Monday, November 9, 2009

How Good Does It Get?

Anyone who knows me can tell you I have four great loves - my wife, our two daughters, and boats . While paddlecraft are my special affliction, there's always a place in my heart for others - trim and tidy sailboats, and even the big power cruisers like Demissanne.

The past few weeks, I've been helping a friend who's made his living for the past 30 years  tending to various craft with haulout at at a local marina. The big boys come ashore via the travel lift, an amazing machine that can trundle a 10 tonner around like I handle my kayak. Grab the pressure washer, blast the slub off the bottom, get her cradled, climb aboard, coil up the lines and power cords at her berth,  clean out perishables,  tidy up the lines and fenders on deck, winterize the water systems and engines, chase the odd leak - lots and lots to do, all of it good and straightforward and

Weather's been fallish - temps in the low single digits, winds 80-100 kms/hr. NE to NW in off the bay most days - brisk and bracing, you might say. (I'm thoroughly enjoying it - dress right (lots of layers, poly and merino, with a good windblocking outer shell) and keep dry, and you'll stay warm as toast. Us North Atlantic kayakers know a thing or two about warm and dry...)

All in all, it's a good... no, make that a great - life - down by the water, with a multitude of boats to keep one amused and learning, and no shortage of 'air conditioning'. The folks around - owners, or others working on the boats - are , as you'd expect, the best kind - boats just naturally seem to attract people who can laugh, joke and help each other. There's worse things a man could be at, like trying to explain to an irate customer that the three-year warranty doesn't apply to the drill he bought last week;  having it crushed when he backed his pickup over it isn't really considered a defect in materials...

Here's a final view of the 'office'.