With the tube removed, there was no more time to waste. I had to find someone to help me do the fiberglass work. I’d conceded to the realization that it was NOT going to be Laurent. It was beyond me why he didn’t want to do the job, but that didn’t matter anymore. I didn’t want to give it any more energy. And so I began the search for someone else…
Just across the road lies another boatyard, but the owners of the two yards detest each other and normally forbid their workers to ‘cross the tracks’ into the other yard. But at this point I was desperate…just maybe there was someone there that could help me?? I wandered onto the foreign yard grounds to see who I could find. A handsome older man in a grinding suit pulled off his respirator as I approached.
“Can I help you?” He asked.
“Um, yes…well you see…” I stuttered as I launched into my story. His eyebrows lifted and mouth pursed as I recounted the saga of the shaft tube removal.
“But you actually got it out?” He clarified.
“Yes. It’s OUT!” I replied.
“Well, you’ve done the hardest part. If you can get your yard’s approval, I’d be happy to do the work. I have fifteen years of experience doing that kind of job.”
“Yes,” he smiled casually. “I’m Fred. Come by later after you talk to them.”
Back in the land of yellow…
“Abzzzzoluteleeeeee NOT.” The second-in-command, Ariel, scowled. “Iteeezz forbeeeeeddin for zeeee-ozzther workerzz to work in zisssss yard.” “Yes, I understand, but…” I replied softly, but then, Karin, the secretary, piped in.
“You know she has been waiting for more than one month for Laurent.” Karin coaxed.
“Yez, but it teezz NOT posssibule unless he payzzzz thu percentaaaage to our sociiiieteeeeee.” Ariel said firmly.
Fred came to have a look later that afternoon. He said didn’t mind to give my boatyard the normal percentage. He looked over the task and surmised, “We could make the tube ourselves, but I think it actually might be cheaper in the end just to order one.”
That same day I received another email from, Fin Beven, who had originally given me the ‘slide hammer’ idea. His email read:
“My friend, Doug Grant of Marine Products Engineering Co, sells the exact tube you need with a cutlass bearing to go with it. I already spoke with him and he said he would sell it to you for half price…And if you send me your address. I’ll get it in the mail by Monday and cover the shipping.”
After a month of agonizing, everything had suddenly turned around! Shiny beams of hope were making the world twinkle again!! Fred seemed fantastic. Fin and Doug, neither of whom I had ever met, were like angles that had descended to carry me out of boatyard purgatory…