Monday, November 19, 2012

Boat Nerds

Doing the Loop is slowly but surely turning us into boat nerds.  We find ourselves fascinated by things we had no knowledge of or interest in only a year ago.


One example of that trajectory is a story Cathryn finds  embarrassing. Two years ago after Bob extracted a promise from Cathryn that she would, over time, become Co-Captain of our Loop boat in order to gain his agreement to take this journey, we signed up together for a Power Squadron course on boat engine maintenance. Our instructor, Tom S, as far as we can tell, knows everything there is to know about the topic. And he showed no dismay the first night of class when Cathryn raised her hand and asked “Can you please explain exactly what a throttle is before you continue this discussion?” The polite group of men didn’t even laugh.


Fast forward 24 months, and guess what our youngest daughter Adrienne gave us for birthday gifts this month? Bob got a laser radiation infrared thermometer, and Cathryn got a digital snap-around multi-meter, both for use on our boat. And we even know how we plan to use them.


We won’t go into details about all the things we’ve learned about on-board maintenance of marine toilets (including the book we own on the topic), but all of our overnight guests have been amused at the detailed instructions that come with being a visitor. And we won’t bore you with details of the book we own and read on anchoring either.


But all overnight visitors have taken our “safety briefing” seriously: showing them where fire extinguishers are located and how to use them, making them pick out and properly size the straps and buckles on their very own life vest for the duration of their visit, and paying close attention to how to open the overhead hatch in the guest stateroom by touch (in the dark) should they need to escape from fire or the boat sinking in the middle of the night.

Bob has been unfailingly compulsive (in a good way) about doing fluid checks in the engine room every morning before we run the boat (something Cathryn forgot to do the day she single-handed the boat across Mobile Bay recently).

When we talk to non-Loopers, we try to take note if (or more often when) their eyes start glazing over while we discuss Looping, a sure sign  we’ve either gotten into Nerd-talk, or just gone on too long. Remember that U-Tube video of an insurance advertisement our daughter sent us a couple months ago? “The boat, the boat, the boat . . . that’s all they ever talk about . . . . ”Link Here

1 comment:

Gary said...

To paraphrase another insurance company ad - "Northwest Power Squadron Loopers: You're one of us!"