The folks at the boatyard really like to remind us of this fact. Yup. We know. It’s a big boat. We know it intimately, now that we have sanded its 65-foot hull repeatedly for nearly a week. Those of us with back problems really felt it. Those of us without back problems no longer exist. But even the pain and tedium of sanding came to an end at some point, and that point was when Doug said “Okay, that’s enough sanding.” If our arms were not already frozen in overhead positions, we would have thrown them up in jubilation. Denied our gesticular glee, we celebrated instead with a bit of bubbly later that evening.
In the meantime, Doug has been tirelessly running about fixing up all manner of electrical and mechanical things that require his experience and knowledge of the systems. The masthead light is mounted and working, the sewage tank is sealed and the toilets operational, we have lights in most of the berths, and there are probably at least a dozen other things he’s magically fixed up this week that I didn’t even know about.
So this week has been a good one, in terms of tangible progress. A good pressure-washing of the hull and deck made the Illusion the cleanest she’s been in a long time. After all the scrubbing of mould and bird poo of yesterweeks, I think blasting away any residual remnants with the water gun was the most satisfying task Deb has had yet. POW – White! [insert maniacal laughter here]. Painting began the next day, and she looks like a different boat without all the blotches and blemishes.
I think it’s good for the sanity sometimes to have big, visible differences like that. Especially for Doug, Deb, and John, who have all been plugging away at this for so long. I’m so grateful for all the hard work that they put in before I got here, to get the boat cleaned up and livable again. They’ve done an incredible job. It’s starting to feel like a home – although for now a home on stilts. I’ve made doubly sure the oven is in working order though (that’s key, in my home,) testing it on a few batches of granola and bread… Home, sweet, home.
The boatyard has begun to feel like home too, or at least we’ve made ourselves at home there. The “Marina Garden Bar” has been unofficially dubbed the “Canadian Club” as we’ve laid claim to the area by having our kitchen stuff all over the place. But just as we’re starting to feel at home in the yard, it seems the time is coming up to leave. That’s right, the launch is in sight! There are still plenty of projects left to be done, but some of them can be done when we’re in the water. We’ve begun the madness of stocking up on provisions, enough food to last us until Hawaii. We still need to raise the mast and rigging, seal up a few leaks, put the engine back together, get the last few coats of paint on, and find places for all of our stuff (and all that food!) on board – which I know sounds like an awful lot, but if you had only seen the list before… Hopefully by the end of the week though, we’ll be saying a bittersweet goodbye to the boatyard and its fantastic folks, goodbye to fresh produce and ice cream, and taking the old gal for a swim.