Two Old Men an Old Boat and Me
Two Old Men an Old Boat and Me I was down in New Bern NC visiting by parents for a couple of days during the week. My dad asked if I would like to go fishing with him and his friend the next day. I of course said yes, and the next day my dad now 80, and his friend now 75 went out on his friend's boat to go fishing. We put in at Brices Creek and headed up stream. Fishing wasn't very good so we continued to go further and further upstream until late in the afternoon we were at least 10 miles upstream from the closest boat launch. We had not seen another boat all day. Finally my Dad's friend announced "It's time we start heading back because it will be dark before long". I thought to myself that we should done that like two hours ago! Anyway, as he began to turn the boat around; the engine died. He tried to crank it, and there was no power. It was dead, I mean dead. My dad said to his friend "don't tell me that you've run out of gas AGAIN!" That comment gave me a really bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. He checked the gas and there was plenty, so that wasn't the problem. Being fairly proficient mechanically, my dad's friend asked me to see if I could determine the problem. I found that the main engine fuse was blown, the rubber water line that cools the top of the engine was broken and had flooded the starter with water shorting everything out. I figured that if I could remove the starter, disassemble it, dry it back out that we should be good to go. I said to my dad's friend that I felt that I could get everything working again but needed for him to give me his toolkit. He always carried a very well equipped tool kit in his boat (at least he did when was a younger man). Suddenly, I hear my dad's friend say"Uh... OH NO! I.....I ....I think I left the toolkit back in the truck!" Oh, I forgot to mention that I had recently had major foot surgery and wasn't supposed to be doing anything but laying in the reclining chair. Now, here I am with two old men, a busted up foot, in an old broken down boat, in the middle of nowhere, nighttime fast approaching, and estimating that if we paddled as fast as we could, we might make it back to the dock by 1:30 in the morning if the deer flies and mosquitoes hadn't sucked all of the blood out our bodies by then. Standing there, on my bum foot being eaten alive, I put my hands on my hip and I felt my Leatherman that is always on my belt. I took it out and looked at it and thought there is no way this thing can do all of the work that needs to be done. I have done some pretty amazing things with it before but never something like this. I mean, I need a full toolkit to make this old boat engine work again. However being that I am now stranded in the wilderness with two old men and a bum foot, I thought that I would at least give it a try, besides, my foot was now beginning to throb with pain. To my amazement, I was able to remove the starter, disassemble it, dry everything out, reassemble it, reroute the broken water line, and straight wire the blown fuse. Then the time finally came to put this Leatherman repaired boat engine to the test. I told my Dad's friend "If this thing actually starts, you are under direct orders to not turn this thing off until we are back a the dock!" He replied like a son would to his father, and said timidly "I promise, I promise that I will not." Then I told him to "hit it" and suddenly, the ghostly quiet of the wilderness was split by the heavenly sound of a 90 horsepower Johnson roaring to life. So in thirty minutes or thereabouts, the two old men, the old boat, and me were back at the dock thanks to my Leatherman.