Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Lunch Break Post - Salty Types, Sea Life & Sea Level!

Busy day, thought I'd take a quick break here over lunch & post a couple of "what I did with my weekend" pictures - obviously, I paddled on Sunday - ended up taking a few pictures in addition to Pier 64 - here's one I kind of liked - I call it -

Empire State Building with Seagull (Unimpressed)

Saturday was interesting too -

I found out that Richard & his friend Ignace were going to be remounting the engine in the Rosemary Ruth & then attempting to align it - well, I'd never seen that done, and it's not just every day I hear about a boat needing that done, so I figured I'd go watch. I helped out a little - it's really a two-person job, mostly - but it was interesting seeing how it was done. The thing is, you've got this 500 pound engine, and it has to line up with the propeller shaft perfectly for it to work - but all the adjusting has to happen on the thing that weighs 500 pounds (the picture above was right at the start of the process & the engine is actually suspended with that whole block & tackle/comealong setup you see there)because the propeller shaft comes into the boat through a hole through the hull. This is of course under the waterline, which presents an interesting problem. The solution to that problem is usually a stuffing box - the idea is that the shaft passes through a number of rings that are in close enough contact with the shaft to form a watertight seal. The shaft, though, absolutely positively has to pass through those in a certain way - so you can't move that at all. Instead, the engine sits on these little (but strong) adjustible feet -

The nuts allow the engine to be raised or lowered, while the hole in the base that's shaped like a very short arc allows it to slide back and forth. Not a whole lot - but Richard said that the alignment had to be precise to within 3/1000s of an inch (there's a little device called a "feeler gauge" that lets you judge that, I wish I could have gotten a shot of Ignace using it but that would've involved getting to the other side of the engine - I had this vision of falling over it & putting things back to square 1. As it was, we didn't get there - y'know that 3/1000s of an inch business? Well, a layer of fresh paint, such as Richard had given the bases of the engine mounts (the proper name for the "feet") is enough to screw things up when you're talking measurements like that. But I enjoyed observing.

Now, links, quick, then I must get back to work -

1. SeaLevel's back at least for a day! Please go say "Hello", he & Hinemoa have been having a long winter.

2. The seals are back! They've been turning up down at Swinburne & Hoffman Islands for the last few of years, with occasional sightings up as far as the North River area (North River is the old-timey name for the Hudson along Manhattan, so called 'cause that's the river you take if you want to go north...) - the New York Times had an excellent article yesterday, registration is required but it's a good read - you can find that here.

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