Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ray's bikes

S/V Happy Dance
It was pretty satisfying to motor away from Happy Dance.  An hour or so earlier Keith had collected me, a small assortment of tools, and a jug of fuel off the dock and putted us out into the anchorage.  The motor on his boat was suffering a massive air bubble in the fuel system and I had volunteered my modest diesel skills in trying to get it cleared.  It probably took longer than it should have to figure out, but we were both all smiles when the engine finally chuffed to life.  Deb and Katrina (other half of Happy Dancer's crew) were at the store, so I took their dinghy back to shore.  A little while later Katrina, after loading the dinghy with stores, headed home in it.  Last I saw Happy Dance was motoring out into the Neuse.

As good as it felt to help another newbie couple (and now new friends) on their way, the fact that Kintala's diesel is still MIA is frustrating.  All I need to try and get it going is two "B" nuts and matching compression collars; parts that should have come with the fuel line.  An email from Westerbeke feigned puzzlement as to why the parts weren't shipped.  I have suggestions ranging from the IQ, parentage, and training of the parts people involved to the corporate culture of Westerbeke and its contempt for anything approaching aggressive customer service.  Suggestions that I would love to share with the management team in language that would sear the bottom paint off of Kintala and set their hair on fire.  But, alas, I fear it would be a waste of colorful language.  They have a hammer lock on what is needed to get their unit functioning once again, will not part with it for anything less than extortion prices, and will deliver it in accordance with their internal bureaucratic dictates regardless of any and all other contingencies.  The good news is that Deb (rather than yours truly) talked with them today so the parts may yet arrive before the Neuse freezes over ... still at extortion prices of course.

"So", you ask, "what has that to do with Ray's bikes?"  Well, in an effort to find two supposedly common "B" nuts and compression collars without being soundly beaten and abused by Westerbeke, Deb and I headed out late morning to search every possible source of such within striking distance of Kintala.  Hopes of scoring a couple of bikes to use for our travels came a cropper as all of Pat's loaners were already loaned.  Deciding that walking is better than waiting on parts we started hoofing it to the first stop.  Along the way we passed Ray burning some leaves in his yard and asked if the road we were on could get us where we wanted to go.  He allowed as it would then asked if we needed to borrow a couple of bikes, "Complete with baskets."  We demurred, not knowing Ray from Adam.  But he insisted that, not only should we take his bikes, they need not be returned to his carport until we were done with them, whenever that might be over the next few days.  (Also in his carport was a nicely restored Enfield motorcycle and side car rig; dressed in Army Green and looking ready to take on the Russian Front.  An impressive bit of work but unavailable for loan...too bad.)

Ray doesn't know us from Adam or Eve either but, no mind, we are cruisers afoot in his town.  There was no way to turn down his offer so off we went ... baskets and all.  The attempt to find the parts was a long shot at best; we were left at the mercy of Westerbeke.  But Happy Dancer is on her way and Ray lent us his bicycles.

I've had worse days


Unknown said...

Tim, is happy dancer a hallberg rassy? Sure looks like one. One of my favorites.
John Frederick

TJ said...

John yes, Happy Dance is a Hallberg Rassy 38. It has a pretty roomy interior and I am totally jealous of the engine compartment. Once we got it going it was much quieter than Kintala. A friend is on a HR 31, it is a nice boat as well and looks about perfect for a single hander.