New Ways

Book-club.  Sal took our guest who was visiting for the meeting to the other island’s dock when the day was over. As boat was coming in, she shifted to reverse and the boat slowed. She paused a bit to drift and then shifted to forward to nudge in. Nothing. Nada.

The engine was still running but the boat wasn’t moving.  Concern.  Confusion.  But they used the oar to pull themselves in the last couple of feet in to the dock and then do what all women do in a situation like that: Sal and her guest hug goodbye and then Sal helps her to carry her stuff up the hill.  Lots of good-natured chatting that the previous 24 hours (she stayed overnight with us) didn’t allow enough time for.  Lots of smiles, promises to write, reminders of other things and a few ‘be carefuls’.  More hugs.

There may have even been a few,  “Hey!  Look!  A squirrel!” s  but Sal is not admitting to anything.

But at least Sal cut that goodbye ritual relatively short, thank God.  “L is coming to the dock with more passengers, I have to go.  I may be able to catch a tow with her. Bye!”  

But, too late.  L had come, disgorged passengers and gone by the time Sal made it back from the upper parking lot.  One of the second group of passengers waited with Sal.  They called me.  I got Sal’s little skateboard of a boat and went over. They had a lovely chat during that time and I am sure some squirrels were admired as well.

Still chatting, tho, as I arrived.

But they had also determined the problem and, for reasons unknown, a prop that had been secured about six months ago and used every third day since, somehow managed to break the cotter pin, spin off the castellated nut and kiss the engine goodbye as it made a break for freedom in reverse turns. Down into Davey Jone’s locker.

We towed the boat home with the skateboard.

The nut is extra special in some way.  Stainless steel, of course.  Castellated of course.  22 mm.  Fine metric threading.  Different but not platinum, hand-carved or Russian-made out of spent uranium or anything.  $50.00.

For a nut!

The reader can interpret that last sentence as the cost of the NUT or  – just as valid interpretation to me  – the price paid BY the NUT.  Either way works for me.  As I paid for the nut with my credit card, I was stunned dumb.  I didn’t even ask why it was so expensive….I didn’t want to hear more stupid BS from yet another source.

There seems to be a virtual tsunami of BS rolling over all of us these days and, for a moment, my will to live was weakened and I simply could not muster even a protest.

We’ll fix it in due course (when the nut comes to the nut).  “So, how was bookclub? Fun?”  

“Oh yeah!  Really good.  About 18 people I think.  Even saw a squirrel!”  

8 thoughts on “New Ways

  1. Had a look on and you mighta got a deal as shocking as that sounds but that was just looking up stainless steel 22mm of which many are listed(some lower and some higher like $75. It seems that 22mm nuts are made in various materials but most of them are weak, soft and expensive. Stainless steel is needed probably from Sweden, my guess. So will you be needing an anode?


    • Not yet. The prop spun off but did not clip the anode. It’s still there and doing it’s job but, of course, dissolving in the process. Will replace in spring.


  2. Yep. Gotta luv odd sized parts.
    Had to replace the pedal bearings on my bicycle about 10 years ago. I replaced bearings at work on motors…….. 100HP motors down to 1/4 HP motors…No biggie. Had the tools, Had a huge supply of bearings….none were the right size. Called up my bearing wholesale supplier and told him the size…” Oh! Bicycle bearings eh? Well yer not gonna like the price! $22.00 for EACH ONE!”

    Some weird size specifically for bicycle pedal inner races…..Who knew.


    • I usually react badly to that sort of thing. Immature of me, I am sure, but it feels stupid and larcenous to me. And, in many marine applications, it is. After being on the water for as long as I have, I know that there are many items that get doubled in price as soon as they add the word ‘marine’ to the label. If you can find the Home Depot version, it is reasonable. Find the same thing in a marine supply/chandlery and it is crazy!


  3. Not suggesting much of anything here other than to look at Epipen(anaphylactic shock protection) costs in USA which have gone from $250. in 2013 to $615. in 2016. Whereas the same product in Canada still costs about $100. The increase in the USA is blamed on ‘Obama-Care’. Still no ‘pen’ to protect against sticker shock or greed.


    • That’s my version of it and I’m sticking to it! Well, maybe there were fewer squirrels……..
      …….then again, maybe there were more?
      And I confess that I imagined the chain of events as the prop screwd off but that is how it must have happened. What are you saying? No hugs? Come on! Sal always hugs,…..


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