The Boatist

Sailboat Ownership, Translation Work and Tales of Minor Adventure

Retire early, be passionate, don't worry, die poor

Friday, November 30, 2012

Boat Slavery Blues

It's my boat day, but I'm feeling rather glum and, yes, pessimistic.

Yesterday I received an email notice with some prickly news: "You owe Social Security 1,570 euros." It's a fricking EXTRA contribution for our beloved Portuguese austerity budget, more like a boa constrictor budget. There goes a chunk of my boat budget. 

Almost overnight my rate per translated word plunged 25%, plus I now pay more taxes and social security. But it's all for a good cause mind you. Somebody has to support a plague of endemic corruption at all levels, white elephants and a huge swarm of civil servants, most of whom do f...k all. My apologies to the 20% who work hard or, at least, pretend to.

The seduction of living a minimalist carefree life on Jakatar (at free anchorages) billowed into an exaggerated daydream, or maybe not.

My discontent was fermenting in my head as I drove along the cliff-side road under a miserably dark sky. On reaching Paimogo I was greeted by a rainbow to remind me that I'm alive and healthy and...screw the economic crisis!

Ocean Rainbow
Rainbow on a gloomy day
At the boat, the batteries were bubbling at 14.8 V and the new hydrometer showed a 100% charge, so I disconnected the charger before the batteries got fried. Next, I cut and fitted the new thermostat hose - it's thinner than the old one and buckles at the elbow...we'll see what happens.

Called Fernando the electrician and he said they'd stop by in the afternoon to install the wind generator. I made sure all the bolts and fasteners were ready and then tried to pull the remaining wire out of the mounting pole.

I'll make a long stupid story short and stupid. A long time ago I sprayed polyurethane foam into the pole in an attempt to stop the wind generator's resonating vibration from humming all over the boat and driving me crazy. Now I couldn't remove the old wires or run new wires.

Called Fernando to cancel the installation until I resolved the problem. He insisted I take it to the shop where we poked it vigorously with a broomstick, a steel rod and then a long sharp fish hook, all to no avail. Since the 2.5 m pole consists of two parts joined at the middle with an inner sleeve, we ended up taking a torch to it and whacking it repeatedly with a large hammer. Finally, we separated the parts and managed to get the foam out.

Unfortunately for me, they got a call for an emergency repair on a fishing boat. My generator will have to wait for another day.

Boat Slave Live from Peniche, Portugal


  1. Seems like your government has taken a liking to the Greek policy of destroying us. Hang in there my friend, it's only the beginning unfortunately.

    Did the poly foam mute the vibrating racket? I love doing stupid things which improve the quality of life! But I do hate when your professional help blows you off for someone else. Emergency repair on a fishing boat...HA!

    1. Hey, we figured the Greeks were feeling lonely and deprived so we decided to join you.

      Na, the foam didn't prevent the humming. I sprayed it through a screw hole near the middle (jee, that sounds weird) and it only filled about 25 cm of the pipe, but hardened like a rock.

      Got to watch my language, now I'm going to get 100 hits from teenagers looking for smut.

  2. including reasonable comments here... GLM aftermarket Mercury boat parts