Friday, January 21, 2011

Steve Dave and Shear Pins

Last night was not smooth. I rented a car for the weekend and picked it up last night. M and I are planning on going up to Temecula this weekend for some wine tasting and Indian casino gambling but had some last minute errands to do first. Well, when we got in the dinghy to go out to the boat after I got the car we were stalked by the elusive 'Steve Dave' (for anyone who doesn't know about Steve Dave, he is a giant sea lion that lives in the harbor wrecking havoc on anyone in a boat smaller than 7'). M had a especially strong sense of urgency and started the engine with full revs. He clicked it into forward from neutral and BAM, nothing happened. We were left with drifting with a running outboard not moving anywhere. Steve Dave quickly lost interest and swam away and we were left to waddle home.

We got to the boat after a short pit stop on the Cimarron and M sprung into action. He took the outboard off the dinghy transom and put it into the cockpit. It looked pretty dim so we decided to try our backup outboard. Our backup outboard isn't really a backup at all. It is mostly broken but works every few months. But hey, it was worth a shot and it was easier than trying to fix the newly broken one. We (M) took it off our rowing skiff and put it on the inflatable. He tinkered around for a few minutes and we crossed our fingers. He pulled once, nothing. He pulled twice, nothing. Third, fourth, fifth times nothing. Maybe it will work next time.... easy option- not going to work.

The next step was to investigate the newly broken 6 hp. All of our tools are still on land from the fixing the bike project so it was gonna be tricky to fix an outboard with no tools. However, M's bottomless pit he calls his pockets revealed 3 multi-tools. I don't know how it is possible that he has 3 multi-tools in his pocket at any given time but I was glad for it.  M took the prop nut off to find a surprisingly easily fixable problem. The shear pin snapped. Now to find something to use as a shear pin. Since we obviously didn't have a spare we needed to improvise. Broken off alan key=new shear pin. Volia! Problem solved. M put the prob back on and put the outboard back on the dinghy.

It is odd to think that all of that happened in a span of about 45 minutes. The life that we choose can be frustrating at times. However, while all that craziness was going on, I stopped to look around. The sun had just set over the horizon and the full moon was rising over the city. It was beautiful. Sure, if we lived in a house a lot of the day to day complications that we face wouldn't be a problem but we would give up a lot. At the end of the ordeal, I was sitting on top of 7 weeks of laundry as we rode to shore and M leaned over and kissed me. He reminded me that these things happen and they always teach us something, even if all I learn is just to be more patient.

All in all, we lost maybe an hour and still had time to get the things done that needed doing. Moral of the story; sometimes giant sea lions force you to break your outboard but don't get upset, these things happen. Well, I guess they don't happen to everyone, but you never know when the Steve Dave of your life will throw a wrench in something.


  1. I think I know this Steve Dave you speak of. We call him Tubby over here ;)

  2. Great post! Ah, the proverbial (in my case) giant sea lion :)