At the moment, our boat G-String is on a mooring loaned to us by AMCON. Her starboard side is holed in several places, the rudder is smashed and the rig is gone, as is the stern gantry and three stanchions. The starboard toe-rail looks as if someone has taken a sledgehammer to it. Why she didn’t sink is a mystery as there is a seven inch gash in the hull below the waterline. Remarkably, when she freed herself of whatever it was that pierced the hull, the fiberglass sprang back into place forming a slight overlap that effectively sealed the hole leaving only a tiny weep.
Looking at the boat breaks our hearts as Jan and I spent hundreds of hours painting and re-rigging the mast, changing the interior and adding little luxuries. We even made plans to go sailing. Yet we know we are lucky as some people lost everything.
What are you going to do with the boat? is a question I am asked on a daily basis.
There are times when I spring out of bed and say: “We are going to fix the boat! We can do this.” Then there are times when the tasks seem too daunting, overwhelming, beyond possibility …
Visiting the boat is a painful ritual. I look at the damage, which I know how to fix, and think yes, we really can do this. At other times, when I sit below and remember how once she looked it is hard not to hang my head in despair. Then my eyes seek the boat and floating home that is a pulverized wreck opposite where G-String now floats and I am touched with guilt.
Friends have been wonderful, dragging us out of self-pity by offering help and advice and doing their best to keep us positive. The same goes for people I barely know, and, even more heartwarming, from people with whom I haven’t seen eye-to-eye in the past.
So much positive energy coming our way is wonderful yet, in a perverse way, it has made it more difficult to reach a decision as to the future of our battered boat.
As I write this, in the cloud and gloom of another tropical wave, the sun breaks through and floods the room with light.
In the distance, the rays reflect on the twisted steel of the boat’s gantry and sparkle on the sea beyond …
I walk to the kitchen for more coffee, think again about the sun’s rays …
the decision is made.
Mast for a 30ft boat