No exotic locations, no warm water and not a hint of motion sickness for this post, the fun however, continues as we move onto the ‘selling’ phase of the journey. It should perhaps be more accurately labeled the ‘preparation for selling’ phase and works like a charm to rid you of any sentimental feelings towards said vessel. That crying business that I described last post as I walked away from SOL- gone, forgotten, no longer felt!
I wouldn’t dream of describing the entertainment we’ve had cleaning her up, however sometimes you just have to see the funny side of a situation-it’s either that, cry or throw a tantrum and make an idiot of yourself. I’ve done all three and have opted for humour this time.
I felt this one was worth sharing.
As previously mentioned we’ve been working on the boat for a few weeks now. She was in pretty good nick I have to say, but there are standards and there are standards. She’s now looking like we never set foot on her, let alone sailed half way around the world. She almost, but not quite, looks like nobody has ever set foot on her. She’s been scrubbed and wiped and washed and vacuumed and tickled until she sparkles and shines and looks pretty damn good if I do say so myself.
I accepted long ago that this phase was inevitable and part of the whole journey and whilst it’s been diverting…I’m glad she’s ready for someone else to step aboard and create adventures of their own.
Now anyone that knows Mike and I well, will know that we have a particularly banter-filled relationship. It tends to run thick when we’re in the company of others. I think it’s how we cope with each others ‘special’ personalities. It’s not meant to make anyone feel uncomfortable, it’s just what we do. When we’re alone, the banter continues but can seem one-sided, it’s all going on in our own heads, all from our own perspective. Anyone that knows us well, also knows we are perfectionists towards many aspects of our lives… not always a good thing but a definite feature of our ‘special’ selves.
Last week after a quick chamois of the boat- a task performed regularly to remove the dew and ever present rain, from the boat, we needed to go out and take some ‘action’ shots for the impending sales brochure. I jumped on the transom, (the back of the boat) with Mikes point and shoot camera that generally takes a pretty good snap of things. There was a reasonable current running, which can make maneuvering more of a challenge but I was expertly deposited onto one of the surrounding outer docks. I’ve only ever seen this dock covered with seagulls, terns and cormorants, however it was quite vacant on this particular morning. I jumped across to the wet dock in my flip-flops, very nearly performing a sliding limbo when my rubber-clad feet hit the surface. Wet with dew and slick with bird shit, I manage to keep my balance as my toes carved their own special path through the filth and the one-sided banter began- I won’t repeat what I muttered for fear of offending anyone, but I can say it wasn’t complimentary towards husband, boat or wildlife. Mike, meanwhile was driving back and forth, giving me instructions all the while on where and how to get a good shot, ducking down below to get out of the pictures as the boat drifted, seemingly driven by Mr Invisible, past me in the rapidly moving current.
For a few shots, he was actually scooching down in the wheel well, trying to keep all body parts out of sight as I snapped away.
Mike has this thing about how sound travels across the water so while he was on the boat and I on the dock, he would speak to me in a normal voice. The bow thruster whirring, the engine, chug chug chugging away, the birds on the nearby dock squawking! I couldn’t hear a word.
“Walk down the dock and take it from that angle”, slip, slide, curse- the one-sided banter becoming increasingly abusive. To be fair, there may have been some banter coming from his side too but luckily I couldn’t hear it! The thing is, and at very great risk of sounding cynical, I was set up to fail. I just don’t look at boats in the same way as hubby does. “Give me something,” he was saying. What angle do you think I should go for? Should I turn slightly to port or starboard? What else do you think we need?” It’s sort of like taking a photo of an unpopular Aunt or someone you’re just not that into- “I don’t know how to make you look any better!”
I returned to the boat, grabbing hold of the ladder that, unbeknown to me, no longer had the bit of cord tying it to the back of the boat. I very nearly ended up in the water, which after all the rain we’d had was an intense shade of baby-poo brown. We decided to get some shots away from the masts of other boats and headed out towards the bay. All of a sudden I was being deposited onto the transom of a moored powerboat, and was horrified that I should be left on some random vessel, seemingly, but not certainly unoccupied, to take photos of our boat. After a few moments I got over myself and started getting into the whole thing, taking initiative and making suggestions on best angles etc. I also realised that this particular aspect was superior to the birdshit dock shots and happily snapped away. It was a spectacular day but I noticed the pictures seemed to have lost some clarity. After a quick check I realised the lens has condensed up and the last 50 pictures I’d taken were fuzzy. Bugger!
I got back on our boat and grabbed my camera, once again assuming my perch on the random moored boat and started shooting SOL as she ‘mysteriously’ motored past me sans driver!
The low battery signal started flashing on my camera at about the same time as I noticed I’d left my flip flops on the back of the boat to avoid getting bird droppings over the spotless decks- too bloody bad! The ghost driver had been wearing blue Haviannas!
Anyone watching our antics would have been scratching their heads or wetting themselves laughing, however, the fact that Mike can maneuver a 50t yacht like it’s a toy, made me think, well it’s a bit like ‘having all the gear but no idea’ in reverse. We probably looked pretty silly, but we clearly knew what we were doing in the boat handling skills at least, (the Royal WE most definitely being adopted in this case).
As I started to wonder if anyone was going to come out and evict me off their boat, I did my best to get ‘the shot’ of the morning- later perusal of my efforts demonstrating that like most things to do with me and boats, I’ve got a lot to learn!
So it seemed we were done with the morning frivolities and I hopped back onto the mother ship, careful not to grab the ladder. I noticed a tinnie, (metal dinghy with engine on the back) coming in our direction. I thought for a moment it was the owner of the photo platform I’d been using but it turned out to be a friend who surveyed our handiwork and gave us the thumbs up! After he left, it was my turn to play ghost-driver as Mike took some pictures of the deck.
We headed back to the berth and docked her flawlessly which I chalk up as a small win, despite the time it’s taken me to feel comfortable with the process. I must admit, as I watched another boat come in a few weeks ago, give themselves a new pinstripe along the side of their hull, nearly take out the power pole and pin-ball off the surrounding pylons, I was somewhat quietly confident about our own docking process.
Now it looks like our efforts may have just paid off. I don’t want to count any chickens but Mike has just called to say that we have a signed agreement on the boat. Subject to this and subject to that but WATCH THIS SPACE.
It was only advertised for a week- must have been my photos!
I should just add that our neighbour in the marina, a lovely man named Morgan, took the amazing interior shots- show us your wide-angle lens!!!
Fingers and toes and everything crossed, this is Slice of Life standing by, soon to be owned by someone else!