Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Life on the hard

Life on the sea has been replaced by life on the hard.  The sounds of waves lapping the hull are replaced by paint scrapers tapping the hull as workers arrive at the gel coat. Wind howling in the rigging becomes the corrugated metal garage door opening for business at 7:00.  Crying gulls have become cooing doves.   
Rafael extracts the Perkins
Our one step up from the dinghy is now a 12 foot climb up the ladder. The daily din of sanders, grinders, buffers, and compressors, mixed with the distant traffic and train whistles replace the deep calm of isolated anchorages.  We now drive in our car to the ocean, smell the once so familiar salty sea and feel the saline smoothness on our skin.  We jump into waves, let them push and roll us in awe of her power, remembering when we rode the ocean in our giant saddle on the sea, the sailboat Traveler.  

Surgery performed
Here she sits on stilts with me in her belly, waiting patiently while we do things to her.  Yesterday we pulled out her engine with a crane, like a bad tooth. Can it be saved? Hoses removed like clogged arteries, we are her surgeons tracing the wires of her nervous system making detailed maps to assure everything goes back in its proper place.  It’s only a matter of time, though, before she is released into the wild where her wings will fill with the wind that makes all our hearts soar.  Traveler and her travelers will prevail! Life on the hard….
At anchor, in better days

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