My husband and Dave set off on the SV Aphrodite yesterday, getting an early start. Dave is an experienced sailor, having sailed for 40 years, and completed two Pacific crossings.
During our first call, the reception was fairly bad. But even through the crackle and silences I could tell my husband was resigned to some level of disappointment. In his words, “nothing works just right”.
The AC, the fridge, the freezer, and the toilets all bear looking at. And, who can bear looking at toilets that they’ve just inherited? Apparently they were seeping sewage into the marina. On top of that, he says that all of the lines (ropes) need to be replaced as they are mouldy. He was drying lines when I was talking to him on the phone this morning.
My husband has been an executive most of his adult working life, except when he tended bar at the Calgary Tower. So, perhaps for his benefit or my own he quickly turned this sow’s ear into a silk purse, telling me that once it’s all looked after, it’s going to be great.
And, I know he’s right. Before we were married, we turned a 1950s, 6-unit walk-up apartment building into something rather beautiful, largely because of help from my father-in-law, Alfred. By the time we were finished with the renovations, the apartment building felt like we owned a living doll house.
We sold the building years ago but we still maintain contact with a few of the tenants that lived there. The fact that the tenants are still talking to us, and have even come to our house for a visit, must mean that our building provided a decent place to live.
Later, when we bought our first house together, we lived in near-constant renovations for about 18 months. In the early days, we ripped out shag carpeting to reveal the original hardwood, which we polished to a shine. It was a dusty, dirty job but the result was well worth it. But, that was a small job in comparison to some of the other projects we took on with this house.
With the help of contractors and family, we also put in a new bathroom, an upstairs laundry room and expanded our kitchen. These jobs involved breaking the original drywall, moving walls, and stripping rooms right down to the beams. We aren’t adverse to hiring someone else to do the work for us, but we don’t mind rolling up our sleeves. My husband is extremely handy with electrical things and woodwork.
So, on the maiden voyage – my husband has confirmed what we already knew, and that is – at least to start – this boat is going to be work. But, eventually it will work. I have often thought of a boat as a floating place to perform repairs. And, our boat seems to be no exception. That is why it is going to Bradenton where it will be in a marina for 4 months having some repairs and refits.
Our boat is going to sparkle. And, I can’t wait.
When we bought Gimme Shelter, the waste hoses were permeated and stinking really bad, so our first weekend on the boat consisted of getting covered in poo sludge as we replaced all of them. It was a terrible experience, but it gets better!