Sunday, April 17, 2016

Getting in the Water Again, Again

Last week, the marina Travelift parked around Papillon. The operators adjusted the straps, picked up the boat and drove her to the water's edge. We climbed aboard and were lowered into the murky Brisbane River. And once we splashed down, Erik and I inspected the boat.

We found four leaks.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Fashion Victim

On Saturday, Erik and I went out to dinner with friends. As we sat there, sipping wine and nibbling olives, I realized that this might be the last grown-up date we manage until 2017. The last Uber ride. The last excellent meal. The last time my good clothes escape from the vacuum-sealed prison of a Space Bag.

Cruisers aren't known for their fashion sense. As a group, our sartorial choices are less "haute couture" than "derelicte". But we're out there rocking the hobo chic with good reason. The sun and salt combo is hard on clothing. Lying on top on the engine to tinker with a cranky alternator is even harder. And if you want to wash your clothes? Find yourself a bucket, haul up some saltwater and have at 'er. If you're lucky, you can spare a little fresh water to rinse out your unmentionables. But usually it's bathing suit time until you hit the next laundromat. And that means that clothes suffer.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Back in the Saddle Again

Ahh, boat life. Protecting consumables from invading rats. Gently cooking from the 40 C heat at eight in the morning. Savouring the bouquet of freshly-cut sewage hoses  In short: an elegant plane of existence where one faces the eternal question: zen or madness?

I returned to the boat full of optimism. We would finish off a few critical jobs, get back in the water, finish more critical jobs, and set out for parts as-yet unexplored. Easy peasy.

Of course, I'd forgotten a few things. First, Erik had been aboard, unsupervised, for six weeks. To be clear: Erik is handy. Goodness knows the man can fix anything, and fix it well. But the dark side of this trait is that he wants to fix everything, and fix it to perfection. And so I walked into a construction site. No seat cushions, no floorboards. Just a disassembled cockpit, new runs of wiring, coils of replacement hoses, and shiny boxes of taps and chartplotters and who knows what else. And a 20-foot container full of all of our possessions.