Saturday, July 30, 2005

McGuyver Who?


Yesterday Junior, his mega-buddy Tyler, and I spent a low tide afternoon on the flats just off Seahorse Key. The flats are broad shallow expanses of seagrasses and open sandy areas that just go on and on. In this photo the dark areas are grass beds and the lighter areas are sand. The water depth over the flats varies with the tides of course, but on a low tide you can easily get out and walk around even though you are a half mile offshore.

The knuckleheads and I cruised along the Gulfside of Seahorse Key until we found a really nice section to explore. The water was shallow enough to make tilting the outboard out of the water neccesary so the prop would not stick in the mud. As soon as I tilted it up, I heard something snap (not in my back...in the motor assembly).

Sure enough, the little cable thingy that allows the motor to be lifted, locked up, or lowered had broken. The motor would not go back down. No mattter how I pushed, lifted, and muttered...it would not move.
We were dead in the water with our propeller up in the air. ( I may start avoiding July 29 on the water, a year ago I amputated my finger while scalloping...yes, sewn back and good as new)

When you are the dad in this kind of situation, you feel a great deal of pressure to 1) get these guys home safely 2) not ruin their good time 3) fix it and look like McGuyver , even though these guys are too young to have ever watched that show.

So, I sent the guys off to explore. Meanwhile, back at the motor I assessed the situation.

"Hmmm, let's see, the cable that snapped must move a pin that controls whether the motor may rise or remain locked up. "

"Hmmm, I came out here without any tools except for a pair of Rapala fishing pliers that I grabbbed literally at the last minute as we left home"

"Hmmm, I am an idiot and an irresponsible boat captain for that last Hmmm."

"Hmmm, maybe I can pull/push the cable with the pliers, while simultaneously lifting the motor to take the weight off the pin."

"Hmmm, nope."

"Hmmm, If I can use the pliers to disconnect the cable from the other end ....maybe I can get to that pin."

"Hooray! It worked! Did somebody get that on film? I did something mechanical and it worked!

So with the propeller back in the water where it belonged we did a little snorkeling and flats walking . We found a few critters which will follow this post.

9 comments:

rick said...

Always a good feeling when the boat is working again when you think you might have to call for help.Glad you still have all your fingers.Also this might be a bad year for shrimp I have not heard of any being caught yet.If they turn on Ill let you know.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

Hey, you did such a great MacGyver job on that! Too bad the cameras weren't rolling. Nice save.
I agree about sitting out 7/29 next year. Wouldn't want to push your luck.

Zanne said...

You go guy!! What???? You didn't have any duct tape on you? Great adventure and great story to tell came out of the day. It is not a good feeling to be stuck out in the middle of nowhere either on land or water. Find McGuyver reruns on TV and force the kids to watch. Gosh you learned alot about being creative on that show. Glad all are safe and found some wonderful natural treasures.

thingfish23 said...

WHEW! Nice save, man!

Floridacracker said...

Rick,
Don't you know it. Thanks for the shrimp updates.

RD,
Thanks. 7 and 29...two numbers I needn't bother marking on my lottery cards.

Zanne,
Great idea. I'll bet I could order the McGuyver series on Netflix.

Thingfish,
After reading your boat post, I thought you could relate to this. If I had been better at my boat maintenance, I might have noted that cable was 9 years old and corroded.

swamp4me said...

Now you know you should write up an incident report for this... ;)

Floridacracker said...

Swamp,
It's been a while, but I think that was form 10-343.

Hick said...

I love McGuyver. He is a convenient excuse to having odd things in my purse. Whenever my husband or children ask me why I have duct tape, chewing gum, dead batteries or orphan keys (keys with no locks) on hand, I just say one word: McGuyver. Everyone nods knowlingly.

PS. Pretty icky about the finger. Glad it's still in working order.

Floridacracker said...

Hick,
LOL, I use McGuyver as a verb quite often, as in.."maybe we can McGuyver it" or "here's a paperclip, see if you can McGuyver it open..."
Actually the finger incident was the result of my Mcguyvering a balky outboard boat motor. Maybe that's another post...