Self improvement is exhausting! We all have our demons, and when we are working to curb them, it’s an uphill slog. One demon that I wrestle with is my temper. I’m pretty gentle with other living things, but I have a habit of getting extremely angered by inanimate objects that don’t work as I need them to. Some say it comes with being redheaded. Whatever. It’s been a lifelong self-improvement project. And it ain’t done yet!
At a very young age, the story goes that I became furious after my father walked right through the centre of Ladio, my imaginary computer. Later, there were bicycles that refused to yield to my trusty vise grips, and, as a young man, there was an entire countryside of Irish pay phones that I made sure would never be mistaken for working phones again. Of course, with maturity, my tendency to become furious at objects has softened, but not much. Or, at least, not enough.
Things can and will go wrong on a boat. With so many systems all being shaken about, dosed with water and salted, it’s inevitable. The right tools will not be around, the parts non-existent. It will take some A grade McGyvering, but above all it will take an enormous supply of patience.
I’m happy to say that, this morning, when I awoke to find that my car tire needed changing — for the second time this week!! – I was calm and collected. I put the spare on and continued on with the day without any cursing, any teeth clenching or eyebrow furrowing. I was grateful for good weather and a bit of elbow room between us and the next car. It wasn’t my most natural reaction, it was far more deliberate.
It’s not much to boast about, but it’s a step in the right direction. And some day, maybe it will become natural. Perhaps it’s like a smile: a fake one is good enough to get you started.
In other news, our scupper issue has been resolved. We’ve also fixed some leaky hatches for now by rubbing vasoline into the gaskets. Amazing how well it worked!
After a few false starts and fruitless trips to various stores, we finished another project today that we hope will help prevent engine troubles. Our boat takes in water from the lake (or ocean) to cool the engine. Sometimes, it picks up weeds. There’s a strainer intended to filter the weeds out. But before the strainer, there’s also a bronze fixture that forces the water to make a 90º turn. Weeds were getting caught in the sharp turn before even making it to the strainer. By using a longer hose to make a gentler angle, we hope any weeds will make it into the strainer basket, as they should. Immediately, we noticed that there is now far more water flowing through the engine.
Our boat is ready for sailing again, and the lockers we emptied to access the nether regions are repacked with spare anchors, lines, etc.
Tomorrow we start a two-day marine first aid course.