Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Cracking a safe

They had a city wide garage sale down in Oriental NC. (It’s a very small town). There was a LOT of houses with their yard filled with everything from a few items up to tables of stuff. What interested me though was at the Masonic Lodge building. They had opened up the building as a gathering spot for members to sell their “stuff” and the lawn was packed with precious items. Inside of the building there were even more things but what caught my eye was an old upright safe. After talking with the lodge members they told me that they have had the safe for decades and no one knew the combination. I explained that in a previous career, I was a safe technician and that I could find the combination easily for them. After examination of the safe and lock I estimate is that it was from the turn of the century (IE: 1900 to 1910)and in few minutes, I discovered the 4 numbers of the combination for them. It sure was fun getting my hands back into a trade that I really enjoyed and finding a use for the “U.S. Post Office” training in safe cracking that I was sent to those many years ago. Garage sales, you just never know what you might run into!

Little Library

While walking Edie around our little corner of Oriental NC. I came across the smallest library in existence. In front of a house is this small box on a post named the “Little Free Library”.

We’ve talked to the owners of the house and they think that it’s a good way to find a new home for the books that you have already read. The Little Library is a “give or take” library so you can take a book or place one into it. I think that it’s a great idea. If you live in an area that needs a library and your own book collection is getting a bit out of hand, try placing a “Little Library” box out front and share the gift of stories with your neighborhood!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Life in a marina

What a change a single day can make. We went from finding a quite place to drop a hook at night with the only worry being which way the wind was coming from or how strong the current might be to living at the dock, a car, neighbors (5 feet away) and becoming a ‘working stiff’ again. Within a day of arriving I was offered the dubious honor of removing a rotting bulkhead and replacing it in a power boat. I think I like the Bahamas better!

getting "suited up" to grind fiberglass

Old bulkhead out, new one in
                                                                     We (meaning "I") have several large jobs to do on the Snow Goose. The bimini must come off for refurbishment so, the solar panels need to come off from it first. The rubber on the deck still has to be finished and (of course) the  round of spring varnishing needs to be done.

strange place to put a solar pannel

The underside of our cockpit cover (the bimini) needed varnish and it's much easier to do it upside down.
First though, our trusty 2.5 hp outboard needed attention. A bolt had come loose in the engine letting the magneto hit the flywheel (Ding, ding ,ding) and there’s also a leak from the thermostat cover. It turned out that under the cover is a sacrificial anode (the owners manual doesn’t say anything about it in) and over the last few years, it has sacrificed itself. As it slowly corroded away it pluged up the cooling water passageway and pushed the cover gasket out of place resulting in the leak. $20 in parts later (and 3 hrs of work) and the dinghy motor is good as new again. I truly believe that to be a cruiser you have to be part mechanic or inherit lots of money! Alas, since we’re deficient in one area, I am forced to work on the things that break on our boat.