Saturday, August 18, 2012

Quite a day

Monday was an amazingly challenging day. Almost a comedy of errors.

A crew came down with a backhoe to dig out some rocks around the ramps. This is great, it'll mean that we can land the boat at higher river levels, and stay open longer when the water's rising. It was nice to have company. My boss came down soon after to talk to the crew about what he wanted and where. About 10 minutes before the boss came down, the low water line, the cable that runs underwater, snapped. I had landed a bit harder than usual, but nothing unusual. It was bizarre. I noticed it before I took off again, thank goodness, so I pulled the cable out of the fairleads, where it runs through rollers attached to the boat. From there on out, my landings were TERRIBLE! There was a north wind, plus the current at the east landing always pushes the boat north. The combination was awful. I'd come in for a landing, and as I'm slowing down and trying to feather the boat in, and the wind would shove the tail of the boat about 20 feet into the trees. At one point, I actually had to climb onto the top of the cabin to toss the tree limbs into the water. It was so stressful.

I was grateful that my boss showed up to help me with the situation. First he spent about a half hour with me helping me land, and while I was gnashing my teeth in frustration at the landings, he told me that he probably couldn't land much better than I already was, it was just a challenging day. That actually helped.

Finally he started fixing the cable. Since there wasn't a spare cable in the shops, pulled the cable out with the truck, and set up to re-string it. We were lucky that the cable snapped far up near the end. There was enough cable left to string it across the river and attach it to the other side. To string the cable, we let out every bit of spare line we had, so that the cable would make it across the river and also be loose, so we could attach it.

Before the cable is attached to the other side, we have it attached to the tow hitch of a pickup. The cable was too tight, so the boss had me make a trip across the river, as the cable loosened up quite a bit when I was in the middle of the river. I landed on the other side, let the cars off, and was ready to head back to the boss, when the boat wouldn't go. The downstream motor wouldn't work--at all. And it made a freaky noise. One of the guys on the backhoe crew came down to help, and the cable had gotten wrapped around the propeller. Ugh! If it's tangled bad, you have to unstring the cable and start all over. I handed the backhoe guy, Chuck, the pike pole (9 ft pole with a hook on the end), and he manually turned the prop, slowly releasing the cable. Great!

I headed back across the river, let off cars, picked up cars, while meantime, the boss had hooked the cable to the landing securely. When I landed back on the other side, with the intention of walking up the hill and tightening the cable, suddenly the cable got caught in the prop...again! I was so ticked off! It's a good 10-15 minute operation of frustration to get it untangled. We untangled the cable again, laying the cable across a catwalk so it would stay fully out of the water, and I went to get the boss.

He helped me tighten the cable up, so it wouldn't get tangled in the prop anymore (cause twice is more than enough for one day!), and took a break. I dipped my toes in the water, and downed a quart of water instantly. It was a very very hot day, and I'd been struggling with everything since about 10 am.

Finally, we head over to pick up the boss's truck, which is on the wrong side of the river. Just as I'm coming in to the landing, the cable, the same cable that's given me nothing but heartburn all day, slipped out of the very secure clamps that were holding it to the landing. I literally stomped my feet and yelled in frustration. So did the boss. It was 5:15, I was hot, tired, hungry and frustrated, and the cable needs to be restrung AGAIN. GRRRRRRRRR.

Luckily, we managed to reattach it, much tighter this time, without much extra stress. I sent the boss on his way home, and sat down for a break. And very luckily, about 5 minutes later, my parents pulled onto the boat, with a giant bag of deliciousness from Burgerville. I downed the blackberry lemonade in mere seconds. It was great, and exactly what I needed after a day like that.

1 comment:

  1. What wonderful parents you have and they have such good timing. Sorry your day was such an adventure.