The Caretaker's Concern can be blamed on Wreck-Loose Island Publishing.
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WLIPublishing P.O. Box 1521 Bolton Landing, N.Y. 12814

Saturday, November 8, 2008

TCC for 11/8/08

The Caretaker's Concern 11/8/08

Lake Temp. 52.25 F.
Ghetto temp. 58 F.
Island tmp. 56 F. Yesterday's L/H: 53.75/58 F.

Current conditions: Rain off and on, warm, damp, humid, day, gray with clouds and mist and fog.




This day would not exactly be classified as an exciting day, at least not for most people. Back in October, near the end of the month, the Caretaker was in town with S. having lunch. After lunch they went to The Black Bass to see if H. was in, it turns out he was away, but K. was minding the shop so it was a pleasant surprise. What was also a pleasant surprise was that H. had recently acquired a manual typewriter, the Caretaker quickly seized upon it. After determining what was wrong he asked for a price, accepted it and dashed to the ATM machine. This "new" typewriter is going to be a great addition to his collection of manual typewriters, that is after he has the needed repairs done. If you didn't already think the Caretaker was a bit odd you can add this to the list: he likes to use manual typewriters. In fact, it is his second favorite way to write, his first is by hand, his least favorite is the computer. He would write everything by hand except that no one would be able to read it, there are times when even he can't make out what it is he wrote, so, when he corresponds to people he usually uses one of his typewriters to write to them. Unfortunately he has fallen out of the practice of corresponding to people for quite some time now, however, with this new addition to his typewriter collection he has been motivated to break out his typewriters and begin writing again, thus this is an exciting day for the Caretaker. So, what does this mean? For those of you who are unlucky enough to have shared your address with the Caretaker you will probably be getting a letter in the mail sometime between now and the next six months (give or take). As per usual you can expect the normal cockamamie diatribes.

That pretty much sums up the day for the Caretaker, so, instead of carrying on about the joys and pleasures of the manual typewriter he will instead share a story from back in October. (A quick side note, if the Caretaker could figure out a way to connect one of his manual typewriters to his computer instead of using the keyboard he would find his blog much more enjoyable. Odd yes? Anyway...)

It was the week before closing, a Wednesday, the 22nd of October to be exact. The wind was from out of the Narrows all day, it started mild and became progressively windy. At one point the Caretaker went out with his "Beaufort-O-meter" which showed sustained winds of 30+ mph with gusts exceeding 60 mph (his Beaufort-O-meter pins at just above 60 mph so it could very well have been a gust to 70 mph or more). At this point the Caretaker figured that the boat on the North boathouse dock would probably be having some problems with hitting into the dock, and upon going out to the boat sure enough it was. The wind had caused the boat to slip the mooring anchor, so the Caretaker got onto the boat and retied it to the cleat. Even after resetting the anchor line at the cleat the boat was not doing too well, the Caretaker knew that he should just move the boat to the lee of the Island but being lazy he instead tried setting and anchor for the bow. His throw of the anchor from the boat as it bounces up and down on the waves did not exactly go far, heavy anchor into a strong wind usually never goes far, but being lazy he tried working with it anyway. After getting the second anchor set the Caretaker hopped out of the boat and stood on the dock to observe the how effective this second anchor would be at keeping the boat away from the dock. It didn't take long for the boat to slip both anchors. This did not surprise the Caretaker, so he overcame is ever present inclination to laziness and brought in the second anchor, untied the boat and began to motor it around to the South side of the South dock were it would be protected from the wind and the waves. The wind was blowing so strong that before the Caretaker put the engine in the gear the wind and waves had pushed it completely away from the dock and the boathouse putting the boat in the channel without having to do anything other than stand there and watch. Not wanting to leave his direction to the chance of the wind, the Caretaker put the boat in gear and began motoring his way towards the South dock. It didn't take long for the Caretaker to realize a potentially serious oversight, he turned his head to look and sure enough he was dragging the stern anchor. The fool forgot to pull up the first anchor.

Acting fast, he threw the boat into full reverse, well, may be not "full" reverse but he didn't mess around for he was aware of the possibility of something very bad happening. With the boat in reverse the Caretaker left the helm to go bring in the anchor, driving backwards into the wind the waves were crashing over the transom filling the boat with water. Thankfully the boat is double hulled so most of the water that washed over soon emptied out the back of the boat. Ignoring the cold and wet the Caretaker begin to raise the anchor by hand, as he brought up the wet rope it was at this time that he had wished he had brought some gloves. As the anchor was coming up it was getting harder and harder to draw, the Caretaker was concerned that by dragging the anchor he had done one of two things: he caught the phone line which would have been bad, or he caught the power line which would have been really bad.

Both the phone line and the power line to the Island come over from Clay Island, both lines lie on the floor of the Lake, however they do not come over side by side. If you catch one chances are you did not catch the other. So the Caretaker pulled up the rope until he got to the chain, at his point he was a touch hesitant to continue drawing in the anchor. He knew it was caught, and he also knew what both the phone line and the power line looked like, they are very different but at this point in time he could not tell what it was that the anchor was hung up on because it was still too deep in the dark water to see. At this point the Caretaker realized he would have like to have brought out is insulated gloves, not that he has any for this sort of thing but he did realize that at a time like this such items would be nice to have. He then deduced that if the anchor was caught up on the power line and it had become electrified he would have probably been electrocuted by now so he figured he'd keep bringing up the anchor. Sure enough it wasn't the power line, it was the phone line, unfortunately with the drifting of the boat due to the wind, the phone line had become taught and the Caretaker could not get the anchor out from under the line, that is without damaging it. So he dropped the anchor, returned to the helm, reset the boat and then quickly drew in the anchor again, this time he was able to get the anchor out from under the phone line. Relieved he brought the boat around to the South dock and tied it off.

Both the phone line and the power line have slack in them to help prevent them from getting ripped out by say the ice or an absent minded Caretaker so he wasn't too worried about having broken the phone line but he certainly didn't waste anytime checking. At the house phone the Caretaker picked up the handset half expecting there to be silence, thankfully the dial tone was there with its usual bit of low level buzz.

Thus concludes the Caretakers tale of how he nearly took out the phone line. Once again proving that he is not just a mediocre hero but also an international man of shenanigans.

--The Caretaker

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