Matt Marinkovich’s weekly At Sea Diary entry is a popular feature of the National Fisherman Web site, and now you can post your own reflections on Matt’s experiences fishing in the Pacific Northwest and North Pacific.
Friday, October 13, 2006 — Friday the 13th was the day I started hooking up all my new hydraulic toys. I had accumulated a pile of leftover hydraulic fittings and hoses over the last 15 years. The fittings were alright, but the hoses looked shot. Since there is no one on San Juan Island who can put together a hydraulic line, I just put on my old lines and hoped for the best.
My work day began around noon. My first order of business was to rebuild the double-banked hydraulic valve I took off the Satisfaction because the handles were stuck in place. I had all the parts, I just never had time to get the job done, and now that there was no time left, I had to find the time to do it.
Next I took to loosening all the fittings that were joined together in whatever piece of equipment they were connected to. I had three valves, three different motors, and a couple of funky "manifolds" I put together with fittings and hoses for some convoluted reason or another. I loaded all my loose fittings and valves into my truck and zipped down to the boat around 3 p.m.
My biggest concern was that I would need some particular fitting, and any place I could get them would be closed over the weekend. But luckily, when all was said and done, I didn't need a single thing.
Yes, the job would have been much cleaner if I could have simply used the correct fittings I needed, but with my large assortment of fittings on hand, I managed to get the entire contraption assembled and operational. Some fittings were contrived of two or three different fittings joined together to make a necessary connection, but nonetheless I had fluid-power flowing and doing its job.
With everything connected and operational, the test-run indicated I had more work ahead. When I started or stopped the newly installed stern roller, it shook so violently I thought it was going to jump off the boat. This was just while sitting at the dock — what would it do when I'm out there getting my ass kicked in a big southerly blow off of Kingston? That was a good question, but one I would have to answer the next day, the day before I left for fishing.
I was home late that night, like around 10:30. Everyone had gone to bed after they watched a movie. I felt a like a goon; but my boat was going to be ready! I had to wonder if it was really worth it. I strived to complete those projects as if driven by instinct. Fishing is in my genetic makeup just like the order to fly south is in the genetic composition of a goose.
I considered explaining the goose genetic-crossover connection to my wife. I had been lucky all day with my boat projects; would I be as lucky if I woke her and started talking goose jibberish? Then I remembered it was the closing hours of Friday the 13th, and decided I should just lay low and work my way off the shit list at a later date. I didn't want to press my luck.
TO BE CONTINUED...
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The National Working Waterfront Network is now accepting abstracts and session proposals for the next National Working Waterfronts & Waterways Symposium, taking place Nov. 16-19 in Tampa, Fla. The deadline is Tax Day, April 15.Read more...