After Mike and I had finished cleaning and hosing down the boat (and after I knocked a small scrub brush and the cleaner bottle into the bay when moving the hose around), I noticed a slightly larger-than-small spider trying to climb the side of the cockpit. We have spiders everywhere in the marina, and it's quite common to go to sleep with a mostly web-free boat only to wake to a myriad of fascinating webs scattered all along the deck and rails, so I thought I'd rescue this particular spider and hope it built a web elsewhere. I corralled it onto a flip-flop, passed it off to the dock, and had just pulled back the shoe when I noticed the spider had attached a string of web to the footwear. It let go just as the flip-flop hovered over the gap between dock and boat. Not sure spiders float, but I did the bone-headed thing of looking over the edge to see if that's true. As I pulled back, the sun tarp over the boat caught on the top ridge of my hat. Where my sunglasses perched. And dragged them off. Into the water, where they promptly started to sink. I jumped onto the dock and reached in to try to save them, even getting the retrieval pole in on the action, all to no avail. Apparently, it's kind of deep at our slip -- at least just slightly deeper than our pole. So there's a decent pair of $20 sunglasses that I liked now hiding in the mud at the bottom of our dock slip.
They are not alone.
We decided to try to build a make-shift bimini top for extra shade that we wouldn't have to take down every time we wanted to hoist the mainsail. Mike drew up plans and we got some plumbing material from the hardware store and started cutting up pipes and putting together our rig. As Mike attempts to Velcro an upright PVC pipe to a horizontal support pipe with 90 degree joiners at either end, the horizontal pipe fell in the water. And proceeded to the bottom of the bay. Mike made a sort of catch pole out of various parts of as-yet unused pipe and joiners, and I had the retrieval pole, and the two of us tried to scoop our missing part off the bottom of the bay. Where you can't actually see anything due to depth and murk. So Mike worked mostly by feel and by us staring at the area where the pipe disappeared so as not to lose our place. It took about 10 minutes, but we actually managed to get the thing back (after several near-misses). However, in this process, as I'm laying prone on the dock with my arm in as far as I can reach to try to snag the pipe, I shifted my legs, and heard a little splash. Turns out, Mike had left the small hack saw on the dock as we leapt to save the pipe. The saw doesn't float, and there's no way we can get it back short of snorkeling or diving down to get it, and if you've seen the bay, this won't be at the top of anyone's list of fun things to do. Mike continued on with the bimini creation and I went for a drink (of water of course). He called out, "Have you seen the tape measurer?" And then we figured out it went for a swim with the hack saw. So there's another thing that doesn't float. Luckily, the electric jigsaw stayed on the dock, along with all the other pipes.
Once we got the frame for the bimini in place, it was time to see how the new tarp worked up there. We initially had a small movers blanket we wanted to try, but without grommets, we had to figure out a way to secure the blanket to the frame. We found tarp clips designed for this purpose (OK, maybe not for this exact purpose as I don't imagine the makers envisioned a moving blanket as a boat shade, but they'd do the trick). I should mention that we chose a hot yet very windy day for this project. As we're trying to secure the blanket to the frame using bungee cords (we're nothing if not classy), the wind kept pulling at the blanket. Not sure if the wind or the nearly-long-enough bungee caused one edge to snap free from Mike's hand, but in so doing, the tarp clip popped off and flew about four feet. Into the water. Where it too sank out of view. Hmm. We ended up using a cheap tarp for the moment, bungees through grommets, just to see if it would actually provide any decent shade. And we called it a day on that project.
When I told Mike what I intended to call this blog a few days later, he said to be sure to mention that sausages are also less than buoyant. So if you're on a boat and want food that you can retrieve if it gets too frisky, pick the watermelon over the sausage. Don't try to rescue spiders. Watch where you sprawl when fishing things out of the water in case you accidentally add more things to the bottom of the bay. And only work with large sail-like objects on calm days.