The world of Facebook is a weird place and I sometimes wonder why I even have an account. As much as we all complain about it, we are nonetheless compelled to continually check it out and inevitably winge and grumble at all the crap we see on there. At the moment, people are having a complete meltdown about some of Donald Trump’s policies, however, Facebook is one of those things that at any one time, someone is having a complete meltdown over some issue or other. In between the meltdowns are pictures of cats, dogs and what people are having for lunch. That’s pretty much what Facebook is about. I had a Twitter account for a while but just didn’t get what it was about, but it seemed to be much the same, people having complete meltdowns but without pictures of cats. As for Instagram, I have no absolutely no idea what that is about, but somehow there will be meltdowns or cats somewhere, after all it’s the internet! Oh, there was one meme recently that I found amusing, can’t remember the picture but the caption was “What shall I buy my boat on Valentine’s Day?” There were other variations too, “what shall I buy my car/bike/Land rover”?
It’s very timely actually, because the engine is scheduled to go into La Mouette on 13, 14 and 15 February. Valentine’s Day. Well the thirteenth is Valentine’s Eve and the fourteenth is actually Valentine’s Day and the engine should be in place by then with the just all the hoses and wires to connect up and then, fingers crossed, it will go. Instead of being the intrepid, self-reliant, do-it-yourselfer, I am getting the diesel shop to help install the engine. The main reason being the alignment of the prop shaft to the gearbox flange. As a result of the rebuild the engine has got a replacement gearbox and the, chances are something isn’t going to be quite right or fit on the engine mounts like it used to – so that will have to be fixed and then the alignment done. The alignment is critical and I haven’t done one before, so this is my chance to see how it works. The learning curve is steep! I haven’t seen a Youtube sailing vlog yet of someone doing a prop shaft alignment. There are instructional videos on Youtube on alignments and I have watched them, but have yet to see SV Delos, Sailing Uma, Whitespot Pirates or Drakeparagon get out their feeler gauges, dive into the engine bay and do an alignment. I rather think that they pay someone else to do it also. I know that most of them have had engine troubles at one time or another. Some of the vloggers seem to have magic boats that nothing ever goes wrong and they just live the high life of sipping gin, admiring the bikini girls whilst anchored off a pristine white beach with palm trees and a gorgeous sunset. Other vloggers are a bit more down to earth and seem to live in the same universe as I do. Just when I think that my boat is about as unreliable as an old Series Landrover, I can watch other couples experiencing the same boat issues that I am experiencing and feel reassured that it’s just not my boat, but just part and parcel of the joys of boat ownership. Part of the fascination of the Youtube sailing vlogs is that they are people just like me, getting out there and having a go, making mistakes, finding solutions and most of all, trying to get something out of life.
So, once Valentine’s Day has come and gone, all the chocolates have been eaten, and the roses start to droop, will I be out there navigating the channel, avoiding the rocks and yelling orders at the crew? Not quite. La Mouette hasn’t moved from the berth for a while and her bottom will be growing things. I even hate typing words such as “hasn’t moved from the berth” – it’s almost an admission of failure. La Mouette has become like all those other boats that never leave their moorings. However, we both know that it’s not quite like that, but nonetheless, it sometimes feels like that. Next on the list is a haul-out and bottom clean. La Mouette, I am also ashamed to admit, has a couple of blisters on her bottom and they will get fixed. In fact, the plan is a soda-blasting to remove the 30 odd layers of anti-foul and go back to bare gel-coat. Fingers crossed we won’t find any disasters under all that antifoul, fix what needs fixing and then a couple of layers of epoxy barrier so that those pesky blisters don’t return. The plan is to get a couple of other jobs done whilst she is out of the water and then we can begin navigating those channels once more and shouting orders at the crew when they don’t do as they are told.
Exciting times ahead for La Mouette and her crew, but more on that next time.