So there I was, shuddering and sweating in pure agony, trying not to move and swearing like sailor, despite the proximity of my 7 year old son…
How did I end up like this?
I’m glad you asked…
Our engine exhaust goes into a water trap, then up through an expansion chamber above the water line with an anti siphon valve, then down to a tee piece, where it splits in two. One pipe leading to port, the other to starboard. They exit the hull just above the water line, through nice bronze fittings with flap valves fitted. These fittings are through bolted with stainless bolts, and there’s a plywood pad inside to act as a bearer for the washers and nuts.
Problem is the plywood is some scummy bit of non-marine ply stuff. It’s gone all soft and fibrous, and it could be hiding rot underneath in the planking. It’s got to come out.
The problem is, it’s way up the back of the engine space, and there isn’t much room for a big chap like me…
So I had contorted myself into position, my legs crunched and twisted up under me, undoing nuts a 6th of a turn at a time, when I felt the ominous twinge of a cramp building in my left calf.
I can’t move; if I jerk, I’m going to damage the engine wiring. The pain was getting intense… Then my right thigh cramped as well, bang, just like that!
The pain of the leg cramps was horrible, and I could do nothing but sit there and ride it out… It went for about 7 or 8 minutes and I felt absolutely exhausted when it was over.
It was all I could do to squeeze, stagger and gasp my way out of the engine and stand up, finally, to stretch.
I have to go back in tomorrow, and finish the job off; I’m not looking forward to it.