Monday, March 12, 2012

Crosby is Dead

He did a good job, maybe too good at times. Frozen beers were not funny, but his frigid personality made him easy to ignore. We appreciated the fact that he was inactive most of the day, and was relatively quiet with a cool demeanor.  Things were fine until we left the dock for any length of time. Away from the dock more than 8 hours, his coolness left him and pure evil came forth.  Unable to get the power he craves, he would lash out by sucking the energy right out of the boat. There was no restraining Crosby. We put up with this for a while, thinking maybe we could make some adjustments, and reduce his consumption, but the cruise to the islands was the last straw. Draining us of all energy, forcing us to drink warm beer was about all we could take, and Sunday I made up my mind. I had to KILL CROSBY!

He put up quite a fight, but in the end it was man over machine. 

Crosby is dead. Long live Crosby! For $50 you can resurrect him.
The killing went something like this:
Removing the plates required releasing some of the refrigerant (R-409A). I opened a fitting a little bit to start a small leak, and a big hole, in the ozone layer above Sodus Bay. With the hissing stopped, I proceeded to disconnect the plates. Tough going at this point, as the fittings would not budge. I used a wrench and a hammer and banged away at the damn things until they broke. Having loosened a fitting, as indicated by the wrench slipping free and falling into the bottom of the fridge, I tried to turn it by hand, putting a sliver in my palm which was created by the wrench slipping off the nut. Pulling my hand back, I knocked the shop light off the counter, plunging the boat into darkness. The tarp is still on. Crap.

I finally got all the fittings off, and started to remove the screws holding up the plates. Bottom screws first, then the top while holding on to the plate.
Down to the bottom of the fridge that plate went. Holy smokes are they heavy! I had no idea, well maybe a little idea, but shit damn how am I going to lift that out of there? I was now on my stomach across the counter and trying to reach down to lift up the plate.

Yes, I put the camera on timer to take a photo of myself. I thought you needed a visual..

 I stuck my shoulders in and put my head down and got my hands around the damn plate and then it hit me. It was like someone put a glue sniffing bag over my head! ALL the refrigerant went to the bottom of the fridge, and accumulated there, waiting for me to dip my big head in it.

I dropped the plate (2nd time) and got myself out of the hole, which was not an easy task, and outside to some fresh air. The stars were very sparkly for the middle of the day. I decided to sit on the dock (climbing down a ladder was not too brilliant) by the water (again, dumb) and take a break. I thought refrigerant was lighter than air. WTF. After a few minutes, I felt better, and was now completely pissed off at the Crosby.

I tied a line around the fallen plate and pulled the damn thing out, then got to the screws of the last plate. After the second screw on the bottom of the plate came off I went to remove the top two, but there were none. Looks like another single screw on the bottom was holding the damn thing up, and it looked like a friggin deck screw, and was ground out from an undersized bit from a drill. Bastards!

I got this screw about halfway out when the weight of the plate bent it downward, and there was no way a screw driver was going to work. Stinking Bastards!!! Time for the hacksaw blade, and just when I thought it should be about through, it broke and the second plate fell into the R-409A pool. This time I held my breath and got a lasso around it and yanked it free. I took these heavy monsters down the ladder, and snagged the compressor too. It was a little dicey on the ladder, but I managed to rid ourselves of the Crosby once and for all.

Turns out R-409A is heavier than air, and is low ozone killing. Side affects from inhalation include dizziness, feeling light headed, and heart palpitations. I have to admit that I experienced all three, the third being kind of scary. Doing this alone, and near the water with no one around was pretty stupid. About as stupid as putting a car engine fire out with windshield washer fluid, but that's another story.

It was time for a cold one, but this time I let nature do all the cooling.

No, I did not drink them all.
So, all in all it was a successful day in March. This never happens, as we're usually fighting cold temps and some lingering flurries at this time, but I'll take it :)


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