Wednesday, April 13, 2011

In All Fairness to Seattle Boat

When I last wrote of the Seattle Boat/Lake Union Sea Ray "struggle" (shall we say), Seattle Boat was going to get my boat down from dry stack using a large metal plate to cover the hole in the ground and then take the boat across the ship canal to Sea Ray, where Sea Ray could perform the dewinterization. Also due at this time was the 100 hour service (boat "mileage" is measured in engine hours because distances are pretty hard to judge), which involves the boat being pulled out of the water at Sea Ray's service facility. Dewinterization can be done in the water. Anyway, Ian and I thought "Great. We'll just have them do the service at the same time."

But then, the morning after I last wrote, I got a text from Seattle Boat saying the boat was in the water and Sea Ray could come whenever (NOT THE PLAN AS I KNEW IT), and so I tried to talk to Sea Ray to find out what was up but they didn't seem to know . . . but then a couple hours later someone else from Sea Ray called to say that they had finished the dewinterization and the boat could be stacked again. Whaaa??? Well, that being the case, I texted Seattle Boat letting them know they could put Dogfish away and suggesting that they choose a more accessible spot this time—at least for the time being. (You are maybe beginning to see the kinds of things I fill my day with when not actively involved in cancer, horses, rocks, or Gyrotonic: hyperbolic, maddeningly inefficient minutiae.)

The need remained, however, for the 100 hour service (and repair for a coolant leak discovered during the dewint), and so I scheduled me to drop off the boat this morning. Initially, I thought I would have to drop off the boat at the end of Ian's work day so that I could get a ride back to my car (also the ends of the work days for both boat places), but then I really looked at the distances. By water from Seattle Boat's dock to Sea Ray is, according to the path feature on Google Maps, 335 yards. Under favorable conditions, I could give Dogfish a big shove and she would glide perfectly into the slip across the ship canal, because my innate physics brilliance and physical prowess would have allowed me to give a push of just the right amount of force to counteract the friction from the lake water. The return trip by land to my car, under unfavorable conditions, was less than a mile, which I could easily walk—much more easily than trying to coordinate with Ian on top of Sea Ray and Seattle Boat. Today the conditions were, alas, unfavorable, and I had quite a wet mile-long loop. But the boat will be really, REALLY ready if we ever stop getting rain.

An aside about the rain in the Northwest this year: We have so much snow pack right now that the state is considering asking the wind farm in southeast Washington to close down periodically—because we will be making too much electricity with our hydro turbines??? Also, the reservoir up on Snoqualmie Pass on I-90, which delivers drinking water to the City of Seattle, is FULL-FULL, which it has almost never been—usually, there's a small, murky puddle of water surrounded by tree stumps. I have it on good authority that all the stumps are currently submerged. And, although I can usually have a dog walk during a dry part of the day, that hasn't been true nearly as much for the last several months. We really are fulfilling our reputation.

But back to exonerating Seattle Boat. When I arrived today Sean, the manager of the Lake Union marinas, was there and was genial. Pleasant, even, to the point of mild joking about the weather and our recent debacle (!). He showed me where my boat is usually stored, and sure enough, right behind it, affecting ONLY my boat, was a circle of cones about 8 feet in diameter, marking the place where the repair was seasoning. Sean explained that he hadn't known that the work was going to be done; my boat was the only one affected; AND I was the ONLY CUSTOMER who wanted a boat down that day. Or probably for weeks.

I'm not quite sure what the lesson is here: You never know when incompetence is going to filter down and affect you? Sure, that may be part of it. But it's probably more true to say that curve balls come at us from all directions, all the time. Some miss us completely. We deflect some without really knowing it—maybe a momentary twinge. Some graze our elbows or knees and inconvenience or annoy us. Some end up connecting directly with us and really beating the shit out of us. But for all of these, the best way we can react is with grace and empathy. Breathe in. Breathe out. There is always enough time.

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