I put my ukulele down, my fingers are toast. A glance at my watch tells me I’m almost late for work. Ten minutes later I’m back on the boat, I’ve been given a reprieve which I need, the weekend was insane. I watch the guy coming into the slip next to me in a huge powerboat, he’s coming it hot, then his engine quits 40′ and on a t-bone collision course with my new boomkin at full ramming speed. I pause for just one second admiring the fear in his eyes, yes we were that close. Sprinting around the dock I throw myself between the two boats, his trolling engine roars to life now in full reverse, a man on the bow extends his legs to my boomking I shove with all my strength. Sookie is slammed against the dock by the force but we keep the two boats from colliding by 1/4 inch. I’m shaken but just walk away.
I don’t insure my boat against myself or the weather, it’s against other boats or should I say people who own boats because it’s a rarity that I see any form of seamanship these days. For him it’s little more than an insurance claim on his plastic boat. I don’t want an insurance claim, Sookie is my home. There is no way or any amount of money that can fix a boat back once its crunched. Sure you can patch it and paint over it but it will never be the same… I get hit by boaters who don’t care all the time. Last year on this weekend it was in a one mile long bay, I was the only boat anchored out yet I was hit. People these days just don’t care about or respect anything, most people that is. Get a bank loan and crash into everyones dream that’s what boating has turned into, yachters and yachting has been killed by easy financing.
There was no known damage this time but the season hasn’t even started yet. I look at my fenders, three sizes too large for Sookie and I smile. Its a battle zone out here. Everything is overbuilt but within reason on this boat. All fasteners are one size up, everything has a backing plate and is sealed tight and good for another 25 years. I’m drilling holes through the deck, a local know it all, or should I say read it all try’s to tell me to over drill my holes, idiotic and promising future deck rot I smile and ignore him. It will never cease to amaze me how much miss information there is out there, how few people know anything about their boats or how to use or maintain them.
I go back to my simple project, I don’t like the stainless steel carriage bolts but it was all I could find on the island. I need 4, 3″ and 4, 3.5″. When I get a chance I’ll shop for new bronze bolts. Sookies interior is filled with boxes yet opened, I have no idea what’s in them but there are many more in the mail and many more yet to be ordered, for now I work in circles while I wait for the next piece of the puzzle. I’m supposed to board a plane for Tahiti in a few weeks, I can’t help but to wonder how I would do or pay for any of this in the middle of the South Pacific. It’s a staggering amount of work to do all the while Sookie will be waiting for my spring return in 2018 if I actually get on the plane.
Im getting cold feet, second thoughts and rapidly realizing that I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. A second boat isn’t always as delicious as the carrot dangling at the end of the stick promises. The task at hand on Sookie alone is a major undertaking but there is no time constraint or limit, the new boat on the other hand is a time bomb of weather windows, the elements are against me and it’s a very long windward voyage to bring her home all so I can have heat…30 years of cumulative working and dreaming have brought her to me but I’m learning that some dreams are best realized only in the depths of ones mind, it’s good not to have every thing one may desire.
Sookie is loaded to the hilt with snacks, treats and an endless supply of sundowners. I have beans o pleanty and her new sail bags will arrive within days of her windvane. Half way through a spring cleaning and giving lots of my crap away but barely touched her exterior list. I have 22 days till I’m kicked out of here and between the weather and my work schedule I’ve yet to remove, inspect and paint my bowsprite, the one thing that has to be done at the dock. Time is not my friend. I’m reminded of Parkinson’s law, the adage “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. If I’m not careful with my time and resources, I’ll end up with nothing.
From the log of Sookie. I’m finding I have far too many loves but not enough love to go around. If I was a cat this would all be easy enough to accomplish in nine lives but I only have one and like my tired old body this one is mostly used up…