The holidays are just around the corner, bringing their yearly stress. It’s time to start thinking about what you want for Christmas. You know it’s time because Halloween is not yet over, yet the stores are already gearing up. I guess hope springs eternal for them. All I know is that our list this year is really short. In fact there is only one item on our list.
What I want to say is this: If Santa really loved us, he’d get those tiny reindeer hineys in gear and shimmy down our chimney early with a brand new exhaust elbow for Galapagos. Have we not been good? Have we not practiced ‘believing’ in all things seen and unseen? Are we not on Santa’s ‘Nice’ list? Is my husband not ready to spit nails on anyone who even mentions the word ‘exhaust’ to his face? Is he not dead tired of explaining what we’re looking for? All these things are true. So I believe it’s not too much to ask that we have a new fancy pipe before Christmas. This has been the warmest, sunniest fall ever to grace the Pacific Northwest sailors and we HAVE MISSED ALL OF IT with Galapagos stuck in her slip.
Why is this happening? Why is the progress on this project so slow? Oh, gently innocent reader. We love you so. I can hear your sweet un-boat-wordly thoughts saying things like “What’s the problem?”, “I thought you had a design already.”, and “Just get a welder and you’re good to go”. Insert sound of loud maniacal laughter here. Let me ‘splain something to you. It’s not that easy. It’s. Never. That. Easy.
We have a design. In fact, we have two. But Mike wants to redesign the plate that attaches to the engine so that the pipe coming off has a curve in a different direction. Then the pieces need to be welded together. So we need a welder.
You’d think this would be a simple thing. Possibly it is. But it hasn’t been for us. Maybe we just don’t know how to look for one. Mike has met with numerous welders; none of them have worked out for one reason or another. The stories of why are long. There are scheduling issues, equipment issues, personality issues. Perhaps over a brew at an anchorage we can share some of these stories with you in the future. Maybe by then we’ll be able to laugh about it. For now, suffice to say we’re still looking. Tomorrow morning will find Mike making the rounds of the local muffler shops.
Then there is the considerable issue of working for a living. Most of the trade shops are closed on the weekend. Tacoma Diesel, who advertises being open on Saturday, is, in fact NOT open on Saturday. Ask Mike how he knows. The term ‘spitting nails’, used earlier in this post, almost adequately describes Mike’s level of frustration when he discovered this. All I can do is make soothing noises, which, in fact, probably just make it worse. Mike finally went there on a Monday. They were precious little help. I strongly suspect this job is just too small for them to take seriously. OK, maybe I’m a conspiracy theorist in disguise. But still. I have my suspicions.
Aside from the myriad number of frustrations and hard brick walls we’ve come up against with this little project, underlying all of it is the issue of trust. After the experience of finding water in the oil of our brand new engine, we’re pretty gun shy about taking chances with other people working on stuff for our boat. In the end, we will figure it out. Mike has sourced some of the parts we need. If only he didn’t have to work Monday through Friday it would probably have been done by now. Maybe we are making this too hard, but we’re waiting for our gut to say ‘yes’ to making a move. We’ve been known to do that.
So the story continues. You know there is much more to it than can be put in one blog post but it’s been so long since we posted anything, I felt compelled to get an update published. Be assured that we’ve followed up with Broomfields in Seattle and that has not panned out any better than Tacoma Diesel did, probably because we’re still trying to do much of this ourselves, using what we already have. Yes, we’re trying to keep costs contained and still get a good system.
Never fear, Exhaust Manifold Santa. We will not give up. We are down, but we are not beaten. We still believe in you. And our stockings are extra large this year.
Update: Halloween. We have a welder! And we have an isolator. We should be posting the results of those two acquisitions soon.