The Day After the Gas Leak

Sore head today. Like I inhaled too much Freon-22 gas. Oh yeah. I did.

But another day. Wednesday I think. Got to get up. Breakfast. Do school. Laundry. Falco was coming to check over the engine and change its impeller. Our engine is our third sail. Well, technically it’s our fourth. Still, I think we use the engine as much as our flappy things. We’ve never been sailing purists. I mean, no one said we had to sign a contract insisting we’d have to tack everywhere we went, right?. Can you imagine doing that on land? Constantly changing direction to get you closer to your destination without actually going there directly?

Sailing for me is about getting places. Jack enjoys the actual sailing. I’d like to enjoy it more. But since Quest is our lofty live-aboard home, and not just our weekend racer (weekend racer!), I tend to wince at the sound of things breaking down below. Which happens when Quest tips over too much. Someone – you know who you are, Captain – that someone likes to sail fast. Everyone who knows this says we should have bought a catamaran. They are the indisputable watery apartments of the Caribbean. And they sail without the tilt – which is handy in these tilting, trade-winds of the Caribbean.

I reply, ‘Do you know how much those things cost?’ Double everything. Or at least plus half. Haul-out, berthing, anti-foul. For those catamaran prices, I can take a little lean-to.

Plus Quest has a beautiful 110hp Yanmar inboard engine. We fill up with fuel and don’t have to worry about refuelling for three months or so. I think Falco senses this. He seems to appreciate how much we prize Questie’s mechanical bits. Never missed a service or a precautionary measure to keep her in tip-top shape.

Job done. We took the stairs off and admired the engine. Then we explained to Falco how our air conditioning unit had leaked. He shook his head, clucked and started telling us an engine-related story. For some reason, I found it hard to get the gist of the story. I didn’t want to tell him. I smiled. He looked at me as if I was a moron. I blamed it on the Freon-22. Well, internally I did. In reality, I just kind of slunk off to do more boat school.

When Falco had finished, he told Jack to friend him on Facebook. Jack said, ‘Shall I look up “Falco the mechanic” on Facebook?’

This time Falco gave him the moron look. Falco the mechanic! Ha! Jack wasn’t even there during the Freon-22 gas leak. Yep. We’re definitely going to miss Falco. 

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