Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The V-Berth, Power Tools and Nasty Habits

Since Cap'n Ron, given this post's title, is likely to misunderstand me... let me explain.

First, you should know that apart from harvesting the garden and the sea for our daily edibles, my primary job this week has been to transform the v-berth into a stripped-down, gleaming cave awaiting its extreme make-over. You should also know that the v-berth as we inherited it was a filthy, toxic mess! Even without the water tank, Perry Como and Jack Daniels, the v-berth offered up such delectables as sawdust, mold, insect carcasses and generally unidentifiable odors. All that and no air circulation? Perfect!

Since I managed to escape my v-berth time last week by declaring that the record heat wave made it positively dangerous to trap myself there, and since Greg had already made the Home Depot trip to buy me my very own dainty Ryobi mini-drill, I knew I had no choice but to dive in.

I dismantled the decorative wooden slats lining the hull, and I even managed to label each one for ease of reconstruction later. P = port. S = starboard. And the slats are numbered from 1 to 15. The thing is, I discovered that there's one more slat above what I called 1. Oops. I guess we start counting from zero from now on. Slats are now successfully off loaded and bundled in the garage... sanding and refinishing to come.

The only truly disturbing part of this slat-removal process was what I discovered later in the evening as I felt the uncontrollable urge to pick my nose (see? that's the "nasty habits" part). Last month, when we were in the toxic choke of Nairobi traffic, I experienced the same phenomenon: the nagging, itchy black crust that my mucus membranes had become. I'm sure my lungs are fine, though. Right?

Anyway, the interior of the v-berth has been vacuumed and scrubbed and scrubbed again... and is now as gleaming as it's going to get. Not as blemish-free as it was on its virgin cruise, but definitely better than anything it's been in recent decades. If I do say so myself.

It's not as good as installing a propane locker, I realize. But we all work with our own skill sets.
For what it's worth, I can also throw together a fantastic crab salad.

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