A hard life
This is our first experience of living on the boat out of the water (“on the hard”) for any time, apart from a few frozen days I spent at Hamble a couple of years ago. We think it is a bizarre enough experience to share.
This is a seriously busy time of year for this huge marina – we were booked to be lifted in the afternoon, but they didn’t get to us until it was pitch black & didn’t finish moving us until 10 p.m.! The boat is held in a steel cradle which seems hardly large enough to hold our 11 tons balanced on the keel. We’ve been moving around as well – this is our 4th location, as they constantly move boats around to make room for different vessels of varying sizes as they come in and out of the water. The last move came out of the blue as we were sitting on deck – a bizarre feeling. Starting soon after 8 a.m., six days a week, boats are being moved until at least 10 p.m., many of them using the leviathan 330ton capacity travel lift. The photo below shows a huge sailing yacht “Levantin” being squeezed past us with literally a few inches to spare!
Being on land brings totally new ways of using the boat. Standing on deck our heads are around 5m off the ground, so you need a certain courage working on deck. They provide a ladder of sorts, so every trip “ashore” means a long clamber up & down it. The area is filthy with paint dust, grit etc, making it impossible to keep clean. Obviously nothing connected to the sea functions – meaning the toilet can’t be used (more trips during the day & a bucket at night) and washing is restricted to a single basin which discharges through a hose I’ve shoved into the hull fitting. The fridge manages to work OK despite being water cooled – I’m not quite sure how.
We’re here of course to get work done, so the first days were a constant hassle of getting people organised – I think 6 different outfits are involved. Each has to be communicated with, and whilst some have reasonable English (which I can even understand sometimes!), many don’t and getting the details right is a real hassle. Several times I’ve had to give up on something that proved just too hard to communicate. My apologies for not speaking Turkish cause great hilarity for some reason. We go back into the water on Tuesday after 12 days ashore, by which time all of the annual “out of the water” jobs will have been done, including those we missed last year. We’ve also taken advantage of low Turkish labour rates to get some improvements done. All in all, Red Panda looks fantastic – almost like new!