The Primrose Path part 2

The primrose path refers to a life of ease and pleasure, or to a course of action that seems easy and appropriate but can actually end in calamity.


We spent most of the night with the hatches open and big fans blowing the hot air around. Unfortunately a rain shower passed through in the wee hours of the morning and we had to close them up. It got stuffy and very hot very fast!

Day two dawned, steamy and muggy.  CoastieGuy and I drove into town to get some plumbers putty because our galley sink hadn’t been put back together correctly and was leaking. Because it was leaking we couldn’t run the engine since the overflow hose from the engine spits out into the sink. (It’s not how we want it to be set up but we are working with what we have. )

We returned to find a plumber under the sink. The boatyard had stopped by to see why we were still at the dock and, through a bit of cajoling, had sent over their “master” carpenter/plumber/jack of all trades. This was actually the 4th time he had tried to fix the sink. His proclivity was to start talking to whoever was around and, in talking, forget what he was doing. My Better Half, who had seen this phenomenon before, asked us to go topsides and not distract him. When he was finished he tried the sink and found that it was still leaking. He tightened something down and said we were good to go. The sink wasn’t draining well but we figured that it would be fine once we were moving and the water would sort of be sucked out from the drain hole as we went along.

After he left my Better Half stuck his head under the sink and found that it still had a slow drip. Bless his temper; he didn’t break anything, just said that we should use the plumbers putty and fix it right ourselves. When we tried to do that we found that the pipes had been glued in place to the extent that they will have to be chiseled out.

We put a towel under the leak and decided to hope for the best.

It was now almost noon and time for me to return the rental car. I jumped in and drove the 45 minutes to return it. Luckily it’s the place that advertised that it will pick you up (or drop you off) as needed.  I got a ride back to the boat pretty quickly but noticed that there were some dark thunderclouds forming to the west of us. I saw lightening.

The boys were plotting our course and trying to decide how best to do it.  We were just about ready to get underway when a huge clap of thunder sounded overhead and the heavens opened up upon us.

It’s ok, we can motor in the rain, right?  Well our 55′ aluminum mast will be the tallest thing around once we are on the ICW. What could go wrong?

The hatches and portlights started leaking. We tightened them down as much as possible but water kept pouring in under the seals. This wasn’t just a rain shower, this was biblical rain and Noah’s ark was sealed better than our boat was.

No matter how much we tried to secure them, the seals on the portlights were shot. We formed a small reverse-bucket brigade: CoastieGuy and my Better Half at the front of the boat where it was leaking the worst, Dad in the middle and me at the sink. The boys would pass saturated towels to Dad who would pass them to me. I would pass back a freshly wrung-out towel and the process would start over again. This went on for what seemed like days, though I think it was only an hour in real time. At one point the hatch over the galley was leaking so badly that my Better Half went outside and tried to strap a tarp over it with bungee cords. He came back soaking wet but it helped a little. After a while the boys went outside again and unfolded the tarp to tarp up the whole darn front of the boat since just about everything was leaking. 10 minutes later the rain stopped.

No one said much; we were all tired and wet and extremely irritated.

It was now 5:00. We all knew we couldn’t leave the dock with a boat that leaked like a sieve.  We needed to purchase seals for the portlights to prevent them from flooding again but we had no car and the closest store was a 20 minute drive away.

This began the mad scramble to try to find a car rental place that would pick us up (the place I turned in the car at noon had no one who could drive out to get us). Everything closed at 6:00 and the level of stress was rising. CoastieGuy, my Better Half and I were all standing in a little group away from the boat trying to call any place that might have cars and a solution to our problem. My Better Half found a taxi company in a town about 30 minutes away and said that we needed a cab ASAP. They sent one out for us. The trouble was that it wouldn’t get to us before 6 and that’s when all the rental companies closed.

CoastieGuy worked some magic and convinced one of them to stay open until 6:30.

The taxi showed up. My Better Half, soaking wet, dirty and unshaven, jumped in. CoastieGuy, Dad and I attempted to clean up as much as possible. We took measurements of the portlights to see how much gasket material we needed. We measured the good “dogs” (the things that secure the portlights closed) because some were broken or missing and we wanted to figure out how to fix them.

At 6:35 I started to worry that I hadn’t heard from my Better Half.  Did he make it? Had the place closed and he would have to resort to carjacking? Was he standing at an unnamed crossroads cursing the world (which is what I felt like doing at that point)?

I checked my phone. No signal.

I went outside where there was reception. I sent him a text and he called me back.  He was in a giant 4-door dodge ram pickup truck but at least he was driving. He had been trying to call and his messages came through as I was speaking with him. Stupid bunker boat. Stupid poor cellphone reception…

He got back and was just about Done. Done with everything. I sent him off to take a shower.

CoastieGuy jumped into the truck and drove to the liquor store where he bought a fifth of rum.

I cooked some dinner (baby back ribs, rice pilaf) and we all proceeded to get drunk.

Not too long after that the rum was gone.

That was day 2.

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