Sep 192012

If you live on a boat, surrounded by water, eventually, you are going to lose something over the side.  It’s going to happen so you might as well get used to it.  I myself have donated a few things to the Involuntary Artificial Reef Foundation over the years, sunglasses, a few tools, the occasional ex girlfriend who mysteriously got tangled up with the anchor line.  And last night, I managed to add another donation to the cause.  No, not another ex girlfriend, in this case something much more valuable.

A very strong front came blowing through the Keys last night.  The first of many that will come through over the winter months.  Typically, these fronts are preceded by a long line of storms with lots of rain, lightning, and very gusty winds…like we had last night.  I had to re adjust all the lines on the Fritter so she wouldn’t bang on the docks and settled into bed on the rocking boat.  Just as I was almost asleep I felt a large gust blow through and heard something scrape and then splash.  I didn’t have to get up to go see because I knew exactly what it was.

When Isaac was coming I managed to clear off my slip.  I got rid of the rusted out grill that was left behind, the rotted dock box, and the useless ramp.  All I kept on the slip now was my bicycle.  Since this marina is pretty secure, I never lock up said bike to anything and just jump on it and go.  A couple times since Isaac I’ve gotten up to find the bike sitting on it’s side after being blown over by the wind.  So…..yes, you guessed it, when I got up this morning, my bike was gone.  I knew it wasn’t stolen.  That was confirmed when I looked over the side and saw the glimmer of the reflectors on the pedals, 10 feet under the water.  Very, very salty water.

Well, as safe as the bike would be from theft sitting under the sea, I felt it would be in my best interests to get the damn thing back up and onto dry land. I really didn’t feel like going for a swim so I got the anchor out and dropped it down, hooking the bike with one of the anchor flukes, and dragging all 100+ pounds back up onto dry land…ripping all the muscles in my lower back at the same time.

The bike sustained no visible damage other than the lights no longer work.  The biggest problem now is how long it will take for all that salt water to start corroding stuff.  I hosed it down with some fresh water but it will be just a matter of time before spokes start to bust and the bike corrodes beyond it’s economical usefulness.  It’s quite ridable at the moment but most likely it will break down at an inopportune time, far from home, and after the busses have stopped running for the day.

This is why I can’t have nice things, as my mother would say.  But when it’s all said and done, this is more of just an irritant than any kind of disaster. The bike only cost me $100.  The lights about $25.  It’s all replaceable.  I added no other accessories to the bike like a rack or basket so the cost is minimal.  The lock was a whole $10.  Had I gone ahead and bought a $500 Trek or other expensive bike, this would not be a happy day.  By keeping my purchases minimal, and cheap, I am not out much and when the time comes, I can replace the whole mess with a new bike.  As it is, I wind up with a rusty bike and a sore back that will only bother me when I sit, stand, get on or off the boat, walk, pedal, or breathe.  Other than that, I am fine.

So keep this post in mind when you decide to go live on a boat.  Things will find a way to leave the boat and return to the sea, where all life originated on this planet.  Don’t buy anything that you are not willing to sacrifice to the briny deep, because it will wind up down there given a chance.

Capt. Fritter

Just kidding of course.  My ex girlfriend didn’t get tangled in the anchor line.  You can’t get tangled in something when you are unconscious.

  6 Responses to “Living Aboard, Losing Stuff…”

  1. LOL.
    post is priceless. almost like the bike.
    sorry about the back.
    will take a lot more than hosing down with fresh water to help that.
    a sympathy hug from a landlocked admirerer of those living on the brink,
    tammy j

  2. Maybe your bike has been wanting to go swimming and finally took this opportunity to do so. Don’t spoil its dream.

  3. Upon further review, the lock, which I had wrapped around the handlebars remained on the bottom. So $30 later, new lock and new lights. Now one of the brackets holding the seat is gone. Luckily, I can fix that with a couple dollars worth of hardware. Not a fun day so far.

    C. F.

  4. Ah oh no! That’s no fun! But I will be sure to keep this in mind when I get on my boat one day. Too bad it wasn’t just the ex…

  5. Need to put a ball n chain on the bike. Lol
    Do you want to call Bob about the Swine he has?