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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Well...whadda ya know... I've purchased a dinghy.

I found an 8ft inflatable dinghy listed on Craig's List and made the purchase. Now all I've got to do is drive up to St. Petersburg and pick it up.. I've looked long enough for a dink so I rolled the dice insofar as the price and condition of the inflatable. I spoke at length over the phone with the seller to convince myself that I was dealing with a reputable person.... can't be too careful when shopping online.

The seller of the dink had the misfortune of having his 29ft sailing vessel burn to the waterline in a flash when he was about five miles out from shore. He was sailing by himself when the boat suddenly went up in flames. He barely had enough time to climb into the inflatable. There was no explosion, simply one instant massive flash fire in the bilge. He suspects that a gasoline can may have overturned and then ignited from the heat of the diesel engine.

He did not have time to grab a life vest or the VHF radio or whatever... the flames could be readily seen for miles and the Coast Guard was out there to investigate in a flash... ooops, I didn't mean to use the word flash.. I meant "in no time".

It has been raining pretty hard here recently and my bilge had a good three inches of water in it. Only problem is that I'm not certain where that water is coming from. The V-berth certainly does seem to get quite wet when it rains. Well, this morning was a good time to test the anchor locker up by the bow of the boat. I scooped up all the water out of the bilge and dried it out. I then pulled out the anchor and chain from the locker and plugged up the drain hole with a large conical shaped electrical connector of all things. After that I poured a good two buckets full of water into the anchor locker.

I was initially dismayed when I could readily see the water flowing down into the bilge but I had to correct myself..."you dummy, that's what you where hoping to see... now you know where the leak is coming from". Sure as hell beats any alternative that may have been causing the leak.

I remove my heroic electrical connector so the water can now readily drain overboard and then dry out the anchor locker with a grungy towel. Next I proceed to apply Silicon Sealant in the tight corners as well as where a grounding wire cable passes through the locker. The silicon seems somewhat hard to apply and kind of gummy, so I get out my bottle of liquid electric tape and apply it liberally throughout so that it seeps inside wherever it might be leaking. What the hell, it's my boat, I can do what I want.

I'm hoping that took care of the leak. We had another rainfall but I can't really tell if my efforts to plug the hole were successful. I will have to conscript the electrical connector back into service again and pour more water into the anchor locker and check the bilge to see whether the leak got plugged or not.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention... S/V Blondie-Dog now has her compass installed. It wasn't a big deal installing the thing.

Yesterday was a good day to abstain from the consumption of any and all alcohol... especially after finishing off a bottle of dark rum the previous day. So last evening upon entering "The Hideaway Bar", I manned-up and ordered a Coke much to the amusement of two bar-flies... but I didn't feel any worse for it and later watched the Rangers defeat the Yankees in ten innings while occasionally observing a female bar patron half my age get tanked on two beers.

I'm suspecting that she had a bottle of vodka or somesuch hidden in her purse. Her bathroom breaks seemed unreasonably long, not that I was monitoring them, but she was noticeably staggering when she made her way back to her half-full Miller Lite. The bartender apparently noticed the same thing because next thing I know, the patron is being asked to close out her tab and leave.

Lastly, for dinner last night, not that anyone gives a hoot... was steamed white rice along with a heated can of pre-seasoned red kidney beans along with a tin of Vienna Sausages and a coarsely chopped up tomato. The rice and beans were good and the dinky sausages were edible.

Memo to self: Make doubly sure gasoline cans are securely seated within the milk crates and that these in turn are tied down inside the cockpit locker wells.

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