by Howell Cooper, s/v Why Knot
All boaters, but especially sailors have a bit of a problem yet to be completely defined. Perhaps it is something we all accept, especially cruisers “out there” for extended periods of time. After much study, and more than a few recent incidents, I have actually determined the problem to be a Troll.
I speak of that little dirt bag that has a secret locker, known only to himself, in which he retreats with that item you just laid down whilst working on a project. He does take some pity on the crew in times of peril, but he is merciless at the dock. More to the point, he is merciless to the male in the crew.
I am not sure if he challenges the younger sailors quite a much as those of us who fit into the tastier crowd, those of us who, from time to time, may have an adult beverage whilst repairing some tedious little gizmo deep in a locker through which we know we can make only one attempt before the knees or back locks up. You know the locker; we all have at least one where you get one shot and one shot only to attach the dooderflaam to the quirkwhirler. You have deftly staged the former on a ledge you can only reach one time. You take a break, have some water, wipe your brow and dive in only to find the item in question has been stolen by --- Little Prick, the Troll. That’s what our Troll is called. He scurries around at the speed of light hiding stuff you saw not two minutes ago. I have decided that Little Prick came with the boat, ensconced in a locker he built somewhere just after the boat wrights took off one afternoon. He is a clever Little Prick. Even they did not know the location of the lair.
I am equally convinced Little Prick likes to work on the frustration quotient by occasionally leaving the item where my mate can find it easily. I just looked there, says I. You must be blind, says she when she hands the part to me. I can look for hours for a tool and she can find it on one pass through the cabin. Little Prick waits until I pass then pops out of one of his passageways with an invisible trap door at the speed of blink to leave the part before my mate. I am sure he does this at the speed of blink so that my mate does not see him do it. She thinks I have lost my mind.
Little Prick is a menace and I suspect he is part of a greater conspiracy to get us. If I ever catch him, I will force him through my Baja filter then throw him in the diesel tank for further processing. Only then, will I truly be the master of Why Knot.