Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Tuesday evening.
I made it back from Brownsville at around midnight Sunday, not home til' around 1 am.

I've been home ever since.  I gave the Cheniere load up to someone else who wanted it.  I didn't know if I would be able to make it in time because of the holdup in Brownsville, I don't want to do Cheniere, I used it as an excuse to get out of it - but I would have done it if it came down to it.  Even sitting for 3 days as of tomorrow, I don't regret not going.  My last Brownsville run is a week's pay, I'll relax and take it easy. 

Yesterday, the boat mechanic - who is actually a 4 wheeler specialist - called and asked if I still wanted to get my Polaris fixed?  Yup. He alluded to fixing it "sometime", I knew he wanted the work, I want the thing fixed, so I just said, cool, I'd bring it now but it's way too heavy for me push that dead thing up the ramps onto the trailer.  He said he'd come help me push it up and if I am not using the trailer, he can just haul it back to his house.  Fine by me, I know where he lives, he doesn't come across as a dishonest person - at all. 

He already went to buy the parts to fix it, apparently. Meanwhile, I was determined to get that boat out on the lake today!  I put the battery charger on the battery in the boat to make sure it was fully charged, got the new tags on the sides of it, got it all ready and headed out to the nearest lake - Brandy Branch Reservoir.  It's only 11 miles away. This man made lake is actually a giant pool of water used for cooling the power plant.  The water is much warmer than any natural lake you would encounter.  I know cause' today was my first solo attempt at launching and capturing a boat onto a trailer. I didn't have the trailer positioned quite right and ended up walking into the water to get at the strap that holds the boat onto the trailer. 

Besides that, tho, it was an easy affair, I had a rope, shoved the boat off of the trailer, it floated out into the water, got it past the side rails on the trailer, pulled it to shore hard to get it stuck in the sand, pulled the SUV up to the parking area, came back, fired the thing up and away we go!  I can admit right now I had very little confidence in my ability to pilot a boat. There were only 3 other vehicles with empty trailers in the parking lot, none of them anywhere in sight.  So, at least I had the ramp to myself - well, take that back - a boat came in when I arrived. I just sat there and waited for them to come to the ramp, get out, get their vehicle, load their boat and get out of the way. 

I'm in no hurry to make a fool of myself in front of everyone. I've seen enough videos of people just sitting at launch ramps watching everyone launching or capturing their boats, waiting for someone - that doesn't know what they're doing like me - to get them on a Youtube video.  It's whatever, they want to do that, fine, it's in public, but it really just kind of adds more stress to the situation as far as I'm concerned. It isn't rocket science, but it's also nothing I've ever done before. 

Lol, at least the motor fired up - after getting the battery connections tightened down again.  Whoever set that stuff up did a funky job on it, something I'm going to fix after I get the thing back from the mechanic.  Look, I haven't piloted boat since I was a teenager and that was sailboat with no motor.  Just a little - interesting - and very glad no one in sight out there.  I got it out of the no-wake zone, got the thing up to speed but the bow went way up and the back went wayyyyy down.  Tilt/trim!  The motor move up and down, I had it up too high, brought it down and then the bow came down. 

I cruised out there for around 45 minutes, mostly going in a giant circle  And keeping an eye on the amount of water coming into the hull.  The bilge pump failed - brand new, worked the day before in my front yard - so it was filling up fast.  But, I kept flying around in circles, then took it back to the ramp. Not to get the boat out of the water, but to see if it would idle - not to mention I had to use the restroom - which it did, but rather rough. Cruising out on the lake, it was purring.  I went back out for another 20 minutes, decided the hull was as full of water as I was willing to risk it, went back to the ramp, shored the boat, got the trailer into the water and then, tried to fire up the boat.

It simply wouldn't start - for several minutes anyway.  Put the thing in reverse and then floated it up onto the trailer.  Easy enough.  And took it back to the mechanic. 

Ohh, forgot the part about coming into the "No Wake" zone and unintentionally causing a huge wake coming in there too fast.  I really thought I was going slow enough, lol.  There was no one there, so no one to offend on boating rules.  This is why I chose that lake, even if there's a bunch of vehicles in the parking lot, there isn't anyone around, or if there is, very few people and minding their own business.  I just thought it would be foolish to start out at a busy ramp, on a busy lake, not having any navigational skills.  I will be taking it back out on that lake at least a couple of times after we get this all figured out to try and learn some maneuvers and how to get the boat stopped quickly if necessary, just getting a feel for it. 

Anyway, the mechanic called me after I left it there saying he thinks it's the spark plugs and we should try that route.  Fair enough, tho I think it's more likely a fuel issue.  However, my ignorance of boats has no limits. I didn't know that all outboard motors are 2 strokes.  At least as far as I have been able to ascertain. I didn't know the exhaust on them is out the opening where the prop is.  I thought that was really strange, lmao. 

Well, anyway, tomorrow off. That's 3 days in a row.  I pretty much thought we would still be in a funk with work, despite another driver's assurances that work was picking up.  Had my doubts. 

Not sure what I'll do tomorrow since the boat is back at the shop - I'd go get my fishing license, fishing gear and whatever else I need and spend half the day fishing tomorrow. The back of the property here is ridiculous.  It's time to clean it up.  That's likely what I'm going to do. 

With that, I'm outta here. 


















And let the fun begin! Up at 3:15 am - no way am I missing the shuttle to the airport, might as well save a little money along the way. D...