Monday, February 17, 2014

The Long Yard, or Doubt

Where to begin?  I guess by observing that if it were easy, a lot more people would be doing it.

Let me be clear - no pity is looked for!  When we look around at what our peers living ashore are up to, we're pretty sure that we wouldn't want to trade with any of them.  Nothing against what they're doing, of course, but just to say that we're generally very very happy with family life afloat.

Alisa, and a boat cabin in transition
But it does take a heap of effort to secure enough research funding, and do enough research work, to pay for it all, at the same time that we're keeping the boat in the kind of shape that we'd want her to be in if we were doing ocean crossings with the family (which we are), at the same time that we're keeping family life going.

Normally I don't spend too much time worrying about any of that - we just do what it takes, and we love what we do, the effort be damned.

But the annual trip to the yard is when I wonder about it all - all the effort that just disappears on boat maintenance and improvements (what if I worked this hard at writing?) and all the money that gushes into the boat, despite our efforts to staunch the flow.  And the dark thoughts of safety, or the opposite, when I consider this possible contingency or that aboard, and how we might anticipate it now.  When I take a break from thinking about all that, I give a thought to all the multi-day projects that I have awaiting me before we're "ready" to go.  Ambitious sailing, like our plans for Patagonia, definitely increases the work load beyond what we'd be doing if we only planned more downwind sailing in the tropics.

So all that, psychologically, makes the annual haulout tough for me.

Luckily, this year we have some helpers from afar who are watching the kids so Alisa and I can both work in the yard.  Everything, physically and mentally, is much easier when two are working together.


  1. I like it Mike.... The long yard ... of doubt....
    We've just finished a bottom sandblast and fresh topsides. The old gal is still turning heads... (as long as they don't look down below!)
    Good luck with the work!

    1. g'day Triddar!

      Boy, we/I miss talking boat practicalities with you! Funny you did the blast - we're in the queue for a spot blast, but the very nice bloke in front of us keeps finding new probs that need addressing. Maybe next week. Alisa wants to ask you if you think it would be reasonable to live aboard while in the blasting shop?

      PS, Ocean Child is in NZ - there's still time in the season for you guys to come over for a visit!

    2. Hi Alisa....... its an interesting thought, but I'm still finding grit in all the wrong places!!! depending on the area to be blasted I would consider covering the entire deck with apply tarp, in addition to wrapping all you winches/blocks in plastic/tape. Its horrific...
      We'd love to come over.... have you seen that intensifying low in the Tasman??? Cripes, when is this weather going to settle?
      love, RLLS

    3. thanks for the tips for blasting protection - we'll take it pretty seriously!

  2. Hey Guys-

    I hear on the two point...packing up Kate and shipping off to Aus tomorrow...things are getting done, but it sure would be nice to have another set of hands. It will be down to the wire tomorrow I reckon. Very much looking forward to catching up with my plus one. Hugs to everyone, hang in there!

    Love, H

    1. Funny how it's ALWAYS down to the wire! Biggest "gidday" to Esteban.

      Hearing from you reminds me to give those articles you sent a read - one of the curses of the writing life - you send your stuff to "friends", and then it takes them months to get around to reading it!