Wednesday, March 31, 2010

We Add a Crew Member

Rick drew this illustration back in 1973, he thinks.

November 20, 1970, Saturday
This corner of California completely rolls up the streets at noon on Saturday so I had to work fast. This wasn't made any easier by the fact that the long-dreaded winter rains have hit us at last.
I got Oatus' 12-volt battery charged, did the laundry, picked up a 1/2” die to cut some new threads on those three stripped tire lugs and bought three new lug nuts.
Back at the truck, Chris was in a foul and obscene mood. Yesterday we pulled out the starboard brake cylinder and took it in to have it honed. Re-installed, it worked fine.
Today, the port cylinder came out and needed the same treatment but by then it was after 12:00 and everything was closed, so Chris did what he could with a piece of steel wool. Re-installed, it leaked like a drunk with bad kidneys. So now our brakes, formerly quite serviceable, are shot down the tubes again and here we sit, with rain on the roof, until Monday morning at least. #%*!!#!!
November 21, 1970, Sunday – We have been going through candles pretty fast and at thirty-nine cents a box, it's starting to add up. In response to this latest crisis, Chris went out and cannibalized our four useless 6-volt clearance lights and hooked them up inside. Presto! Oatus has electric lighting. Now we can see the leaks more clearly.
November 22, 1970, Monday – All right! It's Monday! Everybody back to work!
I took the Port brake cylinder back to Harvey the Honer who said it would be ready by 13:30; then I made it into town for groceries.
On the way back I picked up a hitch-hiker soaking in the rain. Two hitchers, really. She had a little wisp of a dog named “Metoo” with her. Her name was Jeri Drake, and she was headed for Canada.
Back at the truck with everything hanging up over the stove to dry, we discovered that she was in no particular hurry, so we decided to travel together.
Travel? HAH. When we got the brake cylinder back from Harvey and got it installed the brake fluid poured out of it like it wasn't even there. Later, we discovered that the seals were twisted and when that was corrected they seemed to work.
We have been waiting for the Copgoblins to return with more citations since it is illegal to park for more than 72 hours in one spot. Our time is about up.
Sho' nuff. One drove up this afternoon just as our time expired but only to find out how things were going, or rather how long it would be before we got this eyesore off the highway he has been sworn to protect.

Still in Crescent City (well, Smith River, actually)

November 27, 1970, Friday
Well, for one whole week we have sat here trying to accomplish what would have normally taken about a day or so. Every time the rain lets up we dash outside to try to get something done, but before we can actually get it on, it starts pouring again. It's like we're being watched or something.
On Wednesday, the weather actually broke for most of the day which was a much needed truce. I got up into the bunks and stripped them, throwing soaked blankets, mattresses and rugs up onto the roof to dry out. I tried to get the casement window open on my side but the moisture had swollen it shut and all I ended up doing was to break the glass in my efforts to get it raised. The rest of the day was spent making repairs; in the midst of these, it started raining again and I had to go topside and dump the bedding back down through the hatch. What a wreck. The truck looks like a hurricane hit it.
At 16:00, Tiger Whitehurst, Mother President of the Devil's Disciples, Crescent City Chapter, Planet Earth and Company, came by and invited us to dinner. Chris and Jeri Ann partook of the honor while I stayed aboard to stand Quarterdeck watch in their absence.
The Disciples (a local outlaw motorcycle club) offered us Thanksgiving dinner if we were still around on Thursday, which we were, but we didn't make it.
Friday found us almost finished with our labors. We got the brake lights working and then tried to take up the play in the brake pedal by adjusting the plunger into the master cylinder.
Naturally, it broke off so away I went, fuming, to try and locate another one. Out of luck! I may as well try to locate a Brontosaurus.
I did manage to get the thing welded, though. After another stop to take on stores, it was back to the ship.

1 comment:

  1. "leaked like a drunk with bad kidneys", where the hell did that come from???