On the Boat

This afternoon we visited the marina where my Dad’s yacht is moored to help him do some maintenance tasks – replacing a rope on the mast, and replacing the dock ropes.

I very rarely talk about my parents on the blog, or in everyday life really, because I suspect it would change some people’s perception of me, and I would hate that. Yes, they retired early, and yes, they have money. That doesn’t mean I ever lean on them for anything though – if anything I am the most independent person in my generation of the family – sometimes ridiculously so. There have been lots of times I could have asked for help, but I have not.

My parents have a boat. They had a succession of boats when I was growing up. I learned to walk on a boat (or so the story goes). I also learned that strawberry jam sandwiches taste the same going down as they do coming back up. The reason I keep quiet about the final boat they bought when they retired is because of the previous paragraph. When the CEO of the company I work for talks about his speedboat, it kind of gets embarrassing when he asks about my parents boat, and I have to tell him about an 11 ton 38ft ocean going yacht…

The first of today’s tasks was the replacement of a rope on the mast. Unfortunately this relatively minor job also means somebody going up the mast to thread the new rope through pulleys. My other half drew the short straw, on account of her being lighter than anybody else, and the kids most likely freezing when they got up there. In the event, it took only a minute or two – with the kids marvelling at how easily a manual winch hoisted her into the air (they don’t understand mechanical advantage yet).

The next job – and far more laborious – was the replacement of numerous ropes around the boat that had suffered a decade of weathering, and become unworkable. Each rope has lengths of hose on it to protect against bulwarks, and the various metalwork it crosses throughout the boat.

While working on the boat, the children got crabbing lines out, and tempted the local population of crabs with bits of bacon – suckering quite a few of them into taking up temporary residence in a bucket on the deck. I can only imagine what goes through a crab’s tiny mind when it realises it’s been caught yet again.

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