Legends from our own lunchtimes

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Behind every cloud.
still in Lagarde!

With just the smallest amount of luck, the last piece of the steering puzzle will arrive tomorrow.   Has it been as long for everyone else as it has for us?  A few hours later if our luck runs counter to the way it has of late, we’ll have found all the bits we need and will have just about run out of excuses for staying in the same place any longer.  Besides, the new hard drive is being sent to Duncan's at Toul, although if one believes in things not going well, perhaps the other bits needed for the computer repair already being available for collection in a coffee shop in Woodstock, USA is a sign.

The steering was, apart from it’s total vagueness and providing randomness of direction, in complete working order.  It has been this way for the last four and a bit years, and even though at times steering the boat has been a bit like pushing a ten metre long length of wet spaghetti, it has taken more than cajoling on our part to motivate the necessary resources to replace something that they don’t think needs replacing.   

Today I have a smug little smirk hidden on the non-working side of my face where no one can see it.  It is the smirk of one who is vindicated in his decision.  When we removed the steering head, we found a crack encircling the main gear axle.   The only thing between arrival at our destination and total failure of the steering would appear to have been sheer luck (so we do have some after all), and fortuitous avoidance of conditions that didn’t load the rudder in a particular way.

We do not need to contemplate what might have been, had we attempted to complete our intended route down the Rhine last year!   Last year’s breakdown of the Arzviller lift, which prevented us taking that route does not seem at all inconvenient to us in retrospect.

As an aside the French word for “steering” is “direction”, so when the nice Swiss fellow moored behind us asked what the problem was with the boat,  I was able to reply “I am without direction”.

Perhaps now is the time to apologise to all those teachers half a century ago, who said the same thing of me in all those report cards.


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