Monday, June 8, 2009


The Saturday festivities started busily at 0700. Hurriedly, we made our way home from Barco to feed Meezers and gather up the Pettit Bateau, which was scheduled for a Coast Guard Auxiliary Safety Inspection.

I was due at the Club for a 0900 meetup, so I went outside to prep for tow at about 0815. You would think that I was giving myself plenty of time but you would be wrong. The over night rains put about 600 pounds of water into the boat, conveniently puddled in the center of the boat on the tarpaulin. So in with a small bucket I bailed.

The Bateau was finally placed on the tow hitch at about 0845, I made a beeline to the local fuel station to fill the empty tank. From there we sped to the yacht club parking lot where I found our Inspector waiting. It was 0900 on the dot. We failed the safety inspection because the adhesive registration letters/numbers on the bow were not spaced correctly.

Not spaced correctly.

Safety Inspection failure.

So we dragged the Inspector to the Barco, first things first, we brought out the documentation paper work and registration. Then we went through the boat. Our Documentation Number was located in the engine compartment. Then the sanitation system was verified for compliance with inshore dumping regulation. (The holding tank does not have a "Y" valve) and our inspector asked casually about life jackets.

Life jackets; We have a bag of eight type 3's under the steering wheel. Inside the lazarette under the helm is about another 12 jackets of various types. Setting out in the fly bridge, we have two type 1 open ocean jackets, and another four inflatable type 5's.

We don't have enough friends to fill all those life jackets.

What I didn't have: Up to date flares and the inland navigation handbook. I had purchased new flares when I acquired the Barco, so either I lost the new pyro technic's or they were liberated. As to that book, well, I had a copy on my last boat. So off to West Marine, where I purchased flares and that book.

I returned in time to pass the inspection, so Barco Sin Vela has a nice 2009 Coast Guard Auxiliary safety sticker that shows that for a moment in time, we are a safe boat.

The final question was if I had completed a safe boater (not online) course.

"Why, yes. "Royal Yacht Association Offshore and Open Ocean Yachtmaster. "Also, I was a U.S. Sailing Powerboat Instructor".

I showed my card. So the next question was whether I would consider joining the Auxiliary and help educate the public on boating safety?

Well, color me flattered! After failing my safety check for not having the proper numbers on my power boat.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadron are doing a great job assisting the Coast Guard in water safety instruction, and we are a stronger nation for these great volunteers who do so much for the Department of Homeland Security protecting our waterways and generally keeping that extra eye out around this giant bit of infrastructure.

Personally, I would not mind helping out at the Coast Guard Group, manning a radio or watching a radar scope. But as for actually getting out there on weekends to do the thankless stuff?

Not sure. I would have to see if I could fit in. Kinda like being in the Sea Cadets, again. Only now my options for my time are so broad that I only have so much time for my own stuff.

I cringe when I see pictures of my Sea Cadet days. I certainly am not really keen on wearing uniforms anymore. Some folks want to wear a uniform to show off their ribbons and medals with whatever devices that go with the times of their service.

Perhaps we will visit the Auxiliary and whether we participate will be a definite "We'll see."

The rest of Saturday went bad, fast. We are in the middle of another monsoon, many inches of rain and no opportunity to go boating. The Trader Vic poker run was cancelled, so the Bateau sat in the rain. We discovered the bilge pump and its failure. I was bailing water in the rain, trying to keep her afloat.


The bright spot in a rainy gloom was watching the Red Wings remind the Penguins how a hockey game is played in Detroit. Gotta feel for those Penguin fans.

Sunday, we took Bateau out to run the tank dry. A half tank takes about an hour to run out. This has been established, out in the Ortega River. Swapped tanks and made our way back to the trailer.

When I pulled the boat out, I took the drain plugs out and watched rain water drain for about five minutes. No wonder the fuel consumption was high!

Repair plans: One: bilge pump will be removed and replaced. Two: Battery cables will be removed and replaced.

I can see a time when the Bateau will be used weekly, and she will be a breeze to operate and maintain. Ya just have to use these boats because inactivity is a killer.

Which reminds me; The Gym is calling...


My mind is making ashtrays in Akron, Ohio.

There is a little bit of news; I finally got a nice Canon Scanner/Printer which even has a "Gonkulator". Extra Credit to anyone who knows what a Gonkulator and the required Diagram which makes it work. There is a fresh 2009 iMac with a 24 inch screen to power the Gonkulator.

I have crossed over to the dark side. Next, I will probably want little bits of fruit to go in my beer and start watching the Lifetime Channel.


Seriously, I will be working at learning how to bookmark websites and generally operate this pricey computer gizmo.

