Good News

Well, it is only 8:48 AM and the day is already doing pretty well. I usually try to get up just before the sun comes over the mountains which is around 6:15 AM here right now. It will continue to get earlier as the year progresses.

Coming back from my shower I had the rare treat of seeing a cat climb one of the ladders! It was a granny ladder like mine. The steps are only about eight and half inches apart. I now have hopes of watching on climb and descend the normal ladder.

She went up pretty much the way you would expect. Very carefully, and hooking her forward pause over the rungs above. She has probably had a mountain climbing class. You know, the ones where they tell you to never move more than one appendage at a time. Always keep three appendages firmly planted when you move that one.

I’m pretty sure it was a female, and so I was not too concerned that she would spray something. But what do I know about cats? It was someone else’s boat, but I would not want to look on while damage occurred to anyone’s boat. So, I was watching and if I saw anything that I didn’t like I was going to yell and maybe through a pebble at her. And, I was rewarded by watching her come down.

That was also pretty much the way you would expect.

VERY CAREFULLY!

She obviously considered falling from that height, about 10 feet, to be not trivial. She was very cautious and again, whenever possible, only moved one appendage of the time. Making sure of her footing with each step. She knew I was watching. She spoke to me a couple of times. Not words. This is not Walt Disney. But she would look at me and give a little quiet meow from time to time. I meowed back, to let her know that I was appreciating the show.

I thought that next she was going to give me the desired demonstration of climbing the normal, 17 inch ladder. But, a woman from another boat in the yard walked by, and I assume they knew each other. Because, the cat started toward her immediately. That’s okay. It was a very nice show. But, I will hope to see the 17 inch version someday.

The next good news was that I found out that I’m famous on the Internet. Have a look at our friends blog:
http://thesharinggardens.blogspot.com/

And go about halfway down the page until you see an old geezer on his knees digging in the garden. You can see why children think I’m Santa Claus. At least I like to think it’s the beard they’re looking at and not the belly.

Sharing gardens is one of Janet’s cousins and her husband’s website. They are not just talking the talk, but are also walking the walk, on the idea of using their extensive knowledge to create rich, fertile soil, from things that other people are throwing away. Like the donated hay.

I have not yet had a good enough connection, to download the videos that I referred everyone to a few posts ago, about reversing desertification, and making fertile soil where there was none. And probably most importantly, showing that the massive chemical industry, that has seduced our farmers into believing that they must poison the land and the customers in order to make a profit, is on the wrong track. But, they said:

“I wanted to get back to you since we watched the videos you’d sent links to. Excellent! Especially the second one about land restoration projects. So many environmental videos these days focus on the doom and gloom of the horrible things humans are doing to the planet. That video showed tangible results of HUGE turnarounds in reclaiming the water-table, wildlife and fertility of land through human-scaled, local efforts. Very inspiring!”

As the produce farm that we visited in Spain pointed out, it is much less expensive for them to grow without the chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides. And, if they can get certification as organically grown, they can charge more. Truly a win, win, situation.

The third good news this morning, was that I got the strainer successfully installed. It is extremely hard to get it into position. Because, there is very little room on either end. The inlet and the outlet. And it is connected by large, stiff, hoses. It is one of those things that is just fine once it is all connected. Kind of like building a ship in a bottle. One of those you can’t get there from here, jobs. But, my trick is to boil the hoses in water, which makes them soft for a few minutes. And then with a massive amount of brute force, and some skill and finesse. I have to use a shoehorn to get the hose over the last end. But it all went fine and is screwed to the bulkhead. There were several minutes of standing on your head in a hole. You have to do that to connect the bottom two screws and the grounding wire.

I have to be careful, because if I fall into the hole, and can’t get out, I’m screwed. Until now, I could always yell for Janet to come pull me out. And, I’ve had to do that several times over the years. Maybe I need to get one of those, “Help I’ve fallen and can’t get up!” gizmos. I suppose I should put my cell phone in my work pants.

And, all of the ground wires (bonding wires) are attached to all of the seacocks. All of our metal parts below the waterline are protected by a zinc. The idea is to make sure that only the zinc corrodes and none of the parts. We have only bronze parts below the waterline, and after about 30 years in the water, they all look good as new. But, we have had to replace the zinc many times. And in some marinas, if someone nearby has a serious electrical problem on their boat, that is pumping electricity into the water at an alarming rate, our zinc has disappears quite quickly. Electrolysis is one of the serious dangers of staying in the Marina. Your boat can be perfectly wired, but if the boat next to you has a problem, then you may have a dramatically serious problem.

The boat next door for a time in Texas, was out for a weekend trip with a bunch of other boat friends, when one of the three blades of his propeller fell off. It throws everything so out of balance, that he really could not motor at all, and had to be towed back. It was electrolysis, that it eaten away the metal, and made it so rotten, that blade just fell off while he was motoring slowly down a bayou.

Electrolysis and marine corrosion are very complicated chemical/electrical problems that very few understand.

The marina painters, sanded the bottom of the boat yesterday, and said that they would be back today to begin painting. They need to prime the metal parts, and any bare spots on the fiberglass.

They do not seem to be starting very early today, but they were here until after 8 PM last night. Not working on my boat, that just took them a short time. They sent three guys over and they made short work of it and did a good job.

I will be watching to try to ensure that every step of the way is a good job. Painting, especially on boats, is one of those jobs that if you screw up any step of the process, then every step after that is trash. It may look good today, but long before it should, it will poop on your parade.

There are a lot of boat projects like that. It’s kind of stressful, making sure that you’re doing everything right. Especially since so often the instructions are so vague. I’m having some of that problem with the bottom paint manufacturer. International Paints. I wanted to know which primer do they want me to use on bronze, below the water, with a zinc attached. All important factors to consider. And using the Micron Extra bottom paint over it.

Their webpage hardly has a search engine at all, and the frequently asked questions don’t apply to anything I want to know. I did find a thing about painting bronze, but effectively all they said was you need to get all the grease off and any parting agent like film, and sand it with 80 grit sandpaper and then paint it with a suitable primer.

Hello? That is my question. What is a suitable primer?

So, I emailed them right away, and they usually get back to me pretty quickly. But, no news yet, and I think were going to prime today. So, I may get to make a wild ass guess. The paint foreman here is pretty sharp, and hopefully he will keep me out of trouble.

Dave

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2 thoughts on “Good News

  1. Hi David
    We are in Malta using Int’l Micron Extra. We were told to use Primecon one-part primer on our metal parts.
    Barb
    S/v Plankton

    • I am using Extra also. Richard, tech support man at International UK, said that Primocon was goo, but Interprotect was better. He said to put on 3 to 4 coats. Usually, with primers, you want one thin coat, not thick. Also, in their website they say to not use Interprotect on bronze propellers. The foreman for the paint shop here said with Interprotect, to just use one coat, so we did. Cross your fiingers.

      Ask me in a couple of years. (I am putting on 3 coats with 2 more coats in high wear areas. Hope I get 2 years.

      Dave

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