Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Luck, Be a Lady Tonight

We are currently moored by Glovers Reef in Belize. Tomorrow, we will go diving/snorkelling to look for whale sharks.

The internet remains elusive, my friends, so I'll try to edit my wordy self. I've been successfully sending and receiving email via the SSB (hurrah to the ham radio stations in Daytona, San Diego and Lunenberg!), but we have to keep it brief. Also, that is a separate account, so trying to get things through via my regular email takes a while. Alas. My brief survey of the internet today, during the three minutes I had connectivity via the dive operation here, show me I haven't missed anything earth-shattering in the past week. Take that as you will. This blog post will also go out by SSB, so if the formatting comes out odd, my apologies.

Today I will tell you a fable, with a suitable moral at the end. A few of weeks ago, back in Isla Mujeres, we helped to tow a catamaran with a dead engine back to the dock. This involved three dinghys - one behind, one on each side - tied to the cat and gently nudging it along. This operation proved too much for our little outboard, which suddenly lost power on the way home. Some research and a visit to The Propeller Man in Puerto Juarez revealed that we had "spun the hub on the prop", ie. the rubber doohickey that sits between the propeller and the drive shaft got creamed. (I'm going to hear about it if that explanation was wrong, but I'm pretty sure I have my facts straight.) Anyway. We went to see Propeller Man, which was worth the broken prop. He lived in a stuccoed house guarded by very loud dogs and had a nasty-looking gate in the front of his house. The interior of the house was 98% propeller, from big ones as tall as I am to little ones that looked like they belonged in a child's toy. Seriously. He opened the front door, but the interior was all garage, propellers, and the odd dog.

Erik had our propeller fixed and bought a second one Propeller Man had lying around, just in case. We made sad faces at spending the money, but what can you do? Being without a dinghy is like being without a car, but worse, because you can't even walk into town or wherever; you would have to swim.

Fast forward to a few days ago at Lighthouse reef. We toodled around Long Cay, played on the beach, then headed back to Papillon.


We ran into a tongue of reef not marked on our chart.

And spun the prop.

Now, if we hadn't already had an issue in Isla, we wouldn't have known what precisely the issue was, and we certainly wouldn't have had a spare aboard. We would have been on an outer island in Belize, far from any town, with no outboard motor. So, in fact, it was lucky we'd helped our friends tow their cat that day and had wrecked our propeller in the process.

The moral of the story is: sometimes good luck can masquerade as bad.

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1 comment:

bunny9 said...

Fascinating. It just goes to show a good deed does indeed pay off