The Green Fairy

Monday February 18, 2012

So yes, I had a run in with the green fairy.  But first, yesterday’s work.  We’re really getting down to it now, almost in the water, but there are still a few jobs that need to be tackled.  One of those was getting the rudder lifted back in place.  It had been installed on Thursday along with the keel, but had not been lifted into place and the bottom was resting on a piece of plywood on the ground instead of sitting about 12-14″ off the ground as it should have been. The rudder itself is not terribly heavy, about 70 pounds, so lifting it back into place and securing it should not have been a problem.  But every time we lifted it up to try and shimmy the post into it’s hole, it was so tight!  When we did this last spring back in Muskegon it had been a 5-10 minute job with Matt pushing from the ground and me in the lazarette, ready to tie it off as soon as it was in place.  This time however, we were both below pushing up and were making little to no progress.

Under our boat are tons of little 2x4s and other pieces of scrap wood.  Working with all of our might to get the rudder lifted two inches off the ground, we’d slide a piece of wood under it and take a break.    Panting and lifting, we did this routine again and again, each time trying to slide a few more inches of wood under the rudder to hold it in place. After nearly 45 minutes of work we had finally gotten the rudder to where it needed to be, and found out that it wasn’t sitting right with the bushing. Down it had to go again.  Matt went back into the  lazarette to do a few more adjustments (sorry I don’t know what they are, but you can e-mail him if you’re curious) and then it was back to trying to lift the rudder a second time.

 Except this time proved even harder as the post seemed to be even tighter in it’s hole than last time.  We were struggling with every centimeter of progress we made.  Once it was up again, Matt went to check it in the lazarette and found once more that it still was not sitting right with the bushing.  Once more it went down, and once more we were breaking our backs trying to get it back up.  After the third time of finally raising it and it still not fitting properly into the bushing, we realized that the bushing that had replaced our old one when the rudder came back from being straightened is not the right shape for our rudder post and will need to be replaced.  We called defeat and promised to have a talk with the service manager the next day.

And as we’re finding as we’ve been slaving away these past few weeks, working earns needs playing hard.  Which is why when Yu told us that friends of her and Frank’s were in a town for a few days and they were all going out, we jumped at the chance to join.  It wasn’t set to be an extravagant night out, we’d just meet Yu at Casa Monica and have a drink there while she was finishing her shift, and then we’d head over to White Lion for their Monday $1 specials.  Frank picked us up in his Subaru hatchback, and while squeezing two more people into the car, we were introduced to Zack and Alex.  They knew Frank and Yu from New York, and also have done a fair amount of traveling in their time.

Turns out they had spent some time on the water as well, but not quite in the way that any of us are used to.  Traveling to India they gathered a group of close to 20 people and built paddle bikes that they then took all the way down the Ganges River, pulling off to the side to camp each night.  Talk about hardcore traveling!  While finding all this out about them, we had entered Casa Monica and took a seat around a couch while Yu waited on us.  I had been dying to try this martini she had on girls night out, a French 75, but she also had another surprise in store for me.  Knowing that I have never had Absinthe, and having it behind the counter, she brought out a glass of that for me as well.  I even got to partake in the tradition where you light a spoonful of sugar on fire and then douse it in water, slightly watering down the drink as well.  I may have gone a little crazy on my ‘splash out’ and ended up with water all over the table, but I think with some real practice I could get it down.  I was so excited to drink Absinthe and experience the green fairy for the first time, until I took my first sip and realized it tasted like black licorice.  Probably my least favorite flavor in the world.  I still wasn’t going to let that stop me from enjoying my very first Absinthe though, and continued to sip it with a sour expression on my face, quickly chasing it with my very tasty martini.  I guess in some circumstances, double fisting is necessary.

As soon as Yu got off work, we made the walk down St. George Street to the White Lion, hoping we could still show our faces there again after all the crazyness that ensued on Frank’s birthday a few weeks before.  Luckily the same bartender was not working and we did not have to feel embarrassed about all of our dancing on stage and literally through the whole bar.  I think they did have posters with our faces somewhere though, lot letting us have access to the jukebox, because the whole time we were there it was not operating for money and the only music playing through the speakers was controlled by the bartender.  I can’t believe they don’t want us playing our random collection of techno and folk and rap music.  The bar was just as empty as ever, so we took it upon ourselves to mill around it, moving from tables inside to ones outside and back.  I feel like Matt and I are starting to come down with something though, because after only one drink there and the clock having struck just past midnight, we were about falling asleep at the table and ready to go home.  Promising we’d ‘continue the party’ at Moitessier, we got everyone back to the car and then forced them to drive us back to Serendipity.  No 3 am parties tonight.  That’s ok though, tomorrow we’re doing oysters and cocktails and should be rested enough to stay out all night long.


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