Fasten your seatbelt, we’re going for a ride with a few curves; fast ones.
I went by Dauntless this morning, on yet another damp, grey Irish morning that is the reason grass grows on concrete here. The work on the boat this past winter is being done at New Ross Boat Yard, just across the river from the Dunbrody Famine Ship.
Gary, the GRP (fiberglass) guy, has fixed the damage I have incurred the last three years, mostly dents and dings from too many docking maneuvers in which the fate of the western world must have hung in the balance, or at least I acted like it did. Just ask anyone who has cruised with me.
My encounters with the rocks of Finland on the other hand had a more lasting impression. The second rock in particular hit the side of the boat, not under the keel, like the first rock. By hitting the rock on the side of the hull, I almost sliced the hull open much like the Titanic.
The reason we did not have the same outcome says much about the difference between quality Kadey Krogen fiberglass design and construction versus English ship building 100 years ago that in their rush used rivets with too much slag in them, making them brittle.
So due to my inattention, Dauntless ended up with a four-foot-long gouge that did produce a hairline crack that went through the hull. It was not until three months later, back in the river water of Waterford, that I realized it was river water in the forward bilge and not rain water, though at most it was about one bilge pump out a day, only about one inch of water and again, I have always had a somewhat wet forward bilge so I assumed it was just more rain.
But Gary also discovered a crack in the bulkhead that separates the forward bilge from the more rearward section where the water tanks are. I had seen water dripping from that wall for quite a while, like at least two years. In fact, the paint had peeled away from part of the bulkhead. When I had returned to Dauntless in the beginning of December, Gary had showed me this bulkhead and explained it was not normal and in fact it was cracked, possibly done when I hit the rock last summer. In any case, we came up with a plan for him to repair that damage also and now it’s all done.
Gary also suggested that the good construction of the boat allowed that bulkhead to absorb much of the force of the impact, thus leaving only a hairline crack in the hull and not a gaping hole, ala Titanic.
Now while Gary is doing his part, he will also be painting the upper hull, refinishing the bottom and putting a sealant in the port fuel tank. Michael, Stephen and Denise of the New Ross Boat Yard are also doing their part.
They are cutting additional inspection ports in the port fuel tank to allow Gary to apply the sealant. Besides blocking the boat and strapping her down so that the 100 knot winds that hit this area during the winter did not topple her over, they also are pulling my old holding tank which started leaking once again, so I am replacing it with a new Vetus plastic tank. They will also finally remove the line from my bow thruster which made it in-op for most of my summer cruise, as well as apply a new commercial grade anti-fouling.
While working inside the boat, they have been very impressed with the workmanship of the KK. Even mentioning the quality of the wall in the engine room that walls off the fuel tank: the battens behind the plywood that itself is covered by soundboard in the engine room.
Now while I have already paid Gary in full for his work, I don’t even have a quote from the Boat Yard. Michael said he would give me a ballpark figure tomorrow, (ummm heard that before), but as I drove out of the parking lot, I had not worries.
I reflected on why and it came down to Trust.
Now I do have an idea of the cost, but only based on what I think I know. I have a “great” figure, the “probable” figure and an “OMG” figure in my head, but it comes down to me being at their mercy.
But then we are always at the mercy of professionals we depend on, from our doctor to the bus driver.
Some people try to learn everything the professionals know. They die young, very young. I like keeping my life simple. Oh I worry about a lot of things, reflect on virtually everything, but when it comes to people with more experience than I, either I trust them or I don’t.
And if I don’t, I don’t do business with them, don’t have them as friends and don’t date them.
There is no other way. Only lawyers think they can force someone do what they don’t want to do. But notice lawyers work for others, get paid my others to do what they do. But ultimately, a bureaucracy is result of mistrust, it tries to regulate and specify everything and simply does not work.
When people say that the handshake is the contract, they are saying what I am attempting to say. It’s about trust. No amount of words on paper can make someone do something the way it needs to be done, if they do not want to do it.
So, it’s about trust. Have I been burned by trusting the wrong person, or more like, the wrong bureaucracy? Of course, but all I can is move on. I want to be healthy and happy as long as I can.
Trust is what got me across the Atlantic. Trust in my crewmate and even more importantly, trust in the boat. Knowing that this Krogen was designed and made for far worse conditions that I will ever see. Without trusting your boat, it’s hard to go anyplace where the water is deeper than 5 feet.
So, cinch that seatbelt now, as thinking of the above I had another realization.
Hurtful at that.
I once went on a much anticipated trip with a woman I really liked to a foreign land. She spoke the language, was native in it in fact, so it was a natural to let her take the lead and do the talking.
Within minutes of arrival, it was clear to me that this woman did not trust anyone. Maybe not even me. But her obvious lack of trust of everyone around her, quickly produced so much stress for all concerned that the trip and our fledgling relationship were soon done.
I still have regrets about that, even though the last 12 years of my life have been probably the best years I have ever had.
So why the regrets? Because I let this person down. Someone I clearly really cared about, I was too slow to see what she needed from me: my confidence, my control of events, my telling her “don’t worry honey, I’ll take care of it”.
That’s probably all it would have taken. It’s what I do 90% of the time, the only reason it had not happened that time was because of her language skills. But I have been in many situations where neither of us speak anything and I have always found a way to get by and have a great time doing it.
I don’t like letting anyone down. Friends, colleagues, people I worked for & who worked for me, strangers, doesn’t matter. Never ever.
So while I focused on her lack of trust, I was blind that she had put her trust in me and I had let her down, horribly.
Horrible – a word used a lot in Brooklyn.