Weekend on the boat,  GREAT- Helping a stranger with a simple assist, even better-

Last weekend me and the Hot Girlfriend/Wife and the quiet-demure children spent the weekend on the boat.  We live 3 hours from the boat, so the usual routine is to go to the boat after work, usually arriving there about 9pm, Fri’s.  After a warm beer or a decent glass of wine, we turn in.  The plan for last saturday was to allow me time to work on the boat and the girlies to take the paddleboard to the beach near us; which they did.  Nice surprise for me to discover that neither West Marine or Oceanside Marine Supply have the fuel or oil filters I needed, so my work on the engine was cut short.   However, there’s plenty to do on the boat, so I kept busy.  Several of the slips next to us are empty, so it was no surprise when a decent looking older Catalina, probably a 32, was pulled into the slip.  I didn’t pay it much attention but as soon as I found out she had an engine problem, I made sure they knew I had tools as needed.  Turns out, they knew more about engines than I ever dreamed about.   Sunday was a nice day and we prepped to leave that morning.   The Catalina owner mentioned that they still had engine problems, and wanted directions to the nearest gas station.  The nearest gas station to the Marina is over a mile, so I offered to give him and his gas cans a ride, which he accepted.  On the way to the station, I learned that his Catalina did indeed take regular gas and not diesel, and he has one of the vintage and highly dependable Atomic-4 engines on his Catalina.   The couple who were the next owners were taking the boat on it’s maiden voyage (for them) from Marina Del Rey to San Diego, with a bit of an overnight detour in Oceanside beside us.   The folks could not figure out what was wrong with the engine, but more gas and full Jerry Jugs is always great, so we ran to the gas station to get them filled.  During our conversation to and from the gas station, I learned that both owners were Master Chiefs in the United States Navy and based in San Diego, with his rate  being Senior Machinist.   I think this means he works on engines on Navy Ships,,,,so he has no problems dealing with his little Atomic-4 on his new boat.  Once back to the boat, his wife and him worked on some more problem solving and discovered that one of the battery cables was loose, which was their original problem.   Within a half-hour, the boat was fired up and the little Catalina was gliding gracefully out of her slip bound for San Diego.  On the other side of us, we have another Catalina, a 39.   She’s a good looking boat and is getting ready for Baha Ha-Ha this Oct;  her owners sail her frequently and have great things to say about her.

While a ride to a gas station is no big deal, it made me feel good to help a young couple and duel active duty military like me and hot wife.  Not a big deal,  but perhaps a small way to pay it forward or earn some credit for all the times that we’ll need help in the years of sailing ahead for us.

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