Saturday, July 30, 2005
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, 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.
Posted by R.Powers at 9:11 AM