The winch incident

24 12 2011

Ross’ blog yesterday only tells one side of the story. The winch incident kept me entertained for about 20 minutes, better than an episode of Top Gear. Winch bits everywhere, springs popping in all directions. All the gears and everything assembled and I have to admit it is a bit of a juggle to land everything back on the base in all the right places at the best of times. Problem is that once you offer the assembled gears to the winch base there is no going back, to have to take a step back and try again means all the gears fall out of place and start again. Attempt no. 1 wasn’t bad but not quite right, a fair amount of wiggling and jiggling of parts, brow furrowing from Ross. Lift off again and replace the gears and try again. Attempt no. 2 was close but not close enough, eyebrows fully creased, a few choice words and I managed to maintain my composure. Retreat and start reassembling the gears, and by now I could tell that the frustration level had risen sufficiently for this to get really interesting. Time to get some popcorn, the entertainment is really going to start. I did manage to maintain my composure, and refrained from offering advice as I knew that it would mean shows over with the statement “well you bloody do it then smartarse”. Attempt no.3 was valiant, but no better than no 1 or 2. Lots of wigging of the parts, screwdriver employed to lever stuff in place (never going to work), and I prepared myself to interfere and halt all entertainment as I saw that the hammer was sitting on top of the tool bag at Ross’ feet. I could see the steam coming out of his ears and this was all a bit too much for me and cracked up. It was at this stage that the entire winch got thrown at the bucket, kicked into the corner of the cockpit and Ross went below. A great mornings entertainment on what was otherwise a dull few hours. I quietly put the thing back together a few hours later – I had previously stripped and reassembled all the winches so had a fair idea how to get back into place successfully. Still gives me a quiet chuckle.

Little episodes of entertainment like this are important when sailing with your father for more than 30 days at a time. On a more conventional crew of unrelated males there is a lot of story telling, mostly to do with amusing exploits and indiscretions in our younger years that usually involve beer, women and cars. Don’t worry honey, spouses are never discussed. Most stories are embellished, and it is convention to not ruin a good story with the truth. Many, many hours are filled wiht these stories, and the best are relayed and told over and over again, probably to no where near the original truth. These stories are vital for the general sense of humour on a boat, the survival of a group of males in a very confined space.

So thank god we have these winch incidents. There are just some things you will never tell your father, and there are more things that you never want to hear from your father. On one hand I would spend as much time apologising as telling stories, on the other there are just things that you should never, ever know…

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