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Saturday, December 17, 2005

Right Turns Only

I think the temperature peaked at 13 degrees on Wednesday. In preparation for what I knew would be a very cold day, I did some shopping at the local chandlery. I bought several pairs of blue clam gloves and these orange gloves that have silicone non stick on the outside. In combination they seem to work pretty well. I also bought a pair of 80 degree-below rubber boots. (Word to the wise: When buying winter boots for deck work, try them on first. I brought home a pair of elevens but took them back for a pair of thirteens.)

Gloves and boots notwithstanding, I've noticed I've been fattening up. My dog is getting hairier by the day, and I'm eating enough to feed three small water buffalos. This does not bode well for the coming winter.

When it comes to being warm in frigid temperatures, making a fashion statement is less important than adding inches between you and the air. Wednesday I had on a pair of jeans over a pair of old sweatpants, t-shirt, two sweatshirts, a heavy wool coat someone brought me from Columbia or Ecuador, and an old leather jacket. I was stylin', man.

First we went to Spruce Head to get Danny's boat started. He popped the impeller out of the washdown pump and cranked the engine. That John Deere of his started on the fourth or fifth turn. (On Thursday, my old Cummins needed twenty turns and boost from another battery. Then again, my engine can eat Danny's engine for breakfast.)

We left Danny's boat running, came back to the co-op, and loaded his skiff into my truck. We drove to Tenants Harbor where I rowed out to my outboard on the mooring. I was asking a lot of the 20 year old Yamaha. And yet . . . it started. Five minutes later, she was on the trailer and ready to go.

However, the skiff turned out to be a slight problem. It was ten plus feet long. With the tailgate up in the truck, and the skiff in there, it touched the bow of the pointer. No way I could drive that way.

Danny suggested leaving the skiff on the side of the road and picking it up later but I insisted we make it work. After a few moments of contemplation, we cocked the skiff to one side and tied it off. The bows weren't touching anymore, but to get home we could only make right hand turns. No problem.

If you think about it long and hard enough, you really can drive yourself from one place to another by making just right turns.


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