Monday, May 21, 2012

Overnight haul out

Up on the hard. Funny phrase that. But that’s just what we are, or where we are to be precise.
Shiloh and her inhabitants are like fish out of water. We’ve motored into a narrow concrete slip at Spice Island Marine, and Shiloh has been hoisted with two massive slings, up and out of the water.
 This was planned, but it can be a bit unsettling.
Maintenance of a boat sometimes requires access to her from below, and this time we are changing the seals on the sail drives. Definitely not a job that could be done in the water.
Also, after a few weeks over at Hog island, Shiloh needed an underbelly shower! Lots of lime green algae and barnacles had made our boat their comfy home. Despite our motoring in some big swells around the Prickly peak, we hadn’t managed to shake them free.
 So, it had to be done.
It’s another adventure, this time a non-nautical one!
I did my part as we came into the slip, our temporary captain maneuvered Shiloh’s 20 tons as if we were slim trim graceful. All I had to do was be calm and throw the lines out to the guys waiting ashore, so they could guide the boat in. It all went off without a hitch.
The most disorienting moment was going down below (while up high), and seeing gravel through our escape hatch windows! Yikes. I’m so used to seeing the aquamarine colour of the sea below us. I much prefer it.
I hear from other cruisers that tonight will not be the most pleasant experience. I’ve gotten used to the lull of the ocean’s motherly motion and the cooling winds at anchor. Tonight will be so still and we are not facing the wind, so definitely hotter than normal. The soothing sounds of the waves rolling over the reef out our cabin window at Hog Island will be replaced by trucks on the road behind the boat yard. The sea spray replaced by the dust of gravel from the nearby construction site.
But still, I’m excited!
Right now I’m at De Big Fish, wifi and soda with bubbles and limes… I can see JW and the mechanic crouched under Shiloh’s massive shadow, a few metres away. My job now is to bring ‘home’ some hot fresh take outs and some icy beers. I can do that.
Every day a new adventure, a new task. A new perspective. This one doesn’t seem ‘on the hard’ side afterall.

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