Reminder ll – OTG hubris

Wouldn’t you just know it?  Yesterday’s blog……..I was thinking of ‘knocking on wood’ as I hit publish but didn’t.  It’s embarrassing.

Yesterday, I subtly gave myself a pat on the back for getting through a fairly simple outboard problem (out here) that would have stymied me a few years ago and would likely throw most of my city friends into the clutches of the nearest marine mechanic.  I was a smidge pleased with myself that we resolved the matter with only a few hours of fussing.

But last night we went for dinner at a nomadic neighbour’s.  S lives and works aboard his 100-foot mini-freighter.  It is a floating machine shop and he services the coast.  He was temporarily anchored just up the way and was our host.  Attending also was D who lives on his self-built 48 foot sailboat, St and K who just finished building their new speedboat to complement the 28 foot motorized barge he launched two years ago while, at the same time, building their house from scratch.  We also had J and J who, with two small children, are building a globe-girdling 45 foot catamaran to rival anything you have ever seen.  I was amongst incredibly skilled artisans who can do virtually anything.

And then I made the mistake of telling my ignition story.  

It was like telling Tiger Woods of the hole-in-one you achieved at pitch and putt.

S keeps a freighter going all by himself.  Mechanic, electrician, welder, captain, cook and general -all-around fixer of anything, he is competent and capable everywhere he goes. He is fully employed and in his sixties without even the assistance of a first mate or a dog. Cooks well, too.

D (also 60’s) once walked into the forest with his chainsaw and a few months later sailed away in a 48 foot sailboat that is gorgeous, well-equipped and in which he also stores his vintage motorcycle.  So, a few years later, he did it again with a 30 footer. Together S & D could conquer a small nation.

St and K are pushing 70 and, in the last five years built a house, garden, several boats and volunteered a lot for the community.  St learned to weld aluminum by first building a small dinghy and then building a fantastic, capable, powered barge complete with landing ramp and electronics and the whole shebang.  Think a value of $75,000 or more.  Then, while I whinged over Shingles, he and D – for fun – built two 26-foot speedboats.

J and J are younger (40) but have the same skill levels and independence.  They, too, can do anything AND have babies while they are doing it!

There was more practical expertise and outside-the-box thinking at that dinner than there would be in the entire city of Burnaby.

Of course, when it came time to leave, everyone went to the starboard side deck to wave us off and marvel at the jury-rigged ignition.  “Ooooh….will ya look at that, eh?  Started it with just two wires. Wow!  Be careful goin’ home guys.  Nice to have seen ya.”   

No place to hide in a small boat.

5 thoughts on “Reminder ll – OTG hubris

  1. Some folks cast a big shadow but comparing each form the other tells little. Sparking up the boat eh, sounds like good spirited kidding to me. In the big picture you started the boat while many would have been unable to do so. We all have our gifts some evident and some abilities not evident with just a glance. As Red says, If you are not good looking it’s best to be handy.”


  2. You’re lucky, I wouldn’t even have a story to tell. I may have been a Director of Technology, but design was my area of expertise, not wrench turning. Wayne is a bit better than I am. I call him Mr. Wizard, but that’s mostly in comparison to me. – Margy


    • Sal calls me things like that, too, but it’s just to encourage me. She has no real faith. And neither should she! But at least I am out of her hair and some quilting can happen. So, tools fly and oil gets spread around. After an hour or so I come back and I talk like a man about levers and things and she smiles dutifully and nods for as long as she can. Her mind is not really into it (she’s planning quilts) but she is a great actress.


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