Ball Bearing Blues

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Thu 12 Aug 2010 00:17

With a forecast for rain promised today’s mission was to fond some replacement ball bearings for the wind vane and to get a new name for the transom. The latter I did first and will pick up tomorrow. The first I did next thinking it would be quite straight forward. My first port of call was a bearing shop in town where I had purchased the new chain for the steering system (yet to be fitted). The storeman looked at the sample bearing and immediately announced, “Mas paqueno!” - too small. I went to another place just down the road but also found the same problem. I looked at a poster on the wall which had all sorts of bearings advertised. I pointed to a ball bearing race to suggest maybe they would have this item in stock from which I could extricate the bearings, but either they did not understand or they did not have them in stock. Instead the salesman suggested another place, Ducasse, some little distance away which he drew on my map. Another customer who spoke a little English kindly offered to give me a lift there as he was heading that way. But as we were speaking another salesperson said that, no, Ducasse would not have them either and very kindly walked me up the street a little to point out another shop which would have them. Here they again looked at my ball bearing, shook their heads, said “No. Mas paqueno.” and suggested I try Ducasse. Bother I had missed my lift and it seemed I was going to have to walk. Not to worry, it wasn’t that far and the exercise would be good for me. Twenty minutes later I was there, a pristine modern looking premise. I dropped the ball bearing in the pudgy pink palm of the salesperson, he looked at it, shook his head, measured it with a pair of micrometer calipers and disappeared out the back. A minute later he returned with a ball bearing race, the same one I had been looking at on the poster half an hour ago. He was obviously thinking the same as me - smart guy. I bought two of them then headed back into town to catch a bus back to the boat, stopping for a much needed haircut on the way.

If this is too much detail of what is after all a really ordinary day, sorry, but I had to justify my title somehow.

Back at the boat yard I have fitted the bearing and the windvane is ready to be refitted. But before I do this I need to polish the transom and affix the new name - same name of course, “Sylph VI”, but new letters.

Then I took the rather drastic measure of cutting the bottom off the windvane rudder. Now why I did this is rather a long story and seeing as we have talked enough about trivia (almost as bad as Facebook) for one day I will let you off for now and maybe explain this one another day.

Bought BC a new food bowl - couldn’t resist.


All is well.



Bob Cat:

Hrmph! What is this?



Mutton dressed as lamb? Hard tack in a funny shaped dish is still hard tack. Come to think of it I will take some mutton though a bit of lamb would be nice. Yes skipper, I know, in my dreams. Fair enough … zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz