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Sometimes the challenges of cruising remind me of the ancient puzzle about the Fox, The Goose, and The Bag of Beans. Like that old puzzle, our challenges frequently involve moving things with limited resources. And often we must resort to logic, simple tools, and plenty of physical exertion.
Moving the generator from its motor mounts to the machine shop has been our most recent puzzle.
To make it lighter and easier to handle, first we removed the injection pump and head, the cooling system, and the generator assembly all the way to the flywheel. Using scraps of wood we levered the block off the motor mounts and into the aft cabin.
First step accomplished: We got the goose across the river.
Next we drug the engine through the galley and into the main cabin under a hatch and created a bridle with which to lift it. Again using the halyard we lifted it out through the hatch and set it on the side deck.
Second step accomplished: We went back and got the bag of beans.
At this point we called the machine shop to verify our morning pickup appointment.
Third step accomplished: We exchanged the bag of beans for the goose, went back across the river, and called it a day. All we had to do was keep the fox from eating the goose during the night, or in our case keep the engine from falling in the water.
This morning we got up bright and early and motored our boat to the fuel dock where we removed the generator's oil pan and fetched a dock cart. We then transfered the engine into the cart using the halyard. We wrapped the engine in a plastic bag and cushioned it with cardboard so we wouldn't mess up the dock cart.
Fourth step accomplished: We took the fox back across the river and left it with the beans.
Finally around 11:00 we rolled the dock cart up to the parking lot and lifted the engine into the delivery truck.
Final step accomplished: we went back across the river to get the goose.
Tasks that would be so simple back home - on a dock, with a car, knowing our way around - are so difficult when cruising. Maybe these kinds of challenges help keep us young, because not only are they physically challenging, and mentally challenging, but sometimes they're entertaining as well.
Stay tuned next week when we repeat this puzzle in reverse to get the engine back aboard.