Life on the HARD
17 August 2013 | Seaview Boat Yard
Partly Cloudy 80*
Life on the HARD
• Hard aground
• Hard head.
• Hard paint
• Hard money
• Hard disk
• Hard drive
• Hard landing
• Hard Working
• Hard labor
• Hard hitting
• Hard of hearing
• Hard up
• Harden up or to head into the wind
• Die hard as in battery or that movie
• Hard knocks as in school of
• Hard rock
• Hard candy
• Hard & Fast
You get the idea; here we are "on the Hard" for fitting out. To put it another way; Framework on which a boat rests when out of the water on the hard, between a rock and a hard place, sometimes referred to as a "Cradle" I might add there is the constant subliminal thought that the jack stand "Cradle" at any moment might give way creating a catastrophe.
So, when your boat is hauled out on land, you don't say "on land", you say, "on the hard". I asked Capn. Nautologic why that is, and he said, "I don't know," then thought for a moment and postulated, "Because the ground is hard?" Hmmm.... No Sheet get it?
Yards are micro cosmic villages where peeps scurry about doing tasks like little worker bees yet at night the silence or lack of marina activity is deafening. And in our case the worker bees are a bit sparse showing up some two hours after I leave for work and disappearing again around noon when the work strangely stops for the day. At least on my boat.
Still, it galls me to spend money on a hotel when I have a perfectly good bedroom on board. There's no water or sewage, obviously, but I've got electrical power and heat. I'm thinking seriously about while staying on board, brushing my teeth out of a jug, and peeing in an empty antifreeze container.
I have another explanation: that life on a boat out of the water is hard. Actually, "inconvenient" would be a better description, but saying that your boat is "on the inconvenient" just takes too many syllables and might get lost in the translation.
On Between da Sheets, many of our comforts depend on the boat being in the water. There's our refrigerator, which uses salt water to cool the compressor. There's our galley sink, which empties out into the sea (but since we're having the bottom painted, we need to keep the hull dry). And most of all, there's the head, which uses sea water for flushing.
Oh and sleeping on a boat out of the water is a weird sensation because it doesn't move and when it does it scares the hell out of you. And wouldn't you know it? We have the strange sensation of being between and betwixt two worlds suspended high above the hard and not truly being a part of either world with our center of gravity some twenty feet up in the air.
There are other things to reflect upon as well; like in our case the rickety wooden stair platform supplied to enter and exit the boat making egress for Sharon somewhat easier. Salty dog having four legs of course makes it look easy. And one should always look to see if this marvel of carpentry has moved in the night before stepping off the boat.
There is the regular dockside marina, with shore power, restaurants, and people wearing jewelry and clean clothes. And then there is The Yard, where paint, dust, and other familiar dirty things are the order of the day. We are repainting the anti-fouling on the bottom of our hull, and so here we are, on concrete, packed amongst other boats undergoing similar improvements.
The other hard thing about being "on the hard" is all the work you end up doing. In addition to getting the sails back on, polishing all the stainless steel, replacing the running rigging, shaft and rudder bearings, etc, and putting on a couple new coats of paint, we ended up having to scrub down and wax the hull. Meanwhile the boat is a mess inside and out with stuff strewn everywhere.
But there are other things to consider like in the middle of the night or real early in the morning having the urge for a long trudge to the loo, which is sometimes colder than you might like with regard to disposal of human waste products.
To start with, your living space on board makes most NYC apartments look spacious. Sharon can span the entire cabin in approximately 10 steps, and she is shorter than I am. Add in the fact that at any given moment during this project this is a construction zone that I cannot escape. Don't forget the endless supply of dirt that is tracked in or the random screw or wire thread you are bound to step on and get stuck in your foot. Oh, and the bathroom is a 5 - 10 minute walk away (depending on how badly I have to pee), unless I want to use a smelly port-o-potty.
The boat yard has a bathroom, but we're about 200 yards from it, so... while "on the hard" we could have this special piece of equipment, which in nautical terms is called... (wait for it)... "the pee bucket" or one of those long necked bottles one can purchase at the medical supply store with the ridiculously small hole. This is a facet of hard living I couldn't convince Sharon of so to compensate we use (in emergencies) some of the precious fresh water we have left in the tank to assist flushing via the sink/shower faucet that has a long hose.
Don't get me wrong a pee bucket would work just fine, but emptying it is tricky, as it requires Capn Sloshy to carry the bucket up the companion way, out through the cockpit, and down the wobbly ladder platform that we use to get on and off the boat. The other drawback of the bucket is... the smell! It would resemble a hamster with a negligent owner, left to scurry about in search of fresh air.
I have this fear of waking up to find that we had a baby boy, and his diaper was wet so I went to change him, but he peed all over the bed! I awoke in a panic, and though I was relieved to find the sheets dry, I realized that the whole cabin smelled like wet diapers!
Luckily we discovered the solution: we just add a few drops of this toilet deodorizer and this amazing product somehow nullifies foul odors. Capn Einstein theorizes that it creates an oily barrier layer on the top of the water; I don't know why he ignores the obvious, which is that the stuff is magic! We call this magical deodorizer "poop juice". You know you're in for a romantic evening when Capn Sweet Talk turns to you and asks, "Honey, did you put poop juice in the pee bucket?"
Then there are the BIRDS and I'm not referring to some rock group or that Hitchcock movie either. I'm referring to the crows and gulls that seem to think as we are way above our center of gravity. They can utilize the fore deck as a landing zone akin to an aircraft carrier for landings and bombing practice with those multi-colored purple, black and white globs of goo salty dog likes to sniff. I've considered installing some anti-aircraft defenses but figured some naturalist would call the shore patrol and report me for cruelty to animals. So I will have to deal with those new deck embellishments at a later date when our boat is once again splashed in a form of baptism (soon I hope). Well it's off to the showers halfway down the marina on the other side of the boat yard. You all come back real soon now ya hear!