Monday, June 5, 2017
The best laid plans...
We live in a resort community. Things change around here as many of the property owners go north and rent their home, park home, RV lot during the summer. It becomes more of a madhouse with the hustle and bustle of families and younger people using the resort as their beach escape. It is a fact that the owners are more courteous and conscientious.
We are ready to pull the boat out; we intentionally didn't do it yesterday, knowing that there would be a bunch of people using the ramp. Monday morning is generally very quiet around here. We hooked the boat trailer to the CR-V; our routine: Joan takes the trailer around to the ramp, I drive the boat around. I drive onto the trailer, she hooks the boat up, and we pull out.
Today, I started around with the boat...
Half way down the second canal, my phone rang... Joan said, "The dredge operation has the ramp blocked. They are broke down and don't know when it will be free."
Sigh. I turned the boat around and headed back to our dock. It is much quicker getting the car and trailer back, so Joan was at the dock waiting for me...
I put the boat at the dock...
In that 15 minute period, we could now hear the rumble of thunder not too far away. The sky looked ominous...
Had the ramp not been blocked, it would have been no issue. I took the car to the ramp to see what was going on. Yep, the ramp is blocked. Yep, 3 guys doing pretty much nothing... "We're waiting for the welder to get here - he was supposed to be here at 7:00 this morning."
I said, "You know where you are, don't you? You aren't pulling this mañana crap on me, are ya? No service gets done on time around here."
While two of them didn't want to make eye contact, the third said, "Yeah, we know - this job was supposed to take 4 months - it will be a year by the time we're done."
We discussed when I could get my boat out... "Are you going to have this ramp blocked all day?"
"Yeah, it looks that way. They sent out an e-mail telling people."
"No, they sent phone messages last week when the ramp was closed for most of the day - but there was definitely no notice this time."
No more eye contact. "When are you done for the day?"
"So, I will have access to this ramp at 6:00?"
"Yeah, for sure. Maybe 6:30."
Always hedging. "I'll be putting my trailer here at 6:00, then."
I stopped at the office to see why we weren't notified (I'm sure they just love hearing owners complain). Before I got the first sentence out, I heard the manager heading for the front desk. He introduced himself and asked what was going on. I explained the situation, and I could see his ire rising: "That is not right. They are not supposed to block that ramp. Let me get this taken care of."
He started to pick up the phone, and I told him that we would plan on 6:00, but he was already invested in this... this dredging operation is something he inherited (he's fairly new here), and I have no doubt he has had lots of complaints over the past 6 months or so. "I'll call you when I have this taken care of."
That's so cute: he thinks he's going to get this taken care of. So, now we wait.
The new plan: pull the boat out sometime. Clean up the inevitable slime that will be on it. Haul it to our storage unit and swap out the motorhome for the boat. Then, the packing process. I'm sure Stephanie will remind me: someone has to work hard so people can have fun.
We got a call from the resort manager just after 11:30 this morning: "That dredge crew will have their stuff out of the way of the ramp in 15 minutes. It's all yours." I thanked him, and we went back to the plan: Joan took the CR-V and trailer around, I brought the boat around. At the ramp, you can see some of the dredge equipment on the left...
Apparently, they were still waiting for the welder to show up. No point in leaving the equipment blocking the ramp. Joan had backed the trailer in, I lined up the boat...
Joan hopped on and hooked the bow strap on the boat while I pulled up the motor. We were in the ramp area for about 2 minutes from the time this photo was taken, until we pulled away.
Back in our driveway with the boat, now the real work can get going - after 6 weeks in the warm salty water here (water temp was 86º today), there was some slime on the pontoons and a couple barnacles on the depth sounder transducer. The bottom paint made that job easier, but it was still hot, sweaty work; the temp was in the upper 80s and it was humid. Joan had a hose ready and the power washer, so we could both be working on the boat. The powerwasher was the right tool for the job for the slime; the other hose kept that slime wet until the other person could get to it with the powerwasher. Trailer flushed. Motor flushed and fuel line drained. All together, it was about two hours from leaving the dock to having the boat cleaned. We were both sweatballs and exhausted...
My preference would have been to get this all done first thing this morning (a bit less heat), but you have to deal with it as it happens. The way it played out was still better than waiting until this evening to get the boat out.
Back in the lovely air conditioning in the house, we both showered and re-hydrated, then out for a late lunch. As we drove by the ramp on the way off our island... yeah, the dredge still hadn't moved... odds are, without some interference by the resort manager, they would have blocked the ramp all day for no reason. Oh well, we have our boat pulling/cleaning chores done!
And the late lunch at Burger Fi was refreshing! :-)
And, one last edit:
IF we had waited until 6:00 to get the boat out, it would have been right in the middle of a gawd-awful thunderstorm... rain, hail, lightning, and winds gusting to about 50 mph. The boat/trailer moved in the wind, making a "beauty mark" on the CR-V. Two of our sun screens on the deck blew out of their mounts. It wasn't pretty. It moved in fast. All the nicely cleaned and dried patio furniture cushions are soaked. It was ugly enough that we put down the hurricane shutters on the north side of the house.
I haven't checked, but I would imagine everything under the settees on the boat is soaked. We saw it coming on radar, but didn't have any idea it would hit that strong.
I guess Mother Nature thought things were going too much our way after being able to get the boat out earlier.