A Day in the Life

Woke up.
Fell outa bed.
Dragged a Comb across my head

(Beatles – A Day in the Life)

Remember those lyrics… that’s mostly how our day starts. Well if you know me you understand the 3rd line is a joke. I don’t have much hair left, well not on top anyway.  Once my assistant said “You’re the hairiest guy I’ve ever known”. She may have or have not been kidding; but hair on the top of my head is tough to find.

I woke at about 6 ish. Ever since retirement I can’t seem to sleep in. W/ and I have discussed getting a cover made for the hatch so it stays dark longer. Maybe someday. Not today. John on Peking said I can’t sleep longer cause each day is so exciting. So what’s exciting today.

I check the internet (we’re in Cartagena) to see if people remember me and write, I check the sailing boards (CSBB, Cruisers Forum, and Westsail) to see if anything interesting is being discussed. I check the news sites to see if there’s something significant that W/ and I need to know about and avoid or move to avoid. About 7 ish she usually climbs out of the berth.  Usually too about that time there is a rather large wake caused by a tourist boat that plows along not far from us and she’ll either rise on her own or be thrown out of the berth (not quite that bad but we do hear some wave slap and Elysium rolls a bit), enough to fully wake her.

Tben we have breakfast (bored yet?).  Her’s consists of cereal, mine often two eggs (shades of South Beach), our happy pills which consist of  B-12 and multivitamins; and I usually finish off with something sweet, like a few M&M’s or a Nutty Bar!  Dishes and  then we discuss what the days schedule will be.

Some days, we don’t do much of anything, today we’ve a boat project, then reading, playing Sudoku, Chess, more reading, cut my hair,  and this evening we’ll visit with other cruisers at a local hang out with $1.50 beers and Pizza.  Tonight’s bill was a tad shy of $16 US.

The tasks for today was to torque the set screws on the Shaft Lok and cut my hair.  One may think this isn’t a lot. But on a boat – little things can easily be a lot.

To do the Shaft Lok we needed to get out the manual to find the right size Allen Wrench. Then get out the Allen Wrench that fits.  While I”m getting this contraption to work  W/ is emptying out the locker we have to go through to get to the Shaf Lok. All the stuff in the locker must now be moved out and put somewhere out of our way. The floorboard lifted up and stored too. W/ had already dragged all the tool bags out that I said we would need. I was  to get the torque wrench setup  and make sure I can get from  a 1/2″ drive to the Allen Wrench. Once I had that all set up I went to check and see if I could get it all to work and with the drive and extensions I couldn’t get the Allen key down into the set screw. Just not enough room. Oh-Oh!  Back to figuring. I was thinking about cutting off the angle on the Allen Wrench but first I would try to use a socket I had cut a slot into for removing thru hulls. I know it won’t be a good torque but it will be much closer than what I can get with my arm twisted backwards.  I worked out all of the fittings  and taped the pieces together, then set about tightening the bolts. Remember this is one item I had to re-tighten in Aruba. Ironically, then I only tightened two of the four set screws. This time I discovered there were four set screws and one was rather loose. Not anymore!  As I was getting to the last set screw to tighten I haphazardly dropped the Allen Wrench in the bilge. The bilge is deeper then I can reach. We got out a long thingie that has a push button on one end and a grabber on the other. I can’t see the wrench in the dirty bilge water.  We then dug out a Swiffer mop end and tried to sweep up the wrench so I could grab it. No go. We dropped a towel into the bilge and soaked up enough of the water that once the wet dripping towel was removed I could see the wrench. Bingo. Wrench is caught, brought to the top and put back into service.

I tightened the last screw and went to the next one to make sure I didn’t miss count. It too was snug. W/ took a permanent maker and wrote the size of the Allen Wrench on the unit so it will be easier to find the information the next time. Putting things back in place we made sure the Allen Wrenches were in the correct spot. I took the Micrometer and checked the dimensions and the put the wrenches in their correctly identified places. That should ensure future work will go smoothly. As smoothly as can be expected.

We then spent the next 15 minutes putting everything back where they had  earlier been removed from. Total time for this simple project was about 1 1/2 hours.

Since we had been walking by the sink and smelling a rather odd odor we added a sink flush to the list. Somehow the coffee and tea grounds get down and hang in the plumbing. The water ferments and we get a foul odor out of the sink drains. So I find some spare line and tie it to the bucket, W/ locates two plugs and we fill up both basins of the sink with water from bay.  (No need to use fresh water here as the water in the plumbing is all bay water anyway). Once filled we pull the plugs and both drains flush anything in them out and now everything is hunky dory again.

Break time. Reading,  relaxing,  playing. Lunch is brief and light. We know tonight we’ll go with the crowd so W/ warms up a left over for her and I have a PB & J on some great local bread, followed by about 20 M&M’s for dessert. Gotta have my dessert.

In the afternoon W/ cuts my hair. We get out the clippers and clear off the aft deck. Run the powercord into the boat and turn on the Inverter.  I sit on the hatch and W/ cuts away. I hope she doesn’t cut me as boat traffic isn’t real predictable but we often have notice of various wave trains approaching. She’s conscientious and good enough that on a slightly moving boat I show no blood! With less hair now I’m cooler, and much happier. We had checked at a local barber shop and they indicated they wouldn’t do the beard. 🙁

After the new do we clean up, vacuum, brush and put the items we removed from the back deck , back.  On a boat; almost everything you do you have to move something for and the put something back.

Until we left for the evening we read, W/ took a nap ( I tried but didn’t sleep), ran the generator to keep our ice – ice and our drinks cool. we checked our email and played some games on the iTouch.

All in all a productive day.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long


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