Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ups and Downs

I've been writing a lot recently about the projects I've been working on because...well...that is what I've been up to task-wise.  But a number of things have been going on behind the scenes as well.  All of this has combined to feel like I've been on a roller coaster these days.

The day after ordering the acrylic replacement windows, I get a call from the fraud monitoring service for my credit card.  They wanted to check with me on a couple of charges and, indeed, we found two charges for over $1400 that I did not make.  They blocked my card and had to issue me a new one.  Of course, I'm not at the "billing address" for the card, so it was fun to convince them to send me a card at the marina.  And since the charge for the acrylic hadn't cleared yet, I called them to give them a heads up and hopefully prevent any further delay in getting my windows back in.

Cards were having a bad week with me.  About 5:15 pm one evening, just after the marina office closed, I found that the pass card that allows me access to the marina facilities stopped working. While at a marina, I tend to use their facilities because it is a bit less of a hassle than going for a pump out of the small holding tanks on a regular basis.  I was able to borrow cards from fellow residents, but still a hassle until I could get the card replaced the next day.

I finally emptied one of my propane tanks on the boat.  Naturally, it happened in the middle of cooking breakfast.  This is not a big deal since the boat has two 10# tanks and, with a few minutes with a wrench in the propane locker, the gas was flowing again.  There are two reasons this is actually noteworthy though.  I filled these propane tanks back when I was in Hammock Beach and it has taken me this long to use one up.  That is a longer span than I expected.  This is also of note because this tank was found to have a problem with one of the safety features of the valve and I've been waiting for it to empty so I could have the valve replaced.  So, with the tank empty, I was able to find a company to replace the valve and refill the tank for about $30...not bad at all given these aluminum tanks are pricey to replace.

Right next door to the propane place, there was a metal fabricator/machine shop.  I was happy to find this because of my anchor roller project.  You see, the anchor roller was mounted to the  fiberglass with only 1.25 inch washers as backing and I think the lack of a proper backing plate may have contributed to the failure of the mounting structure.  So, with a rough sketch of a template in hand, I had the place make me a big stainless steel backing plate.  It was $45, but well worth it if it prevents future problems with the anchor roller mounting structure.

And this leads me to one of the worst things that has happened in the past week.  While re-drilling and test fitting the anchor roller and new backing plate, I found a couple drips of epoxy that were preventing the backing plate from seating properly against the fiberglass.  I grabbed my Dremel tool and made quick work of getting rid of the drip.  What happened next was surprising and depressing.  I can only guess that it was the combination of the epoxy dust on my hands and the fact that I've lost some weight, but my wedding ring slipped right off of my finger. And it didn't land on the deck nor the trampoline, but fell right through the gap between them and into the murky water under the boat. To say I felt bad would be an understatement. Fortunately some friends I met through the blog know of someone who might be able to retrieve it if they can get a hold of him.  Given the silty muck I don't know what my chances are, but I hold out some small hope that it might be retrieved.

Today the acrylic for my replacement windows came in.  Excited to finally be closer to getting rid of the plastic covering the big hole in my boat, I ran the old window over so they could cut the new ones. Unfortunately, the promise that they could cut the windows just like the old ones wasn't realized.  The shape is correct, but apparently the shop used a jig saw to cut the shape and then rough sanded the edges.  This wouldn't be so bad, but they sanded an uneven chamfer into the edge and this would look pretty bad with the windows only mounted in sealant.  I debated rejecting the parts, but I really just want to get my windows back in and get out of Brunswick, so I decided to take them and clean up the edges myself.  I guess Lee and Cates Glass has never heard of a router and so I will have a couple days of additional work to clean them up for mounting.

This past week kind of reminds me of this scene from the movie Parenthood...


  1. Hey Mike, definitely sounds like it hasn't been your week :-( We had a similar issue with 2 credit cards recently and it happened just prior to the closing on our house, so added even a bit more stress to the situation.
    I'm really hoping Dieter is able to make arrangements to get up there and bring a little light to your run of bad luck by retrieving that ring. The guy we know with all the right equipment and experience in retrieving such things is buried under his own catastrophe involving a plumbing leak, snake, and punctured pipe leading to a flood and destroyed ceiling of a condo, so I think it's gonna be a few days before he could free up. We're not giving up yet though! Hope is not yet lost...

    1. Hey Guys, it has definitely been a very Yin and Yang type of situation recently. I really appreciate your help with the ring. Keeping my fingers crossed that you can get a hold of your friend with the gear.

      BTW, I'm trying to get back down your way soon. We'll have to get together again when I'm down there.

  2. I soooo can identify with that kind of week. We are the experts in that kind of week. I really hope they can find your ring. The reality of it is that we should all probably not even wear them on boats. It's too easy to get caught up in something and rip your finger right off.

    S/V Kintala

    1. Yeah, I usually take it off when I'm doing most projects. This time it was just a few minutes with a dremel tool and I forgot. I hope they can find it too. If nothing else, will be interesting to see how an underwater metal detector works.

      BTW: Really like the posts you guys have been doing.