Swift

Boat Yard Battles: The Boat Yard Wins the Battle for My Soul.

It's the moment we've all been waiting for: the boat has won. It has taken my soul and crushed it. I'm not even sad about it. There's just nothing where my soul used to be. Dead inside. 

I don't even know when the soul crushing begins: is it at 4AM when the garbage truck comes and scares the life out of me by making boat crushing sounds? 5AM when Hastings decides he wants a walk for the 4th time this night? 7AM when I'm sitting, staring at breakfast? 8AM when I'm laboriously doing dishes and managing slop buckets? 8:30AM when I'm sanding a horrid multihull boat? 

10AM when my back is so twisted I can't move? How about noon, when I really hate the thought of the repetitive motion of lifting a fork to my face to eat, or even worse, the thought of doing dishes again? How about when I can't take sanding anymore, ask for a re-assignment, and end up mangled in an engine room, cleaning engine grease? How about when I'm asked to find the johnson-keter-hoosker-do, move it half a turn with the Phillips, and paint it with 6700? Now, I didn't take shop class, so I don't know about hoosker-dos, Phillip is busy with his own project, and do I mix 4200 with 1500 to get 6700? Ah, but wait, we're all out of 1500, the hoosker do is off-kilt and needs to be replaced, and we could relax while waiting the 6-8 weeks for the hoosker to be re-engineered in Timbuck2, but we can't, because friends, there are 99 other projects left.

 By 3PM I'm on the verge of hysteria, and I could be googling boat sales websites, divorce lawyers, and looking up wonderful, land-locked houses for sale, but my hands hurt too much to type, and, guess what, we don't have internet anyway and I don't feel up to standing next to the dumpster, the boat yard's version of Starbucks. 

They say "What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger", but the reality is "What Doesn't Kill You Makes You WIsh You Were Dead". So, instead of important google searches, I amuse myself by staring glassy eyed at the 10 million fruit flies that have overtaken the boat. Sometimes my eyes move over to all the bloody mosquito carcasses splattered on the walls. Then I notice the mold growing. 


At 5PM, it's beer time with the rest of the zombies. I open our emergency tiny fridge (the regular tiny fridge needs the ocean to run) and everything falls on my feet. I sit there in my disgusting clothes, drinking beer out of a bottle. Look how the mighty have fallen! 

There's a new person here. He wears a different shirt from yesterday. There's joy behind his eyes as he talks about blister repair. He doesn't sit in the dirt, but in a chair. Oh, new boat owner full of hope, may the light stay with you a little longer. It's lovely to see.

6PM, time for a shower. I forget my towel and scrubbing brush, but it doesn't matter, because no amount of scrubbing can erase the blackness on my soul. 7PM, mosquito time! Sadly, every night they leave us just enough blood so we can live one more miserable day. 

Are you currently dead inside? Do you remember what pushed you over the edge? If you still have a soul, I hope you do something nice with it today. We'll just be zombie-sanding. 

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9 comments

  1. "What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Wish You Were Dead" - hah, love it! Truer words were never written.

    Our marina is currently flooded for the 3rd day in a row which means no power to our boat. It looks like it might be this way for a few more days now. We very cleverly took the solar panel off for Irma and stowed it away. And we even more cleverly left the solar panel off in case more evil hurricanes went away. Guess what, we wish we had our solar panel so that we could have electricity and run our fridge. Sigh. Getting off the boat is next to impossible, plus who knows what is lurking in that water - alligators, chemical waste, deadly snakes? So, yeah, I'm kind of hating our boat today.

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    1. Honestly, I really hate it when my own cleverness is my downfall. It happens all too often.

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  2. I feel your pain. Being on the hard isn't just hard, it can soul crushing. Hang in there and, if you don't mind a bit of advice, think about ditching Marvin -- he can be such a downer! ;-)

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    1. I'm not sure we can manage without Marvin! Even Hastings channels Marvin sometimes.

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  3. Oh, you guys. I do feel for you. Being in a boat yard truly sucks, especially when you do all the work yourself and you don't have a working fridge/head/internet. And, a dog who needs to get down precariously and needs to get walked a few times a day.

    You know what is funny, though, but not really? When you just got started, cruising, I uttered the same words to you both as you are mentally telling the new guy with his clean shirt now. The boating life is challenging and there are many ups and downs. You'll get back in the water again, and you WILL be happy again. At least, you are keeping your sense of humor. This blog is written in the best possible way!! Virtual hugs!!

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    1. Well, I'll probably write a blog about the good things in the boat yard....we have fellow sufferers and have had lots of great pot lucks and laughs about all the suffering. Meanwhile, we've pretty much rebuilt our engines and saildrives and know alot more about them....and yes, all the pain will disappear during the first sundowner at anchor.

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  4. Thanks for sharing your crushed-soul moments. On the bright side, in my experience it's the worst moments the ones that inspire the best prose. If it's any consolation, you've just proved that point with this great read that faithfully describes those dark days. If you don't mind, I may place a link to your post in my (possibly) upcoming "life in the boatyard" post.

    Cheer up, my friend! There is life after the boatyard (says someone who's never left one, so far).

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    1. Absolutely feel free to post a link! We'll race you out of the boat yard....we're scheduled to splash Friday the 13th. Wait, don't bad things happen on Friday the 13th?!

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