Patience and the Un-virtuous Woman

They say patience is a virtue. When they were handing out patience, I was evidently at the end of the line or missed the memo because I am one of the most impatient people I know. When you know something about yourself, you should be able to fix it; but for the past six decades, I've not succeeded. I can wait for a weather window and not complain much. I can wait in a doctor's office and read the year-old magazines without too much grimacing. Waiting in a check-out line at the supermarket starts my stomach churning. This nasty trait is most evident, however, when we're hunting for boat parts. Arriving in a new port or a new country always has its challenges. You have to figure out where everything is … supermarket, laundry, pharmacy and invariably, boat parts. Sometimes there's a language issue, but they speak a passable kind of English here in Australia, so that wasn't an issue. Sometimes it's the metric versus non-metric threads on a bolt or screw; but no, that wasn't the issue here. Sometimes there's a chandlery at the marina like there is here at Oyster Cove, but we've found they rarely have the parts we need, as is the case here. No, what we need isn't a common, off-the-shelf item. It never is. And so we'll have to hunt for it.

There's a process to be followed here. First, you ask at the chandlery on the outside chance they'll have it. The answer is usually “no”. Perhaps they can order it...maybe a week for it to arrive at three times the expected cost. We'll pass on that option. Next, you ask around. You ask the person at the chandlery and the folks in the marina office and other boat owners you see on the pier. They'll each supply a different answer. Without a car, the scavenger hunt becomes even more challenging. Sometimes this involves miles of walking or taking a bus, but not today.

The objects of our search du jour were hydraulic hose fittings. David had the hoses, but he needed specific fittings to connect them to the hydraulic steering system. We borrowed a car since there were no hydraulic hose options in our little town of Kettering. Several folks recommended Kingston town, only 20 minutes away, as a sure place to find what we needed. The usual scenario played out. It goes something like this: The fellow in the marina told us with confidence that Nubco in Kingston had hydraulic fittings. Well, they don't; but the fellow at Nubco said Mal's Hire in downtown Kingston had them. We drove there. They do not have hydraulic fittings...never did, never will. He recommended a place in Hobart which was the original thought, but we were hoping to avoid the ride into the city. In the meantime, over an hour of our “borrowed car” time had elapsed and we were empty-handed in the hose fitting department.

Now midst this driving around on a wild goose chase, I was in a bit of a snit. Truth be told, I was pouting actually. I had planned a day of errands and some shopping, and instead I was spending the day riding around in industrial areas of a lovely seaside port city, looking for hydraulic hose fittings which I could not have cared less about. When the hydraulic steering goes out and I'm at the helm, I'll care; but today, I couldn't have cared less. I sighed rather loudly innumerable times. You know that sigh with the accompanying disgusted look and click of the tongue that we impatient people have perfected? David has the patience of a saint thankfully. He acknowledged the snit, ignored it and hoped it would go away. It didn't.

We finally found what we needed and managed to get a few errands done, too. He thinks it might be better if he went looking for boat parts himself next time. Can't understand why.