Sunday, January 20th, 2013
As noted, the plan yesterday was to go sailing with my friend Captain Nick, a man of mystery who grew up with me in the woods of Maine and now makes his home here in L.A.
The sailing part went off without a hitch, but the 500 Benz decided to throw a CEL (check-engine light) en route from Hollywood to Captain Nick's fine vessel in Marina Del Rey—so let's take a deep dive into both topics.
And if you don't give a hoot, you can jump straight to the sailing.
Here's the story: I noticed a ticking noise coming from behind the driver-side headlight a few days ago, some under-hood tinkering ensued, and in the process I think a hose came loose that's involved with the emissions system somehow. The part that the hose connects to is colloquially known as the "fuel purge valve," which would explain why the CEL was accompanied by blinking lights over in the fuel gauge—the manual says that those lights blink to indicate that the CEL was caused by a fuel-related issue. The purge valve plays a role in preparing exhaust emissions, so if you follow my logic, you'll understand why I'm not expecting any big surprises when I stop by my mechanic's garage for a definitive diagnosis tomorrow morning.
Actually, how about this instead: here's a quick video that shows all the lights and also gives you a little taste of the stock Bose stereo's ridiculous-for-1998 power and clarity. Turn up your volume.
I shot this on my iPhone—with the top down, no less—while that song happened to be playing. Not bad.
Name that song in the comments, by the way, and I'll send you a coupon for one free ride in the 500 Benz next time you're in town.
Okay, so that covers the CEL situation.
I'll begin by expressing my deepest gratitude to the heavens for a place where you can go sailing in 80-degree weather on January 19th and see snow-capped mountains off in the distance. L.A.'s probably not alone here, but it's gotta be a short list.
We weren't the only ones who thought this was a good idea.
Nick brought a couple friends from work. There were four dudes in total, and we were on a boat. Cheers to that.
Using the latest technology, Captain Nick arranged a meeting on the high seas with an acquaintance and fellow captain named Rick Ross. No, not that Rick Ross; the original Rick Ross.
After some initial failures to communicate, Captain Rick caught up with us close to the Venice Pier and tied his boat to ours
Rick Ross made a good call with that hat. It was hot out there.
Then Captain Nick decided to go for a swim.
No turning back.
There he goes...
Glad it wasn't me...
That looks cold.
The audience was impressed.
So was Captain Nick.
It was so clear that we could see the Hollywood sign. That's like 15 miles away.
Beautiful sun on the way back in.
Somewhere the 500 Benz was smiling, CEL and all.
Welcome, new Benzito!
No. Spam. Ever.