Tuesday, 9 July 2013

The Marina

That night, after experiencing the delights of Yarmouth, I went in search of the marina. When I arrived, Paul wasn't there, but there was a human working on a boat, so I approached with caution. Turns out he was a Paul too. That was a little confusing, for him, not me. I knew he wasn't the right Paul. I waited around for an hour and decided I was bored so drove the 18 mile round trip to get some chips from McDonalds. Imagine that. 18 miles to McDonalds. There isn't anything in London you're more than 18 miles from, let alone McDonalds.

When I finally arrived back, he was asleep on the boat! At 9pm. He was tired, but understandably so, as he'd walked 8 miles to get there. Lunatic. We had some 'breakfast' and he was my new best friend. His boat was out of the water. It was my first time on a non-floating boat. It was propped up on oil drums and pieces of wood. Not my idea of health and safety. And it was covered in tarp, so it was dark inside even in the middle of the afternoon. How did I know it was dark in the afternoon? I stayed there of course. The next day was spend caulking the port side. Port is the left hand side of the boat. Starboard is the right. I remember because port and left have 4 letters. Port has a red light and starboard green. I remember that because port is red. Lesson over. Back to caulking. We used the traditional method, which involves mixing equal parts white lead paste with linseed oil paste. And a little dollop of motor grease. Essentially it's like filling a wall. Except you really, really want to make sure it's in all the cracks. It took an age to dry. 2 days in fact. But that'd be skipping ahead.

I met some interesting people. An ex-Navy diver, who talks of nothing except the Navy and his wooden yacht. Granted, it is the nicest boat on the yard. And he knows it. Painstakingly restored by hand, and the love shines through. I'm surprised his Mrs isn't jealous. I'm surprised he has a Mrs. All the men do is complain that women don't like boats. Met an ex-drummer Ray. He's a good laugh.73 going on 18. Absolute nutter. Constantly tapping away on something, and since learning I play the bass guitar, air-bassing every song on the radio. He drives a massive 4-litre land rover, but he runs it on gas, mainly to annoy green people. He's a right git, but in a loveable way.

The old men though I was wise beyond, my years. Partly. Because I was practical and not afraid of getting dirty. My top tip for messy people was that if it takes longer to find the tools, than to put them away, it's time to start cleaning. Surprisingly, two of them cleaned up!

Learnt loads of boat-shit [official term]. A yacht has a sail. A cruiser has an engine. If a boat wants to tip over when you look at it, it's tender. The strange plastic things hanging around boats are called fenders, which stop you smashing the shit out of the boat when you try to moor, which in car terms means parking. You have bilge keels, which are giant boat stabilisers. Handy for large tidal waters. A bilge pump saves your ass when you're taking on water. And of course; port, starboard, stern and bow. I did learn more, but that'd be too boring for you.

That evening I sat in my car, alternating between watching the rabbits and gazing into the universe. A great end to a great day.

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