Sunday, January 9, 2011

When I was younger, I like reading about Greek Mythology.  All those tragic heroes were interesting to me.  I often wondered how those folks managed to get themselves into so much trouble and why the punishment for their infractions was so swift and severe.

My favorite character was Sisyphus.  Sisyphus was a bad dude.  His crimes included murder, incest, avarice and deceitfulness.  Interestingly enough however was that his eventual punishment was for hubris against the gods and not for the other awful things he did.  The thing that most people remember about Sisyphus however was his punishment.  For eternity, he was sentenced to roll a huge rock up to the top of a mountain, only to have it roll back to the bottom before he could ever complete his task.  Talk about your exercises in futility!

In some ways, I think that Poseidon, the god of the seas, is looking down on us from the Pantheon, delivering his own brand of 21st. century discipline to boat owners around the globe.  What is that punishment you ask?

Any boat owner can tell you without missing a beat that the punishment I speak of is cleaning.  Like Sisyphus, we have been relegated to spend the better part of whatever 'boating years' we have to scrubbing, polishing and shining our ships.  It never ends.  Once we have gotten the boat all spiffed up, the process starts over again.  Round and round the hull we go,  endlessly removing dirt and grime and salt and filth.  

To add insult to injury, Poseidon has hackled us with no ordinary dirt.  No, the scum that we must deal with won't come off with ordinary soap and soft rags.  The super race of mold and mildew boaters face is unlike that of mere mortals.  It is industrial strength.

A few weeks ago, Kim decided to tackle a job that we have both been dreading.  It seems that our fenders have seen better days and the time had come to bring them back to new life.  I don't know exactly what had overtaken their once resplendent luster, but the fenders were now stained in an ugly gray brown hue that refused to come off.

We tried every cleaner, polish and soap known to man.  We had Comet, SOS pads and even steel wool at work on these bad boys at one point.  After several hours on just one fender, Kim achieved moderate success.  However, the price was high and her determination was low.  We still had three or four more to go and I could see the energy waning from her soul.

Ah, Sisyphus.  How did you survive?

An hour or so later, I noticed Kim on the computer.  She was busy looking up prices for new fenders.  A few clicks of the mouse later, she was free from the bondage of fender duty as four new fenders were on their way to us.  I can't say that I blame her.  Those fenders were nasty.  This isn't something that we would normally do, nonetheless, it did feel good to drop the old guys in the dumpster.  It felt like we were cheating the gods.

Then I remembered back to my friend Sisyphus.  His punishment was for hubris.

I can't imagine what Poseidon has in store for us now.


  1. You only have so much time to relax and enjoy the seven seas. Why spend it cleaning fenders unless you can dip them in acid or something else to get the crud off? Enjoy your next adventure!

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