Now I am a sad and lonely figure in the boat yard; the only one laying on his back under the keel wallowing in mud and dog spoor and wondering why I always get it wrong. I start out with good intentions, to jump in and get it done and have the boat ready to splash in order to have a full yachting season, but then plans founder.
Of course, it doesn’t help that I have to work for a living or the fact the every time I bend to apply paint, my knees crack so loudly that folks on nearby boats think their masts have snapped.
I did try to speed things up by arriving early at the yard and, instead of breaking for lunch, taking a sandwich in a box. That was until I put the sandwich down in a pool of paint without realizing and the resulting bite almost finished me off, especially when I read on the tin that chemicals in the paint were known to do weird things to rats in California.
I’m not above a little blarney, though, and continue to post pictures on Facebook and Twitter of me yachting in the Caribbean sunshine, rum drink in hand, wind in my hair and wife on the tiller in her bikini. Who’s to know that the photos were taken last year … and it beats pictures of me with bloody elbows lying in the spoor.
There is one boat owner in the yard who seems to be having a rougher time than me. For the last four years he’s been on his way to New Zealand and so far has only made it across the lagoon. He told me he’s now fixing things he installed four years ago for his trip and it’s kind of ‘holding him back’.
As I write this, we are getting closer to launching. We bought the antifouling; it was so expensive that it was a toss up between that and a new condo. We do love the boat but perhaps this year we’ll leave it where it is, on the hard, and instead of sailing spend our weekend’s camping next to it admiring the bottom paint.