Paying attention

outboard engineIt’s so easy for mistakes to happen on boats. Things get broken easily in a small space, extra care needs to be taken on board. As has been mentioned before, I can get a little bit obsessive about neatness and looking after things – probably partly because from my previous boat-life days I know what it’s like to break something when there’s no easy way to replace it and boats are already so costly that I hate to have to waste money on replacing broken things that need not be broken. Also because I am just a little bit obsessive. So yesterday morning served as a cautionary reminder of the need to focus and stay alert.

I was in the middle of my normal morning catch-up with Sara, via WhatsApp, talking about how tired we all are and how the mosquitoes have been stopping us getting good sleep. In fact, we were just discussing how when you’re tired it’s easy not only to get grumpy, but to be less careful and make more mistakes…. when….

Scrap metal truck

We almost lost our outboard engine! And we haven’t even left the boat yard yet!

The scrap bin pick-up truck turned up. We weren’t expecting it as it wasn’t full and the yard owner would tell us if it was coming anyway. A huge truck. John moved his van out of the way for it. I looked out, noticed the name on the side of the truck, realized it wasn’t just the waste bin collection, got dressed, ran out, and made it just in time to stop the guy tossing the engine in the scrap metal truck. We were using the bin as a test stand.

This is not scrap!

Phew!! These are the kinds of exciting times we’re having.  It’s not a pretty engine, so it could be mistaken for waste, but it’s imperative that we have an engine and a replacement would cost several thousand dollars – a bit less if we were fortunate to find the right sized used one for sale.

Good reminder of how important it is to pay attention to try to avoid mistakes. We can get away with it, just about, here on land, but out at sea it’s a different story. Maybe we need a day off…

(At least the mosquito repeller that we bought at a local store has eliminated the sleep problem and we’re slowly catching up on our deficit.)

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