Another spring storm is upon us and as per usual the wind is blowing the rain in defiance of gravity. I spent the morning assisting a friend with the tarp on his boat; we had tempted fate the week prior in an attempt to keep his boat dry, (so that deck repairs could ensue) when we foolishly covered it with a blue tarp. I have always stood in wonderment when one of these “destined for the landfill” tarps stayed in place; I have seen this phenomenon only a few times when visiting friends so blessed as to live in an area of sufficient shelter as to allow for only the faintest of breezes . When we lived on our farm the wind had its way with anything that was not properly secured, as a tarp of that kind is incapable of being properly secured they were not often used. The few examples about, in the form of remnants shredded and tattered clinging to a barbwire fence on some forsaken hill, served as a warning to those contemplating their use. It appears that I like to live in such areas or more plausibly am not bright enough to live in more gentle climes, for now I live in another tarp molesting area of equal if not greater potency.
Note to self: If an area has hurricane force winds that are not called hurricane force winds and therefore not really even news worthy to the local residents... don't move there!
As I stood there in my rubberized rain gear, the kind the commercial fishermen use up here in Alaska, and felt the wet spots beginning to seep through my hoodie I wondered why we had thought that tarping the boat would work. It had never worked for me in the past, and now I was fighting what I knew in my heart from the start would be the inevitable conclusion to our struggles. We'd used a center pole on the flybridge to hold the center of the tarp up in an effort to shed the rain but at some point in the night this pole had fallen allowing the formation of a pool. Not a shallow pool mind you for the flybridge was surrounded by railings about thirty inches in height; we had a pool the size of a large hot tub to contend with. It seems when you are faced with difficult jobs the jokes start to flow and in true fashion my friend turns to me and says, “Maybe we should just buy a water heater and use it as a jacuzzi.”
No amount of joking was going to fix our deep predicament though, and it was time to remedy our shallow foresight. I brought a hose over to the boat placing one end in the pool and the other on the dock, I began to suck. Or in more technical terms: to create a low pressure on one end of the hose allowing the higher pressure of the atmosphere to force the water up and over the side of the flybridge giving gravity the opportunity to take over siphoning the pool empty. Evidently sucking is not one of my strengths as no matter how hard I tried I could only get a trickle to start then watch with fading amusement as it slowly petered out. Attempt after attempt failed till my mouth hurt from the sucking; that is when I found out that my friend had been placing the hose end too close to the tarp and as I drew in water the tarp would seal off the hose thus stopping the flow. Finally using one of the spigot hoses on the dock to back flush the hose, filling it so that when the full hose was allowed to flow it would start the siphoning and the pool could be drained. The water was finally flowing from the deck to where it had always belonged and now it was time to wait. You learn quickly in this weather that you don't ever face the wind directly, instead taking the stance of a scolded child looking this way and that but never at the persecutor, for if you do you'll bear the full brunt of their wrath and in this case cold and very wet! As I waited it gave me the time to reflect on how much I despise these blue devils and to wonder how a store could sell them in good conscious in a climate as this and how I had once again let myself be suckered into using one against my better judgment. These thoughts poured through my mind as heavily as the rain hit me from all sides, the flow stopped in the hose and I heard my friend call that the pool was empty.
We climbed into the flybridge, secured the center pole and called it a day. Walking down the dock through the horizantal deluge back to Nadejda it made me thankful I had spent all the time stopping the leaks that so greatly inflicted her after we bought her so that I no longer needed any of those blasted blue tarps!