Captain’s Log: Stories of Mold Untold (Part 1 of 3)
If you are a boat owner, you know that your boat is like your child. You fuel it, store it, and you love to spend time with it on the weekends. But did you know your boat can get sick and (worse yet) it can make you sick? It may not need to have its tonsils out, and it may not give you leprosy, but boats can develop severe mold problems that could cause some pretty nasty respiratory and lung infections in people who frequent the vessel. Following is a story from the captain’s log. May it inspire all boat owners to call a certified mold removal company in the horrific event they detect spores while offshore.
Barnaby Bigsby inherited the Tiara 4500 Sovran from his deceased Uncle “Old Slappy”, an apricot jam manufacturer who ran a charter for Miami tourists as a side-project. Old Slappy’s death was a complete mystery. His boat, The Bashful Showgirl, was spotted by the U.S. Coast Guard drifting towards Cuba with Old Slappy laying face down on the deck as dead as a doornail.
Barnaby just got back from identifying his uncle at the morgue and was, more or less, handed the deed to the boat by Slappy’s lawyer as soon as he uttered, “that’s him”.
“She’s all yours”, the lawyer told him with a parting handshake. As Barnaby walked away he turned and gave one last look at Old Slappy who was now re-covered with the sheet. One bare foot poked out from the sheet with a socked foot alongside it.
Barnaby went to the Marina office and found a pretty young man behind the counter delicately plucking his eyebrows with a primping tool. He looked up at Barnaby briefly, and went back to his grooming routine.
“Excuse me sir”, Barnaby said rather awkwardly, “I’m looking for my uncle’s…I mean…my new boat”.
“Name”, the pretty man said while plucking a hair above his eye.
“That’s a silly name for a boat”, the man said still not looking up from his desktop grooming mirror.
“Oh no, that’s my name. The boat’s name is The Bashful Showgirl”.
The young man dropped his tweezers and seemed rather taken back. He even looked a bit disturbed.
“The Bashful Showgirl is your boat now”?
“Yes. My uncle left it to me. What slip is it in”?
The young man handed Barnaby a key with the number 0755 written on the keychain.
“You know, the young man said, “Old Slappy had me call a Miami water damage company and make an appointment to have them come out to The Bashful Showgirl. He never specified why, but simply asked that I give them a key and instruct them to find the green book in the wheel room. They are supposed to come out tomorrow at noon. Shall I call and cancel”?
“Uhm. No. I’ll do it. Thanks”.
Barnaby took the key and followed the sign indicating slips 0750-0795 until he finally found slip number 0755. There, floating gently with the sun gleaming off its fiberglass core rested The Bashful Showgirl. Not a spot of seagull excrement nor a single spec of dried salt could be detected.
The Green Book
Barnaby cautiously entered The Bashful Showgirl, not knowing quite what to expect. There was an unsettling odor, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Old Slappy’s personal belongings were still on board and everything seemed to be in its place. There was a case of beer, a program from a Miami Dolphins game, and a lone dirty sock sitting on the floor by the boat wheel that was likely the partner to the one Old Slappy was still wearing on his way to the After Life. But there, sitting on the counter, was a green book. Barnaby picked it up and skipped through the pages; it appeared to be a diary of sorts. Barnaby found the last entry recorded two days ago by his uncle. It said the following:
Captain’s Log # 82
I know now that the spores will be the death of me. I survived 25 years in the Navy, six hurricanes, four wives and now this thing in the boat is going to claim my life. I should have called (305) 280-0755 days ago, and agreed to allow their same day, 24/7 services. But as a seafaring man, I can’t let someone invade The Bashful Lady unless I know I have first done everything in my power to satisfy her integrity. My pride has put a dagger in my heart. I fear tomorrow will come one day too late.
Barnaby sat the book down and Googled the phone number. It was registered to a Miami-based restoration company that advertised a free inspection for pipe bursts, mold, fire damage and sewage backup. Barnaby took the slip key from his pocket and confirmed his recollection; the slip number 0755 was also the last four digits of the phone number.
“What’s going on here”, Barnaby whispered. Just then a whale cry could be heard in the distance. But it was suddenly silenced by the blood-curdling screams of a flock of seagulls, picking one of their own kind to death with ravenous beaks.
(To be continued)