disengage.ca a quest for the technomadic lifestyle

26May/090

I’m Cold, Damp, And There’s Blood On My Laptop

Ok, so just file today in the 'down' pile.

Do you know what I mean by 'amplitude'? I can't remember if I've written about it here before or not. I like to believe that the universe needs a balance, and so for every bad thing there is an equal and opposite good thing. I like to think of life as kind of a sinewave of bad and good.

Well, ever since I've jumped headlong into this adventure, the amplitude of that sinewave has gone through the roof. Good days are awesome, bad days are terrible. There's really no in-between, it seems. Actually, I guess I can'treally complain; I know there are folks out there having a lot worse days than I am. I also know that the bad days are important, because without a reference of what a bad day is like, how can you really know that you're having a good day?

Anyway. I've been watching the weather all week, expecting "light rain" today before the sun returns. Since I've been making repairs to the boat, I had all the windows out and a couple of big holes in the bow, where I've been excising rotted wood and replacing it with fresh new stuff. To prepare for the rain I deployed tarps and garbage bags, duct-taped the windows back into place and made fast anything that looked like it wasn't held down well. I looked over the repairs of the week with satisfaction, knowing that my fiberglass and epoxy work was solid and would withstand a little moisture.

This morning I was awoken at 6:30am by a phonecall from the Evil Masters, to the sound of pouring rain beating on the roof of the cabin. I fielded the call, feeling smugly warm and dry in my bed, content in the knowledge that my work was sound. Apparently there were massive database problems that needed dealing with immediately, so I got up to go fetch my laptop and start working on it. I swung out of my berth onto the floor... and my feet wentsquish on the soaking wet carpet. D'oh!

Turns out my hatch repair, while definitely watertight, wasn't sloped correctly. Water pooled in the repair until it overflowed the lip of the hatch, and all the overflow went right into the forward cabin.

Actually, the forward cabin was fine by comparison to the aft cabin, which had the same problem but about ten times worse. Water had been flowing into the cabin by the liter, running down the guitar case inconveniently placed below the leak, and spattering onto the floor and a tupperware container. Better still, the tupperware container was the one that contained all of my foul-weather gear, hats, gloves, anything that would keep you warm out in the rain. Of course the lid wasn't on.

The carpets were soaked, the rain gear was soaked and another leak was exposed in the ceiling - I have no idea where this one came from, it's a new leak. There's another small leak from my repair to the corner of the cabin roof, and yet another in the side roof. At least my traveler repair - formerly the worse leak in the cabin - seems to be watertight!

So I went to the washroom to get started for the day and found that my tarps had somehow blown off in the night. The gaping hole in the ceiling was wide open to the elements, and rain was pouring in there as well. Oh, good.

I should probably mention at this point that I didn't get a chance to run the generator last night, so the house batteries were too low to run the inverter which powers my laptop. Then in a fit of stupidity, I used my laptop in bed to watch cartoons before crashing. Now, in the pouring rain, I had a work emergency to deal with and 8% battery on my laptop - and I can't run the generator without setting up some kind of elaborate tarp system to keep the rain off!

At this point, I gave up. There's a coffee shop just up the hill with good coffee, excellent food and free wireless, so I went for it. As I returned to my bed to get the laptop case, however, I discovered that the window in my bed had actually leaked - a lot - into the bedside storage locker. Ohhhhhh, good. The laptop sleeve was sitting in a centimeter or so of water, as was my GPS and my Nintendo DS. The GPS is weather proof, so it should be fine, but the DS might be toast - I guess we'll see. It was only sheer, dumb luck that I didn't toss my laptop in there last night!

So I pulled on wet raingear, threw my bike in the dinghy, bailed a few dozen liters of water out and rowed for shore. Life got a lot better with a large, four-shot americano. I got a bunch of work done, figured out the database problems, and had some food. Eventually the sun came out, offering a brief respite from the terrible mood of the day, and some hope for the remainder.

I left the coffee shop at around 12:30pm, heading back to the boat. As I rounded a corner, I hit a patch of gravel and went down, banging my shin and thigh and scraping up my hand in the process. It figures, the one time I hadn't bothered to take my cycling gloves out of my bag because it was such a short ride home, I fall on my hands! My bike is ok, and I've only got a few small scuffs and bruises, but there's still a couple of bits of gravel in my left palm. I should probably put a bandaid on; I'm leaving bloody palm prints on my laptop.

I guess it could all be a lot worse. Like, the new unexplained leak in the cabin roof, the drips missed my mandolin by a few centimeters - it would have made the day a lot more unpleasant to have to pour water out of the F-holes! At some point today I'll have to break out the shop vac and vacuum the rainwater out of the bilges, and in the next few days I'll need to tackle the newly-obvious leaky parts of the roof. The work never stops.

Anyhow. Big work deadline tomorrow; first site goes live in the cloud! Back to the grind...

Posted by drew

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