SoÖ the story.
Making our way up from Grenada
on our cat with the Mrs and some good friends for crew. Were in Carricou and itís a Sunday, so nothing, I mean nothing, is open in the small town there. Were cruising the dink up along the beautiful beach there and spot a likely beach bar. No dock
. Swing out around a reef and the breakers there, and head
into shore to beach the dink. Once on the beach we wander up to the shack and get 4 cold Caribs. All is good in paradise.
Till out of the corner of my eye I see the dink getting rolled by some rather large waves that have decided to check and see how well I had beached the dink. Not very well turns out. So, beers in hand, we run down and wrangle the dink back into submission on the beach. All good. Time for another one.
Having relaxed and completed our mission we shove off on the next big wave and head
toward our boat out on a ball about a mile or so offshore
and downwind. Down goes the trim, key the ignition. Nada. Grrrrr. Nada. I had been working off some old gas from the last season. This was first trip out after hurricane
hideout in Grenada
. The usually very reliable Honda
30 had been grousing about the gas and not starting very easily. (Yes I had fuel
preservative in it) So I figure its just a little tough to start and I probably flooded it with the engine
being full up trim and rolling around like it did in the wave action.
Out come the paddles as I continue to try to sweet talk her into firing up. Now the rowing thing is somewhat less than popular with the gals. My buddy is on the bow yelling stroke stroke and the gals are not amused. We are blowing offshore
and have our boat in our sites. If we run a straight shot we get right to the boat. Its blowing about 15-20. Going to take maybe an hour. If we drift port we blow through the channel and next stop is Mexico
some months later. If we drift starboard we get to cross the reef. I can see egrets standing in about a foot of water
on the reef so this is not a very viable route
either. So the gals take turns overpowering each other and were going this way and that. While I crank away on it. No go.
We get about Ĺ way back and a couple fellows swing by and ask if were doing this for fun or do we need a tow. The gals didnít think it to much fun and opted for the tow. Iím just ticked at my having tried to run off the old gas rather than giving it away. My buddy in the bow is kind of bummed that he doesnít get to yell stroke stroke anymore. Anyway, made a couple new friends and shared a beer
once we got back to the boat.
Then I tear into it. Convinced its flooded and bad gas I proceeded to start tearing down the engine
. Got the air intake all opened up while my buddy is looking for some starting fluid that Iím sure I have in the stores. (Didnít) By about this time I figure even if it did want to start I have probably run down the battery
to a point where I am going to have a problem. The motor
has an emergency
pull start arraignment on it where you wrap a spare line on it and yank it till it runs out and you almost go overboard
. No go. Because, of course, its flooded with bad gas.
Did I mention that I am 3 months into rehab for a torn rotator cuff repair of my left shoulder? If you have been through that one you know what Iím talking about. Being in excruciating pain is no excuse for the eventual outcome here but Iím using it anyway. SoÖ. Tug tug swear swear, no I donít need any F#$%^ng help I can do it myself! Iím the friggin captain!
So I drag out the old battery charger
that I have buried on board and plug
in the dink. Then it starts to rain. So Iím looking at an extension cord running down my wet deck
into my wet aluminum
dink floating in salt water
when it occurs to me that I may in fact be violating some OSHA guidelines for safe operation of something or another.
So back into the dink to pull the battery for an overnight charge onboard. Now itís dark and still raining. Let it sit overnight I declare. Iím sure it will start in the mooring
. Iíve got it all opened up so it can air out some fumes. Into the Carib I go.
Next morning we put the battery back in and I sit down to try it again. Itís a jockey console setup with the ignition key on the right side of the consol. Turning the key I look down and have a flashback from the going ons the previous day.
Oh my good and gracious lord I declare out loud. Actually quite loud. The French boat next ball over looked over to see what the heck was going on. What, says the crew? I want you all to remember that I didnít have to say anything about this I said. I could have just started up the motor
and said that I fixed it. Yíall remember that. I didnít have to say anything.
The dang key has a habit of dropping out of the lock under the weight of the float that I have attached to it. When it drops out you cant kill the engine. Unless you pull the lanyard with the kill clip on it. So were surfing onto the beach and Iím just about to kill the motor and full up trim when I looked down andÖ. No key. So I quick yank the kill clip, trim up, and hit the sand.
So when I sit down and put the key in I notice that I am standing on the kill clip lanyard as it sits IN THE BOTTOM OF THE DINK. Where it has been resting happily since I yanked it the day before. I put the clip back on and vrrrrooom, she starts right up.
Made a couple new friends. I think the crew has forgiven me. Well one or two of them anyway. And RE-LEARNED an important lesson.
SoÖ.. The lesson
START WITH THE SIMPLEST AND MOST OBVIOUS SOLUTION FIRST!!!
And I will never, ever, ever, make that mistake again.
Thatís my story and Iím sticking to it. And if I provided a chuckle or two then my work here is done.