Thursday, November 26, 2009

New Pants for Irie

It’s Thursday, November 5th 2009. Irie is hanging in the slings of the Travelift at Spice Island Marine Boat Yard in Grenada. While I look at her, dangling above my head, I feel a bit nervous. Imagine something goes wrong and she falls down to the ground… That would be the end of our cruising, the end of our home, the end of many things and the beginning of a mental catastrophe. I can’t wait until she is safely settled on blocks.

Our friend Angie joins me for a few minutes and says, “Irie is looking good up there! Hopefully she stays there, unlike that other boat!’ I’m dumb founded. “What other boat?” “Haven’t you heard?” she continues “Yesterday, a sailboat fell out of the lift because one of the straps broke!” I swallow and realize the meaning of her words. The day before, the last boat of the day to be put back into the water had fallen out. She is badly damaged, but luckily nobody got injured. This day, we were the first boat to be handled by the Travelift. It could have been us… We did notice brand new straps on the machine. Experiences like this wake you up and make you see things in perspective.

We never look forward to a stay in a boat yard. It is hot, dirty and very tiring, but it has to happen. About once a year, the bottom of Irie needs some extra care and attention. Mark and I have to clean, scrape, sand and paint the two hulls and the sail drives. This year, we took our jobs very seriously and in five days time, we managed to do what was required. Right in time for our arriving guests!

During the day we needed an extra fresh water wash or two to keep going in the beating heat and headaches were a reoccurring event for me. No wind on land! Every night, the cold, clean shower was exactly what we needed and it took only seconds to fall asleep.

Doing your own work in a boat yard in the hot Caribbean teaches one the real meaning of manual labor! But, happy Irie is now “as good as new” and we hope she can stay that way for a bit. “No more lagoons for months at a time!” was her only request when she got splashed again!

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