Sunday, November 16, 2014

Fear of Splicing

It is a very common human characteristic, fear of the unknown. Xenophobia, or fear of the unknown, is so common that according to Psychology Today, it is actually hardwired into our makeup. It is a survival tool, carried forward from generation to generation. After all, a dark cave can be dangerous. So too, can that dark space under the bed, especially when you are about 7 years old. Some have postulated that we humans have a need for control, and the unknown is so out of our control that we fear it. I think I am afraid of being xenophobic, so that means I have xenophobiaphobia. Some common fears: Fear of Flying- Aerophobia Fear of Public Speaking- Glossophobia Fear of Heights- Acrophobia Fear of the Dark- Nyctophobia Fear of Spiders- Arachnophobia Fear of Dogs- Cynophobia Believe it of not, there is fear of string and ropes, I must have Linonophobia! That's 5 cents please. All this gibberish is because I needed another line forward to the mooring ball to properly complete my Med Mooring setup. The first line was given to me, already complete with an eyesplice on it! The new one, well, I was on my own for that one. That is when my Linonophobia started to kick in. Who knows how to do this stuff? What if it fails, then I am really in bad shape. Can I really rely on this splice? Maybe we should just sell the boat now, while it is still intact. Finally, someone else that obviously also has Linonophobia, told me about a cool website that has animated descriptions of knots and splices. It shows you how to tie knots like a pro, and has a section on lots of different splices. Go to and check it out. I needed an eye splice on the mooring ball end of my line, so I looked it up. I was pretty confusing at first, but the website helps by coloring half of the lines blue. This helps identify things, and keeps the confusion factor down somewhat. I had a piece of sisal rope handy, and some blue tape, so I gave it a try. I got off track once, and had to back up for a minute. But, in the short time of about 2 hours, I was finished with my first ever splice! With my newfound bravado, I quickly moved on to the real McCoy, and it was way easier than splicing sisal. Sisal rope is really stiff, and the fibers shed a lot of flaky bits and it generally made a mess of the place. It turns out that sisal rope is made from the Agave plant, and so naturally it comes from Mexico. The nylon rope I used was totally synthetic, and made in a factory somewhere, and so naturally it comes from China. Anyway, it took about 45 minutes, and looks awesome. I then lowered the dingy and spent another hour and a half fighting the outboard to stay running. I finally gave up, and tried to row out. The dingy was a little low on air, and this made the act of rowing pretty hard. The dingy would distort where the oar locks were, and I really could not get any leverage on the water. Add in a nice 15 to 20 knot breeze, and let the cameras roll. I was two boats away in no time. Cussing ensued. Sorry to anyone around that day that has Profaneophobia, fear of curse words. I finally pulled and pushed my way back upwind, and hooked the line up. Now we are all good with mooring lines, I forgot to take a picture of the splice, and I will. As soon as I finish the next project... rebuilding a carburetor for a dingy motor. I don't think I have Linonophobia any more. Just plain old Xenophobia, which means I am normal. Yes it does. It does too!