The Old Sea Dog’s Gear Locker [46]

By Norm Sanders

Service Lives!

On his aforementioned Murray adventure, the OSD’s faithful Sweetwater Guardian water filter carked it. He wasn’t all that angry, because it had served him well for some 6 years. The pump shaft had broken. The OSD was reduced to drinking boiled Murray water for the rest of the trip (Dave Winkworth drinks it straight from the river, but what bacteria would be game to mix it with Dave?).

On returning to civilisation (i.e. Tuross Head), the OSD rang up Cascade Designs in Seattle, Washington, the firm which now produces the Guardian. He asked the nice young woman if it was possible to buy a new pump shaft, and added that the pump had given him long and faithful service and that he was certainly not complaining.

“No, no,” replied the woman. “What is your name and address? We’ll airmail you a new pump for free.”
And she did.

The OSD was so impressed that he e-mailed Cascade Designs with profuse thanks. He got a reply from the sales manager who said it was a pleasure to be of service.

“Service,” the OSD read through misty eyes. He could remember when service was almost routine, when people actually answered telephones, and there was no such thing as ‘Hold’. But that was long ago, in a galaxy far away …

Meanwhile, he strongly recommends Cascade Design gear. It hardly ever fails, and if it does, they actually DO something about it, for free!

Zip Lock Bags

When the zip lock plastic bag came along in the last century, the OSD was very happily looking forward to an easily resealable, sturdy, waterproof bag like the advertisers said. The bags lived up to most of the hoopla, but the OSD, and many other people, found them fiddly to seal.

While in the States 5 years ago, he discovered an excellent bag which actually had a little zipper on the top. Foolproof! He expected the bag to be quickly available in Australia, just like all those American TV shows which are polluting the minds of the nation’s youth. No such luck. It seems the Yanks only export the 2nd rate stuff. The best they save for themselves.

So the OSD has quietly been conducting his own research on the bags available in Oz. The winner is: Hercules – tough, waterproof, and easily sealed (though not quite as easily as the Yank gear).

Trouble is, they only seem to come in a fairly large size and are hard to find. Little Woolies, like in Moruya and Narooma, don’t have them. The OSD is forced to ride his oily Bonneville all the way to Batemans Bay to the BIG Woolies to get the real article.

Happy paddling, pumping and bagging.