And then it dropped…

It has been some time since I stopped blogging. Perhaps I stopped because blogging became less of a thing in the world. I tried a podcast, but I found it a lot like talking to myself, something I’m already good at. I also became much more critical of what I was writing; I think I’m over that.

We are in Florida, continuing to make repairs to our sailboat, FRACAS. She was damaged in last year’s Hurricane Ian. Most of the hard stuff is done; all that is left is everything else. Fracas also has to have her 5-year insurance survey before next September. So, everything must be checked, cleaned, and/or serviced prior to the survey.

Yesterday I was continuing to work in the bilge. I have removed the propeller shaft in order to replace the dripless shaft seal and the cutlass bearing. Each of these tasks could be its own blog, but get to the point.

Since the parts will be a day or two away thanks to the Thanksgiving holidays, I thought it might be prudent to put the floor boards back in. A tiger trap with no likelihood of tigers is just an accident waiting to happen. This floor re-installation requires the reconnection of the shower pan drain hose. Just a hose clamp in an awkward place—nothing new on a boat. I have a Stanley nut driver, 5/16 size, just for these clamps. I have had this tool on the boat since we acquired it in 2010. Now it’s gone.

The boat is on land in the boatyard, so there is no chance of losing the tool to Neptune, as is usually the case. The Mary Poppins groupies at left have an ingenious method to reduce contributions to Neptune.

I’m working in the bilge with a two-foot drop into the bowels of the bilge (recently cleaned out). I’m working under the shower pan to tighten the clamp, and of course the nut driver drops. I hear it clanging and careening on it’s way down. I lift the shower pan and add a flashlight to the search. Nothing!

I even engage a magnet to troll the area at the bottom; nothing. I seek out Mary Lynn for support. “It must be there,” she offers. The search continued for an hour. I even thought of using my drone to search by helicopter. I decided that had some issues on its own. Further, I’m not sure my drone license is valid in the United States or Florida, for that matter. Like seeing a shiny thing or perhaps a kitty, finding the tool became the distraction and the most important item on the todo list.

I was at a loss as to what had happened. What force or supernatural wormhole had my nut driver fallen into? I tried to find my copy of ‘The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini’ but it seems to have escaped. The internet is full of crazies who offer suggestions about how to find things that are missing.

Then I remember what my Dad used to say when things were lost, vaporized or misplaced “you need to concentrate your search where it is”. I guess that’s what I’ll do today.