So, here we are…on our scheduled date of departure, planned in detail exactly 1 year ago. We’re standing arm-in-arm on the bow ofour Catalina 34, waving good-bye to the Statue of Liberty, feeling the spray of the Hudson River on our faces as we lean into the wind, and towards our future… *record scratch*
What?! Are you calling bullshit? What do you mean float plans never go as expected?! (*insane chuckling* a la Robert De Niro in Cape Fear)
Yeah, okay, you got me.
Truthfully, on this planned day of departure for the Bahamas, I’m in the Catskill Mountains, in upstate New York, at our winter lodge with our 2 cats, Celia and Charlie, researching pet vaccinations.
Ryan, on the other hand, is in Port Washington, Long Island, at our marina, dealing with the disaster that is the aftermath of a bad regulator installed on our engine’s new and “improved” alternator (forgive me, mechanical experts, if that made no sense, as I’m not sure if the regulator is on the engine, the battery, or the alternator.) I told you I know nothing about boats, right? What I do know is that the alternator charges our battery, and because the regulator was bad, the battery-charging thingy never shut off, which resulted in all of our lovely new electrics being fried. To a crisp.
Just to give you an idea of the scope of the disaster, prior to installing a new alternator, we had the mast removed from Hideaway so we could run wires up through it, which attached to a new Windex, running lights, steaming lights, and a Rogue Wave WiFi extender, which is the accessory I was most excited about. In the cockpit, we also had a new chart plotter installed, a SiriusXM Weather Report Receiver, along with a fancy new depth finder and wind gauge to go along with our not-so-new but working autopilot. Here’s our boat being put back together after its dismantling:
Let’s just say, a fair bit of money was spent on these upgrades, and the bad regulator fried ALL of them, including our old and perfectly fine autopilot. So, that’s where we stand: it’s D-day and we can’t leave until these problems are solved and replacements are ordered and installed. Again.
To add to the comedy of errors, we also now have a screaming propeller. And when I say screaming, I mean like a Ban-shee. When we had the boat hauled for repairs, we also installed a new (and hopefully faster) propeller… a beautiful brass thing that just looks fast and sleek. But in the “shakedown cruise” (my favorite new nautical term) when Ryan and our boat buddy Bill took Hideaway out for a test, it was discovered that our new propeller screamed at a pitch that could crack our wine glasses if they weren’t made of boat-proof plastic.
After calling the propeller manufacturer, it turns out that we hit the jackpot – we cashed in on a one-in-a-million chance that the frequency of the water flowing over the propeller at a certain speed would create a scream akin to the sound of a crystal glass when your finger rubs along the rim, multiplied by 1000. What luck, eh?!
The solution? Remove the propeller and bring it back to the manufacturer in Flushing so they can scuff up the blades and change the angle at which the water hits the rim. And to do that, we had to get a diver to go down and get the propeller off our boat. Doesn’t sound too complex, right? The only problem is that the diver is also known to like his drink, which means he sometimes disappears. So, now that we have our propeller back from the manufacturer, we can’t seem to find the diver to put our propeller back on the boat.
But I’m sure there’s a way around this. Even if Ryan has to swim under the boat to put the propeller on himself. Right? Not really.
I should also mention here that we’re not the handiest couple I know. Have I told you the story of that time I once fixed our clogged head? Mentioning this at least twice a day isn’t annoying to Ryan at all – I’m sure he’s really proud of me. And it’s definitely not annoying that I also told Gary, our marina pump-out guy, so that now he mentions it to Ryan every time he sees him. I like to pretend it’s not at all because Gary is a teeny bit sexist — being crazily shocked a girl could fix anything, let alone a nastily clogged head — but because I’m a genius.