Well, I know that I have written some blogs about Stuart and our other staff throughout the years, and of course lil’ Roger, but I don’t think that I have taken the time to really express that my husband, Chris, is a genius. Don’t tell him I told you that though! As other wives can attest, we may think these things all the time, but if we actually tell our husbands this there is a small chance it could go to their heads. And we wouldn’t want Chris to be thinking something like “Well, I am a genius, and since I can re-wire the electricity in the house, there is no need for me to put my coffee cup in the dishwasher!” or “Well, I am a genius, and since I can install a water pump and reverse osmosis system to save our water bill, I don’t need to sweep the front room.” So, don’t tell him.
The truth though, (and I think my dad said this to me) is that all of the training that Chris has had throughout his life seemed to be molding him into the perfect dive shop owner. Chris is a trained electrical/mechanical engineer, but he has had experience with and worked in other areas too; Hydraulics, pneumatics, and there is one involving the use of water, but I can’t think of the name of it. What this means is that he can do, fix, build, repair almost everything. Sometimes it is a little annoying…. I mean, isn’t there anything that he can’t do? Plus, when he accomplishes something monumental (like figuring out how to join a French pipe… which is some random size, to the pipework of the Dutch side pipes which are US sizes… this sounds easier than it is) he gets this little smug smile on his face, and says something like “Pretty good, huh? Not everyone could figure that out you know.” It is really cute actually.
It really never ceases to amaze me though, and I try not to let it become something that I take for granted. What it means for Octopus Diving is that when something goes wrong (which is pretty rare due to all the preventative maintenance that we do, but sometimes things just go wrong) Chris can fix it right away. It means that there isn’t any down time where we have to send people away and cancel due to mechanical problems.
“Chris, the port side engine on Octopussy is making a strange noise.”
“OK, let me listen.”
Then he jumps on the boat, starts the engine and kind of cocks his head to the side. He furrows his eyebrows together, just a little bit, and then he starts talking to himself.
“Well, it could be that. No… not that. I know… Wait! Oh no… hmmmm.”
Then he will turn the engine off, and then on, and then off, and then he will do a couple of things, probably put the engine in neutral and rev it or something. Then all of a sudden he will say “Got it! It’s blah blah blah blah. I need a spanner and some duct tape.”
(You can fill in blah blah blah blah with whatever you want to.) And he will fix it!
I will ask him what he heard, or what he was listening for, and he can’t always explain it. Sometimes I even expect him to taste the oil or something and then be able to diagnose whatever it is!
The best though is when there is some kind of problem that he needs to engineer out. For days he will be thinking about it trying to figure it out. Then I will be talking to him about something random, like how crazy it is that my French doctor here said that on average a pregnant woman should gain 8 kg (that is 17.6 lbs) and then all of a sudden he will say “Ahhh, that makes sense!”
“What, about the 8 kilos, that woman is crazy! I passed 8 kilos at like 6 months!”
“No! Not that, the thingymagiggy on the boat.” (Fill in some technical part for thingymagiggy.
It is pretty amazing. Also, other dive companies on the island call Chris up for help. Whether it is fixing their compressor, or a problem with their engines, or checking their air quality Chris can do it. He does too, he doesn’t just say “Well, you’re our competition, I’m not going to help you. It’s good for us if you can’t run your business.” Nope, he jumps in his car (soon to be the new OctoTruck, photos coming next week) and he takes time out of his day to help them out.
Anyway… that is about it for now. D day isn’t far now… we’ve only got about 3 weeks to go, but apparently the baby can arrive at any time!!! Scary!
Sally and her giant belly wrote this blog, in dungarees, which apparently is some kind of staple for the pregnant ladies wardrobe! 🙂