Friday, February 7, 2014

Enough is Enough, by H. Michael

Water leaks into the rear lazaretto on Adventure Us 2.  This is a big deal because I expect to use the space to lay up supplies when we untie the dock lines and water getting into the space is no bueno.  (Especially when I know it is happening.)  Two ninety (90) degree half (1/2) inch barb fittings installed to allow water to drain from the hatch cover channel continually clog with all kinds of debris.  The ninety (90) degree bend in the fitting is so small just about everything jams it up. Once that happens water overflows the channel and ends up in the lazaretto.  I tried to convince myself (and Adventure Us 2) that I could tighten clamps on the exit hoses, use a little caulking to seal the fittings better, and be vigilant about cleaning the trash out of the reveal, but in reality I wasn't very effective.  Last weekend I decided enough is enough.  

I have always been one to plan projects with a certain amount of attention to detail, and this project was fairly straight forward once I found the fittings I wanted to use.  The reason half (1/2) inch fitting were used in the first place is because the hatch channel width is barely wide enough to house the outside dimension of the barbed elbow.  For the record I didn't install the original fitting, but for a replacement I chose a one (1) inch slip, by three quarter (3/4) inch threaded elbow because you can drive a truck through the ninety (90) degree bend.  I added a three quarter (3/4) inch threaded barb fitting to the elbow so I could attach a hose and run it to the existing through hull.  With the old fitting removed, and a little grinding on the underside of the channel, with my Dremel, I had a nice, stable base for the new fitting to rest, and I was ready to start some fiberglass work.  

The wise and astute readers this blog attracts have already realized a "certain amount of attention to detail" does not necessarily make the planning comprehensive.  In fact, it leaves the door wide open and allows for the possibility that perhaps some of the finer details were omitted.  Possibly to the extent that Mr. Murphy had little trouble entering and lounging for a while as I scrambled to not FUBAR the whole undertaking. 

In all fairness to myself, I completely understand the effects of gravity, but sometimes I can be a little naïve.  Like the time I jumped off the roof of our house holding four (4) corners of a bed sheet as a parachute.   Anyway, lacking extensive experience with all things fiberglass, I basically thought I would mix the resin a little on the stiff side so it would cure quickly.  In the mean time I would hold it in position until I could let it go without it falling.  Simple.  Just in case, I placed a roll of blue tape close by lest I need some reinforcement.   

The plan was well executed on the first (port side) fitting.  Although I did have to use my tongue to get the tape started, my teeth to hold the loose end of the tape as I unrolled it, and then my mouth to hold the roll of tape while I positioned the loose end of the tape because my left hand was busy holding the fitting in place.  Not bad though.  I had the same plan for glassing the second fitting, however about this time Murphy arrived, decided to have a little fun at my expense, and everything proved a little more intense challenging. 

To work on the starboard fitting I had to rotate my body inside the lazaretto one hundred eight (180) degrees.  Now it was necessary to hold the fitting in place with my right hand while trying to positioning some tape with my left.  My left hand behaves admirably as an assistant to my right, but has never really been comfortable taking the lead.  Unrolling the tape, moving it into position, and getting the right supportive angle proved a frustrating experiment.  Good thing Janet Lee showed up. 

"Honey can you please rip off a piece of tape for me? ....  Uh oh....  Maybe a bigger piece will work better....  Hmmm, it worked on the other side.... Shit!"

At this point the fitting had moved way out of position because of fumbling around with various pieces of tape.   I had to remove the fiberglass cloth, reposition the fitting, re-apply the cloth, and smooth it over with more resin.  Good thing I was wearing gloves cause I would've had resin all over my hands. Of course all the old tape we tried to use was coated with resin and somehow ended up stuck to my pants, shirt, shoes, hair, whiskers, and various parts of my exposed skin.

"Okay I'm ready JL, let's try again."

Recalling this incident I am reminded of a job I had in college working with a crew framing houses.  There was a guy on the crew whose irritation and frustration levels would peek, usually because of a "stupid board", to the point that he would scream at the top of his lungs as a warning of what was yet to come.  The entire crew recognized his raucous outburst as a sign to hunker down and wait for the explosion.  Inevitably he would throw his hammer across the project and it would crash to the ground, sometimes from the ridge of whatever we were framing.  Every single time he would climb down, from wherever he was, walk over, retrieve his hammer, and go back to whatever he was working on before the outburst.    I always found this home grown psychotherapy behavior interesting because I recognized by screaming he could clear his mind, and throwing his hammer gave him the opportunity to take a few moments, by retrieving the tool, to: rethink his approach, and regain his zen.  After the third time I removed the resin soaked cloth from the elbow, essentially starting over for the third time, can you guess what I did?  

"F*/#ing shit!  Stupid ass elbow." 

The only difference is I didn't have anything I could throw, and if I had; it probably would have stuck to my glove.  With that one explosive verbal outburst Janet Lee cocked her head a little to one side and promptly disappeared in what I believe was an effort to hunker down in a safe place.   I think I scared the crap out of Murphy too because all of a sudden I had a clear vision of the five single hand bar clamps in the bottom of the dock box patiently waiting for a chance to contribute. 

I am always amazed by the amount of insight I gain when on the verge of panic.  It seems to me that as intensity ramps up, if I can remain attune to the mission and confront my weakness head on; a better plan develops.   Clouds part, the sun comes out, and a rainbow with a pot of gold magically appears within grabbing distance.

Can you see the rainbow?

“When I’ve lost my way or when I am confused about a path to take, I remember that most answers I need I already possess – deep inside. I am naturally creative, resourceful and whole. If I consult my invisible compass, I’ll know what to do.”
~Steve Goodier

Borrowed from :

Art Of Hookie ~ Will work for food or money.