The boat tips from bow to stern like see-saw. The water washes the decks. The boats creak and and knock. Drywall screws. I remember the conversation about spending the extra $5 buying exterior grade screws. I was assuming they would buy fasteners in 25 lb. containers. They ended up buying whatever they needed day by day in small plastic bags hung on a spinning rack from the local Podunk hardware store in Troy last year. $4 a bag of 10 screws. It was thousands of dollars. But who’s the fool now, I think… as the fury of The Bora chases us out of the sea back to the shelter of La Blablabla cove. I can’t pronounce any of these towns. We just default to the dish that they are closest to. The town of Lingiuni. The Pastavasoul Canal. The Bora is a weather pattern that can whip up 150KM per hour winds on the sea. The good news is it comes from the North. The bad news is that it’s 150KM per hour winds. Far too much for our kindergarten carpentry boats to endure.
Venice is only 17 miles away. But we can’t get through the canals. Because the boats are too tall. I am all for dismantling the boats to get through the bridges. We are 35 people. How long could it take? It’s really hard for my personality to just sit back and watch people make decisions without giving input. It’s an ego thing, and I begin to understand why the court jester dressed like a fool. A wise sage, usually the most schooled person of the court; the Fool would challenge any and all decisions as no one else dare challenge the King. Ya need a guy presenting the other side sometimes… but the Fool only speaks in parable. Using wisdom from all manner of places. He would commit them to memory and would talk like an idiot to prevent anyone from seeing him as an equal. This is where “playing the fool” comes from. We need one of those fools over here, probably. Anybody know anyone who fits the bill? Yea.
The boats climb a wave, teeter over the crest and as it heads down the wave, the propeller comes out of the water. We run in 4th gear at full throttle. Which is like 600 RPM. In the water. But if the props comes out, the engine screams up to 3,000 RPM in a second. Do that a few times and it’s anyone’s guess what will let go first… throw a rod, spin a bearing… blow a seal. No, that’s vanilla ice cream. So ya gotta stay on the throttle. As the prop jumps out of the water when the nose dives down, you throttle down. When the prop is back in the water, you throttle up. With one hand. Your other hand is keeping the waves from pushing the long tail up and out of the water. The engines are all on gimbals. Pivots that make it easy to just push down on the front of the engine to raise the prop if we get to shallow water or to change the trim angle. Flexibility becomes a maddening exercise of exhausting endurance on the high seas.
The Captian of my boat, Maria, is Paul Da Plummer. Great fabricator. Inventor. Welder. Builder. Machinist. Mumbler. I’m deaf. We stand 25 feet away from each other. I stand next to the roaring engine. He’s on the top deck. We can see each other. Sort of. I have the throttle and the transmission. He’s got the steering wheel. We have a complicated system of hand signals and screaming. And out boat refuses to turn right. You see, our prop turns left. And our boat is skinny. There is a phenomenon with propellers: prop-walk. If you were to hold the prop shaft with a prop on it, and turn the shaft… the prop would “walk” in a circle. 360 degrees. So when we turn left, the prop is helping us. It’s walking left already. Turn the rudders right, and as if you were waking a bear up from hibernation. The boats creaks a little. It takes a little bit to respond. Yawns. Stretches. Then maybe starts to suggest going to the right before it starts spinning in a circle. For real. 2 wrongs don’t make a right. But 3 lefts do. I wanna get a no right turn sign and put it on the bow. The Smothers Brothers couldn’t make a skit that was funnier than me and Paul moving this boat through the water. The other boats are big, heavy squares. They have no navigation issues. So anyone can pilot them. Maria is complicated and kinda funner. It’s a disaster. An engineering debacle. Only as strong as it weakest link, me and Paul eek Maria through the water. I mean, you can just shut of the motor and start paddleing. Why not? The Tahitians did.
The engines sip diesel. We are using like 1 liter a mile. It’s amazing. 20 liters is 5 gallons. So with this boat design, you could go to Hawaii with 400 gallons of fuel. And at 4 MPH, it would only take 25 days. That’s totally doable. We could weigh anchor near one of those fancy hotels on Maui and steal their wireless. Crash into the Plastiki on our way. Mr. Environment. Builds a plastic boat out of recycling. Then has 10 media boats following him and 2 Coast Guard boats and a helicoper. To support the sail boating environmentalists. Just think of all the resources we wouldn’t have spent if they weren’t trying to save the planet… vanity project for a rich kid who wants a legacy.
I’ve got 8 entry’s for Camp Tipsy. When I get to Venice, I’m gonna sit down and tell ya about them. But you should be setting aside the last week in July and especially August 1 and 2nd for Camp Tipsy.
Signing off from Lagoona Ravioli, Chciken