Nightmares and rainbows

An ode to the prospect of a new boating season, by the Grand Mariner

There are nightmares and pitfalls everywhere in the boatyard at this time of year!

• A helpful rain shower just after completing the antifouling

• The boat next door spraying off after you’ve nicely polished & buffed the hull to a gleam

• Not realising you are tramping dark blue antifouling spots from the bottom of your shoes all over your nice white fibreglass deck

• Getting distracted and antifouling part of the prop in error

• Losing a critical tiny screw in the gravel

• The nearby hosepipe springing a leak and soaking your trolleyful of tools

• Worst of all – running out of teabags!

And then you look out over the water and see what awaits and the anticipation is almost tangible. The nightmares fade into an array of rainbows, beckoning all manner of pots of gold in the form of exhilarating passages, interesting landfalls or even just peaceful anchorages offering simple swimming and fishing opportunities – and watching the sun go down with glass or mug in hand of course. Bring on those days…!

No such lovely weather this year… but the anticipation is just as high

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The pay off for all that hard work…

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And here, in a nutshell, is what makes all the hard work worth it.

The song of the boatyard

A guest post contributed by The Grand Mariner

Hard graft at fore and aft

At this time of year I really love the song of the boatyard – drills, grinders, power washers, sanders – and the groan of aching backs! It’s the sound of boats being readied for the water; being scraped, repaired, spruced, buffed, and protected for another season on the water. So none of the hard work, pain or aching really matters because there is the delicious prospect of another year’s sailing to be had. And the satisfaction of seeing your boat smart and gleaming like she never will be for the rest of the season once the weather gets to her!

The boatyard is abuzz

Whilst the elbow grease goes on the talk is of when, where, who with, for how long – all couched in the perennial seafarer’s caution (superstition?) – ‘If the weather is right / if we can make it / if we can get away’ etc etc. No-one wants to be so definite in their plans that Neptune steps in and says, ‘We’ll see about that…’

Ah, the prospect of time afloat, what a tonic it is. Roll on launch day!