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Friday, April 11, 2008

Like a fish out of water

It's time for Ty Dewi to get some 'below the waterline' attention. After more than a year in the water, covering some 6000 miles in seas cold and warm, rough and smooth, she's ready for a good clean and some new paint. We book into a local boatyard for a few days ashore.

Lifting thirteen tonnes of boat is always a careful process, but we were expecially impressed with how carefully Lance and his team at Bobby's Boatyard (a little piece of Saff Efrica in the Caribean!) lifted, moved and propped up our home. The boats before and after us were fairly standard, lightweight production boats and the job was done in twenty minutes. We took well over an hour.

As we motor slowly into the lifting dock, it's clear that the boatlift cannot get far enough along our hull without hitting the forestay - a piece of wire holding up the mast. Fotunately, this is one of two and the inner stay will hold the weight of the mast when ashore, so we disconnect the forestay with some careful work with the pliers and a large hammer.

After a number of adjustments to get the slings in the right position, the crane takes the load and Ty Dewi lifts gently from her natural environment. The water drips away and we can see clearly the amount of aquatic life that has attached itself to us over the past few months. We've snorkeled under the boat plenty of times, so it's no surprise, and we know that there are some patches where the old paint has come away totally, leaving bare fibreglass, something we need to attend to in this time ashore.

The kids play in the boatyard, a heaven for curious young minds and a nightmare for safety conscious parents. 'Don't play under that boat, kids'. 'Er, don't touch any of those supports', 'no, I think those old paint tins are best left alone'. Issie dances around, avoiding the spray of water as the boat is pressure washed and those patches of bare hull get bigger as the powerful washer blasts away the old paint.

Max makes a friend of one of the boatyard workers who has a small bicycle and suddenly they are travelling around the yard together having a great time.

Eventually the boat is safely propped up and ready for us to get to work. That's another story.
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