Jul 12, 2017

Praying for the low point...

The last few days have totally sucked. Everything seems to be going wrong. Everything is difficult. Progress is painfully slow.

Two of the biggest hangups are getting the pressure water and fridge running. Can't really move onto the boat without those two things.

The Battle Of The fridge:

Problem: So I screwed up and left water in the refrigerator cooling line. It cracked the raw water strainer during the winter.

Solution 1: Bought a new strainer. Great. Install it while kids scream and fight... open the seacock (the valve that lets water in from the outside of the boat) and find that the old water hose has stiffened, or just fatigued from multiple strainer replacements and the hose has cracked and is now leaking.

Solution 2: Buy new hose from West Marine, bring it back to the boat to install it while kids beg to go swimming. Forgot my heat gun at home. Can't install. Take kids swimming so LeeAnn can organize the boat.

Solution 3: Bring the heat gun the next day and install the hose. Kids are watching Curious George on the iPad. Add hose clamps... they don't fit because the new hose has thicker walls.

Solution 4: Buy new hose clamps, install them while Hobie puts on his bathing suit. Open seacocks, no leaks, turn on fridge... Happy day it works! Take Hobie swimming.

The Battle Of The Faucet:

Problem: I'm an idiot and bought a new faucet. 

Solution 1: Brought the faucet to the hardware store to get connection lines. No luck (not for lack of trying to McGuyver it). The faucet is some weird European deal. I bring the faucet to a plumbing supply store to see if they have the right parts. No luck. So I asked the guy there (Dominique) to help me figure out what size fitting is on the boat so I know which connection lines to order. 

For example, I know the connection lines going into the faucet are M10. The opposite end is something else. Which we can figure out because I have the existing lines off the boat. He tells me they are standard 3/8. So I need M10 X 3/8. I collect my screaming kids, load them in my rockin' minivan and head back to the boat. 

Solution 2: Special order M10 X 3/8 faucet lines. Two days later they arrive. Guess what? It's M10 by 3/8 compression threads because I guess that is what Europeans use.

Solution 3: Head to the home depot with my new faucet lines AND the fitting from the boat. My kids are screaming and fighting in the cart, so I hand the parts to the guy in the plumbing section and explain what I'm trying to do. I focus on keeping the kids from killing each other with the 2" flexible hose I gave them as "horns" which have almost immediately turned into clubs. "I don't care who did it first! Just stop hitting each other!"

Turns out going from 3/8 compression to whatever existing fitting is on my boat is really hard, so I switch to 3/8 compression X 1/2" barbed fitting that can be jammed straight into the hose. The 3/8 compression X 3/8 FIP (female iron pipe) is no problem. Going from 3/8 FIP X 1/2 barb wouldn't be a problem.. except they are out of that fitting. 

Charlie is screaming to be put in the shopping cart kid seat. Then to be buckled. Then to be taken out of the cart seat. Then he's screaming while hanging upside down from the front of the cart and I'm imagining how his hands are going to slip and his egg is going to crack open like a head. 

Meanwhile, Hobie is "TOOT TOOOT TOOOOTING" as loud as he can on his horn and I say to the deer in the headlights plumbing section guy "so hear's my next project"...

The next project is to go from the 1/4" MIP (male iron pipe) fitting on my new water filter faucet to a 1/2" barb so it can connect to the pressurized water hose. He gives me some parts and I leave to get my hungry man cubs some Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken. 

Solution 4: The next day, I head to the boat to pick up some part I forgot the previous night. Charlie is pissed that we aren't going to stay at the boat, so I buy him off with Candy from Lakeside Emporium. Rainbow liquorice strings are the perfect solution. Not much candy, but takes a long time to eat. 

This buys me silence while we drive to Lowes to purchase the 3/8 FIP X 1/2 barb that Home Depot was missing. Unfortunately, Lowe's doesn't carry that part. So back to square one. Hobie drops his last piece of liquorice on the floor, but can't find it. Being out of candy means I have very limited time to find a solution. They make me some Frankenstein solution out of five different fittings, which I appreciate but decline to purchase. Charlie finds Hobie's lost liquorice and in a shocking display of fairness gives it to Hobie who asks if he can eat it. Ummm....

We drive to a plumbing supply store. It's a longshot, but I resolve to "Stay Positive!" They don't have the part. Parts? Children run, scream, fight. I have forgotten what it is I'm even looking for. The guy in the store (Dominique) lectures me "You buy some faucet on Amazon thinking you're getting a great deal..."

I kneel to look at fittings on a lower shelf and my kids, in a display of love, tackle me. I naturally respond by yelling at them to "SIT down and BE QUIET." I feel like an asshole. Dominique says "So you're moving onto a boat, huh? Pretty tight quarters?" I buy two hose clamps, wrangle my kids into the minivan, and we drive home. 

Solution 5: I google "3/8 MIP X 1/2 barb" resolved to the fact that I'm going to have to special order this part and wait at least two days for it to arrive. Then some luck! According to Google, Tractor Supply Company has the part in stock at the store around the corner. I call the store and speak to a super nice guy who says he will save me two. I gather up all my parts and head to the store. 

He gives me the 3/8 X 1/2 barb, then tells me it will never seal with what I have because I need is a 3/8 NIPPLE X 1/2 barb. I calmly respond "oh?" while on the inside scream "WHAT THE FUCK?!"

He walks me over to the PROPANE fittings and gives me the part I need, then some other parts from the plumbing sections. Then a galvanized steel coupling... and I'm so defeated... He makes something work and I just buy the parts and leave. I don't care anymore. I just want the water to work and to be done with this project from hell. 

Solution 6: I go back to Home Depot, the store where all this started because I need a 3/8 compression to 3/8 FIP because I originally only bought one because: KIDS. While I'm looking for the compression fitting I see 3/8" Compression X 1/2" FIP. 

Hmmm. 1/2" MIP X 1/2" barb is really common. Yep. They have it. Solutions 3-5 are now pointless. 

Happy that this saga has ended, I bring the parts to the boat, hook everything up to the faucet, it's gonna work great, I can tell! I install the faucet into the counter... but it won't get tight. I ask a neighbor to come hold the top of the faucet while I screw on the bottom. No matter how tight I turn the nut, the faucet won't get tight. I feel around and find there is a large ridge so the faucet will get tight on the front, but not the back.

Solution 7: .... To Be Continued....

Meanwhile, during all this, I'm supposed to be packing up the house, preparing for a garage sale, moving things onto the boat.... LeeAnn in stressed. Upset. Which upsets me because I'm trying SO HARD and feel worse knowing that despite it all, things aren't going great for her either. We fight. 

I'm not getting work done for my business which isn't so bad except it means I'm not getting paid. The house isn't ready for renters.

So yeah. I'm looking for the low point. I hope it's close because I'd really love it if things could start looking up. Start going a little bit smoother. This feels impossible, and all the while I'm terrified that this whole trip is just one big mistake. I tell myself it's not. I think of the quote "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails."

I think "two paths diverged in the wood". 

I can't give up now. I don't know who I would be if I gave up. I imagine I'd be forever disappointed in myself for being too chicken to go through with it. So by hell or high water, I'll find a way to make it happen!

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