The Stewart family buy a boat, jack it all in and go sailing!

Ships and sailors rot in port

We’ve had a rotten week.  Despite vowing to view this extra month in the marina as a holiday, we’ve all feel feeling stuck and cranky.

Our lifting day got moved back every day until another whole week had passed and we’re still not in the yard.  Matt is like a dog with a bone and visits and phones them once or twice every day; the yard guys just reiterate that we have a spot – right there – but until this other boat finishes his work and asks to go back in, their hands are tied.  The yard is massively busy and only have so many spaces and supports.  Cats are coming and going as they are sitting on their hulls; we need supports.

The boat sitting in “our” space is a 40-foot tender (I know) that’s being completely resprayed after getting a small scratch on one side and has been there for a month now.  It’s tented up to spray but days go by without anyone working on it.  I feel like taking the kids up there – preferably wearing rags, clogs and carrying begging bowls – and throwing myself at their feet.  Matt doesn’t think this will help.

In the meantime, we threw a “Goodbye Airlie Beach” barbie at Shingley Beach, that turned into a “Come and See our Boat’ barbie.  The get-together had been planned for weeks and then we decided to book into the marina for a bit longer.  We took the Weber over, spread out the old, damaged mizzen-boom tent as a picnic cloth and Tilly set up a table with her “Oceangirl Anklets” (she also started playing with her Diablo and I felt like a proper bunch of travellers – we just needed dreads and someone with a guitar!).



We had a lot of fun catching up with friends we don’t see too much, and taking small groups over to the boat in the tender.  The most popular comment was “oh it’s so much bigger inside than I expected!”.  A few also got a gleam in their eye and started asking lots of questions about how one would go about buying a boat and sailing off, theoretically of course!  The kids loved catching up with friends and mucking about with the kayak, and the afternoon wore into evening.  It was a wonderful afternoon but very busy and I wished there was more time to talk to everyone.

Meanwhile the standing rigging continues to be removed, have new stays made and be replaced.  The main mast also needs to come off and have some work done before being restepped, which is probably going to happen next week.  This will be a good chance to replace the old anchor light and check the tricolour and also have a look at the anemometer, which shows wind direction but not speed.

Matt has also been working through a variety of jobs that need attention, frequently plumbing-related.  The girls and I have been boatschooling every day, even weekends, and trying not to feel too stuck.  I do feel for the kids; it wasn’t their choice to leave all their friends at school and come and live on a boat, and we can’t even offer them the fun stuff of sailing and snorkelling and beach-combing to make up for it.

Matt and I are trying not to let our frustration show, but I don’t think we’d win any awards for “Most Fun Parents Ever” right now!  We did take the girls to Cedar Creek Falls one hot afternoon, and also took them to visit friends on the most beautiful, huge, luxurious motor cat, where they were given ginger beer and allowed to play in the vast interior (they are both now converts to this kind of boating and have vowed to design and build one and move aboard, despite my assurances that our smaller, older sailing boat is preferable as it can go anywhere in the world and is super strong and seaworthy <sigh>).

All in all, we’re trying to make the best of it, but it’s very hard in this beautiful sunshine and balmy breezes NOT to long to be “out there”.  The weather changed yesterday – still sunshine, but the wind has picked up and is trying to howl through the rigging and Iron Will is lurching around in her berth.  Much easier now to feel snug and safe instead of out there in 30 knots.