Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Prodigal Screen

Some two years ago, I wrote in our ship's log that we lost Kokomo's port side window screen overboard while trying to put it on while on the water and after dark (lesson learned!). After some research, we ended up contacting the Canadian company who manufactured the custom screens for Rosborough boats, and found it was $80 + international shipping, or about $115 total. I was hesitant to pay that, though I knew that before we went back to the PNW, we'd have to do something about the screen. The bugs are plentiful there!

Thus my wife and I went back to that cove at Craig's Saddle regularly, slowing down to a 'putt' and searching for the missing screen. We knew the chances that we'd find it were slim, but I'd estimate 7 or 8 searches, in our 21' ski boat and on Kokomo, were spent with hopes that the lake (Lake Oroville, Oroville, CA) would receed to the point that we'd be able to see and retrieve our screen.

Then, in August, we were escorting a group of sailboats and kayaks from Chico Yacht Club, which we've since joined, and were passing by the cove where we'd lost the screen. Almost as an afterthought, I switched the autopilot off and steered into the cove for another search.

We got down to idle speed and trained our eyes on the rocky coastline. About 5 minutes into the search, I said to Lee, "Look, is that it?", and pointed to an item just above the waterline. Sure enough, it was Kokomo's long lost (and expensive) screen, exposed only the night before as the lake (a reservoir) let another 2' of water flow through the dam and down the Feather River. Lee Ann went for swim and I kept the boat close and before we knew it, we had the screen back aboard.

You'd think that two years of submersion would at least require re-screening, if not having ruined the screen frame completely. But the custom screen was probably worth what they charge for it, because with a little washing away of sand and wiping the mesh down, the screen (finish included!) was in the same condition it was when we'd inadvertently dropped it in the lake! Boy, we're happy to have it back.

San Quentin Prison

San Quentin Prison
One of the more 'captivating' sites along the Corte Madera channel . Rowers from Corte Madera are practicing in the foreground.