Thursday, August 23, 2007

Our Rickety Old Boarding Ladder

Back home in Chicago, we have one of those four-step fiberglass staircases that weighs about 1000 pounds, stays faithfully on the dock even during a hurricane, and lets us easily climb from the floating dock up to the aft deck of Meridian. Unfortunately, we couldn't take that along with us on this trip. We don't have the crane (or the union card) needed to lower it over the side.

So this spring Phil dusted off the cobwebs from the ancient boarding ladder that came with Meridian, refinished the wooden parts, replaced rusty nuts and bolts, and polished up the metal tubing.

If only he could make it look and feel

You see, although we intuitively know it's safe, it just seems, well, really
rickety. And to make matters worse, it's crooked. It's also kind of bouncy, giving way slightly, then springing back, every time you step on one of the rungs.

We've sometimes had second thoughts about not bringing along the 1000 lb stairwell. Or maybe we could just buy a new one? Nah.

Here are a couple of photos to let you know what we're faced with when having to climb up or down the thing.

Believe it or not, neither photo really does the "ricketyness" justice. And it really is placed in the brackets correctly.

Because of the condition of that ladder, Phil gets really nervous seeing Bernie climb down it. Mind you, he's perfectly ok with using it himself, he just doesn't like seeing her do it.

And she's the same with him.

Neither of us would let the other one go down unattended. And for two stubborn, strong-willed people, well, that's just an invitation to rebel against unfair authority figures showing lack of respect for (or even acknowledgment of) basic motor skills. Basically, we view each other as tyrants . . . "what do you mean I can't leave the boat without you standing by to help? Who gives you the right to . . . ?"

So, one day at a thankfully-rare port where we had to use the darn thing, Phil set off on a photo exhibition. And, of course, that included taking pictures of Meridian from afar.

He laughed really hard when he saw this . . .

We're much more comfortable with that ladder nowadays. We still don't completely trust it. But more comfortable.


By the way, due to overwhelming demand from our huge audience of loyal readers, we're starting to add some more Inept Boater posts. They're mostly stories with no photos, making them much easier to post when connectivity is slow.


Terzetto said...

Please update the third picture so we can see what makes Phil laugh.

Great Lakes Cruising said...

Hopefully it's been updated. We can see it . . . that's Bernie sneaking off the boat by climbing down the ladder the first time Phil is away!

snowiscool said...

Nope, still can't see the pictures.