Amy: Girls, they are going to be here in half an hour. I need you to tidy up the cockpit.
Amy: Those people… Dave’s friends. Like we talked about at breakfast? It doesn’t matter. Just tidy up.
Indy & Stylish: Okay, Mom.
Papillon: Hee hee hee.
Amy: Why are you laughing? Let’s see, I need to cut up some baguette–
Papillon: I have a surprise for you.
Amy: What? No. No surprises. I have an unknown quantity of Kiwis arriving in thirty minutes. I have to finish getting ready.
Amy: What is that dripping noise?
Amy: Girls! I need to take the companionway stairs off. Don’t come down this… girls?
[Looks outside. The girls are playing with friends on the dock.]
Amy: Stylish and Indy! Get this cockpit tidied! And don’t come down the… never mind.
[Puts in boards to avoid a fall. Removes stairs. Removes floorboard. Locates drip with a flashlight.]
Amy: Why is it dripping there? The water isn’t running. The sump pump is off. Everything is off.
[Removes two more floorboards. Sticks head into bilge.]
Amy: Okay, it is coming from somewhere forward on the port side. Hmm. I did laundry earlier; maybe the hose leaked.
[Checks laundry locker. Dry as a bone.]
Amy: Let’s try the galley.
[Removes galley floorboard. A small river is running aft.]
Amy. Aha. By which I mean, unprintable.
[Looks at the salon. Removing the port side floorboard necessitates removing two other floorboards first and judicious use of a shim.]
[Runs aft. Empties out the locker under the navigation desk. Opens seacock. Changes bilge valves to forward bilge. Turns on bilge.]
Amy: Those floorboards were almost floating!
Papillon: Tee hee! I told you I had a fun surprise! Watch your toes – you’re right beside the bilge pump.
Amy: So what is leaking?
Papillon: Uh uh! That would be telling.
[Glances at the clock. Guests are due in five minutes.]
Amy: Unprintabley unprintable.
Papillon: Tsk, tsk. Your kids are going to pick up that language, you know.
Amy: Quiet, you.
[Bilge pump finishes. Turns off switch. Sticks head down forward bilge.]
Amy: Well, wherever it is, it is a slow leak. Nothing is rushing in. I can leave this for an hour.
Papillon: Can you?
Amy: Yes, I unprintably well can!
Papillon: Ha ha ha! We’ll see! You can’t ignore me for lo-ong!
[Replaces companionway stairs.]
Indy: Mom, some people are here. Why are the floorboards up?
[Enters the cockpit. Notices the girls have 'tidied' by shoving everything in a corner. Picks up the mess and throws it down the back hatch.]
Amy: [Smoothing hair and emerging on deck] Hello! Welcome. Sorry about that. I’ve just been dealing with a small leak.
[Guests look nervously at one another. Amy notices how very clean they all look.]
Amy: But don’t let that stop you! Ha ha! Please, come in.
[Guests settle in the cockpit. Amy gets drinks and snacks, while keeping up witty banter.]
Amy: …Oh, no. Leaks and mechanical issues happen all the time on a boat. It’s nothing to worry about.
Amy: …Our worst injury? I suppose when Erik had to stitch up Indy’s eyebrow. What happened was…
Amy: …No, it’s quite safe. Well, yes, I did have a thief aboard a couple of months ago. I woke up…
Amy: …Sure I get seasick, but it only lasts for the first four days…
Amy: …Actually,we’ve had lots of people stay aboard. Of course, we usually have floor down. Ha ha ha!
[Guests polish off their beers and escape. Amy pauses to contemplate that she has just convinced six nice people that cruising is only for the certifiably insane.]
Papillon: Oh Aaaaa-myyyyyyyy!
Papillon: You haven’t found my leak yet.
Amy: Don’t worry, you’re next on my list.
Papillon: I can make some more surprises if you like. You didn’t have any plans for tomorrow, did you?
Amy: Only with you, baby. Only with you.
This article was syndicated from Sailing Papillon