I wonder if I will have to "rebuild the desktop" with each restart. Does Apple still have "Filemaker Pro"?

The cool thing about the new Mac, I had it out of the box and running on the net in two minutes. Plug the power in and plug the keyboard and mouse. The darn machine located five wireless networks almost immediately. Thankfully, my wireless net device is encrypted. But it is good to know that I might pile onto someone else's network.

I just need to relearn how to use this thing. Here is an example of the time that passed since using Gubmint Apple's: It has been a long ten years since I had to place a "brick" into the tower. Heh.

The HP photo system has really worn me out. Think about the H.A.L 9000 always trying to hinder your computer operation;

"Dave, you have a picture on your Yahoo! mail. Should I download?"

"Yes H.A.L., I double clicked it."

"Dave, I'm checking for virus's. There, no virus."

"Dammit, H.A.L, don't just show me a pop up saying there is no virus, just show me the fargin picture!!!"

"Dave, you shouldn't look at these pictures... there are laws."

"H.A.L.; open the picture."

"Dave, you know the protocol; You have to open the photo through HP Photo. Then, maybe I will let you see it. After you have looked in the thumbnail on the bottom tray, and you must hit "Edit" and resize, and save your edited picture in the appropriate folder."

"H.A.L., you are driving me nuts! There are SIX MORE PHOTO'S IN MY EMAIL, LET ME SEE THEM BEFORE I DECIDE TO EDIT!!!!!"

"Dave, No." "Besides, I'm not sure you should be getting photographs from Yahoo!."

It really takes me all afternoon to look at six pictures from Yahoo!. Firefox has to delay me, then AVG has to do the second anti virus search, all this from an email system that uses Norton to keep the baddies away.

They should change the "Norton" name to "Norton Buffalo". But that's just me.

Hewlett Packard; "I am already gone." Buh-bye.


Liz said...

I get the "inactivity is a killer" thing. My motorhome was less than 2 years old and lightly used by the previous owner but then sat on a consignment lot. Most of the $$ stuff was that first year.


Good that you can "see a time" :)!

LL said...

On volunteering: Having volunteered for many things at many times over my life, I've come to the conclusion that when organizations don't pay you, they don't value your time. Because you are "free", they presume that your time has no real value. And that torques me. My most recent experience with this was as a Boy Scout Assistant Council Commissioner.

The USCGA may be an exception to the rule. However, I now think long and hard before I 'volunteer' for anything other than a matter of short duration.

Buck said...

"Royal Yacht Association Offshore and Open Ocean Yachtmaster. "Also, I was a U.S. Sailing Powerboat Instructor".

Color me impressed! Srsly. I have a similar cert in my hobby/avocation, i.e. I was a Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RSPA) motorcycle instructor. Which ain't nearly as impressive as your certs, although I did get one of those cool enameled radiator badges the Brits are so fond of. That and my certification card are both long gone, however. I lose much more stuff than I keep.

How 'bout those Wings! I'm thinking there's a VERY good chance we'll watch 'em skate the Cup around Mellon Arena for the second year tomorrow night. Datsyuk's return is a GOOD thing!

Barco Sin Vela II said...

Thanks, Ann. It's the little things that gitchya!

LL; There does come a point where a person wonders what is useful. Frequently, volunteer organizations become good people being misused by busy-bodies with nothing better to do.

Barco Sin Vela II said...

Buck, I would rather have one of those radiator badges, too. Most of my knowledge is quite stale. The most recent was 2005 for the Powerboat Instructor and I haven't taught a class in 18 months.

Bob said...

I'd guess that your malfunctioning bilge pump was of the electrical variety; any intention of adding a backup hand pump, or is the bail bucket good enough for that purpose?

Barco Sin Vela II said...

Well Bob, you have id'd the situation. The back up pump is a red bucket. The problem was that there is a couple inches below the floor covering that is impossible to reach with a bucket.

I will rewire and waterproof the connections from the battery to the pump.

The last owner didn't really know boats, he was a car enthusiast who took on a boat project.

No matter, it's all good.

Buck said...

Ooooh... new shiny!

As for The Dark Side... I've given considerable thought to a Mac as my next box, as I'm nearly two years overdue on my normal replacement cycle. Two things hold me back: (1) expense. Macs command a 20% premium over similar PCs. (2) legacy software that I own and can simply load on to a new PC, including Office 90-something, complete with Word, Excel, Powerpoint and all the other MS goodies... I'm 93% certain it won't run on a Mac, unless I run Windows (which I would have to buy, no?) on a virtual machine. So what would be the point?

But I'm glad you like yours, Darryl. Let us know how this works for ya.