Wednesday, May 17, 2017

_____________________________ SAM I AM ____________________________

A floating boat is a moving living thing. A boat on land is like a big stranded fish; beached and immovable by the wind and waves. My yacht 'Mariner' lifted out recently by the boatyards' Trav-lift is a solid immovable object going nowhere fast.

The landlubber boat knows the fun's up for a while so she sulks a bit and conspires to a bit of non lethal companion way ladder tripping, the barking of shins, the scrapping of knuckles and the banging of heads. The landlubber boat tries hard to look neglected, grimy and slightly worse for wear. It's the boats way of making sure that the skipper gets on and does the requisite work. The floating interruptus of ones boat is not something to be taken lightly.

If Sadie is the cleaning lady then I guess Sam is the cleaning man. Call me Sam. Sam has been cleaning solidly now for three days. What have I been cleaning I hear you ask? Well Shipmates any part of 'Mariner' that you can see in these photographs is either waiting to be cleaned or has been cleaned within an inch of it life. The engine bay and the bilge have been the most difficult to clean because the engine had dumped a lot of oil in these areas at some stage. This oil mixed with a certain amount of water from the dripping stern gland had on a few hard chance sails spread the dark oily mixture liberally throughout the bilge up to and beyond the waterline level. Yep, great stuff, but Sam the man has been up to the challenge and I may get my own back one day by installing an electric boat engine - see how you like that my little one cylinder 11HP Arona Diesel with leaking sump seals.

A few days ago Sam the cleaning man extended his cleaning skills to those of an agricultural mechanic of sorts by helping the local diesel mechanic remove the engine. The cleaning of the engine bay I can assure you Shipmates raised the term 'Blood, Sweat and Tears' to new heights. The frustration of finding myself jambed into a confined space with an evil smelling cleaning rag elicited fantasies of running out onto the close by walkway and giving 'Mariner' away to the first gullible person. Happily the feeling past in the afterglow of receding pain as I applied ice to the head bumps, plasters to the cut fingers and dug out the congealed oil in my eye sockets with a spoon.

Today was the beginning of the downwards cleaning slope. If you ever come across a downward cleaning slope then beg, borrow or steal it with both hands and stash it away for a future cleaning day - they are worth their weight in old rags, kerosene and sugar soap.

Today I cleaned the small forward cabin with its toilet area and now have only the bows of the boat with its chain locker left to clean. It should be relatively easy work. I was pleased with how the toilet area cleaned up this morning. Sam was pleased as well. He has been a tower of strength and as robust as a pair of 'Pams' brand 'Easy on and Off' yellow stretchy cleaning gloves.


Steve-the-Wargamer said...

It is a common truism that the more you don't use a boat the dirtier it gets, and the more stuff that breaks.. ergo, use it more and often! :o)

Alden Smith said...

Yes Steve, "Use it or lose it" is as good a maxim as any when it comes to boats - Use them or lose them to dirt, grime, sludge, weed, slime, mould, barnacles and ones local variety of Teredo worm. But let it be known my alter ego Sam the Cleaning Man and I are fighting back.