?  Fuhgeddaboutit.  Down to two frozen ruts.

 I could live without that heart-sinking feeling  I get when I slide behind the wheel of Lady Liberty in the morning, turn the key and hear *click*.

  I am tired of the ritual of coming home, stepping inside the front entry, removing my boots and stepping in melted snow.  Every.  Damn.  Day.  

 The novelty of a "good old-fashioned Canadian winter" has well and truly worn off.

  So, it's time for some pretty pictures!

Jack and Melanie captured some great shots of the Wednesday Night fleet:

Shots from the end of the Dock:


Whiskeyjack at dusk:

Yes, Hilary is attempting to ram us...again.

   (objects in rear view mirror may appear closer than they actually are.)

  Speaking of Hilary, he and Deb often visit offspring who reside in the Bahamas, and they find it necessary to torture me with pictures upon their return:

   Look at that water!  It's!  All of the water here right now is white.  And solid.

     Eight and a half more weeks until the Dock reopens for the season.  We might even have clear water by then.

Until then, keep the faith, and continue to ...

"Talk the Dock!"