One early afternoon I was strolling through the Playa de Oro RV Resort after having refreshments and a conversation with Sammy the Parrot at The Pit. I stopped to admire a good-sized boat owned by Mike Welland of Glendale. He had a nice set-up with his RV and all the trimmings.


MIKE: Cap’n Greg, do you know anything about boat engines?

CAP’N GREG: What’s the problem?

MIKE: Last time I took the boat out, I had a weak stream.

CAP’N GREG: Sounds like you need an urologist instead of a boat mechanic.

MIKE: No, a weak stream of water from the back of the outboard.

CAP’N GREG: Probably your water pump impeller, Mike. That’s the rubber, star-shaped thing that brings water up the lower unit to the engine head to keep it cool. Last thing you need is an overheated engine out on the salt.

MIKE: You got time to help me change it?


MIKE: I have a 12-pack in the cooler.

CAP’N GREG: Put the shifter in neutral, and we’ll have this done in no time.

MIKE: You’ve changed one of these before?

CAP’N GREG: Yup, it’s an easy job if you have the parts.

MIKE: Parts?

CAP’N GREG: The impeller and gaskets, some grease for the shaft.

MIKE: Can I get those things here?

CAP’N GREG: I’ll show you. (A half hour later we were back at Playa de Oro, and soon after that the outboard had a new impeller.)

MIKE: It’s good to know I can buy original equipment engine parts in Rocky Point.

CAP’N GREG: Several places have a nice selection.

MIKE: I was amazed the guy had his inventory on a computer. Of course, he had to shoo a chicken off his keyboard, but still…

CAP’N GREG: A lot of people see a country with cobbled together plumbing and wiring and they think it is also technologically challenged. That’s not necessarily the case.

MIKE: I gotta admit there are some vehicles on the streets that are engineering marvels.

CAP’N GREG: Like the car we saw with no windows, one door, four spare tires and it still runs?

MIKE: Ha! Speaking of running, I promised my daughter I’d run her and her sisters out to Bird Island in my boat. You want to come along?

CAP’N GREG: Her step-sisters? I wouldn’t want to get in the way of little kids having fun.

MIKE: No, they’re my daughter’s sorority sisters. From ASU.

CAP’N GREG: Then count me in, Mike. I’ve always been a supporter of higher education.